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This Week in The Can

HerCanberra Team

Have you recovered from last week’s fashion festivities? It’s ok you can relax as this week in the Can is a little more subdued though there’s still plenty to do in and around our nation’s capital.

From the Australian Ballet’s beautiful, precise performance of Giselle opening at Canberra Theatre to the intriguing gallery tours at the National Portrait Gallery…or perhaps its a market or two that strikes your fancy like the Old Bus Depot Markets and Three Sixty Fashion Markets in Kingston on Sunday. Bit of a sports fanatic? Then head to Phillip Ice Skating rink for all the ice hockey action you can handle with the CBR Brave or head to GIO Stadium to catch the Canberra Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

 There always plenty do for foodies, market dwellers, theatre goers and even art lovers too including a meander through the numerous, inspirational galleries.

Here’s what’s happening This Week in The Can!


The Australian Ballet: Giselle

The Australian Ballet presents Giselle. Since its premiere in 1841, Giselle has captured imaginations and torn at hearts. Maina Gielgud’s acclaimed production for The Australian Ballet, with Peter Farmer’s atmospheric designs, perfectly captures the ballet’s dramatic blend of real-life passions and otherworldly apparitions.

Love conquers death in this ultimate romantic ballet. A village girl falls in love with a man who’s not all he seems. Discovering his deception, she dies of a broken heart. Transformed into a spirit, she battles to save her lover in a wood haunted by the cold, angry ghosts of jilted women. Tickets from Canberra Ticketing. Opens Thursday 21 May and runs until 26 May with a range of showtimes including a matinee.

She Leads Conference (YWCA Canberra)

Hosted by award-winning journalist and media commentator, Tracey Spicer, She Leads will connect 250 aspiring and established women leaders through keynote talks, panel discussions and master classes. A group of renowned women leaders will converge in Canberra on Tuesday 19 May for YWCA Canberra’s She Leads Conference at Hotel Realm.

Three Sixty Fashion Market – Autumn

Tune your style dial to 360FM! Three Sixty Fashion Market is an exciting, niche market dedicated to recycled, up-cycled, handmade and locally designed fashion. It’s creative, community based and promotes local talent. You’ll find a plethora of pre-loved designer labels, quality retro and vintage fashion and new labels from up-and-coming local designers and artisans. The market attracts a large variety of stallholders, bringing together a vibrant array of sellers, designers and craftspeople. Cutting-edge couture rub shoulders with lovingly collated vintage collections, locally designed and handmade jewellery and colourful fashion accessories. It will be autumnal and it will be awesome. On Sunday 24 May from 10am to 3pm at Fitters Workshop, Kingston.

Art & Dementia: Portrait Conversations

Art and dementia – Portrait conversations is a special interactive tour for people living with dementia and their carer. The tour is free, bookings essential. On now until 19 May at the National Portrait Gallery.

Eurovision Final – Official Canberra viewing party

Dress up and head to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) for a night of trivia, prizes and lots of music to mark the Eurovision Final! Eurovision aficionados will be able to prove both their knowledge and star quality, with trivia questions covering everything from ABBA to entries which received zero points, as well as karaoke and costume contests. Prizes include one roundtrip flight to Vienna, and other sponsor’s gifts. The Eurovision Final Canberra Party is presented by the NFSA, the Austrian Embassy in Canberra and SBS, with the support of Austrian Airlines, Swarovski and KTM. On Sunday 24 May from 5pm at the National Film and Sound Archive. Free entry.


Gallery Tours: All the fall highlights

See highlights of the exhibition All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War on a daily tour.  All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War is the National Portrait Gallery’s contribution to the Anzac Centenary. On now until 26 July at National Portrait Gallery.

Gallery Tour: Art and dementia – Portrait conversations

Art and dementia – Portrait conversations is a special interactive tour for people living with dementia and their carer.  The tour is free, bookings essential. On 19 May from 11am at National Portrait Gallery.

Mt Stromlo Observatory May Public Night

Mount Stromlo Observatory in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society invite you to the May public observation night. See the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon and beautiful star clusters and nebulae. On the night, there will be talks by astronomers from Mt. Stromlo Observatory and observations on several telescopes. In the event of cloudy weather, star gazing will be cancelled but the talks will occur regardless of the weather. Check the weather using the Mt. Stromlo all-sky camera on their website. Warm clothing is recommended. On Friday 22 May from 7pm to 9pm at Mt Stromlo. Free entry.



Eurobodalla River of Art Festival

The Eurobodalla River of Art festival is a popular annual South Coast arts festival featuring live music, art, theatre, poetry, fashion, craft as it enters its 10th year. Experience 10 days of live music, theatre, film, visual arts, literature and creative workshops held throughout the stunning coastal region in NSW known as the Eurobodalla. This festival celebrates the abundance of creative practitioners living in and complementing its beautiful environment. On now until 25 May in Eurobodalla, NSW. For more info visit their website.

