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Fashionista – Mambo (2003)

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Surfie chic education content clip 1

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Australia is a world leader in surf wear and surf culture. Robert Moore has been designing for Mambo for many years and is one of the best in the business, despite very little art school training.

Curator’s notes

Artist and designer Robert Moore is interviewed by Fashionista host Lee Lin Chin. This is a very informal interview in Moore’s studio, in keeping with the designs he creates for surf wear company Mambo. As Moore discusses his interests and influences we see useful cutaways to illustrate them – including cars, surfing, skateboarding and Mambo designs by other artists.

There’s a delightful playfulness to this clip with Lee Lin Chin toying with a child’s peddle car and walking in the background carrying a surfboard. It’s all good lighthearted fun which is the essence of Mambo itself.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows artist Robert Moore in his studio explaining to interviewer Lee Lin Chin how he began working for the surfwear company Mambo. As he talks, there is footage of him sketching cars and footage of Mambo designs, the Mambo work team and surfing. Surf music and a rhythmical music soundtrack accompany the visuals. Near the end of the clip Chin is glimpsed walking with a decorated surfboard under her arm, while skateboarders skate in the foreground.

Educational value points

  • Robert Moore (1964–) is an example of a talented artist who has achieved success through a combination of talent, training and persistence. Moore first became aware of Mambo’s distinctive art while on a beach, and Mambo’s first exhibition presented him with the opportunity to show his work to Dare Jennings, the company’s founder. Jennings admired Moore’s passion for his art and the authenticity of his work, and he employed him.
  • Moore defies stereotypes of fashion designers or artists and yet he has succeeded in both spheres. He was born and raised in Ipswich, the motor sporting centre of Queensland, and is still a self-confessed ‘car nut’. As a young boy he was not exposed to art, but built on his schoolboy interest in drawing cars and planes by studying art at university. The interests that inspired him as a boy – including cars and rock and roll – continue to inspire his artwork.
  • Mambo’s distinctive artwork has helped to make it an iconic surfwear company in Australia. Founded in 1984 from a large and successful screen-printing business, Mambo creates surfwear and streetwear characterised by strong graphics and a distinctively self-deprecating humour. The talent of the artists that Mambo employs has played a pivotal part in making it one of Australia’s best known brands.
  • An example of the way that art and fashion intersect is revealed when Moore describes how he lets his artwork ‘do the talking’ to those who are responsible for applying it to Mambo garments and other Mambo products. Moore works as a freelancer for Mambo, sending the company artwork that they can choose to use. His artwork has also been displayed in solo and collected exhibitions throughout Australia.
  • The clip shows the way that filmmaking can adopt a style that suits the character and nature of the subject. The hand-held camera appears to be eavesdropping on the informal conversation between interviewer Lee Lin Chin and Robert Moore. Moore’s story is intercut with images of cars, waves and Mambo designs. Surf music swells at one point and film of surfing and skateboarding accompanies Moore’s account of the themes that inspire his art.
  • Mambo artworks are shown framed and hanging on a wall. Mambo artworks, including paintings, rugs, posters, surfboards, graphics and ceramics, have been exhibited nationally and internationally. The first exhibition was held in Sydney in 1989. In 1993 Mambo was invited to exhibit alongside an international exhibition of surrealist art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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