Australia so far…

Here’s a little video slide show of our experiences in Australia thusfar with a big emphasis on the art we have seen at various museums, exhibits, and around Sydney. (But not including that last post: Around Sydney, Pt. 11 – check it out!)

It’s not exactly in chronological order, and most of the pix have already been included in previous blog posts. The music comes from local Jack Dawson. He was playing his guitar down at Circular Quay, right next to the Museum of Contemporary Art and I bought a CD. Eight minutes, enjoy…

 

 

Around Sydney, Pt. 11

As we near the end of what has been a wonderful two months in one of the greatest cities we have visited, it just keeps getting better. One evening we went to the Night Market at Carriageworks. I’ve already posted about Carriageworks, the history, the artspace, and its role in the Biennale, but this evening was all about food. We went with Greg and Jenny, and two friends/colleagues: Laura and Carolina. Super fun, great food, good times! The rest of this set include a poster about Malcolm Turnbull who is currently up for reelection as Prime Minister, a map of Sydney in the State Library of New South Wales, a protest against Uber, and more graffiti inside and outside…

One of our last but certainly not least museum excursions was to the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. In addition to the museum, there are three ships to explore: the Endeavor (a replica of Captain Cook’s historic ship), the HMAS Onslow (a submarine), and the HMAS Vampire (a daring-class destroyer). There was also a lighthouse and the museum building itself is spectacular. This set of pix shows views in and outside the lighthouse, the Endeavor inside and out, and some of the submarine…

More inside the Onslow, inside the museum annex, and the HMAS Vampire…

Most of the following pix are inside the actual Maritime Museum, tho’ there’s at least one outside, and one at the helm of the Vampire. There was a nice exhibit about Longitude and its precise discovery/use/application thanks to the clocks of John Harrison. (There were replicas of the H1, H2, H3, H4, among others.) Action stations…!

After all that excitement, ML & I went for a quiet stroll in the Chinese Garden of Friendship, a beautiful oasis of calm amidst the hustle, bustle, and building boom in Darling Quarter…

A miscellaneous set of pix around Sydney, including Deus Ex Machina (a motorcycle shop, store, and restaurant – very cool), funky junk stores “Holy Kitsch” & “Drunk on the Moon,” a nice pub in Newtown, and yet more street art…

Space is here being preserved for our very last event, a fundraiser for Jenny’s work through the Salvation Army. We’re attending that this evening, before a very early departure tomorrow morning…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research the National Maritime Museum. (Also use the link above – its not the same.) What’s on? What’s cool?
  2. Research the ships Endeavor, Onslow, and Vampire. Which would you have liked to be aboard? Why, how, and who had more fun?
  3. Research the Chinese Garden of Friendship. What’s been on?
  4. What else?

 

Around Sydney, Pt. 10

Did I mention that the weather has been great? Well, it has and I’ve gone walking and biking all over town! This set is all over town, Centennial Park, the Equestrian Center, the Harbor, Government House, Newtown shops, Vivid Sydney displays at the Hub, Korean War Memorial, a visit to the Bearded Tit, miscellaneous graffiti, and just thereabouts…

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is not only free, but awesome! This introductory set features the museum from outside, various displays, and a few specific paintings…

This set of pix is of a more traditional, classic nature. It includes a Van Gogh, a Reubens, and more, better treatments of light, color, form, composition, and subject matter…

A smaller set of more specifically Australian scenes, including one out the window of the museum out on pretty Sydney…

This more contemporary set includes Aboriginal art, a Hockney, a Monet, some surrealism, an ad for a video piece featuring Cate Blanchett, and more…

And, here are a couple Picassos, a Francis Bacon, etc…

And that’s not all! Then, there’s the Museum of Contemporary Art!

more

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Most important or favorite works? Why & how?
  2. Research the Museum of Contemporary Art. Most important or favorite works? Why & how?
  3. Research Sydney, per the first set of pix above. Most important or favorite places? Why & how?
  4. Make some art, write about some art, experience some art, support some artists. Why & how?

 

Canberra, Pt. 2

For this second post about Canberra, the focus is on art. We went to both the Portrait Museum and National Gallery (the latter twice since it was so awesome and I’d run out of battery). In the Portrait Museum there was live music and people were invited to sit and draw, so we did. The National Gallery was so compelling that after we went there on Saturday, we went back on Sunday. It was good, and then it got better. The following is just a sampling of the highlights of both museums. The highest lights? You decide!

More from the Portrait Gallery. Some of these are famous Australians, some prominent citizens, some just folks. Who’s who…?

Photographs, paintings, and even sculptures were included (and I included Charlie and Veronica doing some drawings)…

Next, we turn to the National Gallery of Australia (where we went twice). First, we went to a special exhibit on Fiona Hall, an amazing Australian artist who worked in myriad media, but with consistent, rather particular themes. Here’s an introductory sampling…

More of Fiona Hall. Lots of skulls, Aboriginal motifs, clocks, money, tin cans, “collections,” ceramics, driftwood, mobiles, and the circle pictures are shots in a three dimensional series of drawings (not the same as 2-D photos), and more. An outstanding exhibit…

The first rooms of the National Gallery focus on scenes from Australia. Several were beautiful, textural paintings. Here are just a few…

Australian surrealism, more Australian landscapes, a special exhibit called “Black” (color meaning race, but actually just meaning color), and some compelling portraits…

