Steam­punk par­adise

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Nos­tal­gia is not what it used to be - it’s bet­ter, ac­cord­ing to the mem­bers of Palmer­ston North steam­punk set Fu­tures Past.

Boast­ing so­bri­quets such as (The Honourable) Arabella Wor­thing­ton-Jones, Dame Henrietta Um­bridge, Pro­fes­sor Dar­ius Af­p­plekrum­ble and Dr J Dee, lo­cal steam­punk ad­her­ents are gear­ing up for a two-day steam­punk ex­trav­a­ganza at City Li­brary.

Fu­tures Past’s Dr J Dee, aka Dee Cat­er­all, said the group was founded at Es­planade Day last year when sev­eral dis­parate groups of lo­cal steam­punks ac­ci­den­tally dis­cov­ered one an­other.

‘‘We’re a loose amal­gam of some amaz­ingly tal­ented peo­ple, and we thought we’d put on an event to ex­plain and show what steam­punk is all about.’’

And what is steam­punk all about?

‘‘It’s in­spired by Vic­to­rian era tech­nol­ogy and fash­ion, and HG Wells sci­ence fiction. It’s a clash of eras,’’ Cat­er­all said.

Add el­e­ments of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edi­son, mix in some fan­ci­ful anachro­nisms, add cogs, gears and a scoop of whimsy and hey-presto, a punka­li­cious recipe for fun and frivolous­ness.

There are hats, glasses, mon­o­cles, jew­ellery, corsets and ac­ces­sories as well as cre­ations of re­lated tech­nol­ogy that have re­pur­posed plas­tic nerf guns into works of dec­o­ra­tive and retro­fu­tur­is­tic weaponry.

With a fash­ion show of steam­punk haute cou­ture, along with a cuff cre­ation work­shop and nerf gun work­shop, there’s a spe­cial Mother’s Day high tea and an ex­hi­bi­tion of steam­punk in­spired art­works.

A spe­cial fea­ture will be a 2.5-metre high sculp­tural piece made up of crankshafts, con­rods, brass oil­ers, cop­per tub­ing and gauges with a centrifugal steam gover­nor cre­ated by lo­cal au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer Gar­net Kelly.

‘‘You have to see it to be­lieve it. He’s built all these sculp­tures from car parts and it’s just crazy.’’

Adding colour to the oc­ca­sion will be ob­scure ‘sport­ing’ events such as teapot rac­ing, and ladies’ para­sol du­elling, an event Cat­er­all de­scribed as a flam­boy­ant vari­a­tion on rock, pa­per, scis­sors.

The week­end’s City Li­brary event fea­tures 2016 steam­punk doco Vin­tage To­mor­rows, colour­ing com­pe­ti­tions, and dress-ups with op­por­tu­ni­ties to take new-fash­ionned self­ies.

Steam­punks Sharon Forbes, Casey Bax­ter, Shirley El­liott, Jeff Jones, Carol John­son, and Al­lan Cat­ter­all.

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