Imagine a world were men are men, women are gorgeous and guns are shiny and desirable  . . .a glimpse of the future as imagined by a late Victorian explorer and adventurer.

This explanation of the work of artist Greg Broadmore, from Weta Workshop, greets visitors to the Steampunk exhibition at Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery.

Steampunk is tomorrow as it used to be. The punk is a rebellion against the present day preference for plastic and the disposable way of life.

For many it is a search for where society might have gone had it taken the wrong turn at the end of the Victorian era, an alternative Victorian future.

The exhibition includes a selection of work from Broadmore’s fictional universe’ of Dr Grordbort’s exhibition which will be touring China later this year and works from other artists who are part of the Victorian League of imagineers.

Works include a time machine by Chris Meder;   Teapot a young a very cheeky kakapo made almost entirely from parts from an old Welger bailer;  Helen Jensen’s dirigible and Donna Demente’s St Lucy Tomorrow.

Outside the gallery is Dugal and Meg Armor’s portable marshmallow toaster:

Donald Patterson’s steam tractor:


The ODT has a photo of Ian Clark and his steam powered beer tankard which is also part of the exhibition.

Places, buildings, people


The programme for Oamaru’s annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations is so full we’re spoiled for choice and I hadn’t planned to attend the annual *Forrester and Lemon Memorial Lecture.

However, the chair of the local branch of the Historic Places Trust which organises the lecture, was at Wednesday’s races and promised much of it.

She was right. Sir Neil Cossons, who was Chairman of English Heritage, the United Kingdom Government’s principal adviser on the historic environment, delivered a fascinating lecture on recycling heritage buildings.

He spoke of the importance of the relationship beween buildings and places if they are to be enjoyed by people.

He also promised a case of champagne if anyone could help them with the challenge of finding a new use for an old building with ceilings only 6 foot 4 inches high.

Among the audience for the lecture were people taking part in the pre-conference tour for the Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference which starts in Dunedin on Monday.

*Forrester and Lemon were the architects repsonsible for most of Oamaru’s beautiful Victorian buildings.

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