Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'll take my science with a twist: SmartBar at the Melbourne Museum

After scoring a couple of free tickets through a Facebook competition, I took myself over to the Melbourne Museum on Thursday night to check out the SmartBar. Verdict: heaven for anyone who likes their evenings to be a little enlightened, or their museum visits a little enlivened.

Museums worldwide, under the pressures of reduced funding and the need to

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A bit of my day that makes the winter okay

For two weeks I’ve been walking a particular path at a particular time of day that is, in my mind, too early to be about in winter. Yet there’s one corner of my route that, in its mundane way, gives me a strange sense of pleasure. There’s a hum about the space there, brought into being through the combined efforts of the senses and the imagination of one hoping to imbue the ordinary with the romantic. Sounds are central: the constant deep purr of the traffic that gathers in frustration at the tapering of Flemington Road to Grattan Street; the intermittent whirs and cracks of the construction site that, if you listen but don’t look too closely, echo the never-on-pause progress of New York. Then there is the sense of scent that brings the bitter warmth of the cigarettes smoked religiously by the pyjama-clad patients who emerge from the hospital, hooked-up and bound to the entryways, into the cold morning. It’s a concentration of tobacco that you’ll encounter little in this city, where the haunts of the smoker are less and less. The olfactory mingling of the smoke with the faint trace of cheaply baked danishes, hospital-grade coffee, and the chilled air of the a.m. allows the walker to almost transport themselves—again, with a little less looking—to the streets of the great metropolises of the imagination: London, Paris. The moment makes the morning pass a little more warmly, in spirit if not celcius.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Melbourne Market Diary: July 2012

Since the weather has taken a turn for the nasty, it's sorely tempting to stay cosy inside come the weekend. The Saturday crossword, a peppermint tea, and a hot water bottle on the toes...why leave the house? Only for the promise of warming crafts, wearable wintry one-offs, and that dash for the car through the rain, clutching your new market finds! Click read more for a calendar of just a few of the markets to be found in Melbourne this July.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Melbourne Market Diary - June 2012

A round-up of a few of the best markets around in Melbourne this June.

Click 'Read More' for the full visual calendar, and full 'When, Where, and What' information!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just found: the work of Lucy James

Independent artist and illustrator Lucy James - and her sharp scalpel - recover images from forgotten books, transporting them into her offbeat but beautiful collage world. Take a look at her website and blog, then head on out to see her work at Anna Pappas Gallery from May 31, and at Craft Victoria from June 14. Click Read More for more images.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Come, journey with me...stop motion video for Ödland

Anyone who, like me at the moment, is feeling a little lost under an ever-growing mound of deadlines, duties and drudgery (oh, the deadly Ds), will appreciate this stop motion video directed by Vincent Pianina and Lorenzo Papace for the band Ödland. Pack your bags - whether to buoy away by sea or chuff chuff on the night train, floating away on a three-minute fanciful voyage seems just the ticket for putting work and worry back in its place.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cosmic Scale and the Super Future by Ghostpatrol at Backwoods Gallery

Ever since receiving a pair of Ghostpatrol gocco prints last year, I've had a serious soft spot for the street artist's curious characters and captivating created worlds. Now, he's taking on the cosmos, embarking on a quest to understand time and place beyond this human moment. Head to Backwoods Gallery, where an exhibition of five large-scale paintings on linen will be running from 18 May until 13 June.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

Celebrating awareness, participation, and inspiration, the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival is back in Melbourne for 2012 to explore a range of human rights issues through film, music, and art, plus a program of forums in which to get engaged. The festival is running now until the 27th of May. You should explore the full program on the website, but here are just three taster events and exhibitions to get you activated!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Quick craft fix: party bunting

In need of party decorations and don't have time to whip out the sewing machine and some gorgeous gingham for that almost-overdone-beautiful-bunting look? 1. Sacrifice a couple of magazines. Frankie makes great fodder, if you can bear to cut your issues up! 2. Pull out the prettiest, most festive pictures. 3. Draw a triangle template on one page, and cut it out. 4. Use this piece

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacosy Tales at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

The world — me included — may have gone a little bit potty (tea potty?) for tea cosies of late. First, there was the publication of Prior Loani’s How Tea Cosies Changed the World, which seems to be popping up on book stands and cropping up in magazines wherever I turn. As a beginner knitter, I’m delighted by the idea of switching from lumpy scarves to lumpy cosy projects, and the book gives easy

Monday, April 30, 2012

Earth v Sky, City of Sydney public art project

Twilight in Sydney is newly alive with colour, through a public art project that’s graceful, bewitching, colourful, and sustainable to boot.

