60 Objects Labassa Collection
Labassa is an exuberantly ornamented boom-style mansion in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield. Built for the wealthy and privileged in the nineteenth century, its twentieth century history tells a different story.
After Labassa was sold in the late 1900s, the mansion was converted into a tenement house and for the next six decades was home to many people. It was during the 1960s and 70s that Labassa experienced a creative renaissance, Members of the counter-culture and bohemian artists lived, worked, and partied in the house’s many rooms.
Using wax resist dyeing techniques, these cotton shirts feature psychedelic motifs of mushrooms or mushroom-like jellyfish. They were worn by Labassa tenant Peter Sinnott in the 1970s, and he donated them during a reunion of former residents. The Trust has a pictorial record of life at Labassa in the 1960s and 70s – mainly in black and white film stock – to see the vibrancy and colour in these garments enriches our appreciation of this dynamic time in its history.