Control & Choice Expo

The Control and Choice Expo will be showcasing a wide range of products, services, aids/equipment and lifestyle options for people with disabilities in Canberra. Come and see what is right for your needs and design what your future of support will look like – Be NDIS Ready. Meet with a host of product/service providers in the one place at this not to be missed event. Know a person with disabilities in the ACT region? Make sure they can come to the Control and Choice Expo. On Thursday 21 May from 10am to 4pm at EPIC, Flemington Road. Free entry.

Old Bus Depot Markets

Canberra’s national award winning indoor Sunday market focuses on the talent and creativity of regional arts and craftspeople. Discover 200 stalls within a fabulous old industrial building offering unique handcrafted items, gourmet take home food, regional wines, and freshly ground coffee. Visitors can browse all kinds of items including funky lamp shades, tea cups and saucers, retro decorative art, antique jewellery, china and art glass, silver, linens and restored pieces.

The Old Bus Depot Markets are easy to access, have ample free parking and a wide range of food stalls to enjoy a multicultural meal, a coffee or a quick bite to eat – while watching talented musicians and taking in the hustle and bustle of the markets. On every Sunday from 10am to 4pm on Wentworth Avenue in Kingston.

Capital Region Farmers Market

Visit the largest regional markets in the Southern Tablelands—the Capital Region Farmers Market! Be tantalised by fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, seafood, cakes, condiments, meats, cheeses and more. Fresh produce reflects the exciting seasonal characteristics and diversity of the region providing opportunity for you to learn more about the food you’re eating and the region it comes, and discuss what you’re buying with the growers. On every Saturday from 7.30am to 11.30am at Exhibition Park on Flemington Road.

Gorman House Markets

For a quarter of a century, the Gorman House Markets have been Canberra’s much loved meeting place providing opportunities for the community and visitors alike to express themselves creatively, trade and shop in a vibrant environment, access to an audience, engage in the arts and be a part of living heritage. Experience them from 10am to 4pm every Saturday at Gorman House, Ainslie Avenue, Braddon.


The Australian Ballet: Dancer’s Class on Stage

Get to know some of the talented and passionate dancers of The Australian Ballet! In this unique in-theatre event hosted by one of the dancers, you’ll listen in on a special question and answer session with Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominees about their life, dedication and love for the art form. Discussions will be followed by watching full company class live on stage.  Don’t miss this rare insight into life inside the ballet, while The Australian Ballet are touring Giselle in the nation’s capital. Suitable for ages 10 and above. Tickets from Canberra Ticketing — adults $20; children $15. On Monday 25 May from 10am to 11.45am at Canberra Theatre Centre.

The Australian Ballet: Boys Day

Boys, get ready to jump, bend, leap – and follow in the early steps of male ballet legends like Kevin Jackson and Chengwu Guo. In this boys-only class, you’ll learn moves and techniques taught by a male dancer of The Australian Ballet. You’ll have the chance to ask questions afterwards and even watch company class. An unforgettable day of fun and dancing, just for the boys. Limited spots available. Suitable for male dancers aged 9-14. Tickets $29 from On Saturday 23 May from 10am to 12.30pm at Canberra Theatre Centre.

Perception Deception

Does your brain play tricks on you? Is one person’s reality the same as yours? Answer these questions and more with the Perception Deception exhibition at Questacon. Surprise your senses and challenge your mind with over 60 hands-on and multimedia exhibits featuring perceptual test and illusions.  This family-friendly exhibition reveals how our brains process information from our senses to form our perception of the world around us. Sometimes all is not as it seems! On now until 30 September 2015. For entry prices visit the website.


There’s always heaps for people of all ages to do at Questacon – check out their list of events here.

National Dinosaur Museum Weekend Tours

The National Dinosaur Museum holds tours every weekend. Join one of their expert staff to experience a journey through time. Take your camera, your friends, those burning dinosaur questions and join the knowledgeable staff for a fun and educational tour suitable for all ages. Tours are free with admission. Tours are 30-minutes and run every weekend at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm until 27 December.

Play Up

Play Up pokes its tongue out at the idea that museums are hands off. Stand up, muck up, dress up, make up, think up and step up in a fabulous space that has turned the traditional idea of what goes on in museums completely on its head. In Play Up it is visitors to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MOADOPH) who are the curators – the exhibition has been developed with children and celebrates the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Play Up celebrates the important role children have in the cultural life of our communities. Most importantly Play Up is a place for fun. At the MOADOPH and open from 9am to 5pm daily until June 2015.

