You know you’re getting old when the season of your childhood is now considered retro.
It seems like everything from the 80s is new again with shows like Stranger Things leading a slew of TV shows set in the decade where bigger was better, and greed was good.
80s influences haven’t just been confined to the screen, with artists like The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa and CHVURCHES all leaning heavily on the sounds of the 80s.
The iconic singer/songwriter Kate Bush was propelled back into the charts, with her 1985 song Running Up That Hill finding a new wave (pardon the pun) of fans after its inclusion in season four of Stranger Things.
Even Bluey has had their take on the 80s, with the episode Fairy Tale showing off just how good it was to be a kid in that decade.
Kerry Griffith is the Heritage and Museums Coordinator for the Moreton Bay Regional Council, and said that The 80s was a great opportunity to break the misconception that museums only focus on really old things.
“This was a way for us to dip into something that was old enough that there were special memories attached to the time, but still young enough that it was within living memory, and people could reminisce.
“It just seemed like a great idea to bring everyone together, where parents could share stories with their kids. Plus, the 80s was so big, bold and colourful with that theme of excess running underneath it all.”
From a Brisbane perspective, the decade also felt like a time of growth and change, with events like the 1982 Commonwealth Games and World Expo ’88 helping the River City to transform its image from that of a large country town to a modern city.
“The thing I really liked about the time of Expo ’88 was how those 1988 bicentennial celebrations brought to the fore conversations about our national identity,” Kerry continues.
“Of course we had Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, along with land rights coming into focus, so I felt it was a time when Australian society matured.”
Kerry said there were plenty of opportunities for people to get hands on with some of the items that make up the exhibition.
“We’ve got a small arcade area, where you can sit down at one of the old video game setups, and there’s over 60 classic games to choose from including Pac Man and Space Invaders.”
“The Rubik’s Cube appeared in toy shops in the early 80s, and that has now developed into speed cubing which has quite the following. We’ve found a local champion named Charlie, who is 14 and can solve a cube in under seven seconds. So, you can digitally challenge him on the Rubik’s Cube which is a lot of fun, especially when he does it blind folded!”
And is there one particular piece in the exhibit that really screams out 80s for Kerry?
“It’s probably the formal wear, because we have a really big textiles collection as part of the Moreton Bay Heritage Collection, and we’re always trying to show things from that.”
“We have a blue formal dress, that’s typically 80s with the big sleeves and a big collar made from electric blue taffeta. So that would be my favourite piece from the entire collection.”
The 80s is on now until February 26th at the Bribie Island Seaside Museum. It’s part of the Hot Hot Hot Festival, which has been celebrating arts and culture across the Moreton Bay region this summer.
Check out the Seaside Museum’s web page for opening hours and more information.
Listen to the full interview with Kerry in the audio player at the top of the page.