Bush Me­chan­ics The Ex­hi­bi­tion

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac -


there was Bush Me­chan­ics the tele­vi­sion se­ries; now there’s Bush Me­chan­ics the mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tion.

The pop­u­lar and quirky TV show, which first aired on the ABC in 2001, pre­sented an In­dige­nous Aus­tralian take on mo­tor me­chan­ics. It was made by Abo­rig­i­nal me­dia com­pany PAW Me­dia and di­rected by David Batty.

The five episodes cen­tred on the left-field re­pair tech­niques of the show’s stars as they tra­versed out­back ar­eas in their di­lap­i­dated cars. Th­ese so­lu­tions were of­ten hu­mor­ous, al­ways in­ven­tive, some­times wacky and re­peat­edly un­pre­dictable.

A good ex­am­ple was the episode where a sta­tion­wagon’s roof col­lapsed un­der the weight of a band’s equip­ment. Un­fazed, the oc­cu­pants re­moved the roof with an axe, flipped it over, loaded their gear on it and tied it to the back of the car as a makeshift sled. And off they went, drag­ging the roof be­hind them! Next, a punc­ture was re­paired by stuff­ing the tyre cas­ing with desert grass.

Bush Me­chan­ics was an in­stant cult clas­sic, a sta­tus re­in­forced by an ex­hi­bi­tion that’s opened at the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum in the Ade­laide Hills town­ship of Bird­wood and runs, in its first sea­son, un­til July 7.

“The tele­vi­sion se­ries cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of many Aus­tralians at the time with its hu­mor­ous ex­plo­ration of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia and mo­tor­ing”, said the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum’s se­nior cu­ra­tor, Mick Bolog­nese.

The ex­hi­bi­tion hon­ours the spirit of Bush Me­chan­ics by tak­ing the same a light-hearted ap­proach as that of the se­ries. Two of the ve­hi­cles from the pro­gram – on loan from the Na­tional Mu­seum of Aus­tralia in Can­berra and Mu­se­ums Vic­to­ria – fea­ture. En­gag­ing me­chan­i­cal in­ter­ac­tives – made by ar­ti­san tin­kerer and au­thor of Blokes and Sheds Mark Thom­son – will chal­lenge visi­tors to match their skill against the chal­lenges sim­i­lar to those faced by the Bush Me­chan­ics dur­ing their epic jour­neys in re­mote Aus­tralia.

“A bush-punk slot car chal­lenge and a bush driv­ing video game that pur­pose­fully breaks dur­ing the play­ing are just two of the in­ter­ac­tives that will pro­vide visi­tors with the ‘bush me­chanic’ ex­pe­ri­ence,” said tin­kerer-in-res­i­dence, Mark Thom­son.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion is a free ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram for stu­dent groups at the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum from 12 April to 6 July. Af­ter this, the ex­hi­bi­tion trav­els on tour to Yuen­dumu, Ten­nant Creek, Dar­win and Alice Springs. The tour con­tin­ues when it re­turns to Ade­laide for the Tar­nan­thi Fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber be­fore head­ing off for three-month sea­sons at the Na­tional Mu­seum of Aus­tralia in Can­berra and the Mel­bourne Mu­seum in Vic­to­ria.

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