Those who went to the Jurassic Lounge this month were treated to a 21st century-style evening filled with good music, chorizo-and-cheese hotdogs and hashtagged entertainment (#jurassiclounge).
For four hours the Australian Museum was transformed into a grown-up's wonderland. Think vintage gaming, indoor rock concerts, pole dancing, comedy and body painting all in the one roof. Not to mention photo bombs with the skeleton of a dinosaur or a humpback whale in the background.
On Level 2, in a section sandwiched between the Silent Disco and the ‘Dance Nation’ Tournament, was something even more extraordinary amid the eclectic mix of entertainment: the art exhibit of Filipino-Australian artist Ala Paredes.
Ala brought with her a selection of watercolour portraits, which she jokingly referred to as ‘portraits of people who works at Starbucks and some others’. In fact, they are portraits of friends and loved ones – people whose lives intersect with her own.
The visitors, many with beer in hand and face paint on, admired her portraits, particularly the one she did of Kim Rabang Santos, a close friend who oozes a feisty Amy Winehouse vibe (is it the hair?). Several Filipinos were also there to lend their support, admiring her work and taking the requisite happy snaps. Ala obliged, posing for pictures in between trying to finish a portrait on-the-spot and sipping wine.
The crowds thinned around 8pm, when the rock concert downstairs was in full swing. Then they started to gather again half an hour later with several guests approaching Ala for a quick chat.
Given the demographic of the ticket holders, mostly city workers and uni students, the silent art auction starting at $300 per portrait was probably way out of most people's budget.
But if the event's reach - online and offline - was anything to go by, the Jurassic Lounge most certainly gave Ala the kind of satisfaction, as an artist, that money can't buy.
www.jurassiclounge.com, $14 at the door, Tuesday nights until 30th October