A very belated “Happy 2013” to you all! New year, new blog theme. The old peachy design wasn’t appealing to me anymore, but thankfully I found a wordpress theme that seemed to fit with the existing content, no rejigging of images required….so here I am, back with a fresh, clean new look. What do you think?
Christmas saw a whirlwind visit to Canberra, a few exhibitions and a whole lot of food. Seeing the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition on Christmas eve was a highlight, so great to see those Moulin Rouge posters up close, and without crowds or queues. The above image is of James Turrell’s skyspace Within,Without at the NGA…spectacular, and a must-see if you’re ever at the NGA! Unfortunately a couple with some raucous kids barreled in shortly after me, so I couldn’t get great shots that didn’t include prams or the trail of destruction left behind.
Publicity for my book is now firing up in the UK, and I’ve been asked to write some guest blog posts (fun!), so the creative juices are flowing again and I’ve whipped up a few new projects. Yesterday I descended on my designer/stylist friend Mim’s gorgeous warehouse apartment with craft and camera in hand, and over the course of the day we produced some lovely images (if I do say so).
The below image is an outtake from our day – does this map conjure up school memories for you too, or am I showing my age by admitting this? Mims is a bower bird, collecting all manner of curios in her travels, and she effortlessly throws it all together to turn something seemingly ordinary on its own into an object of beauty. I made this little chair cushion from 1950s Scandia fabric, and the piping from aqua bias binding.
The bold graphic opener to the Museum of Sydney’s Home Front – a finely curated exhibition that gives a real sense of the love and loss felt by Sydneysiders on the home front during World War II.
Handmade felt toys were very popular during WWII, as felt was not rationed. This is a felt airman doll made by a mother who sadly lost her son, a RAAF bomber pilot, during operations in 1944.
An ad for the Women’s Weekly in 1943 (colourised by the HHT, the original is a striking gouache), encouraging women to write uplifting letters to the troops.
The exhibition also features a recreated wartime living room complete with armchairs and wireless, playing popular tunes of the time. Tempting to kick off the shoes and stay a while, if only they were serving tea and ANZAC biscuits…
A 5-minute visit to the newly refurbished MCA followed – the crowds and queues were just ridiculous, so I’ll be trying again once all the excitement dies down.
The Easter bunny has long since hopped away, we’ve mostly devoured our chocolate eggs, and I’ve finally sifted through my iPhone pics to share with you here. Canberra, our poor unloved capital, turned on some Autumnal charm over the Easter break for my long weekend escape. I love playing tourist, and this weekend was no exception.
Canberra Glassworks resides in the beautifully restored Kingston Powerhouse, and you can freely wander around the Hotshop and Engine Room to watch the students working from an observation deck. Endlessly fascinating, I could have spent hours watching them twirl their hot pokers around.
The National Library of Australia sucked me in to see their Treasures exhibition with their giant hipster glasses (courtesy of the late and great Patrick White), and I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of very familiar items on display that I had researched for a book called Documents That Shaped Australia. It was almost like reliving the book all over again, and I quite enjoyed seeing the items in the flesh, as the images are still so etched in my mind, 2 years on from the book’s release.
A visit to the Nation’s Capital just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Parliament House. I hadn’t been here since a school excursion about…oh, 20 years ago, and I’m not ashamed to say that politics bores the bejesus out of me most of the time. But where else can you roll down the grassy hill of National Parliament? I even managed to find some art – art in Parliament…who knew?! The Historic Memorials Collection – portraits of past Prime Ministers, was great! What made the visit more interesting was our unintentional detour through a wedding in the gardens of Parliament House. We certainly weren’t dressed for the occasion and were met with some rather bemused stares, so we promptly hotfooted it out of there, hopefully escaping the click of cameras.
Dramatic skies on the drive back home to Sydney.
Easter bunny at work, lamenting the end of the long weekend before hopping away for another year.