How kitsch became cool: Australiana exhibition celebrates Dame Edna, Ken Done and melted ice-creams
Kenny Pittock’s ‘Melted Bubble’O’, 2020, synthetic polymer paint on ceramic. Photograph: Kenny Pittock and MARS Gallery
Australiana brings together Jenny Kee, ‘bling bling faboriginal’ gowns and Rennie Ellis photos to explore how the genre can navigate colonialism and nationalism
Jenny Kee worries out loud that we’ve got off on the wrong foot. I had expressed wonder at the fact that, as a teenage rebel in the late-60s, she had walked into the boutique Biba, the bullseye of London’s fashion and music scene, and got a job. When I ask if that was by accident or design, she is indignant.
“Nothing was by accident!” she says. “We were starved for action in Australia and we just wanted to get to the heart of everything, with all our Aussie persuasion. That was what Australians did, because we were out in the convict colonies, as they said in London.”