[Exhibition] Antipodean Steampunk at the National Trust

An exciting new exhibition opens at the National Trust next week:

If today’s technology had been introduced in the 19th century, what would the world look like? The Antipodean Steampunk Show attempts to answer this question in a fascinating mash-up of past, future, and fantasy.

Born in literature in the 1980s as a response to the sci-fi ‘Cyberpunk’ genre, the visual richness of Steampunk work soon transcended the page. Its influence can be found in film and fashion, as well as in the workshops of scores of hobbyist tinkerers and professional artists alike. The dynamic works to be exhibited include jewellery, shoes, time machines, ray guns, photography and music players, all modified to reflect 19th century aesthetics.

The artists come from a range of cross-discipline backgrounds including engineer-sculptors, artist-scientists, shoe-makers, jeweller-taxidermists, writers, performers, photographers, film-makers, tinkerers, designers and hobbyists.

In addition to contemporary works, the exhibition will include examples of historical machinery, books and films that inspired Steampunk, including nautical, aeronautical, musical and navigational equipment, sourced from the National Trust Collection.

What: The Antipodean Steampunk Show
When: Monday 30 June until Friday 8 August 2014, 10am to 4pm each day
Where: National Trust Victorian headquarters, Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne
Cost: $10.00 Adult, $ 7.50 Concession, $ 5.00 Child or National Trust member
More information click here
There’s also an interesting programme to accompany the exhibition.

Here’s one of Kate O’Brien’s artworks – this image isn’t in the exhibition but there are other ones.

Kate OBrien_Hull 475

Here are some images of the costumes in the exhibition. Photos reproduced courtesy the National Trust (Victoria).
gallserp01 475

gallserp03 475


  1. Thanks Kate – great image! Both of them actually. I’ll edit the above post: are you happy for me to leave the image in there?

  2. Also, I think i’ve been confusing. The image you’ve posted is in the exhibition, but not the costume whereas the other image I posted is on display as both costume and photograph.

  3. Loved the exhibition. While looking at Kate O’Brien’s photographs and costume, another visitor enlightened us as to the meaning and importance of the number 33 (arsenic on the periodic table). I told the story from Bill Bryson’s book “The Home”: That arsenic was used to create the green wallpaper in the 1880s, and in the damp English homes no bed-bugs were to be found in the bedrooms. I told my hairdresser this story.Price $33. Tim offered me a jube upon leaving; he added “I wouldn’t recommend the green ones”.

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