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Currently on public display
+ Display Store, Powerhouse Discovery Centre, Castle Hill
This object belongs to
Ceremonial Objects > Torches

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Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch prototype, stand and video
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Object statement
Torch prototype, stand and video, Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, designed by Katie Molnar, manufactured by Designamite, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1998
In early 1998, SOCOG invited over fifty local design companies to submit proposals for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic torches, and the portable cauldrons that would feature at Torch Relay celebrations. The detailed and exacting brief comprised broad specifications that reflected the enormity of the Torch Relay, and the environmental concerns that underpinned the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Essentially, the selected torch and cauldron would withstand the extreme weather conditions that might arise during the relay, including high winds, torrential rain and hail, varying temperatures, humidity, dust and snow. They would be safe to transport, store, and operate, simple to repair and easy to use. The torch itself would burn for up to thirty minutes while the portable cauldron, with a much larger fuel system, would burn for no less than twelve hours. Moreover, both the torch and cauldron would be ergonomic for the young, elderly and disabled, lightweight, fuel-efficient, and inexpensive to mass-produce. (The combined Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays would require 14,200 torches and 187 community cauldrons.)

A Sydney architect and designer, Katie Molnar, responded to this brief with a torch that encapsulated the spirits of Sydney, Australia and Olympism. The dominant theme of the torch design was an Aboriginal firestick and its nomadic journey from camp to camp. Metaphorically, the Molnar torch would be a modern firestick that would spread peace and light, and would call nations to Sydney. Through this symbolism, it would carry the Spirit of Australia to the world.

The shape of the torch, with a tapered handle and raised wing, resembled the unfurling bark of the Angophora - a relative of the genus, Eucalyptus that is endemic to the Sydney region. The angophora bark was of domestic value to local indigenous people, who twisted it to form flammable heads for firesticks. With a textured water-like surface, the torch also paid tribute to Sydney's coastal environment. Together, the shape and surface of the torch conveyed the Spirit of Sydney.

The Molnar torch, which was replete with symbolism, also referred to the athletic human form. Its robust, streamlined surface embodied power and athletic energy, and its handle and wing resembled a muscular body with arms raised rearward. Through its appearance it embodied the Spirit of Olympism.

Echoing the torch's Indigenous and organic references, the cauldron signified the end of a nomadic journey and the lighting of campfires. Shaped like an open seedpod, it also symbolised the regeneration of the Australian bush after Indigenous fire farming. Molnar likened this regeneration to the cauldron itself, which would "initiate the cycle of life for the new millennium". The video, that was part of the final presentation to the Selection Committee, uses a montage of images and text to describe this symbolism.

Katie Molnar submitted this torch prototype, stand and accompanying video to the SOCOG Torch Selection Committee on 23 February 1998. (Unfortunately, neither the cauldron prototype nor the written submission is included in this collection.) In combination with other tenders, these objects reflect the Australian iconography that inspired local designers before the Games. They also demonstrate the detailed tendering process that preceded the manufacture of the Sydney 2000 torches and cauldrons.
Katie Molnar presented this torch prototype, stand and video to the Sydney 2000 Torch Selection Committee on 23 February 1998. The submission was one of three finalists in the design competition for the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic torches.

Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Torch prototype, stand and video, Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, moulded plastic / carbon fibre / aluminium / video tape, designed by Katie Molnar, manufactured by Designamite, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1998

Torch prototype model from Molnar Design including a torch with aluminium torch stand and video titled "Torch - Molnar Design V.2". The torch prototype is made from moulded plastic and carbon fibre material. The body of the torch is curved and tapers towards the bottom. The torch features silver grey curved patches and clear unpainted plastic through which black carbon fibre composite material can be seen. This patterning is representative of the Sydney Angophora bark. The stand is rectangular in shape and has curved edges with a hollow centre. Across one section is another aluminium join with a protruding cylinder from the top. This is hollow and enables the torch to be inserted. The stand is silver in colour. The video is in VHS format.

Designed: Molnar Design;

Made: Designamite; Australia; 1998
Marks
See parts
2001/84/357

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection. Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001
This object belongs to:
Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games Collection
Subjects
+ Australians and sport
+ Festivals and celebrations
+ Sydney Olympic Games, 2000
+ Product design
+ Industrial design
+ Australian product design
Currently on public display
+ Display Store, Powerhouse Discovery Centre, Castle Hill
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/502634
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/502634 |title=Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch prototype, stand and video |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=20 April 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


Copyright
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