From Sharne Wolff…
In May 1973 hundreds of people, many of them students from the University of Sydney, converged on the tiny farming town of Nimbin in the picturesque rainforest region of the north coast of NSW. Although most intended to stay for just 10 days of the Aquarius Festival, many of the original participants never left or later returned to the area. The counter-cultural mood and a sense of freedom spawned by the Festival (assisted by a bunch of mind-expanding substances) spilled over and generated new ways of thinking outside the square expressed through alternative lifestyles, communal living and unconventional domestic housing.
Not Quite Square is an exhibition developed by Lismore Regional Gallery to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Festival and its continuing legacy in ‘user-generated architecture’. The first owner-built houses were constructed with very little money and employing recycled materials. The show concentrates on the eclectic range of homes in the region that demonstrate a “mix of creativity, practicality and individuality”. It includes newly commissioned photographs by Sydney photographer Tim Hixson, a range of older photographs (by Hixson, John Witzig and David Liddle) together with plans, drawings and ephemeral material from the 70s and 80s and a film by Byron Bay filmmaker, Sharon Shostak. The University of Sydney hosts the exhibition as part of the Sydney Architecture Festival.
Until November 15
Tin Sheds Gallery, The University of Sydney
Pic: Tim Hixson, Dennis and Malina Monks in handmade house, 2013. Courtesy Tim Hixson, Lismore Regional Gallery & Tin Sheds Gallery.