Family Space

The National Portrait Gallery has something for everyone to enjoy this school holidays in the Portrait Gallery Adventure Family Space. Explore the lives of Australia’s greatest adventurers through interactive art carts, dioramas and dress ups. Make your own portrait that expresses your spirit of adventure using fun art materials and the photo booth. All materials provided and free for all to enjoy! From 11am to 4pm daily.

Leap into your local library

Your local library is a treasure trove…not only are there free books and resources, there are regular amazing events! Giggle & Wiggle with your little ones (up to 2 years) and help them learn through language play using interactive rhymes, songs, games and stories. Looking to improve your English and make new friends, then head along to your local library for one of the informal English conversation groups. For more events and info check them out here.


CBR Brave v Adelaide Adrenaline

After an action-packed double header last week, the CBR Brave are ready to take another win against Adelaide Adrenaline when they return to Canberra this Saturday. Catch all the action at Phillip Ice Skating Centre when the puck drops at 5.30pm on Saturday 23 May. Tickets available online now.

Canberra Raiders v Canterybury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Be a part of the action at GIO Stadium for a Canberra Raiders home match. See them play the Bulldogs in Round 11 of the competition. Nothing beats being part of the crowd at a live rugby league match, especially when the Raiders are playing on their own turf! Tickets will be on sale from Ticketek. Transaction fees from $4.95 per transaction apply. On Sunday 24 May with gates open from 1.30pm for a 4pm kickoff.


Ainslie Parties at the Shops

Ainslie IGA Supermarket has one of Canberra’s best ranges of local produce, so Parties at the Shops and Ainslie retailers are celebrating with a local produce market. Join them for a day of music, entertainment, kids’ activities and a spit roast lunch!
Continuing the foodie theme, residents are invited to participate in Ainslie’s Best Baker bake-off. Bring down your bravest baking between 10am and 12pm to enter the comp. Parties at the Shops is produced by Devil Moon and proudly supported by the ACT Event Fund, the Land Development Agency and Bendigo Bank. On Saturday 23 May from 10am to 4pm at Ainslie Shops.


Arts & Law: Free legal advice clinic

In partnership with the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres are thrilled to present a free legal advice clinic for artists and arts organisations. Consisting of one-off 30-minute legal advice appointments with Trudie Sarks (solicitor at the Arts Law Centre of Australia), the clinic provides an opportunity for artists and arts organisation to receive valuable legal advice from one of Australia’s leading arts law professionals. Bookings are essential as places are limited. To book, email [email protected] or phone (02) 9356 2566. On Tuesday 19 May at the Gorman Arts Centre.

The Australian Ballet: McAllister in Conversation

Join The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister AM for an intimate conversation with one of their principal artists, in which they’ll reveal the secrets of their success and talk about their lives both on and off the stage. The dream of becoming a principal artist begins early in a dancer’s career. To make it come true takes exceptional talent, years of hard work, driving ambition, and grit. A touching and honest look into the world of ballet. Suitable for ages 10 and above. On Saturday 23 May from 5pm to 6pm at Canberra Theatre Centre. All tickets $15 from Canberra Ticketing.

A literary portrait

Professor Jen Webb, Director, Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra leads discussion about The Mountain by Drusilla Modjeska with Angus Trumble, Director National Portrait Gallery, Dr Debjani Ganguly, Head of Humanities Research Centre Australian National University and Dr Katherine Lepani, anthropologist. Read the book and join the conversation. On Thursday 21 May from 6pm to 7.30pm at National Portrait Gallery. Free entry.

National Gallery of Australia talks and workshops

The National Gallery of Australia has an extensive program of talks and workshops run in conjunction with their current exhibitions. Hear about local and international artists or specific techniques. Be inspired by the greats and create your own artworks. Talks and workshops cater for a range of different age groups. For full details visit the NGA website.


Barnum Big Top

Canberra Grammar School (CGS) has taken the “school musical” to a whole new level by erecting a 35 metre circus tent in the centre of the School Quad in preparation for the their performance of Barnum – The Musical. The Canberra Grammar School in association with Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) will be performing Barnum – The Musical which neatly captures the showmanship, the imagination, the curiosity and wonderment of one of America’s pivotal figures of the entertainment business, P.T. Barnum, the “Prince of Humbug”.

The performance, staged in the Barnum Big Top on the grounds of CGS forges new territory as a performance space, offering exciting challenges for the actors, musicians, crew and creative team – totalling more than 160 students from Years 5 to 12 from both Schools. The show is sure to impress, with stunning displays of acrobatics and gymnastics, skilful singing, detailed costumes and a great cast of talented performers. On Wednesday 20 May to Saturday 23 May from 7pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturday also at Canberra Girls Grammar School. Tickets start at $25 and available through Try Booking.

