Before social media, the local milk bar was usually where youngsters went to socialise. Though there's still a few of them about (including 2223 in Sydney and Rowena Corner Store in Richmond), they're fast becoming a thing of the past. That's why Melbourne-based artist Callum Preston has gone to painstaking lengths to recreate one, detail by detail.
You'll find his incredibly realistic, immersive artwork Milk Bar in Hamilton Gallery, from Wednesday, August 15 though Sunday, September 16. Walking in, it'll be easy to imagine you're in a bona fide corner shop. But take a closer peek and you'll notice the chocolate bars, magazines and soft drink cans aren't what they seem. They're pretend versions of themselves — more than 500 of them — that Preston has created by hand.
"For most of us, these simpler times might have passed," Preston said. "Sure, the memories may be a little blurry now, but it's my hope that when all the elements are recreated you can be transported right back to 'when going down the shop' was an experience of pure joy." To meet Preston, head along to the exhibition's opening party at 2pm on Wednesday, August 15, where he'll be hosting a talk and a free workshop.
This isn't Preston's first venture into nostalgia. In 2015, he revisited Back to the Future via his artwork Bootleg to the Future, which featured a life-sized replica of a DeLorean. And late last year his Milk Bar exhibited at the RVCA Corner Gallery in Collingwood.