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02 JANUARY 2015

Melbourne youth subculture: before punk there were Sharpies

"An extension of the UK skinhead movement, the roots of sharp lie in the influx of European immigrants in Australia in the early 1960s. By the late 1960s the Sharpie subculture had evolved and existed in the mainly working class and migrant inner city suburbs such as Richmond, Fitzroy, Collingwood and Brunswick where Greeks, Italians, Yogoslavs and English immigrants all lived side by side. But as street corners gradually changed to shopping centres, by the early 1970s, the Sharpie movement started to spread to the outer suburbs of Melbourne where a 'rough as guts' working class ethos existed.

The name 'Sharpie' originated from the fashion. It was all about the clothes and looking sharp, and flash. The first wave of Sharpies from 1966 – 1969 were strongly influenced by UK Mod fashions, the 1964 Rockers and the style of certain Italian migrants. Demeanor was tough, hair was short back and sides and clothing was custom made by European tailors, thus allowing for a blend of neo–thirties suave combined with a contemporary larrikin attitude. Dances were also a big part of the Sharpies social fabric, with bands such as Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Wild Cherries, Ray Brown & the Whispers, and Max Merritt & the Meteors being popular choices.

From 1970–1980, the second wave of Sharpies were following hard, tough rock'n'roll bands like Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, Buster Brown, Rose Tattoo, The Angels and ACDC. Sharpies were now often congregating in large numbers, regularly attending live band concerts at town hall and high school dances as well as early discos. But due to their sheer numbers, Sharpies were often perceived as being untouchable by the police and were often associated with excessive violence, regularly taking part in fights."

(Melynda von Wayward)

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TAGS

1960s1970s • ACDC (band) • Australiabelonging • Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs (band) • British Australian • Brunswick (Victoria) • Buster Brown (band) • Carol Jerrems • clothesclothing fashion • Collingwood (Victoria) • Coloured Balls (band) • counterculturecultural codescustom madedisaffected youth • disco • European immigrants • European style • excessive violence • Fitzroy (Victoria) • Greek Australian • Heidelberg Technical College • high school dance • identity performanceinner city • inner city suburbs • Italian Australian • Italian immigrant • larrikin • larrikin attitude • Lobby Loyde (band) • looking sharp • Max Merritt and the Meteors (band) • Melbourne • Melynda von Wayward • mod fashionmullet • outer suburbs • protopunk • punk rockpunk rock ethos • Ray Brown and the Whispers (band) • Richmond (Victoria) • rock n roll • rockers • Rose Tattoo (band) • rough as guts • sharpie movement • sharpie subculture • sharpies • shopping centre • sideburns • skinheadsocial fabricstyle • suave • subculture • The Angels (band) • town hallurban clothingVictoria (Australia) • Wild Cherries (band) • working classworking class culture • working class ethos • youth cultureyouth subculture • Yugoslav

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 JANUARY 2011

Theory building through DNA visualisation

Drew "Berry's animations function as a tool for representing activities occurring within our bodies that could otherwise only be seen at a magnification of 100 million times. What distinguishes these works in the context of the moving image art form is the creation of a visual landscape that is extraordinary, strange and other–worldly, even though viewers are armed with the knowledge that they are scientifically exact. To follow the virtual camera through this strange world reminds them of the constant energetic presence of their own seething, pulsing, cellular functions. Watching these works, viewers become strangers in their own skin, inhabitants of a foreign landscape. Berry uses this synthesis of scientific and digital technology to create a holistic sense of the world beneath people's skin, sending a ripple across the viewers' bodies as they interact with the work, enlivened with the knowledge of their organic relation to the alien world on screen."

(Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Australia)

Fig.1 Drew Berry (2003). 'Body Code' 3D computer animation displayed as single–channel DVD projection; stereo audio. 8:34 mins; colour. Sound design: Franc Tétaz. Collection: Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Courtesy: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and the artist.

[These animations demonstrate the potential of design practice for revealing insight that might not otherwise be revealed. In this way preoccupations with visual fidelity and scientific accuracy must recognised as being only peripherally important.]

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TAGS

2003ACMIanimationAustralia • Australian Centre for the Moving Image • body • Body Code • cellconceptualisationdatadesign practicedigital technologydiscoverydiscovery through designDNA • Drew Berry • extraordinaryfidelitygraphic representationillustrationinsightmagnificationrepresentation • scientific accuracy • scientific methodscientific visualisationskintheory buildingVictoria (Australia)visual depictionvisual fidelityvisual representationvisualisation • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute • WEHI

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MAY 2009

Speculation about New Zealand's economic value and advantage in 1866

"THE FUTURE OF COLONIES.

