The ‘80s called – and MoAD wants to bring it back | HerCanberra

Everything you need to know about canberra. ONE DESTINATION.

The ‘80s called – and MoAD wants to bring it back

Posted on

Grab your spandex, dig out your leg warmers, and don your neon – this March we’re going back to the ‘80s and time travel has never sounded so rad.

Taking Canberra back to the iconic dance music decade that brought us boomboxes, PacMan, and puff ball skirts, this year as part of the Enlighten Festival the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) at Old Parliament House has decided to show a different side of political history – because as the sun goes down, they’ll be throwing it back with The People’s House: Back to the ‘80s.

A free, immersive event for all ages (hello, themed family night out!), the time warp will take visitors back in time to the 1980s working life at Old Parliament House, unveiling little-known facts, and other quirky surprises from the time.

Inspired by the works of Brisbane-based artist Nordacious (AKA James Hillier), whose work will be illuminating the building from Friday 1 until Monday 11 March, The People’s House: Back to the ‘80s will be running for two weekends only (on Friday 1, Saturday 2, Friday 8, and Saturday 9 March).

Known for highly camp and highly fabulous artworks, the connection between Nordacious and the ‘80s night only makes sense. Creating works inspired by pop culture and progressive politics, his drawings have adorned everything from massive billboards in New York’s Times Square to the cover artwork for a duet by Elton John and Britney Spears.

During Enlighten, Old Parliament House will be lit up with his hand-drawn illuminations representing the workers that were indispensable to the functioning of democracy, including the Serjeant-at-Arms, COMCAR drivers, and librarians, as well as iconic 1980s memorabilia such as video games and Rubik’s cubes. Talk about some flashback fun.

Excited to help make democracy more accessible by sharing his art with different audiences, Nordacious has always had a passion for social justice and how it intersects with politics and democracy.

“I want to make political ideas more engaging and accessible for people who’ve been overwhelmed by the noise or find it boring. Comedy can be very disarming and leaning into exciting aesthetics, retro and pop art, can be engaging too,” he says.

But what did the ‘80s at Old Parliament House look like?

Taking visitors through  challenges guided by MoAD staff (who will be decked out in their glitziest and gaudiest ‘80s gear) that will have you trying out everything from your aerobic dance movies to juggling the tools telephonists used, you’ll have to head along to see the history of the big hair days in Australia’s parliament for yourself.

Along with taking part in freestyle aerobics sessions and singing your heart out in karaoke rooms where you can belt out the best of Olivia, Kylie, and Madonna, visitors are also encouraged to get retro-fitted by dressing the part – think: high hair, bold colours, high-waisted denim, and shoulder pads sharp enough to poke an eye out – to get into the ‘80s spirit.

“We’re thrilled to share with everyone the nostalgia, playfulness, and excitement of the 1980s. Who can forget the fashions, the music, the technology?” says MoAD Director Stephanie Bull.

“It was also a dynamic period of Australian history and helped shape the country we are today. We tend to remember the colourful personalities, like Hawke and Peacock, and the big events, such as the America’s Cup and World Expo 88, but it was also the decade that ushered in universal health care and the Sex Discrimination Act.”

“We want to celebrate the everyday workers that helped serve the community and deliver change. The beauty of our democracy is everyone plays a part.”

Complete a challenge and grab yourself a MoAD badge (that will have special illustrations by Nordacious), get into the groove by listening to their Spotify playlist of curated tracks, and get ready to hit Old Parliament House with your best ‘80s shot – because a night at The People’s House: Back to the ‘80s will be fun no matter if you used to rock a mullet but now you’re all business in the front, or if Miles Teller was your introduction to Top Gun.

Don’t be a square – see you there? We promise we won’t call the fashion police.


What: The People’s House: Back to the ‘80s
Friday 1, Saturday 2, Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March, 7 pm – 10.30 pm
Museum Of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes

Feature image by Nordacious.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

© 2024 HerCanberra. All rights reserved. Legal.
Site by Coordinate.