The City of Sydney has unveiled a new artwork in Bicentennial Park, a dynamic and shifting light piece by artist Allan Giddy. Using technology that continuously samples the colour of the sky

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Craft Shop at Craft Victoria

Fridays here are all about the shops in one way or another, and this one's online (and instore). Craft Victoria have a range of deliciously unique and colourful things for sale and, with Mothers' Day coming up, it struck me that this would be one place to source some great gifts. How about these, for starters?

Shop online at The Craft Shop, and visit Craft Victoria at 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grace Cossington-Smith

Google informed me, kindly, that it is Grace Cossington Smith's 120th birthday today, so I thought I'd join in. I've always loved this era of Australian women's art - so colourful, so feminine, but so spirited and gutsy at the same time. You can see this painting (Poinsettias, 1931) at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia

Parallel Collisions is divided into three sections and spread across the Gallery’s spaces, intermingling the new and transitory with the old and permanent. The Tracking Shot, in the temporary exhibitions space downstairs, presents the new work of sixteen artists. The Redux presents a revisitation of seven Australian artists, while The Incursions bring contemporary still, video, and installation works into contact

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Melbourne market diary


After attending the Richmond Weekender’s Homemakers Market a couple of weekends ago, I became just a smidge enthusiastic about markets. The day was quite a treat, with a small but terrific group of stalls: lovely leaf teas, pots and cups from

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

That's what's up

I don't usually blog music, but this new track from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is just so good that it begged me for a quick post. Exuberant, quirky, and supremely charming, this folk-country-indie song will have you bopping and slapping your knee like there are daisies raining from the skies. Click 'Read More' to have a listen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hobart shopping guide

This list is far from exhaustive I'm sure, but here are some short notes about the best spots for a browse and a buy that I found whilst in Hobart. Most of these places specialise in creations from small-scale Tasmanian designers or local artisan food producers, meaning that you can get your hands on some unique and yummy things. Also take a peek at my general thoughts on the lovely city of Hobart here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hobart visiting guide

My first impression of Hobart was formed through a haze of 4.30am weariness, but the barbarity of the 6.00am flight was more than made up for by the chance of catching the view as we descended: the sunrise’s last glows over layers of rolling hills, mountains and glimmering bays. Below, snatches of lovely straight white beaches, green farmland, and forest. First thing to note: Hobart really is pretty!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

I recently went for an impromptu drive up to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and was very impressed, so thought I'd share some of the highlights of their current exhibitions!

The main attraction at the moment is the retrospective 'Michael Shannon: Australian Romantic Realist,' a touring exhibition by the Art Gallery of Ballarat. To be frank, Michael Shannon wasn't in

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You've got me up against the wall

Any sets of photos from my travels or my wanderings will inevitably end up punctuated by lots of snaps of ostensibly mundane but enchanting things - walls, doors, and windows, for instance. Isolated from the hum-drum of street life, taken out of the context of their greater buildings, these details can be really lovely, an architectural 'moment' of intimacy. So, here's a (very small) sample of some of the many walls,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time to step down from the arts high ground

Having just begun an Art Curatorship course, I'm encountering more and more art history students these days. There's nothing wrong with them as a bunch — really, they’re all my kind of lovely, creative people — but there’s a trend I’m noticing that’s getting me a little annoyed. It’s a preponderance of intellectual snobbery.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Packed the Postcard in My Suitcase

Partly composed of new works commissioned by ACCA, and partly drawing on the artist’s older works, this unique collection of video installations represents the first major survey of Pipilotti Rist’s works to be shown in Australia.

