You’d be forgiven for thinking we stopped at MoVida for lunch, it is situated in Hosier Lane after all… But when you’ve only got a three-quarters of a weekend’s worth of meals and a list of places to try, you have to make some tough decisions. We already have a MoVida in Sydney and the reports I’ve heard have been mixed/lukewarm (“overpriced!”, “yeah, not bad,” for example, didn’t quite cut it for me) – it was quite easy for me to focus on a couple of other venues. Also, and here’s the real truth of the matter. As much as I love a good meal, I love bricks ‘n mortar more.
I couldn’t walk past this part of Melbourne (Hosier Lane and one or two of other lanes off Flinders Lane) without taking a few snappy snaps. They’re just so much fun! I would’ve taken a tonne more shots, but when your company barely tolerates your fixation for photographs, you take only a few and keep moving so as not to completely use up your credit for the weekend.
Listening: Emkay by Bonobo
Our first stop in Canberra was the National Gallery of Australia. I wanted to see the ‘Turner from the Tate‘ exhibition. We spent a good part of the visit wandering around the half dozen or so rooms featuring the art of J.M.W. Turner and the various periods of his career.
I found it quite awe-inspiring to be able to see works of art from a period of time so far removed from today, I could scarcely even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be alive in those days – but to see such well preserved pieces and so many of them! The sketchbook below was used by Turner between 1804-05. Mind-boggling, really! Turner bequeathed his work to Britain when he died. How fortunate we are that he did!
When we’d had our fill of Turner, we wandered around the NGA’s other collections, including the Dada and Surrealism section which took me back to my high school art classes, as did the Pop Art works, such as the ones below by Andy Warhol.
I really enjoyed the Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly series too, and if we’d arrived earlier in the day, I’ve no doubt I would’ve spent a much longer time at the NGA. But we were famished from our 3.5 hour drive, and it was time to go in search of something tasty…
Listening: Hands by Alpine
I apologise if you’re getting tired of all this art, but I don’t seem to myself… I might even hazard a guess that the art is an improvement on me posting ‘selfies’ or body parts (just hands, maybe feet, nothing racy!) photos.
It was extremely hot in Sydney today with the temperature rising to 43C/109.4F in the city, and combined with the wind, being outside made me feel like I’d opened the door of a fan-forced oven and stuck my head in it. Just like being in Perth (where the family is), really.
Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror (2006) at the MCA… I imagine it would’ve been dazzlingly blinding in today’s sunshine. When I lived in Perth, I always visualised cracking eggs on the bitumen and watching them sizzle during those long hot summers – random, I know. Now I’ll think of doing the same on Sky Mirror. (Don’t worry, I’d never commit such an act of vandalism.)
First day back at work today. What’s my point, you may ask? No point really, except to say that I went to the Francis Bacon exhibition yesterday with friends and someone asked me what I did for work, and I said, “I work in an office… It’s really boring.” (And then I had to explain what exactly the company I work for does because no one ever knows. It’s one of those industries that seems frequently and consistently shrouded in myths and misconceptions, especially to people who know little to nothing about it.)
Besides thinking that it would be so much easier if I could just say, “bank” or “accounting firm”, I also sometimes catch myself wishing I worked in a creative industry rather than the the one I’m in now and so, I guess, by default that means it’s dull.
Oh, wait! I do have a point, actually. If you haven’t yet seen the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, and you like paint on canvas, then go. If nothing else, it will leave you with a sense of relief at how easy and vanilla -maybe even dull- your own life is. Hallelujah!
A highlight from yesterday was the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. We were allowed to take photos so I snapped this one (using my iPhone so apologies for the low quality) of the massive 24-tonne metallic Memory (2008).
I wasn’t prepared for seeing Memory in IRL. I mean, I’d seen a few images beforehand, but the piece is enormous! When confronted by the big copper-coloured blimp, one can’t help but wonder (aloud – “How did it get here?”) about the logistics assembling such a piece – actually, quite a few of Kapoor’s pieces elicited such a response. Anyway, this vaguely alien egg is disorienting and jarring – it just looks like it’s not supposed to be there.
It made me think about space and our need for it.
If you live in Sydney, you’ve probably been hearing a lot over the last couple of days about a big rubber ducky in Darling Harbour. I think artist Florentijn Hofman put a smile on all our faces. And I also thought his comment on this particular work was apt and so true, “It relieves everyday tensions, as well as defining them.”
