Meet former residents who once called Labassa home
Labassa has nurtured Melbourne’s artistic life for more than 130 years. From grand opera to punk rock, from surrealist film to ceramic sculpture, Labassa has embraced it all. In the 1960s and 1970s the mansion was home to an artistic community of painters, writers, actors and musicians who drew inspiration from their magnificent surroundings.
The Private Lives experience begins with refreshments in the Drawing Room followed by a guided tour of those rooms with a particularly strong artistic heritage. Visitors will meet former residents and hear their personal stories of life in the house. Painter Stephen Hall has a “great big little story of survival and inspiration” to tell. Filmmaker John Laurie recalls the days when “we were beatniks and drank claret”.
An evening view from the Tower includes the story behind Labassa’s inclusion in Kenneth Slessor’s poem Fives Bells and how singer songwriter Hans Poulsen used its heights for band rehearsals. Tour groups return to the Drawing Room to hear about its artistic legacy and an eye-witness account of the most spectacular theatre production mounted by Labassa’s resident artists.
National Trust Members