Skip to main content
David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust
  • Tributes to David Bowie


    Posted on: 12/01/2016

    Bowie Down Under
    Sat 16 Jan, 6pm - 10pm

    This Saturday the Australian David Bowie fan community Bowie Down Under will congregate at ACMI to celebrate the life of the Starman. The free event in ACMI's Lightwell will provide a place for fans to enjoy music and each other's company. All welcome. Simply tell our Visitor Service Staff that you're here for the Bowie Down Under Celebration.

    When the world woke up today, an almost unfathomable new reality set in – David Bowie was gone.

    As tributes around the world poured over social media and through the news, there was a pervasive sense of disbelief that a man who had shone so brightly could somehow be dimmed. Indeed, Bowie’s interstellar charisma, otherworldly ingenuity and meteoric talent seemed like it would outlast the Earth, or at least the time most of us mere mortals have here.

    As Hilton Als writes in the New Yorker, ‘This was not supposed to happen. Ever. Because he had been so many people over the course of his grand and immense career, it was inconceivable that he wouldn’t continue to be many people—a myriad of folks in a beautiful body would reflect times to come, times none of us could imagine but that he would. He always got to the unknown first.’  

    This sense of bewilderment isn’t surprising for someone whose career was built on constant experimentation and evolution, often imbued with a sense of playfulness. Remember Ziggy Stardust, wriggling his finger at the audience in Top of the Pops? Or Halloween Jack Bowie, campy and eye-patched, thrusting through the clip of ‘Rebel, Rebel’ with a knowing smirk? How about tanned, healthy 80s Bowie in ‘China Girl’, winking from a picture on the nightstand before jumping into bed with a Prima?  There’s Goblin King Bowie, 90s industrial Bowie, hippie Bowie. He’s always been there, throughout the decades, immortal, employing his mime skill and changing masks.

    Bowie Masks Blog

    It’s no surprise that the news of his passing was greeted skeptically at first. Hopeful it was just one of the Internet’s hoaxes with the chameleonic trickster in on the prank, just waiting to remerge in another guise, winking. But then Duncan Jones, his filmmaker son, confirmed the sad news.

    A deluge of tributes from collaborators, fans and friends followed from around the world.

    Tony Visconti

    “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life - a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

    Brian Eno

    Kanye West

    Mick Jagger

    Iggy Pop

    Nile Rodgers

    Annie Lennox

    Ringo Starr



    But as we mourn the loss of this man that meant so much to us, we’re reminded that he’ll always live on, his music beaming out across the airways, his visage slithering across the silver screen, his spirit alive in artists and creators around the world.

    As Suzanne Moore writes in the Guardian:

    “My David Bowie is not dead. Nor ever can be. What he gave to me is forever mine because he formed me…

    He gave us everything. He gave us ideas, ideas above our station. All THE ideas and a specific one. Of life. The stellar idea that we can create ourselves whoever we are. He let us be more than we ever knew possible. There is nothing greater. Nothing.”

    Moore echoes the feelings of millions of people worldwide and she is right. The light he gave the world will always continue to shine.

    David Bowie will never really be gone.

    If you’d like to leave a tribute to David Bowie, join us in the ACMI Lightwell today, 12 January, where a tribute book will be available to sign, or tell us what Bowie meant to you in the comments below. The book of condolence will be sent to the official David Bowie Archive.

    Tribute Blog

    comments powered by Disqus