Still thinking about the exhibition from the weekend. I think I’m going to have to revisit before it closes after this Sunday. And get a poster. Even though I know it’s just marketing, I really like the one of Theophilus London, grasping his logo-ed cap, mid-jump.
I went to the exhibition currently showing in a warehouse in Walsh Bay yesterday. Photos of famous people, actors, models, artists, in an iconic garment, each styled just so for the shot.
The ‘no photography’ message was so badly signposted that I had taken four snaps before an attendant came up to admonish me for doing so; I wasn’t the only person who got caught breaking the rule.
I never knowingly break the rules / I’m a good girl – most of the time. (But if you don’t make it obvious, I can’t guarantee I’ll behave.)
It’s not just spring that makes it my favourite time of year in Sydney. It’s Art & About.
Each year, I look forward to strolling through Hyde Park and taking in the photos on display down the length of the central walkway. Trees and photography, hanging out together. Simple, clever, and smile-inducing.
If you are an art fan, now is the time to soak it up – not just in Hyde Park, but all over Sydney. Enjoy!
For the longest time, I used to be self-conscious about putting on lipstick in front of a mirror when in a public restroom. I used to wonder how other women could just slap it on, carefree and easy, in the presence of others. I’d put on my lippie while still in the cubicle, even when I didn’t always have a [hand] mirror – I guess it explains how I’m now quite good at staying ‘within the lines’ sans the aid of a reflective surface.
Taking photos is another such thing; photography in public makes me self-conscious, the way lipstick used to do. I’ve walked away many a time from something I’ve wanted to capture because someone else was there. (And then gone back later, hoping for a private minute or two. Sometimes succeeding, sometimes not.)
Like yesterday, when I found myself at Bond One, 20 Windmill Street in Sydney. I was drawn to the art on the wall outside as I tend to be of lots of indigenous art, and especially the black-and-white ones. As I took the shot, a man emerged through the glass door on the side – the after hours entrance – I hadn’t noticed him earlier. Ah, here it was again, the cloud of embarrassment descended, and I almost felt like apologising for being caught photographing a wall. He glanced at me. I began to walk away, pretending to look at something on my phone.
Which is the reason why I don’t know the title of the piece – didn’t check the wall for a plaque or information on the piece. But I do know it’s by Dorothy Napangardi because someone on Instagram told me so.
On the wall outside Brett Whiteley‘s studio in Surry Hills
…Life does sometimes leave us a bit charred.
But the thing is, we’re still in one piece.
The piece is called Complete? (2010) by Debra Dawes. I snapped the shot, angled from the side. It looks like this front-on and correct.
It did feel like quite the complete day yesterday. Time with the Hub in the morning; chalkboard duty at the restaurant; a couple of hours at the Art Gallery of NSW followed by drinks and nibbles in Woolloomooloo with @smcgillen in the sunny afternoon; finished off
nicely loudly (and oh so exhilaratingly) by a Children Collide gig at The Standard with a few friends.
I need to have more Saturdays of the same.
This year, a bit of upheaval in my/our group of friends. We’re not spending time together like we used to do. A combination of things: someone got married a few months ago (and the marriage is already on the rocks); we’re all working too hard and not partying; a couple of us had a bust-up (can ‘irreconcilable differences’ apply to friendship?). I won’t go on…
Sometimes, I find myself admiring the art magic’d by my friend, T. -it hangs in my living room-, and I am reminded that we all grow up, priorities change, and sometimes we don’t see our old friends for years. But the memories make things OK somehow. I also remember that there was a time when things weren’t so awesome between us, T. and I, but we righted things, and so now I’m hopeful that our little group will sort itself out, too, in time.
For some, reminiscing is accompanied by wistfulness, sadness; for others, it makes us smile, ever so faintly. (T., I’m smiling because I’m remembering a fun-filled, vodka-soaked, night in Melbourne years ago… Do you remember it? I can’t decide if it’s amusement or gratitude but it’s enough.)
I was in bed by 10pm last night. So different from the summer months where I sometimes crawl into bed at 4 or 5am.
What a treat to wake up bright-eyed and clear-headed on a Saturday morning!
I went for a stroll around the city earlier. For some reason, I always seem to gravitate toward Angel Place and this art installation called ‘Forgotten Songs‘.