Kristy Webeck: Hoping for the best

Kirsty Webeck is bringing her debut Melbourne International Comedy Festival show to Canberra this weekend. Laugh until you cry as she takes you through her employment history, illustrating the reasons why she will probably never work again. Kirsty combines story-telling and observational humour to have audiences in stitches. On Saturday 23 to Monday 25 May at The Front Gallery, Lyneham. Tickets $23 single, $75 for group of four. Door open at 7pm for 7.30pm start.

Human Rights Arts & Film Festival

The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) is a local arts organisation committed to uncovering human rights issues through film and art. Taking place in Melbourne from 7-21 May, with a national tour following, our diverse selection of film and art strives to inspire conversation and action about social justice. The curated selection of documentary films — including the powerful Australian feature documentary I Will Not Be Silenced and the timely and important Ivory Tower, aim to present the Canberra audience with a meaningful and memorable HRAFF experience. On 22 to 25 May at Palace Electric Cinema. Visit Palace Electric for sessions and times.

Doug Anthony All-Stars – Reunion. Rebirth

Paul McDermott and Tim Ferguson team up with mentor Paul “Flacco” Livingston for a sublime night of the songs, sex, violence, feminism that revolutionised the world of comedy and made Doug Anthony All-Stars feared, loathed and adored comedy rock stars. The “Dougs” relaunched at the 2014 Canberra Comedy Festival and sold out Australia wide. DAAS are officially BACK! Tickets from Canberra Ticketing. Fees apply. On Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May from 8pm at Canberra Theatre Centre. Tickets $62 from Canberra Theatre Centre.


All This Living!

A contemporary, solo piece of theatre created in Canberra, All This Living! uses humour mixed with home truths and leaps of imagination to tell Jay’s story. Anti-ageing ads and her invisibility have worried Jay and she is searching for answers. What is this ‘third stage’ of her life? ‘Retiree’ but from what…life? The Caillech and the Furies may help and have some answers to her quest. Her wrinkles and crinkles hold secrets and stories and she’s not a fossil. Guerilla grannies have their piercing eyes on those Anti-Aging ads and her head is buzzing. Join Jay on her journey. Opens 20 May until 31 May at The Street Theatre. Visit the website for show times.

Audi Festival of German Films

With a collection of films highlighting a robust and very creative film industry in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Audi Festival of German Films is a spectacular assemblage. The variety of movies is most amazing, ranging from thrillers, alpine Western to comedies and thigh-slapping Kraut pleasers. Head along to Palace Electric Cinemas from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 31 May to catch the very best of German filmmaking from arthouse films to massive European box office hits. Tickets and session times available here.

Morning Melodies

Luke Kennedy, who has his own story of spending time on the dark side, will definitely lift your spirits with a lyric tenor voice that is one of the best I have ever heard. As a bonus he will be joined in his Morning Melodies show by Michael Falzon, who is co-starring with him in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the AIS Arena in June. Michael was critically acclaimed for his performances in “We Will Rock You” the Queen tribute show and also “Rock Of Ages”. You’ll have to get in quick though, as seats are selling fast. On Thursday 21 May at 10.30am, Q Theatre Queanbeyan. Tickets available here

Drowning in Veronica Lake

Drowning in Veronica Lake may not be the warmest of titles it does throw a light on what life can be like behind the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood lifestyle. So often people have fantasies about how movie stars live. But the consequences of their fame often have a tragic ending. So many talented actors are tormented by egos that are as fragile as snowflakes. Opening 30 May at Q Theatre, Queanbeyan. Tickets available here


The John Denver Story – Take me home country roads

Australian singer, Rick Price, has once again returned from his current home in Nashville to tell the John Denver story. Rick’s award-winning voice gives true heart and soul to Denver’s music, while telling the story of his contradictory life. Denver’s life combined love of the environment, his fellow beings and the planet, while at the same time giving into bouts of infidelity, alcoholism and aberrant behaviour. Rick’s narrates a gripping story of Denver’s passions while giving voice to more than 20 of his greatest hits. He is accompanied by The Colorado Quartet. Tickets from Canberra Ticketing. Transaction fees apply. On Thursday 21 May from 8pm at Canberra Theatre.

Evensong: A musical performance by Clarion

Head along to the National Portrait Gallery and enjoy a free half hour musical performance after you have perused their collections. Evensong is a musical performance by Clarion, a vocal ensemble, led by Tobias Cole. On Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May from 4pm at National Portrait Gallery. Free entry

The Front Room

Explore Australia’s TV, radio and music collection at your leisure in the National Film and Sound Archive’s latest screen and sound experience in Acton – The Front Room. Discover the history of sound, music and broadcast in comfort. Listen to radio broadcasts on a 1950s radiogram, watch classic TV in the lounge space or play CDs on one of the listening posts. Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours, there’s always something to see, hear or do in The Front Room. Free entry. Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm until 24 December at National Film and Sound Archive.

