Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trip to the Art Gallery NSW

I was meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but i haven't had the chance to properly sit down and review what i wanted to say! and on this cold Sunday night, with a public holiday tomorrow, i can finish the post!!

On a Wednesday night a couple of weeks ago, i headed into the city with a friend for Art after Hours at the Art Gallery of NSW. I had been a couple of times over the years, mainly with university, and i had forgotten how much i love going to the gallery on a Wednesday night.
The gallery is always very busy, generally with people popping in after work, as a meeting place, a night out, a date location etc. Being there and observing last night, in my mind, firmly reminded me that yes in fact Sydney is a world city, and yes we have culture. It really did bring back memories of a evening visit to the MET in NYC in 09 (sigh)

Another thing i like about visiting the AGNSW on a Wednesday night is people watching- well mainly observing the fashion. I like the fact that the women generally make an effort to dress up to attend the gallery, something i do actively try to achieve myself (without success!). I did see a beautiful red wool tunic dress which (if i could ever afford and find the material) i would love to make! I also participated wearing my purple 'Marissa' dress i made last year and a light brown jacket.

The AGNSW has plenty on at the moment, including the opening of a new contemporary space (this wasn't open yet on Wednesday).  The Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes were on exhibition. Also the Anne Landa Award. The other exhibition i saw was 'Photography in Place' Australian landscape photography from the 1970's to today. (just quietly this was my favourite!)

Archibald prize was ok, with my stand out favourites below. The winner, Ben Quilty's portrait of Margaret Olley was definitely a deserved winner, and really its a painting that you have to see- images on the net do not do it justice. All pictures below are from the Art Galley of NSW website.

Ben Quilty
Tim Storrier
Del Kathryn Barton
 Andrew Mezei

Song Ling

I also saw the Sulman and Wynne prizes, the later won by Richard Goodwin, lecturer at COFA.

The next exhibition was the Anne Landa Award for video and new media arts. The work that took my eye here was done by artist Charlie Sofo (who is my age and is getting exhibited at AGNSW- incredible!) who recorded various sights, sounds and objects on walks around Melbourne- looking at everyday objects or occurrences in new ways. My favourite is how he videoed every cat he came across in his walks- was quite humorous (one of those things you have to see to understand!). Anyway if you're interested check out his blog

Lastly, my favourite of the night Photography & Place Australian landscape photography 1970's until now. I love Landscape art- i enjoy looking at ways people are able to read landscapes and places and convey their ideas. I don't see myself as a landscape photographer, but i love (ok i haven't taken any new shots recently but i have ideas!) trying to reveal images of landscape that convey how i see the world and place.

The works in this exhibition really reveal a great deal about how we continue to evolve in the way we observe landscape, place, its history and human intervention of it. So no images from Steve Parish (he he). I figure its because i am a town planner and constantly reading landscapes (mainly urban ones) that i like these works.

Stand out works? Where do i begin?! Lynn Silverman, Debra Phillips, Wesley Stacey,  Simone Douglas, Paul Ogier, Bill Henson, Ricky Maynard, Anne Ferran, Rosemary Laing, Simryn Gill. Yes quite a list, quite an exhibition.
Debra Phillips

Simone Douglas

 I am sorry i haven't provided further insight to the exhibition and the works. I just love to observing how each artist has their own interpretation of landscape and meaning and how time and history is involved in each perception.

 Yes a very long winded blog post- but i really enjoyed my visit!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A question of aesthetics

Recently, two articles have been published on the Sydney Morning Herald regarding housing and development in Sydney.
The first one- regarding KDR or knock down rebuild, speaks of a resident who decided to knock down an existing weatherboard house to replace with her dream home. The article discusses the changing face of many of the older 'outer' suburbs of Sydney and how the KDR and renovation trade is booming.

The other article is in relation to approval for alts and adds to a home owned by Mark Scharzer (Socceroo goal keeper), which was previously a childhood home of Christina Steed, author (and apparently idol of Jonathan Franzen). The article discusses local opposition to the proposed changes by reason of heritage significance and character.

I find it interesting that within 2 days, two very disparate articles on housing essentially raise the same issue- one of housing aesthetics. I have a habit of reading through viewer comments on newspaper articles. I believe it gives a great (or grave in many cases!) insight into the world.
The first article received comments ridiculing the appearance, size and necessity for such a large dwelling.  I found it interesting that a number of comments also indicated that doing up a fibro house wasnt a bad thing either (i must declare my bias- i am currently making my little fibro shack pretty)
Of course you get those who say that its the owners land, they can do what they want with it.

The second articles comments discuss the need to maintain historic Sydney, community groups having too much of a say on private property matters and how the Scharzer's have already attempted to maintain the heritage of the property, whilst creating additions that are modern (ok i must again declare my bias- i work has dealings in heritage).

