Friday, June 25, 2021

Miniature Music #1 - Cherry Bar

 I've decided to start a new series of miniatures, featuring iconic live music venues. The first one is (drumroll...) - Cherry Bar! Specifically, Cherry Bar from back in the day when it was in AC/DC Lane, for extra musical cred. And the coolest thing about this series, tying deeper into the music theme, is that each will be the exact same size as a vinyl LP album cover, 31cm x 31cm.

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

I decided to begin this series during our latest two-week COVID-19 lockdown 4.0 here in Melbourne. I was thinking about all the places I missed visiting, and in particular about live music venues. Then I thought "If I can't go in person, why not visit in miniature?"

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

I remember the AC/DC Lane version of Cherry Bar so well, it was a natural for my first Miniature Music. I was gutted when it had to move to a new location, but once again that's the beauty of making a miniature, I could replicate how it looked around 2014-2015.

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

The size is a lovely little synchronicity. The dimensions of an LP cover work beautifully with my miniatures, which are usually around 30-40cm at their largest point. Plus I made it deliberately shallow so it can be framed and hung on a wall, rather than my usual miniatures which stand on bases.

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane
It just had to be the same size as an LP ;)

My favourite bit? In the doorframe are stuck pieces of paper with the house rules on them. 
"1. No suits.
  2. No sporting apparel.
  3. No dickheads (See Number 1).
  4. No thongs."
I just had to include these.

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

The hardest part was getting the sloping ground of AC/DC Lane to work!

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

I hope you like it. Now, here's to Miniature Music #2 - I have so many to choose from! The Tote, Festival Hall, The Espy. Decisions, decisions...

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

New miniature - corner shop milk bar in Melbourne

Here's my latest miniature art work: a small corner shop of the type that used to be everywhere in Australia. There were tens of thousands of these small grocery / milkbar / newsagent type shops in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, in all Australian cities and towns. I would estimate that 80-90% of them are gone now, replaced by supermarkets and convenience stores.

This particular shop was in Footscray, Melbourne, near the corner of Barkly Street and Summerhill Road. I only had a single black and white photo to work from. The photo is from the mid-1960s, and the store was demolished in the 1970s. 

I set myself a challenge to see if I could make a miniature from a single photo. First I ran the photo through some online software to colorize it - here's the result. It's far from perfect, but it gave me a good solid base to work from and a way to interpret what colours I should be heading to.


Then I had to do some research to try and locate the old logos and brands, so that I could replicate these all accurately.

Finally I had to make a representation of the interior, full of 1960s-era groceries: Persil, Cornflakes, bags of sugar and lots of point of sale for brands like Peters icecream, Marlboro cigarettes, Nestle chocolate, Coca Cola and Vita Brits.

This one was a fun one to build.

Comparison of the original photo (left) and my miniature (right).