No Lights, No Lycra

There is no light, no lycra, no teacher, no steps to learn, no technique, just free movement. NLNL is a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body. NLNL is a daggy, non-pretentious place to completely be yourself.

NLNL takes place in two locations across Canberra: Monday nights from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Mugga Mugga Scout Hall in Red Hill, and Wednesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm at St John’s Anglican Church Hall in Reid (corner of Constitution Ave and Anzac Park West).

Lots of free onsite parking available, and admission still just $5 on the door.

Vinyl Lounge at NFSA

The popular Vinyl Lounge is back for 2015 at the National Film and Sound Archive. Join other vinyl lovers for nibbles then spin the turntables with your favourites records from 5.30pm. The NFSA’s Vinyl Lounge is on the first Friday of every month and is the perfect way to end the day (and working week). Reminscent of record clubs of the 1970s, enjoy a diverse selection of pop, rock, folk, world, funk and lounge music from the Golden Age of vinyl. Bring your own LPs and groove into the Vinyl Lounge. On the first Friday of each month from 5pm.

Weekly Dance Party for the Over 30s

30+ Dance Event will be hosting weekly Dance Parties every Saturday night at The RUC where you will be provided with an entralling and relaxed atmosphere to meet new people at your own leisure. A fun, safe and comfortable atmosphere to dance, meet new or other likeminded persons, romance, flirt or socialise and make friends. These are popular weekly Saturday night evens and the ideal night out for fun-loving socialable 30+s with pulsating music from the 60s, 70s, 80, 90s plus much more. Visit 30 Plus Dance Event for details. On every Saturday from 8pm onwards at The RUC, Turner and $20 per head.

Live Local Music

This post isn’t long enough to list all the various gigs around town, but if you’re into live music, we heartily suggest you check out what’s on offer at The Phoenix, Transit Bar, The Front, The Abbey, and BMA’s gig guide.


Landscapes of Our Country

In collaboration with Ernabella Arts, Jaktman Gallery presents an exhibition of dynamic new work, featuring paintings by Thariya (Nungalka) Stanley, Renita Stanley, Imiyari (Yilpi) Adamson, Tjunkaya Tapaya and Atipalku Intjalki. The exhibition is an energetic collection of paintings representing the artist’s stories of their landscape and sacred places. The vibrant colours of the paintings represent the changes in the landscape as they travel and camp with their family. The paintings embody the strong connection and sense of place that the Pukatja people have with the land. Open until 25 May at Front Gallery, Lyneham.

100 Years of Kingston Power House

Canberra Glassworks invites you on a special tour of Canberra’s oldest public building, Kingston Power House, which turns 100 years old in 2015. Designed by John Smith Murdoch, this building was the heartbeat of Canberra in its early years. It powered the development of this built city, housed its telecommunications system and provided employment for many people across the region. Bookings essential on (02) 6260 7005 or email [email protected]. On until 6 June 2015.


As part of DESIGN Canberra, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is thrilled to partner with the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD), to bring you an exciting exhibition Bespoke: Design for the people. In this stunning exhibition, six Australian craft and design practitioners have created new works that reflect and respond to the iconic designs of the original furniture at Old Parliament House. Each artist was given unprecedented access to the rooms and collections, and the freedom to create a personal response. Informed by their own artistic backgrounds, each artist considered notions of political perspective, change, accountability and power in their pieces. The result is a thought-provoking collaboration between design, creativity and Australia’s political history. Artists include Canberra artists Jennifer Robertson, Niklavs Rubenis, Julie Ryder, Caren Florance, in collaboration with Melinda Smith; and Sydney-based artist Cecelia Heffer. The exhibition will run until November 2015. To view the full DESIGN Canberra program of events visit their website.

James Turrell: A Retrospective

Following sell-out shows in Los Angeles and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, comes the National Gallery of Australia’s 2014 summer blockbuster James Turrell: A Retrospective. Never before seen in Australia and showing only in Canberra, James Turrell is considered one of the greatest artists of our time. The National Gallery of Australia’s retrospective combines works from LACMA’s tour with spectacular new, site-specific installations. The exhibition is open until Monday 8 June, 2015 at the National Gallery of Australia. Ensure to check the exhibitions time changes over Christmas (closed Christmas Day). Tickets are available to purchase through Ticketek but bookings are also essential as only 15 people are allowed through in any one session.

Norforce: Tony Albert

Tony Albert works in a number of art forms, including drawing, painting, photography, and installation. A founding member of Queensland’s indigenous art collective proppaNOW, Albert’s art explores political, historical and cultural issues relevant to indigenous people in Australia today. Albert exhibits internationally and nationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Most recently Albert won the City of Sydney commission to create a public artwork in Hyde Park. Titled Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let fall the artwork honours the military service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women. Open until 3 November 2015 at the Australian War Memorial.

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future tells the story of an intriguing collection of artworks created by Warlpiri people in the 1950s. Glimpsed through the eyes of the collector as well as more recent Warlpiri interpretations, Warlpiri Drawings explores how drawing has been used to make sense of 80 years of monumental change, to picture life in the present and look hopefully towards the future. The exhibition is open until 31 May 2015 at the National Museum of Australia.

Other exhibitions

For a comprehensive round up of smaller exhibitions around town, visit Capital Magazine.


X-rated: the sex industry in the ACT

Since the 1980s Canberra has been synonymous with sex in the minds of many Australians. Twenty years have passed since it became legal to sell X-rated videos in the Australian Capital Territory. The adult industry has gone through periods of growth, boom and, many would argue, bust. This exhibition explores the evolution of Canberra’s sex industry over the past 50 years. The public is warned that some material displayed in this exhibition may cause offence. Persons under 18 years of age may not enter this exhibition. On until 20 September at Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book
(c.1505–1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection)

An acknowledged masterpiece of Renaissance manuscript illumination, the Rothschild Prayer Book has remained the preserve of a privileged few. With its recent acquisition for the Kerry Stokes Collection, this historic book of hours will be on public display with a selection of the National Library of Australia’s medieval and Renaissance treasures. On from 22 May to 9 August from 10am to 5pm every day at the National Library of Australia. Visit the website for ticket prices.

Once, our comrades

The Uzunstein Chamber orchestra, directed by Giga Jeleskovic, performs classical and contemporary chamber works inspired by the tragedy and pathos of war, including the piece Once, our comrades; written especially for the Gallipoli remembrance. Ticket price includes after-hours access to the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition All That Fall. Adults $30; Concessions $26; and members $26. On Sunday 24 May from 5pm to 7.15pm.

Colour my world: Australian photography

Colour My World is the National Gallery of Australia’s first exhibition dedicated to the handcoloured photograph. It draws together new acquisitions and rarely seen works from the National Collection. These photographs challenge the medium’s technical sameness by personalising the print and imbuing it with individuality and uniqueness as well as an intimacy, warmth and fallibility. On until 30 August at National Gallery of Australia. Free entry.

Australian Paintings from the James and Jacqui Erskine Collection

This selection of Australian works from the James and Jacqui Erskine collection testifies to a breadth of taste and confidence of judgement. See paintings by Lloyd Rees, Kevin Connor, Brian Blanchflower, Emily Kngwarreye, Ildiko Kovacs, Chris Langois, Rosalie Gascoigne, Karl Wiebke, Allan Mitelman, John Olsen, George Tjangurrayi, Aida Tomescu, David Serisier, Prince of Wales, Lucy Culliton, and Virginia Coventry, among others. This is the first time that such a large portion of the invigoratingly various Erskine collection has been on public view. On from 22 May until 28 June (12pm-5pm) at the Drill Hall Gallery, ANU. Free entry.

Kerry Johns ‘Forest Subjective’ 

Kerry Johns’ landscape paintings may be familiar to Canberrans from her 2012 show at Chapman Gallery in Manuka, where Monaro-inspired landscapes sat alongside those stimulated by her years on the Eurobodalla coast. These coastal works have often taken the iconography of the spotted gum coastal forest as their motif and starting point. The recurring motif in this exhibition is the stands of forest that dominate the headlands of the south coast, though the real subject of the paintings could be said to be the interplay of light, colour, shape and the ambiguity of positive and negative space. Forest Subjective runs until Monday 31 May, and will be open weekdays 9.30am-2.30pm and weekends 10am-4pm. For further details contact Form Studio and Gallery (0430 359 776) and see the paintings at and

Claire Primrose Memory Mapping

Claire’s current body of work is inspired and informed by many different locations from the Australian landscape —a collection of landscape inspired abstracted paintings. She is interested in recreating the surfaces, textures and colours evocative of a particular place, although each work is a culmination of many different images, spaces and experiences, achieved through memory and experimentation. Claire works outside on location and incorporate elements of her surroundings. On until Monday 31 May at Form Studio, Queanbeyan.

Australia in the Great War

Australia in the Great War is the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition in the First World War Galleries. Discover one of the world’s great collections of material related to the First World War. The First World War Galleries integrate a wide variety of items from this collection, including dioramas, art works; uniforms; medals; technology such as artillery and firearms; photographs; film; and letters and diaries.  The Australian War Memorial presents the story of Australia in the First World War chronologically, covering all major theatres of operations: Gallipoli, the Western Front, Sinai and Palestine and the war at sea. On display now until 1 January 2017 at the Australian War Memorial.