What i got out of both these articles is a debate of 'the public good' and the question of where aesthetics fit into what 'the public good' is? Should we be complaining about the proposed additions to a dwelling, that is historic (yet not officially heritage listed) and exhibits character, or should we be complaining that people should not build massive dwellings, that to many, do not provide any character of place or architectural merit? Where does the community and government step in to this question of aesthetics? Why is this question of aesthetics so disparate in Sydney?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Even though i have lots and lots on my plate at the moment- i saw a lovely (and reasonably simple) dress pattern on burda over the weekend and decided i needed to have a go!

In the latest burdastyle mag (which wont be here in oz for months...) they go retro, with some lovely dresses, pants and jackets. While a number of them took my fancy, i particularly liked the long sleeved princess seamed pleated dress (with pockets)

I really really really love the neckline of this dress. It nips in at the waist (which i like in my dresses- i am currently blessed with a small waist so i may as well make the most of it!)

Honestly i dont really like the pockets. If they were set into the skirt (ok i don't know the technical term) i would be ok- but not on the outside.

I wouldnt get a chance to wear this sort of dress out on the weekend, but i figure i could make it nice enough to wear to work!!

The BF took me to the fabric store on Saturday, and i purchased some black and cream Ponti de Roma. Firstly i want to state that it's really annoying when the price of white fabric was nearly double the price of the cream! I decided on this fabric as i thought it would be nice and warm for winter, plus it would be appropriate for the office (i hope). I will probably underline the dress too- although the dress calls for lining, so that may suffice.

I plan to modify the design to make it more 'office appropriate'. I will be taking cues off the pre summer Moschino cheap and chic collection- which i think is a really chic, but cute take on the black and white

I would like to put some cream detail on the hem of the skirt and somehow either create cuffs or a simple band around the sleeve. I am also toying with the idea of a collar. The moschino dress has a applique collar, which is cute, but not what i am looking for. I really dont know quite yet, as i love the neckline of the pattern, but need to find something that will be appropriate for a work place. hmmm!

Also anything i do, needs to be relatively simple- i am still learning, so cant get myself in deep yet!

Hopefully i can print off the pattern and start this weekend

Monday, May 2, 2011

Its been too long!

I realised i havent blogged in a long time!

Life has been very busy- sewing a races dress and completing wedding pictures- hopefully in the coming weeks i can post these

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Im currently in NZ- Queenstown to be exact. We are having lovely weather here. So far we have travelled out to Milford Sound and walked around Queenstown town itself. Very touristy area- but pretty nonetheless.

Here are a couple of quick pics....

View from our apartment in Queenstown- seriously the apartment is larger than my house!

Travelling to Milford Sound- an 8 hour driving journey

Friordland National Park 

Looking towards the Remarkables from Queenstown Gardens 


My travel companions!

More to come at a later date! xx

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Miss Figgy

I realised that in my last post i mentioned Miss Figgy, but i have yet to introduce her! I became a single mother to a little kitten in December. I rescued her from the Animal Welfare League and now she runs my house! Her full name is Figaro (after the cat in Pinocchio- even though she isnt black and white), but Miss Figgy or Fig are her more common names!

She has become my best friend, loves to play and LOVES to snuggle. She has a thing for tissues as well. She is an inside kitty, but i do now and then take her outside on a harness. When i have my bedroom window open, she often sits on the sill, watching the world go by- and this is where i shot these images

HDR trialling

I haven't posted in ages and i feel rather guilty about that- I haven't even had the time for new sewing projects due to being so busy! (very guilty about that to be honest) but nevermind i will try and make up for that!

Life has been seriously busy with the house and Christmas. New Years brings plenty of challenges and fun times ahead!

As i am typing this, a nice cool change is coming into the mountains. Its been SO hot for the past week, and for a house that does not have air con its been very unbearable (especially for Miss Figgy the cat). Anyway i have been back taking photos- which makes me happy to be back in the groove again so to speak. Here is a quick picture of the backyard. Over Christmas the bf and i did a lot of clearing and all the bamboo got chopped down- as you can see i don't have a fence there! Anyway this shot is a practice run of a photography technique called HDR - High dynamic range. In a nutshell a normal photographic image does not display a complete range of luminance that the normal human eye can see. Through a number of exposures at different shutter speeds, the combination of these images provides a more accurate image (ok this is a less than technical description- see wikipedia if your further interested)

Here is the image that is (according to the camera- is exact on exposure)

Because of the darker forground and bright background, its difficult to get everything spot on... then in HDR....

So much nicer, richer in colour and tone, depth- everything, just as your eye would see it!!!