The Culture Capital: Five Events That Prove A Weekend In Canberra Should Be On Your To-Do List

While our landlocked capital may not be known for its thriving nightlife or trendsetting youth culture, it certainly leads the charge when it comes to art and history, with galleries and museums hosting must-see exhibitions and experiences throughout the year.

There’s enough going on in a single weekend in Canberra to tick off your culture quota for the rest of the month. Don’t believe us? Here are five events well worth checking out this weekend.

David Attenborough’s Virtual Reality Experiences

David Attenborough is awesome. Virtual reality is awesome. Bring them together – as this event at the National Museum of Australia does – and you’ve got one of the coolest scientific experiences around. The legendary documentarian has created two new natural history docos specifically designed for virtual reality.

You’ll get to strap on an Occulus Rift-style headset and delve into the deep sea. Attenborough’s First Life VR will see you travelling back some 540 million years, journeying to the bottom of the ocean to meet the planet’s earliest creatures and formations.

The second doco is closer to home, with the Great Barrier Reef Dive VR using ‘real-world footage’ so viewers can enjoy an unparalleled 360-degree tour of Australia’s iconic reef.

Athol Shmith: The Evolution Of Female Fashion, 1950s-1970s

Athol Shmith was a revered Australian photographer from the 1930s until his death in 1990. Shmith grew up in Melbourne, and after three formative years in Paris, returned home to become one of Australia’s most celebrated fashion and portrait photographers.

Though small, this exhibition at the National Library of Australia examines his photographic documentation of women’s fashion between the 1950s and 1970s.

Onetoeight: Australia’s First Prime Ministers

A weekend in Canberra has to include a little politics, right?

Created by Canberra artist Alison Alder, this exhibition offers a particularly unique, memorable look at Australia’s first eight prime ministers. Equally thought-provoking and comedic, Alder breathes new, colourful life into Australian history with screen-printed portraits of our first PMs, each leader displayed wearing badges to represent their parties and beliefs.

Between each print lies specially designed wallpaper honouring their wives, as well as an animated “Term-O-Meter” displaying the time each PM spent in parliament.

Artists Of The Great War: World War I Interpreted As Art

Artists Of The Great War is a confronting, comprehensive exploration of how Australian artists captured the horrors of World War I.

Showing at the National Gallery of Australia until June, this poignant exhibition features several mediums, including paintings, posters, and magazines.

From scenes of hospitals, disease, trenches and rats to political propaganda and cartoons, this exhibition is at once harrowing, intense and beautiful.

Tom Rowney and Zelko Markov: A Joint Exhibition Of Glasswork and Furniture

This collaborative exhibition between Tom Rowney and Zeljko Markov aims to take a closer look at the idea of doing things really, really carefully. Through their creative mediums of glass and furniture, the pair will exhibit works created with meticulous care, with serious consideration given to every step of the design process. Their finished works ultimately look seamless and natural – but it’s the thought behind each work that truly counts.