Afghanistan: The Australian Story

Afghanistan and the Middle East are now linked to Australia’s national story. Australia’s mission is clear: to combat international terrorism, to stabilise Afghanistan, and to support Australia’s international alliances. Yet a mission statement cannot capture the challenges, the successes, and the comradeship of the Australian men and women who pursue it. Nor the joys and heartbreaks, or the loneliness and the dedication of those who wait at home. Some of these experiences, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war, are told in this exhibition. Over time, the display will change and evolve as more veterans share their stories. On display until 3 November 2015.

William Edwin Pidgeon (1909–1981), war correspondent and artist

William Edwin Pidgeon was a painter, cartoonist, illustrator, and newspaper critic. This exhibition presents a selection of the over 400 works by William Pidgeon held in the Australian War Memorial’s Art collection. The works relate to Pidgeon’s Second World War experiences in Darwin, New Guinea, Borneo and Morotai between 1943 to 1945. On display in the Second World War Galleries until 7 March 2016 at the Australian War Memorial.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. On until 8 June at the National Portrait Gallery.

Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC; and pays tribute to the Darlings’ persistence in turning their private dream of a gallery of portraits of ‘uncommon Australians’ into a tangible collection in a purpose-built home. Accompanied by a lavish catalogue, the exhibition tours to McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Victoria, and the Tweed Regional Gallery, New South Wales. On now until 14 June at the National Portrait Gallery.

Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan

Ben Quilty toured Afghanistan in 2011 as the Australian War Memorial’s official war artist. His exhibition presents works of art developed from his experience.  “The portraits of these servicemen and servicemen move beyond the physical exterior of the subject to delve into emotions and experiences that lie below” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is free.

Alex Seton: As of today

See the remarkable sculptures that commemorate the lives of the 41 soldiers who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.  “The power of the sculpted flags is developed through the way their pale marble, slightly pink in hue and each imbued with blushes and veins represents an individual and a life lost in the line of duty” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is free.

Urban Suburban

Comprised entirely of works from the Canberra Museum and Gallery visual arts collection, this exhibition explores urban and suburban Canberra. The works examine Canberra as a town and a city independent of the national monuments that define it as the Nation’s Capital.

From black-and-white photographs of the city from the 1960s through to the work of contemporary artists examining life in the suburbs, the exhibition reveals the rituals and experiences that enrich life in Canberra and discovers thematic links between the diverse works in the Collection. Urban Suburban encompasses a range of media including printmaking, photography, painting and sculpture. On until 21 June 2015 at Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello: Reinventing the Weave

ReInventing the Weave features the sublime, hand blown woven glass sculptures of Jenni Kemarre Martiniello. Weaving has been a long and durable practice within Australian Indigenous Cultures. The artist’s works are inspired by, and draw upon, the beauty of traditional woven objects while paying respect to the elegant forms of these utilitarian vessels. The glass weave technique explores the geometry and precision of the traditional form, fusing it with the exquisite beauty of glass and light to celebrate the juncture of object and art. Curator: Kelli Cole. On now until 7 June 2015 at the Canberra Glassworks.

The Home Front: Australia during the First World War

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War, The Home Front looks at life back at home and the pride, sorrow, passion, wonder and joy experienced by those far from the battlefields. On display at the National Museum of Australia until 1 January 2017.

Through 23 personal stories, this exhibition explores Australians’ choices, opportunities and challenges in a time of heightened emotions. See the effects of war on those at home. Rediscover Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s determination to impose conscription on a divided nation, Basil Watson’s thrilling and ultimately tragic aerobatic displays in his homemade biplane, May Gibbs’s quaint postcards that carried messages of joy to soldiers and more.

Crisis 1914! The call to arms

Crisis 1914! The call to arms explores the political events which led to Australia’s involvement in the First World War, from outbreak of war in August to the first convoy’s departure in November 1914. In Australia’s first crisis as a new nation, we went willingly, even enthusiastically, into the war. See the original cabinet table used in 1914, along with other memorabilia from the era which help to tell the story of Australia’s political journey. This exhibition contributes to the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years of service by Australian servicemen and women, and the experience of war by all Australians. At the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House until 5 August 2015.

Without Consent

Without Consent: Australia’s past adoption practices is now open at the National Archives.  An exhibition of moving experiences of heartbreak and resilience, shared by people impacted by Australia’s past adoption practices. This project has been assisted by the Department of Social Services. Open now until 19 July at the National Archives, Parkes.

