Cries of Kung Hii Fatt Choi, exchange of red envelopes and exotically gourmet dinners took place across the country last week to celebrate the start of Chinese New Year. The year of the dragon is said to be the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac, with the dragon a legendary creature full of fire and mystique. Aptly subtitled ‘Enter the Dragon’, the legend is reinforced when we enter the alternate universe of Jurassic Lounge on 31 January 2012. We are greeted by a life size dinosaur roaming the museum floors, garnering attention and parting the crowd before discovering comedians, artists and museum geeks demonstrating a myriad of entertaining skills.
Leaving the clipped and corporate CBD, we enter a world of emerging art, inspired creativity and edgy music, a world that ignites curiousity and clamours for use of imagination. We stop at the bar for a zesty Aperol Spritz cocktail (complete with slice of orange), wander past two hot lassies belting out Beyonce karaoke to an onlooking tiger skeleton, and discover a magical range of interactive exhibitions usually frequented by school kids and tourists.
The museum’s special exhibition – Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route – is open to the public, and showcases a rich collection of Aboriginal art, stories and history. We are immersed in the cultural journey before being jolted back to attention by a collection of roaming giant insects. A Goliath Stick Insect named Marisa (after Mischa Barton’s character in the OC) is the most popular of the crew, inspiring squeals and laughter as she sticks her legs into the groomed hair of those brave enough to play.
We bump into Events Coordinator David Bock looking slightly nervous. He tells us that opening night is like throwing a party and crossing your fingers that people will both turn up and have fun. With Clover Moore and other familiar faces dotting the crowd, it seems his first day jitters are unfounded as punters line up eagerly for the chance to shoot toy dinosaurs and create short films with plastic trees.
A live taxidermy demonstration (not for the fainthearted), a groovy silent disco and real time art demonstrations are just a few of the whacky treasures on display at this year’s Jurassic Lounge. With ‘art, music and new ideas at dusk’, the third season not only looks set to out-do previous iterations in the stimulation stakes, it gives us an excuse to revert to our inner child and check out dinosaurs – post third grade.
About Jurassic Lounge:
January 31 to April 3, Tuesdays, 5.30pm to 9.30pm, Australian Museum, College Street, city, jurassiclounge.com, $15 (includes a drink on arrival and free entry to FBi Social at Kings Cross Hotel)
About the author:
Daniella Alhadeff is a blogger, writer and Gen-Y corporate professional who is passionate about discovering music, edgy fashion and fabulous food – and generally embracing life after five. When many discussions with friends in the corporate world revealed a desire to find meaning in the small things, she launched her lifestyle blog Lifeafterfive* (sydneylifeafterfive.blogspot.com).