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A steampunk lounge in Queen's Hall
Cliff Overton is curating a display in Queen's Hall for the Library’s Carnival of Curiosity. Intriguingly he is curating the lounge as ‘maduncle: the steampunk tinkerer and creator of museum artefacts that never were’. I chatted to him about the parallel world of steampunk.
What inspired you to contribute to the Carnival of Curiosity?
'An invitation from fellow steampunk tinkerer Caleb Heinselman was my entry into the Carnival of Curiosity. Once I saw the space and had a walk around the dome, ideas for all sorts of mad steampunk events started popping into my head. Being a part of the steampunk community in Melbourne, we are always looking to link our movement to iconic structures or events in Melbourne’s past.'
What is steampunk all about?
'Steampunk takes place in a romanticised, alternative Victorian-era past where science has taken an imaginative leap. Brave men and strong women travel to the planets in timber hulled, brass-riveted, steam-powered rocket ships. Clockwork mechanical devices walk the streets with Babbage-computer brains and in some cases – aliens, vampires and werewolves form part of the narrative.'
What's your favourite object in the Carnival lounge?
'I particularly like Caleb Heinselman’s steampunk lamp made from a collection of previously unrelated mechanical parts. There is a bit of car in there, some window fittings, some plumbing parts, all items from different locations with different purposes but they all come together so well in this one piece. The lamp is also reminiscent of the slightly unique Australian ‘adhoc-ism’ approach to design and inventiveness.'
Carnival of Curiosity happens Sunday 7 July, 12pm – 6pm.