Wander Through the Marimekko Exhibition

 
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Marimekko Design Icon. 1951 - 2018

Don't miss Marimekko at the Bendigo Art Gallery. The only place you'll see the exhibition in Australia. 

It’s Helsinki, 1949.

A small textile printing company was formed by a man named Viljo Ratia.

A year later, Vijo's wife Armi Ratia, imagining a bold future for designs and fabric,  commissioned some promising young artists to create striking fabrics.

As beautiful as the fabric was, no one was buying it. In 1952, Vijo figured success might lie in making clothes rather than selling fabric. At her first fashion show, all the clothes were sold on the spot. Marimekko was born and the first of many stores opened in Helsinki (Finland).

Meremekko & Bendigo Art Gallery

Marimekko is on its way to the Bendigo Art Gallery. Another Australian exclusive for the gallery.

Its only stop in Australia, the Merimekko exhibition will be on display in Bendigo from the 3rd March this year.

Haven’t heard the name Maremekko? You’ve definitely seen their fabrics and clothing. It’s arguably the most recognised fabric design in the world.

 Creative Commons Vintage Dress in Exhibition "Modern Life" in HAM Modern Art Museum Helsinki. By  Lkka Jakaraines  licenced under  CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons Vintage Dress in Exhibition "Modern Life" in HAM Modern Art Museum Helsinki. By Lkka Jakaraines licenced under CC BY 2.0

If you’re a fan of the hit series ‘Sex and The City’, you've seen the Maremekko brand. In Season 2, Carrie Bradshaw wore a Maremekko bikini and dress. In Season 5, tablecloths with Merimekko prints were introduced.

Marimekko’s graphic Unikko poppy and flower designs are instantly recognisable across generations, but they also capture the optimism and spirit of the 1960s era.
— Karen Quinlan (Gallery Director) - Source: Bendigo Advertiser

Marimekko Spreads Around the World

Maremekko was made famous in America in 1960.  Jacquiline Kennedy bought six Marimekko dresses to wear during the 1960 United States Presidential Campaign.

Even today, Maremekko products can be seen everywhere. You'll find it on:

  • Bedding
  • Kitchen items
  • Dresses
  • Children’s wear
  • Oven mitts
  • Miles and miles of fabric.
 The iconic Marimekko logo. Creative Commons marimekko By  Kanonn  is licenced under  CC BY 2.0

The iconic Marimekko logo. Creative Commons marimekko By Kanonn is licenced under CC BY 2.0

How the Style Was Characterised

Marimekko was a pure concept, and emerged at a time where the liberation of women was just beginning. Free from rules and constraints, it can be characterised by:

  • Simplicity
  • Practicality
  • Clean lines
  • Bright colours
  • Comfort for all ages (even children).

The bright, large poppies which forms a large part of Maremekko design, came about through a designer who dared to defy her boss.

Armi Ratia was very clear there would be no floral designs. In her opinion ‘natural flowers were so beautiful they should not be used as motifs’ (source). Maija Isola protested about being told what to draw. In defiance she designed a range of floral patterns. Armi liked them so much she bought the designs immediately.

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

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

One has to dream” ... “And one must stand out from the rest.
— Armi Ratia (Marimekko Creator)

What You'll See in the Exhibition

More than just the fabrics and clothing, you’ll see the story behind the label.

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • 60 iconic outfits
  • Swatches of original fabrics
  • Homewares
  • Sketches
  • Other materials from the Marimekko archives.

When is it on?

Exhibition Start: 3rd March 2018

Exhibition End:  11th June 2018

Cost, Duration and Times

Cost

  • Adults: $15
  • Concession:$12
  • Gallery Members: $10:
  • Children Under 16: $6

Note for families: Children under 5 are free and don’t require a ticket.

(See Art Gallery Website for up to date pricing)

Duration

It's hard to say because it's not yet open but our experience with similar exhibitions says it's best to allow at least 2 hours so you get to really take it all in. 

Times

When you buy your ticket online you can choose from any of these times:

  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1:00 PM
  • 2:00 PM
  • 3:00 PM
  • 3:30 PM

About the Bendigo Art Gallery

Rated on TripAdvisor as the number 2 “Things to Do” in Bendigo, the Bendigo Art Gallery’s reputation of bringing world class exhibitions is growing every year.

The gallery has made headlines with some great exhibitions and Australian exclusives. First there was Grace Kelly, then Marylyn Monroe and last year, Edith Head.

The Bendigo Art Gallery is located in View St, a 5-minute walk from the city centre.

While you're there make sure you allow time to have a walk through the standing exhibits. There's plenty to see.

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Getting there

By Car:

If you’re driving from Melbourne, simply turn left when you come to the fountain (Centre of Bendigo). You’ll see the Bendigo Art Gallery a couple of blocks up on your right hand side.

Parking is available at the back of the gallery. It’ll cost you to park but prices are reasonable.

From the Train Station:

It’s about a 15-minute walk. Walk straight down Mitchell Street, cross the road at the fountain and you’ll see the Bendigo Art Gallery a couple of blocks up on your right hand side.

From the Oval Motel:

It’s about a 2-minute walk. We’ll point you in the right direction. Just ask us when you stay. Parking is free if you stay with us. If you're seeing the exhibition on your check-out day you can leave your car with us.

Who Should See the Exhibition?

This exhibition looks like it will have wide appeal. Obviously if you're an art or fashion lover it's a must see.

Come and see the exhibition if you just want a good excuse to get out for the day. You can enjoy a nice coffee in the Gallery Cafe or across the road at Harvest Cafe.

Feel free to give us a call if you'd like more information.

Gary and Carolyn.