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By Sarah Ward
August 28, 2017

The Salon Electric

A celebration of Brisbane's neon past brightens up the State Library of Queensland.
By Sarah Ward
August 28, 2017

Once, Brisbane was alive the the fluorescent glow of flickering neon signs. Now, only 200 large scale pieces are left in the state. Celebrating the bright lights that once lit up darkened Brissie nights, The Salon Electric delves into neon as an art form, its relationship to nightlife, the design that goes with it and Queensland's shimmering history between August 25 and February 11.

At the heart of the exhibition sits iconic pieces curated by neon maker Michael Blazek, plus photographs of others from the State Library of Queensland's various collections. Jo-Jo's restaurant, the Kookaburra Cafe, Mr Fourex — they're all included. And if you'd like to play along when you're not at South Bank, or even add your own neon pics, the exhibition also has an interactive Historypin site.

As well as gazing at glistening signs and snaps of them, The Salon Electric will also feature a screening of Australian documentary Neon on September 5. Directed by Lawrence Johnson, the lively documentary wears its love of its titular substance in every frame — and this is the first time it will play in Brisbane.

Image: Neon sign from the collection of Michael Blazek. Courtesy of State Library of Queensland.

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