Fast forward to today and I am very excited to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibit hosted by the Bendigo Art Gallery. The 8 metre high sculpture ‘Forever Marilyn’ by artist Seward Johnson is in the centre of a town celebrating Marilyn to the full. Her image is on banners, posters and in shop windows. My facebook newsfeed is full of friends taking the opportunity to pose with the statue.
The exhibit is displayed faultlessly, the layout, the lighting, the spaces are impeccable in showcasing the items. Although the majority of the exhibit is to showcase the fashion of Marilyn there is also film footage, posters, photographs, scripts and letters dictated by an often understated fact that Marilyn was quite savvy and forward thinking. I enjoyed the display of personal effects of Marilyn, the make up, the books and the words printed upon the walls of some of her early upbringing troubles before becoming the icon. What I found most profound in the exhibition however was the fashion on display. She was a lot smaller than the celebrated fuller figured woman I thought she was but it was the sheerness of the fabrics, perhaps a culprit of time and ill keeping on some items, but the unlined fabrics and exposed stitching, especially on the film items, that reminded me of the woman I was familiar with - the beauty and vibrancy of the outside and the fragility and vulnerability on the inside.
All she ever wanted was to be truly loved and supported.
Once again I was left with the feeling having read the book and talking about it with my Mum where we both agreed that we wish we could have been friends to her, someone she could rely upon and who would have protected her.
Still I am glad, that after all this time she is celebrated and loved.