Sydney’s favourite prehistoric party, Jurassic Lounge, will return from extinction at the Australian Museum to celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead on November 1.
Programming consultant Lupita Feint explains that the festival traditionally gathers family and friends to remember those who have died and unfolds as a costumed fiesta. The event is part of the Aztecs exhibition currently featured at the Museum.
“It has now spread around the world as a colourful cultural celebration to happily remember those who have passed away,” Feint says.
Traditions connected with the Day of the Dead usually include visiting the graves of the departed taking along their favourite food and drinks. They are also honoured using sugar skulls and marigolds.
As one of the main attractions of the celebration, Mexican photographer Roberto Duran will be presenting his Day of the Dead photographic exhibition. His art is heavily influenced by thrillers and science fiction movies. The photos include people dressed up in colourful and elaborately patterned costumes in sugar skull paint.
“I like to work with bodies and transform them into something beautiful,” Duran says.
Duran explains how Mexican culture has been growing considerably in Australia over the last few years, attracting more recognition especially for its traditions, food and Day of Dead celebration.
“The day is a celebration of death. It is a beautiful way to remember someone that is not among us anymore. I see it as similar to someone coming for a visit and you welcome them. It is a colourful event.”
Jurassic Lounge will also feature an arts and craft market with chocolate skulls, face painting and crafts workshops including papel picado (confetti) and piñatas, a Mexican dance-off and a Mexican cantina. To top it all off, revellers can enjoy performances by Pickled Tink and 2014 Miss Burlesque NSW winner Memphis Mae.
Jurassic Lounge guests will also have the opportunity to visit the Aztecs exhibition and see more than 200 priceless artefacts, explore sacrificial rituals and uncover the mysteries of the Aztec afterlife.
Programmer Karina Libbey explains that between 2011 and 2013, festivalists and the Australian Museum have run 60 Jurassic Lounge events, attracting over 66,000 visitors to the Museum.
“We’re putting together a huge line-up, inviting local artists and audiences to seek inspiration in Mexican culture for what should be a spectacular celebration. Expect lots of surprises on the night!” Libbey says.
Sounds like a celebration not to be missed at The Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney. For more information go to www.jurassiclounge.com/line-up/