Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Marvelous MelBurton: Tim Burton opens exhibition at ACMI

Tim Burton
Tim Burton with ACMI Director Tony Sweeney
Artist and filmmaker Tim Burton today delighted crowds with an appearance at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne to officially open Tim Burton: The Exhibition, which will be on display at the centre until 10 October, 2010.

Among attendees joining Mr Burton for the opening of the exhibition direct from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, were Victorian Minister for the Arts Mr Peter Batchelor, ACMI Board President The Hon. John Thwaites, ACMI Director Tony Sweeney, MoMA Director Mr Glenn Lowry, and curators from both institutions.

The major exhibition, presented as part of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2010, explores the full scale of Burton's career, as director, concept artist illustrator and photographer, through hundreds of artworks that spectacularly illuminate the creative vision behind Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

Speaking at the opening today, Mr Batchelor said it was a tremendous honour for Melbourne to be the second city to host this retrospective, and the only city to host it in the Southern Hemisphere, and anticipates it will be a popular show with all ages.

"From Beetlejuice to Batman, Edwards Scissorhands to Corpse Bride, there is a whole raft of wild, imaginative and quirky characters to explore. I have no doubt that this exhibition will delight and surprise audiences of all ages," he said.

ACMI Director Tony Sweeney welcomed Mr Burton to Melbourne today. "It's an honour for ACMI to be able to display this snapshot into your mind and lay bare your creative processes for visitors and aspiring artists and filmmakers to marvel at."

Turning to the audience, Mr Sweeney said: "Tim Burton's amazing catalogue of work and his inspirational artistry has garnered him an international audience of fans and he has influenced a generation of young artists across the moving image and art spectrums."

A typically humble Mr Burton said: "It is wonderful to have my works exhibited in this way. I feel quite exposed by the experience, I never imagined my work in a museum, but I am also excited to be able to share them with Melbourne, especially in such a unique way in ACMI's dark and very theatrical gallery.  I hope the exhibition's local visitors and those who travel across Australia to see it have an enjoyable experience."

Tim Burton: The Exhibition is the largest temporary exhibition ever to be staged at ACMI, with more than 700 objects, and will be even bigger than the MoMA installation, where it was first brought together.

Tracing Burton's visual imagination from his earliest childhood drawings through his mature work in film, the exhibition brings together examples of rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes and cinematic ephemera and includes an extensive film series spanning his 28-year career. Many of the works are derived from Tim Burton's personal collection and had been loosely stored in home drawers and closets. Other works came from studio archives and private lenders.

For the ACMI incarnation, however, Mr Burton worked closely with curators and designers over several months to bring some new elements to the exhibition, including designing decorations for both the interior and exterior of the building and creating the 'Burtonairum' (a carnival tent within a forest, a centrepiece for the show). With the support of Disney, ACMI added an Alice In Wonderland exhibit, and Warner Bros. Movie World assisted with the acquisition of the Batmobile.

The exhibition follows the course of Burton's career, with childhood ephemera, juvenilia, and amateur short films from his youth in Burbank, California; cartoons and drawings from his time at California Institute of the Arts; and examples of his first professional work at The Walt Disney Studios and an exhibit of his Polaroid work. Burton's artistic output includes shorts Vincent (1982) and Frankenweenie (1984); and 15 feature films including Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Mars Attacks! (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005), and Sweeney Todd (2007); as well as writing and web projects such as Stainboy (2000).

Last night Mr Burton appeared at ACMI for the first time in this Melbourne-exclusive visit, thrilling fans in a sold-out event to discuss some of his favourite films of all time with Alan Brough in Desert Island Flicks. Tonight he will walk the red carpet ahead of the official opening night event. At 10.30am tomorrow he will sign copies of the official exhibition publication and the The Art of Tim Burton at ACMI (both products available exclusively from the ACMI Store). Tomorrow night, he will appear at another sold-out event - a masterclass with the artist and filmmaker - hosted by Margaret Pomeranz. This event will be broadcast on the big screen at Federation Square from 6pm and after the event fans are invited to the ACMI Lightwell to celebrate with late night entertainment until 10pm. Mr Burton will make his final public appearance in Melbourne at 9.30pm this Friday when he introduces the sold-out screening of his first feature film Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985).

An ongoing program of screenings, live events, workshops, tours, lectures and competitions means that visitors to ACMI can enjoy the festivities long after Mr Burton has left town.

This is the second Melbourne Winter Masterpiece exhibition at ACMI after Pixar: 20 years of Animation, which broke international attendance records in 2007.

Mr Batchelor today said: "Melbourne Winter Masterpieces has been hugely successful - attracting over two million people so far and injecting $138 million into the Victorian economy since it was launched in 2004. 2010 offers two exciting, and very different, exhibitions which I'm sure will be embraced by audiences."

Tim Burton: The Exhibition is open at ACMI from 24 June until 10 October 2010.  See http://www.acmi.net.au/ for a full list of events.


Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
[email] claire.butler@acmi.net.au  
 
 
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