For a while now Sydney has been running pub markets and now the trend is catching on in Melbourne. It’s a great idea – pubs are usually dead spaces during the day, so why not run up a few stalls inside and encourage people to shop, chat, have a beer and eat some pub grub.
The inaugural Blackbird Market opened to a large, enthusiastic crowd of browsers inside The Workers Club last Saturday (markets will be held monthly). The rabbit-warren of colourful rooms contained a surprisingly impressive number of stalls given that it was the first time the market was held. The bulk of the stalls sold second hand clothing and shoes or independent jewellery and accessories, interspersed with homewares, zines and art.
While not as high spec as the Rose Street Artists Markets, I liked the quirkly ambience and the mix of small vendors, plus the market seemed to attract a range of shoppers, not just the hipsters of Fitzroy.
Out the back in the courtyard I was the first person to volunteer to have my picture taken in The Photo Booth. Abby Storey‘s art project is about exploring the communication of private expression in a public realm. By taking a photograph of someone who is looking directly at their reflection and hiding the photographer behind the mirror, Abby is able to capture a portrait of a person which is truly open and honest, whether that person is feeling comfortable, uncomfortable, silly or guarded. You can see my cheesy mug here, with my bike helmet still on! I realised afterwards that when faced with the mirror I had unconsciously focused my gaze not at myself, but about 5 cm forward from the reflection so I wouldn’t have to look at myself directly in the eye. Hmmm….