Inflatable figure, 'Amp Head', air blower, plinth and internal structure, wood / metal / synthetic material / high density polyethylene, designed by Reg Mombassa, made by Inflatable Image Technology Pty. Ltd, Sydney, used in the Heroes segment of the Closing Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games, 1 October 2000
Designed by Australian artist, Reg Mombassa, ten large inflatable figures circulated the arena during the Closing Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games, exemplifying the Mombassa imagery that became part of popular Australian iconography long before this event. (An eleventh figure, 'Beer Monster', was designed and made for the ceremony though was considered too provocative to be included in the procession.) This particular example, called Amp Head, reflects Mombassa's surrealist style - its 6.5-metre structure depicts a bare-chested man playing a guitar with the guitar lead connected to his head. His face resembles an amplifier. (The structure rested on a circular plinth 1.1 metres high.) The inflatable figures featured in the Heroes segment of the Closing Ceremony, along with Mombassa's stage designs, costume designs and performances by many well-known Australian musicians. The Olympic Games Closing Ceremony presented Mombassa's work in a global forum, increasing national and international recognition of his work.
The Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place on Sunday, 1 October, at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay. It included solemn formalities, an informal parade of athletes and a farewell party that took the form of an unregimented parade with floats that celebrated and often mocked aspects of Australian popular culture. The intention was to conduct the ceremony with decorum until the extinction of the Olympic flame, and then to unleash a party. The artistic director of the closing ceremony David Atkins explained: 'The athletes have finished competition, and are ready to party, and we have set about creating a party to end all parties. We have decided to invite everyone into our giant Australian backyard - fully equipped with Hills Hoists, barbecues, an eclectic mix of music, performers and all manner of Australiana. Australians have a tradition of throwing great parties, and this one will be imbued with a sense of fun, larrikinism and goodwill.' According to Ric Birch (speaking on Channel 7's 'Olympic Sunrise'), the Opening Ceremony was to represent Australia at large, but the Closing Ceremony was Sydney's show.
As the ceremony unfolded the proliferation of suburban images, such as Hills Hoists, blowflies, lifesavers and thongs, was treated with self-deprecating irony rather than clichÂ?. The wit and quality of the 'Parade of Icons' - a gala of Australian celebrities - reflected the influence of the late Peter Tully and his experience as artistic director of the Sydney Mardi Gras. The 'pit chicks', for example, donned silver hot pants and stiletto shoes and carried giant eyelashes and mascara for the Priscilla Bus - a prop that celebrated the Australian film, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', as well as local gay culture.
After Vanessa Amorosi's performance of 'Absolutely Everybody', the arena was transformed into a huge dance-floor as 960 ballroom dancing couples in fluorescent costumes danced the samba, tango and jive to the beat of John Paul Young. Accompanying the dancers, were 208 giant dancing feet and the incongruous assembly of oversized kewpie dolls.
The opening ceremony told a mythic story of nation-building that dwarfed individuals. It was evocative and subtle. The closing ceremony, however, celebrated personality, celebrity and attitude. Loud and brash, more like a rock concert than a profoundly theatrical event, it was an extravagant send-off - fun, festive, shamelessly excessive and, for an international audience, decidedly weird.
Australian artist, Reg Mombassa, designed eleven inflatable figures, including this example, for the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Sydney company, Inflatable Image Technology Pty. Ltd., designed the internal structure and mechanical components.
Sydney company, Inflatable Image Technology Pty. Ltd., made the eleven inflatable structures for the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Each structure included a synthetic skin, an internal metal framework, a painted and castored plinth and mechanical components.
This large inflatable figure is one of ten that appeared in the Closing Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games. The event took place on 1 October 2000 at Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.