The Ersatz Fantasia Project at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

April 13, 2015

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An explosion of childhood toys and relics have taken over the exhibition space within the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum in Lilydale.  The Ersatz Fantasia Project, a new art installation by artist and photographer Rachael Hanillan, features a large scale display using hundreds of colourful plastic toys from decades gone by to the current day, that would otherwise be destined for landfill. 

The Ersatz Fantasia Project

What your eyes first see when walking into the exhibition space within the museum, is a brightly coloured rainbow and a giant structure in the middle of the room.  It becomes apparent that each segment of the room's rainbow is filled with appropriately coloured toys to match, and the giant structure is a tree in a fantasy forest of vibrant plastic paraphernalia.  The concept behind the fun exhibition is to make visitors notice the overuse of plastic in their lives, and to consider using environmentally friendly alternatives to buying new toys, such as sourcing second hand or borrowing from toy libraries. 

Can you spot a toy from your own childhood?

The Erastz Fantasia Project invites all ages to come in and explore.  The display is tactile, with many toys not glued to one spot; very tempting for little fingers to play.  Children are allowed into the exhibition space, and can pick up toys in the display, but must leave them behind as they found them.  

Dolls from different eras

Do visit the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum if you happen to find yourself in Lilydale, not only to see this remarkable display, but the range of other local exhibitions, plus a shop selling reasonably priced artifacts that make great gifts for loved ones, and the museum's Harvest Cafe serving wholesome seasonal foods to enjoy inside or out, with views of the grounds from the al fresco dining area.

If you do decide to visit the town of Lilydale specifically to see the exhibit, why not consider joining one of the workshops that coincide with the Erastz Fantasia Project; there is a FREE family workshop on Saturday 2 May at 11am, crafting alongside the artist behind the project, with a chance to make a colourful object for your home using old toys.  Whilst the repurposed toy workshop is FREE, you need to register in advance here.  There is a second workshop on the evening of Wednesday 13 May at 5pm, aimed at adults and children over 12, where you will learn how to craft a decorative bowl unwanted paper.  The upcycled paper bowl workshop is $15pp, and can be booked here.

The Erastz Fantasia Project on now until 24 May, 2015

The Erastz Fantasia Project at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum is on now until 24 May, 2015.

Address: 35-37 Castella St Lilydale

Entry: FREE

Opening hours: 7 days a week, 10am - 4pm, excluding public holidays.

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