A first sampling of the great collection of modern art in the National Gallery…

Among this amazing collection are Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, and others (appreciated by Charlie & Veronica)…

And there’s more! Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Rene Magritte, Willem De Kooning, Mary Cassatt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georges Seurat, etc…

And there’s more! A collection photographs by Diane Arbus, glass sculptures, and more…

In addition to a great collection of Australian and modern art, there were great examples of Asian art, including several murals, Tiffany glass, etc…

Outside the National Gallery there is a beautiful sculpture garden, including Rodin, Henry Moore, and some delightful sculptures and landscape features…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research the National Portrait Gallery. Why are portraits important, interesting, or meriting their own museum? Do a self-portrait in words.
  2. Research the National Gallery of Australia. What’s the best stuff, and why? What do other people think, and why? Why is “best stuff” a bad question? Why are art museums some of the most important tourist sites around the world?
  3. Make some art: indoors or outdoors or plans for art. Why is it important?

Canberra, Pt. 1

On the three day weekend commemorating the Queen’s birthday, we went for an outing to Canberra, the capital of Australia. Canberra, like Brasilia, was built to be the capital, and as such is not particularly organic. It is an example of a planned city, and while not perfect, seemed quite pleasant, conveniently appointed, and liveable. From Sydney, it was a beautiful drive through farmland and eucalyptus forests, a little over three hours. We stayed at Dickson Central, an inexpensive backpacker’s hostel like the one in Katoomba, but not as charming. For dinner each night we ate at the Duck’s Nuts, kind of a sports bar which mercifully did not have its title on the menu. On Sunday, we went to Questacon, the National Portrait Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, and the War Memorial. On Monday, we went back to the National Gallery before driving back to Sydney. However, I’m not going to put them in that order.

First, here are some pix of the Old and New Parliament Houses (the former is now the Museum of Australian Democracy), the High Court of Australia, and some views of the center of the city…

The War Memorial in Canberra is considered one of the best and most important sites in the city. In addition to a memorial, it is a large museum featuring many displays related to all the wars in which Australia has been involved. We had the opportunity to witness a ceremony at sunset honoring Australian war dead, and featuring a story about a young man who died in World War II. These pix are of the memorial…

This set of pix focuses on just some of the displays in the War Memorial Museum. In addition to collections of memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, and dioramas, there were several full sized aircraft and war related vehicles. These pix show displays from the first World War to the present…

Actually, Questacon was our first stop, and here’s a set of pix from the first two or three galleries. Gallery 1 was all about spiders and we got to see one wrap up a cricket and just about everything else you didn’t want to know about spiders (and some other stuff including emus, natural turbulence, earthquakes, and several displays similar to the Exploratorium in SF)…

More from Questacon, a Science and Technology Museum in Canberra. These pix are of displays about the Periodic Table of Elements, robotics, natural history, Rube Goldberg contraptions, and a fun slide featuring a vertical drop…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research Canberra. Discuss its history and role in Australian government.
  2. Research the War Memorial. Discuss the role of Australia in various wars.
  3. Research Questacon and Science & Technology Museums in general. What are the most important things to know about science? What should kids know about science? What do you like most about science?

Around Sydney, Pt. 9

This trip is not really ‘around’ Sydney, it’s just back to the Royal Botanical Gardens. But this time, ML & I took a tour, then wandered at our leisure around the area. This first set includes a reflection, some leaves, some bananas, a sculpture, and the famously elusive and still mysterious Wollemi pine

This batch of pix includes, more leaves, an ibis, a spider, a sculpture, some school children, the city adjacent, and more…

Then there’s the cactus & succulent garden, more leaves, and a famous wall…

In addition to the plants, there’s art! There was a class in botanical drawing taking place, and an exhibition of botanical art work, and of course of botanical photography…

In and around “The Fernery.” Orchids, epiphytes, greenhouse goodies, aquatic plants, and more…

Just opened: The Calyx! Botanical architectural exhibition space (first show: “Sweet Addiction” – about chocolate! [And here’s a more specific History of Chocolate]), and some of the garden space just adjacent…

Of course, we were near downtown, and it’s hard to get back to the train station without taking some pix of Sydney’s big buildings, etc…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Instead of researching Royal Botanicals, just go look at some plants. Any plants!
  2. Instead of researching The Calyx and sweet addictions, just go eat some chocolate. Any chocolate!
  3. And instead of researching buildings, big and otherwise, just go outside. Any outside!

 

Around Sydney, Pt. 8

After buckets of rain kept people at home, including us, we ventured out on a clear Wednesday evening to see Vivid Sydney. I had checked it out before, but this time brought the family, along with Maddie while her parents had soccer night. We saw the projections on the Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Custom’s House, as well as some of the various displays around Circular Quay…

Here are some time lapse videos of Vivid Sydney…

One day on a bike ride around Sydney I found this delightful pedestrian tunnel. Nice murals on each end and a great mosaic mural on the inside. Included are another public art statement nearby and a propaganda tag.

Here are some bike riding videos. Cross the harbor bridge and on a bike path…

More graffiti art around Sydney…

More images around Sydney. A pelican, a cat, trains, and Iron Bay…

Parent-teacher conferences at Leichhardt Secondary, the view of downtown from Nikky & Emmory’s, Glover’s Garden, and a hidden beach on the harbor…

 

Study Question:

  • Check out Vivid Sydney, then research other cities that have such light shows (there was one in Cadiz, Spain at Christmas time). How are they done?