Design model, Elle Macpherson float, Parade of Icons, polystyrene/plastic/ foam/paper, Parade of Icons, Closing Ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, designed by Brian Thompson and Ross Wallace, made and used at the Ceremonies Workshop, Sydney 2000
Made from polystyrene, plastic, foam, paper, this design model represents the Elle Macpherson float that featured in the Parade of Icons - a light-hearted procession of Australian celebrities in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by Brian Thompson and Ross Wallace, the float resembled a giant-sized camera, its extended lens serving as a catwalk for Australian super- model, Elle Macpherson. Surrounding the float were girls dressed in abstract costumes made from fashion photographs and photographic film. The model was made at the Ceremonies Workshop in 2000 to test the final float design - three interconnecting parts, including the over-sized camera, the lens and the camera flash.
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.
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.
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. His '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', and local gay culture.
This design model represents the Elle Macpherson float that featured in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by Brian Thompson and Ross Wallace, the float resembled a giant- sized camera, its extended lens serving as a catwalk for Australian super-model, Elle Macpherson.
Made from polystyrene, plastic, foam and paper, this design model represents the Elle Macpherson float that featured in the Parade of Icons. It was made at the Ceremonies Workshop in 2000 to test the final float design - three interconnecting parts, including the over- sized camera, the lens and the camera flash.
This design model was used at the Ceremonies Workshop to test the Elle Macpherson float in the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.