'Velvet, Iron, Ashes' is the inaugural exhibition in the new Victoria Gallery at State Library Victoria. It connects the extraordinary people, events and icons from the state's history, and surprises you with a trail of unexpected and intertwined stories. As I did, I am sure you will also see the history of Victoria in a new way through this captivating exhibition.
The exhibition showcases three main treasures - Ned Kelly's iconic armour, cricket's famous Ashes Urn, and Jessie Clarke's historic fancy-dress costume. Ned Kelly wore this suit of armour during the notorious Glenrowan siege. Janet Lady Clarke presented this glazed pottery urn, containing the ashes of a bail, to England cricket captain Honourable Ivo Bligh. Jessie Clarke wore this glittering velvet cloak at Centenary of Victoria celebrations in 1934.
But, what is the significance of these and how do their stories intersect? That is exactly what you will discover and explore at the exhibition. The armour is connected to the Ashes Urn, and the fancy-dress costume symbolises the Murray–Darling irrigation scheme. How and why? You'll have to visit the library and find out for yourself. This free exhibition is currently open every day from 10am to 6pm until the 23rd of February 2020.