Friday, 18 July 2014
City adventures - sculpture, fashion, froth, textiles, wildlife large and small
The past few days have been full of art and more wildlife encounters. First of all a walk around Sydney finding urban sculpture.
"Youngster: by Caroline Rothwell on George Street.
Forgotten Songs by Michael Thomas Hill, which is a sculptural and aural installation that changes between night and day.
I loved the shapes of the bottom of the cages against the grid of the building.
Next to the Powerhouse Museum, to see the costumes from the film of Strictly Ballroom, and to whet my appetite for the musical that we are going to see in 10 days. These costumes were even more over the top than I had expected.
At the same museum, there were examples of some of the work of the final year fashion students from Sydney colleges. Instead of sketchbooks, they had inspiration boxes in front of their creations, which was a good way to demonstrate the breadth of their influences. First Emma Macgregor's gorgeous, ethereal dresses
Then the wonderful sculptural creations of Yousef Akbar
Finally, on the way to an early dinner at Movida, ( smoked tomato sorbet, anyone?) an unexpected encounter with two young dancers in Kimber Lane, where there is another of the public art installations.
The next day started early with a train to Newcastle to visit a long-term friend. When
I am in a culture wher eno English is spoken , I am less struck by the oddities of that culture than when I am in other English-speaking country. One of these oddities was the train notceboard, showing that an empty train would be passing - blurry as I didn't have my camera set up correctly.
This was my first morning of rain during my visit, and the journey through the Hawkesbury river area was full of misty valleys and dark reflections on the water.
I did do some stitching on the 2h journey - as i was going up to see some textiles, I felt the need to to do.
The key visual experience of the trip was to visit an exhibition at Timeless Textiles, an intriguing textile gallery. This was a beautiful space, and the key exhibition was of pieces by Omila Bir, ( who doesn't seem to have a website) shibori fabrics, dyed using natural dyes.
I was particularly intrigued by the pieces with very regular squares and rectangles of resist.
A beautiful large piece had wonderful patterns
The owner of the gallery is a felter, and attracts teachers who are internationally famous, such as Kerr Grabowski, known for her work with deconstructed screen printing. One of Kerr's scarves was for sale in the shop.
New to me was the name of Meredith Woolnough, whose machine stitched pictures / sculptures / installations were breathtaking.
Next to the Art Gallery of Newcastle, whose policy on photography is directly in opposition to that of all other galleries I have visited on this trip, in that no photography is allowed. As this is a public collection, that seems very inconsistent to me. Lots of native Australian artists, and some wonderful cut paper by Kylie Stillman.
Lastly, a walk along Bar Beach, to see where my sister did a triathlon, and thrill of thrills, two whales playing in the bay about 500m offshore. Fins, backs and spouts, but no tails, still an incredible thing for a Brit to see.
Lots more to come, but I'm now probably out of blogging opportunities for 10 days, as we are off to here, and then to here.
PS the small wildlife encounter, was at a yoga class at a city gym, when in the middle of the warrior poses, and the supposedly calm breathing, a huge cockroach made its way down the length of the gym. The instructor took a very non-yogic action to get rid of it.