Outside Elbe’s Milk Bar will create a working milk-bar in the old souvenir shop on the corner of Laings Road and High Street close to where the original Elbe’s milk bar traded from the early 1940s to the late 1960s. The milk bar will be populated by teenagers, students and passersby for the purpose of drinking milkshakes, eating classic Elbe’s icecream parfaits and sundaes, listening to music, playing games, reminiscing and even talking about ethical issues.
Teenagers’ behaviour at Elbe’s in the 1950s was a catalyst for the Mazengarb moral panic inquiry of 1954, a time when New Zealanders were awoken to the birth of youth culture.
There will also be a café on revitalized street furniture outside 98 High Street, where the milk-bar cowboys motorbikes were once lined up. A programme of displays and exhibitions organised by a range of youth, students and original Elbe’s patrons will accompany the milk-bar. Outside Elbe’s Milk Bar aims to reinvigorate street culture and ice-cream sundaes in lower High street, Lower Hutt!
Artist Tim Barlow will build and manage the milk bar with the help of a range of students and recent graduates and Brian, Kevin and Lox Lummis, the sons of one of Elbe’s original managers.
Tim Barlow is a Wainuiomata based artist whose work engages with ethics and fun in community art practice. His projects explore social engagement, social history and the politics of sites.
Tim has a Diploma of Fine Arts (Hons) from Otago Polytechnic and is currently doing a PhD at Massey University. He has been exhibiting his work and doing community-based art projects for the past 30 years and has taught art in community centres, University and alternative schools.