The Front Room

Explore Australia’s TV, radio and music collection at your leisure in the National Film and Sound Archive‘s latest screen and sound experience in Acton – The Front Room. Discover the history of sound, music and broadcast in comfort. Listen to radio broadcasts on a 1950s radiogram, watch classic TV in the lounge space or play CDs on one of the listening posts. Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours, there’s always something to see, hear or do in The Front Room. Open until 24 December 2015. Visit their website for more information.

Art is a Weapon

Art is a Weapon takes you back to an Australia gripped by the Cold War. Amid propaganda for and against communism, artists turned to an image familiar to most Australians; the Southern Cross flag of the Eureka Stockade. The portfolio contains fourteen works from ten artists, including three from prominent Melbourne artist Noel Counihan. Counihan was a Social Realist who was heavily involved in the Communist Party, and was well-known in the Melbourne art community. The works reflect both the Eureka rebellion itself and, more broadly, the themes of workers’ rights and struggles against the established authorities.

Art is a Weapon explores how the Eureka story, legend and iconography have been used by groups and causes of all political flavours to spread their message. Alongside the portfolio of works, other objects and artworks using the Southern Cross motif show how the idea of Eureka has been adopted by groups as diverse as young communists and motorcycle clubs. Open now at the Museum of Australian Democracy. Visit their website for more information.

Behind the Lines 2014

Superheroes. Battle axes. Death stares. Who said politics was dry and dull? Highly anticipated and scorchingly honest, Behind the Lines 2014 celebrates the best political cartoons of 2014. The exhibition – one of the most anticipated of the year for politic tragics is now open at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. In the 2014 exhibition, cartoonists wryly comment on Tony Abbott’s first year in government. They see the Coalition attempting to deliver strong and stable leadership, as well as fulfilling their election promises to stop the boats, axe the tax, fix the budget and reduce red tape. Meanwhile, a restless Australian Labor Party waits for its Leader to ditch the past, move forward and say something. Each year the exhibition acknowledges a cartoonist as the Behind the Lines Political Cartoonist of the Year. Open until November 2015.

Afghanistan: The Australian Story

Afghanistan and the Middle East are now linked to Australia’s national story. Australia’s mission is clear: to combat international terrorism, to stabilise Afghanistan, and to support Australia’s international alliances. Yet a mission statement cannot capture the challenges, the successes, and the comradeship of the Australian men and women who pursue it. Nor the joys and heartbreaks, or the loneliness and the dedication of those who wait at home. Some of these experiences, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war, are told in this exhibition. Over time, the display will change and evolve as more veterans share their stories. Open until 3 November 2015 at the Australian War Memorial.

Enterprising Australians

An insight into how great ideas happen, hear the inspiring stories of Australia’s modern-day innovators. Discover the unique journey that inventors take from idea to product in this exhibition featuring video stories, product displays and interactive stations that explore the origins of products from a range of fields, including mining, agriculture, medical, automotive, and food science. Showing until 30 June 2016 at The Ian Potter Technology Learning Centre.

Keepsakes: Australians and The Great War

To mark the centenary of the First World War, the National Library of Australia invites you to explore their fascinating collection of wartime albums, medals, letters and diaries in Keepsakes. Keepsakes tells the story of The Great War as experienced by Australian servicemen and women, key political leaders, civilians, artists and families on the homefront. Discover how very personal stories become our nation’s collective memory. Open until Sunday 31 May 2015.

Power of 1: Does your voice count?

Discover the changing nature of Australian democracy and the power of your voice within it. Power of 1 is a ground breaking interactive exhibition shaped by the answers you share, about what matters to you. Step back in time to remember the events, people and experiences that have shaped each generation of Australians. Have your say about the state of democracy and help to create a new kind of museum experience curated by the voices of the Australian people. It’s time…have your say and be heard. Open until 12 November 2015 at Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan

After spending over three weeks talking to Australian servicemen and women in Afghanistan, Ben Quilty felt an overwhelming need to tell their stories. He went there in October 2011 as an official war artist, commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and attached to the Australian Defence Force. His task was to record and interpret the experiences of Australians deployed as part of Operation Slipper in Kabul, Kandahar, and Tarin Kot in Afghanistan and at Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates. Quilty’s work employs a wide range of genres, including portraits, figurative subjects, still-lifes and landscapes. On display until 14 August 2015.

Menzies: By John Howard

Former Prime Minister John Howard has curated this Menzies exhibition and shares his unique and personal insights, reflections and stories on the intense first term of former Prime Minister Robert Menzies. The exhibition marks the 75th anniversary of Robert Menzies’ first term as prime minister (1939-41) and features objects never before seen by the public, including personal items on loan from the Menzies family. Open now until 3 September 2015 at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.


Her Canberra

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