Marilyn Monroe in Bendigo

Last week (April 2016) I visited my home town, Bendigo, where an enormous statue of Marilyn Monroe towers above the main crossroads as part of the Marilyn Monroe exhibition presented by Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox.

I have never seen the businesses of Bendigo work together so well for an exhibition. In almost every shop window in the city centre are tributes or representations of the famous star. The streets and cafes are filled with tourists seeking a glimpse of Marilyn the statue who, strangely, seemed quite at home overlooking Bendigo’s central fountain, botanical gardens and main thoroughfares. Like everyone gathered around Marilyn, I made a point of checking that she wears knickers (and yes, she does) and found myself snapping dozens of photos at different and artistic angles – Marilyn and the fountain, Marilyn’s face laughing, Marilyn with the sun sparkling on her dress, Marilyn’s inner thighs framing the Bendigo post office spire; and even a photo of Marilyn’s undies which, however, is too erotic to post on social media.

The exhibition within the Bendigo Art Gallery is fantastic, with lots of portrait photos and never-before-seen footage of Marilyn, clips of her most famous movies, many of her costumes, personal outfits and artefacts, and lots of interesting information about what this gutsy woman achieved in her short life.

The whole exhibition both within the art gallery and outside the gallery in the form of the gigantic Marily in Bendigo’s town centre shows that Bendigo Art Gallery has great artistic taste and foresight, and the fact the whole town has come on board to celebrate the exhibition has turned this into a huge cultural event for Bendigo.

I do recommend you jump on the train (or highway) and visit Bendigo to see this exhibition which will continue until 10th July 2016. For further information check out the exhibition’s facebook page at: Bendigo Art Gallery – Marilyn Monroe Exhibition

I was very busy during my visit to Bendigo and so was unable to attend these events related to the Marilyn Monroe exhibition but in case you are interested:

  • Star Cinema (at Eaglehawk Town Hall) are presenting a series of Marilyn classics during April, May and June. For further information go to:
  • Marilyn After Hours: the gallery will be open from 5 pm to 8 pm with live music and bar and a complimentary drink on the following Saturdays: 23rd April, 21st May and 18th June.
  • Film Marathon at La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre (121 View St): 14th May Niagara; 11th June Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; 9th July Monkey Business.

Congratulations to Bendigo and all Bendigonians: your Marilyn Monroe exhibition is a great achievement and success.

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