Last Thursday I flitted down to the Queensland Museum at South Bank to attend the launch of the new space, INVENTory.

But this was no ordinary exhibition opening and just as luck would have it – no ordinary evening.

INVENTory is an active, hands-on space offering activities to the young and old all year round.

It is all about using reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials. Paper butterflies adorn the walls, vintage photographs are placed on shelves, and large cushions with prints on them depicting days gone by are strewn across the floor. This is my kind of spot.

Sculptures made entirely from recycled materials are both an intriguing and modern element thrown into a space that just makes you want to reach out and touch … everything.

And the best part is you can.

As I wander around INVENTory, touching my fingertips to butterflies, picking up old photographs and getting a little lost in them, and finding glass jars filled with buttons and bottle caps that take me straight back to my childhood (and the school fete) … I come face-to-face with our music maestro for the evening, DJ Sean. But before I really see and meet Sean, I see what he is working with: the most extraordinary old record player that I have ever seen – and the most exciting collection of vinyl I have seen.

Sean is taking requests he asked me, “what would you like to hear?”

I watch him flick through his eclectic yet all-encompassing collection of albums and my heart stops for a second as a flashy pink cover catches my eye: Xanadu.

“Xanadu!” I think I sort of squeal. This is my first request and he plays Magic (for those playing at home).

My second request is Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer, and my third (because, why can’t I have three requests?!) is ‘anything by Bob Dylan’.

Sean tells me he hosts his own ‘record nights’ at parties, friends’ houses and local events such as this one. “It is the coolest thing to have a five-year old come up to the deck and want to know what on earth this ‘thing’ is,” Sean says.

In a space that is all about using recycled materials and reusing what is old to create something new, Sean and his record player seem to fit perfectly.

To create the innovative INVENTory, Queensland Museum has teamed up with design duo Kuuki who have developed a kind of space that is all things creative, inviting and unique.

Kudos Kuuki; I could get lost in here for hours.

And maybe I’ll revisit to do just that.

Because it’s the kind of place that you can go and pull up an oversized cushion and just sit and take in all the possibilities that a concept like this conjures up.

A place to play, a place to create and a place to appreciate the magic that can be found in giving something old, new life.

* INVENTory is running at the Queensland Museum until December 2013.

 

 Photos by Delong Lin, Southbank Institute of Technology