Get happy! Explore mid-Century Finnish colour & style at Bendigo Art Gallery

by Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Walking up the steps to the Bendigo Art Gallery was one of the happiest moments of last weekend. That could be put down to the thrill of seeing a massive wall emblazoned with shocking-pink poppies, but it was definitely also the anticipation of total immersion in the Finnish textile and fashion company’s world for two whole hours. Bliss.

Hat and dress in pattern Linssi (lence) (detail) | pattern designed in 1966 by Kaarina Kellomäki.Courtesy of Design Museum, Helsinki.

Be sure to get there, if you can, before it finishes on 11 June.

We can possibly help with that… we’re giving away three double passes, thanks to Bendigo Art Gallery.

Just sign up to receive this Friday’s Travel Update and you’ll receive instructions for entering the draw. Good luck!

The Bendigo Art Gallery reminds us Marimekko was established “during the golden age of post-war modernism … and achieved international fame in the 1960s and 70s with its bold screen prints and pop-art style graphics. Coinciding with the emerging liberation of women, the founding of Marimekko, or ‘Mary dress’ as the name literally translates, represented a pure concept; free from rules and constraints.”

Curtain made from the pattern Unikko designed by Maija Isola in 1964.Image courtesy of Design Museum, Helsinki.

This uplifting exhibition traces Marimekko’s meteoric rise from the 1950s to the present. It also “explores the dualities that define its aesthetic. Its iconic fabric patterns and unconventional ready-to-wear outfits brought colour and informality to an otherwise self-conscious fashion world. With more than 60 outfits, swathes of original fabrics, homewares, sketches and other archival materials, the exhibition focuses on the work of the talented individuals who defined this local textile practice and created its internationally recognisable designs.”

Marimekko really is a spirit-raiser and well worth the trip up from Melbourne – or wherever you’re domiciled.

While you’re there, also take time to drop in on New Histories, running until 29 July. Curator Jessica Bridgfoot has worked with leading Australian artists (including Juan Ford) to create 10 new works for the show, each inspired by significant historical works from the Bendigo Art Gallery’s collection.

A section of “Inappropriater”, by Juan Ford, part of the “New Histories” exhibition .

Exhibition details: 

Marimekko. Design Icon 1951-2018. An exhibition celebrating mid-century colour and style from Finland’s premiere design house.

Open 10am-5pm daily till 11 June 2018 at Bendigo Art Gallery, 42 View Street, Bendigo, Victoria.


OR subscribe, before Friday 11 May, to receive the Journeys To Come Travel Update for your chance to win one of three double passes to the exhibition!


Main image: Umbrella made with Unikko fabric, Bökars 1966. Picture Tony Vaccharo. Published Life Magazine 1966. Courtesy of Design Museum, Helsinki.

All images courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery.