Housing a permanent collection, Reflecting Canberra, and a variety of local, national and international exhibitions, CMAG provides a refreshing insight to the integration of social history and the visual arts.
7 February - 31 May
Cabinets of Curosities Open Collection
When first asked ‘what do you collect?’ my instant reply was ‘nothing’, but when pressed my thoughts went to my Grandfather’s hat that I had a memory of seeking out, stating ‘I would like to keep that’. It came with thoughts of Pop walking onto his back veranda from his beloved garden, looking very smart in his ‘pork pie’, removing it always before coming inside, uncovering a shiny bald head with a few wisps of white hair, often beaded with sweat from exertion. The hat evoked fond memories of a man as he was.
On rediscovering the bags of hats hidden
in a cupboard in the garage other memories were prompted.
The Bush Tucker Man hat: large, bold, never actually worn, but purchased with memories of the man, the television show and the marvels of the Australian outback. Two cricket hats, Grand Final winning hats, times of excitement and fun in a country town with little to do other than sport, playing with mates, and celebrating the achievement long after. The battered Akubra, worn every Monday morning to cattle auctions for ten years in a life now long past. Fond memories of the Vietnam Veteran who passed on some of his collection of military hats – memories for me of the man,
perhaps not the hats.
It was then that I realised my collection of hats was more a collection of memories, remembrance of past times, past lives and past loves. Seeing the display of family hats it was clear that here were memories even more relevant: my Pop’s, my Dad’s, my fave and my two son’s favourites. All reminders to me why they were kept… perhaps not collected.
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