(From the Melbourne Argus.)
Will Victoria be the foremost of Australian colonies in the future? Hitherto we have not permitted ourselves to doubt it ; but then it is only quite lately that events in New Zealand have been calling attention to the extraordinary resources and prospects of that country. Long secluded, petty, and almost unnoticed, the settlements in those islands have suddenly sprung into a prominence and importance which recall the progress of our own early days. Communities are quickly built up in these regions of the far south, which were a hemisphere of mystery to the old world a few short years ago. The turn of New Zealand is fast coming ; within four or five years she has doubled her inhabitants. Population is multiplying, not only on the auriferous hillsides and terraces of Otago and Westland, but in the province of Auckland, furthest removed from the goldfields. Her bound into importance has been so sudden that those great islands have not been oven named yet. Countries as largo as England and Scotland are only distinguished as the North and South Islands – the native appellations, unlike native ones in general, being in this instance too clumsy and long–winded for every day use ; while as for the common term New Zealand, it cannot, of course, serve for the future, and, as inappropriate and absurd, its withdrawal was long since determined on. If their present extraordinary advance be sustained, those islands will be soon well on the path to that magnificent destiny which, from their geographical position and great natural opportunities, was predicted for them by the thoughtful in England long before the first of our settlements was formed on their shores. Perhaps it is in climate that New Zealand has the most striking advantage over the Australian continent. Being very mountainous, surrounded by the ocean, and far from any other land, there are no desert winds, and the moisture is perennial, and at all seasons reliable. The country is about the size of Great Britain, but the shape being much more elongated, there are greater varieties of temperature ; for while the sugar cane, it is suspected, would grow in the peninsula of the extreme north, antarctic breezes give to the south the winter of Britain. As a whole, however, the climate has been compared, not unjustly, to that of Great Britain in its vicissitudes at all seasons, and its influence on the soil and the human constitution. There is no country, therefore, better adapted for the transplantation of the Anglo–Saxon and Celtic races, with a successful perpetuation of the original type. It is entirely because of the difference of climate between New Zealand and the archipelagos of the Pacific that the Maoris are so much more energetic, industrious, and masculine, than their soft kinsmen of the Sandwich and Society Islands. And the earth, like the air, seems fashioned for the development of a great nation. Noble harbors indent the coasts ; great and deep rivers, hundreds of yards wide, hundreds of miles long, traverse the plains ; the mountains are as high as those of Switzerland, the forests as majestic as in the tropics. And over so many degrees of latitude almost all useful plants, except those exclusively of the torrid zone, can find congenial growth–all cereals, from the hardy oat and rye which need the cold, to rice and maize which love the sun–all fruits and vegetables and their products, except, perhaps wine, for which the restlessness of the atmosphere may not be well suited–all minerals, from gold, the most artificially valuable, to iron and coal, the most useful, are found. Then the constant verdure affords unlimited scope for grazing, and the adjacent seas yield abundance of fish. Just now the South Island has the largest population because of the gold–fields, has in more permanent advantages the North is vastly superior. It has not its neighbor's severe winters, the mountain masses do not engross so much of its surface, the extent of fertile land is far greater, and the navigable rivers have longer courses. The North Island must be the principal seat of agriculture and of internal and external trade.

The two islands are rising into importance so fast, and their chief seats of population are so very distant from each other, that their formation into two colonies cannot be long postponed. The late removal of the capital to the town of Wellington on the dividing strait, as a central situation, was almost superfluous in the present aspect of affairs. It is not a central seat of Government that the islands are now asking for, but distinct Governments, as they have distinct interests. The South has only a couple of native tribes, and no Maori wars, and grumbles at being taxed for the expense ; while the North has no gold–fields or digging populations. Already, therefore, the chief communities in both quarters are agitating for separation. Our New Zealand correspondent mentions in his last letter that Auckland is to make common cause in the General Assembly, which has just met, with Otago and Canterbury on this subject, and these three provinces have twice and a–half as many in habitants as the other six.

As for the grand old native war race, it is fast passing away without fulfilling the dream of Sydney Smith, of amalgamating with its supplanters. Diffenbach estimated the Maoris at 115,000 in the beginning of the present century. In 1861, an estimate based on a recent census returned them as 55,336. Now, says our correspondent, nobody believes that they exceed 40,000 souls. That which was probably their last war with us is virtually at an end. Most of our regular forces leaving, no longer necessary in New Zealand. Subdued and hopeless, a fatal despair has seized upon the proud Maori that dull depression, that tedium vite which smites with the hand of death. Among the tribes which have submitted the mortality is described as astonishing. Without the presence of epidemic or other active cause, two hundred individuals of some small hapus near Raglan died off within two months. The Maori is departing over the rock of the Reinga – the gateway of the land of spirits. Centuries hence, when millions of civilised, and therefore superior, men occupy the plains and mountains, the valor and the fate of the ancient owners of the land will be the theme of many a tradition, of many a poetic fancy. Time will lend its embellishment, and history will not forget the gallant aborigines of New Zealand."
(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 14 August 1866)

[A rather enlightening article from 1866. The article was retrieved through using the Australian Newspapers beta which was developed by the National Library of Australia as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.

The photo shows a National Provincial Council mining licence from 1884 (source).]

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TAGS

1866 • agricultureAnglo-SaxonAotearoa New ZealandAucklandAustralia • Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program • Canterbury • Celtic • colonydatabaseEnglandgeographyGreat BritainIndigenouslandLand WarslibraryMaoriMelbourne • Melbourne Argus • National Library of Australia • NLA • Otago • Sandwich Islands • ScotlandsearchsettlementSociety IslandsSouth IslandSwitzerland • Sydney Smith • tradeVictoria (Australia) • Westland

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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