Through four rooms of integrated installations, Rist takes us on a journey through the elements: fire, water, wind, and earth. Each work is

Friday, February 24, 2012

By the beautiful sea

Street artist Rone, from Melbourne's Everfresh Studio, took his distinctive images to the streets and beaches of Jamaica in December, and brought back a whole lot of gorgeous snaps (see the rest here). A landscape of jaded pinks, faded greens, bright blues and dune yellows.  Beautiful!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

’Twas in that place o’ Scotland’s Isle

Edinburgh, in my mind and recollection, is a city of theatrical contrasts: Old Town and New Town, vastness and intimacy, drama and comfort. I traveled there in a particularly cold winter, only intensifying this sense.

On the one hand, Edinburgh is a place of great spatial spectacle. Not a very large city, it is set upon a series of

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In a corner of the sky

Rooftop Bar on the top of Curtin House in Swanston Street has long been on my list of go-to spots for a summer's night of drinks and merry jinks, but it was only this last Sunday that I made it to one of their Rooftop Cinema screenings. Have I been missing out! With a couple of friends and a comfy duffel coat in tow, I caught a moonlit showing of Lost in Translation, a movie just as atmospheric of Tokyo as Rooftop is of Melbourne.

Friday, February 10, 2012

If hope grew on a bush

kirra jamisonA sweet rhyme has been flirting with my memory and ringing about my head this week, singing to be shared. They're some words that have always graced the walls of my childhood home at the bottom of a Barbara Hanrahan print and a bit of research has revealed that the author is Christina Rosetti, the nineteenth-century romantic and children's poet.

If hope grew on a bush,
And joy grew on a tree,
What a nosegay for the plucking
There would be!

If hope and joy grow on any bushes, it must be these stems by Melbourne-based artist Kirra Jamison.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Queen Street, Croydon

einstein, bike, street art, croydonQueen Street seems to be just springing onto everybody’s lips in Adelaide, making a claim on some local buzz as a spot for breakfast if you’re tired of Hutt Street or Hyde Park, and a location for dreamy Saturday lurking. It's also a bit of an arts hub, home to some of the 2011 SALA venues and hosting a mid-winter street party for the opening of the festival.

Someone else's Melbourne

Here are some bits and pieces that caught my eye whilst walking around and about the Glenferrie Road area. It’s all so wonderfully, redolently Melbourne: the light catching on crumbling Victorian plaster alongside bright and new and shiny architecture, the cables drooping above the tram lines, faded but sunshiny skies, spires and graffiti from the train station.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

And that was New York

As a lover of cities, of the pavement and the steel, of the bustling shops, the rushing people, I have been wanting for sometime now to put down in words my experience of that ultimate metropolis, Manhattan.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Walk in My Melbourne

It’s late afternoon on a Wednesday in August, late winter in Melbourne. I’ve ventured out from my native Carlton North, heading out on foot to cross Nicholson Street, the Carlton-Fitzroy border and a mental barrier between my territory and the unknown. Ostensibly a rare act of exercise (I have on my trackies and runners left over from school hockey trainings

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Long hot summer night

Tonight I have discovered a new place to sit. Sleepless in the heat of Melbourne summer, I have been tossing and twisting until now, at 1.35 am, when I can feel — finally! — the breeze of the promised cool change. The sound of overweight raindrops has reached my night-time-alert ears. Anxious to take a breath of this welcome coolness, I have hurried to my window

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On Dressing Up and Fitting In

When I was four, my mother dressed me as Norman Lindsay’s Magic Pudding. Grey tights, grey skivvy, a stocking over my face with currants drawn in permanent marker, and a pudding basin atop my head, the outfit’s crowning glory. No, she wasn’t indulging a deranged whim – it was dress-as-your-favourite-book-character day at kindergarten.

Already, I was different and, even at four, I knew it. All around me swirled tulle tutus and streaks of satin, glittering pinks and purples, cute little button-nosed Goldilocks and Tinkerbells. And here was I, a goddamn pudding. Refusing to submit to the indignity of the stocking, I gazed maliciously at the camera, unwittingly completing the impersonation of that bad-mannered, ill-tempered edible.