Ringing in the New Year in Sydney

Bronte Ocean Baths, Sydney

Each time I visit Sydney, all my activities mostly revolve around the same things: art, beaches, and food. Ringing in the New Year in Sydney is no exception, apart from maybe a few bonus fireworks being thrown into the mix. Despite an 11 hour road trip each way ( because that’s what happens when you leave your travel plans to the last minute) a short stay in Sydney was just what I needed to start the New Year afresh.

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Inspired by: Vintage Tennis Illustrations

 
I found myself in a deep dive of vintage tennis illustrations the other day. With Wimbledon wrapping up I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my favourites. Let me tell you – I  bloody love Wimbledon. Moreso than any other tennis event. I used to love watching it on TV and when I finally got to go on my UK trip a few years ago it sealed the deal. The flower arrangements everywhere! The officials in blazers! Pimm’s on tap! Strawberries and cream for everyone! It’s definitely my kind of sporting event. Although watching it televised live from the other side of the world is not doing my already fraught sleeping habits any favours. Only one more night to go!

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California Dreaming by Stephanie Kloss

When I first saw these images from the California Dreaming series by photographer Stephanie Kloss I immediately thought that they were vintage photographs. I mean, just look at all that classic mid-century modern architecture. Not to mention the era-appropriate ‘living sculpture’ who brings interest and intrigue to every shot. Imagine my surprise, then, when I realised that these photographs weren’t taken in the fifties and sixties aka the golden era of mid-century modern design but much more recently. The photo series features iconic examples of mid-century modern architecture including (from above) Case Study House #10, Frank Sinatra’s residence, and Palm Springs City Hall. You can see more of the series and Kloss’ work online at LUMAS Gallery and purchase prints here. 

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GOMA Turns 10

It’s no secret that the Gallery of Modern Art is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. If you’re in need of a dose of inspiration, entertainment, or bemusement (because hey, modern art) GOMA is currently running some excellent free exhibitions in celebration of their 10th birthday.  These include Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything and A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift. As well as newly commissioned artworks, if you’ve been a regular visitor over the past decade, you might recognise some artworks from previous exhibitions. These are just a few of my favourites from a recent visit to the gallery.

Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything 




‘Nervescape V’ 2016 / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter (Iceland/USA). This bold installation is probably the major drawcard for the gallery right now. Made of synthetic hair,  this multicoloured landscape cascades down the gallery’s cavernous walls. Best of all? You can totally touch it. If you look closely you can also see Left/Right Slide by Carsten Höller in the photo above which are, yes, slides you can ride down. Cheers to interactive art.


‘HEARD’ 2012 / Nick Cave (USA). These wearable sculptures are so fun to look at. While they’re mostly stationary, they do function in a performative manner. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to witness a performance but there’s a video in the gallery that shows them in action.


‘from hear to ear (v. 13)’ 2010 / Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (France). This musical installation featuring live finches is such a unique experience. Around 20 people are allowed into the space at a time to observe the birds. During peak times you might have to queue for a while to gain entry. I went on a  particularly busy weekend and waited about 20 minutes.

A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift

A collection of works including I Never Stopped Loving You’ 2010 by Tracey Emin (the neon sign that you can’t read up there, but I’ve taken a photo of it previously here) and the hyper-real ‘Bad Dad’ 2013 painting by Michael Zavros.

‘In Bed’ 2005 / Ron Mueck (England). 

‘PixCell-Double Deer #4’ 2010 / Kohei Nawa (Japan).

‘Biosphere 02, Biosphere & Biosphere cluster 05’ 2009 / Tomás Saraceno (Argentina).

Pip & Pop ‘ Rainbow Bridge’   


‘Rainbow Bridge’ from ‘We Miss You Magic Land!’ 2011 / Pip & Pop (Australia). I’m a sucker for all things Pip & Pop and couldn’t resist squeezing them into this post. These little dioramas have been featured in different parts of the gallery over time however nothing will ever beat the full room installation for ‘We Miss You Magic Land! a few years back.

Art Tea Towels


Owning a piece of art is always a bit special. While owning an original artwork isn’t necessarily the most affordable thing in the world, there are alternatives. You could look at art prints and posters but what about art tea towels? Yes, tea towels! More and more artists are offering up their artwork in tea towel form and it’s a great way to expand your art collection. Sure, they’re notably more expensive than your average tea towel but it’s not like you’ll be doing the dishes with them. Art tea towels are a decent size, look great framed, and have the added bonus of looking like canvas. One of my favourite artists, Rachel Castle, is famed for her fun tea towels and Third Drawer Down also stock a bunch of tea towels featuring works from a range of artists. While they’re not pictured here, I’d also recommend checking out Kara Rosenlund’s range of beautiful photographic printed tea towels and all the fun Australian-themed prints by Everingham + Watson.

Top row:  Belinda Marshall “Everything All At Once” tea towel from Frankie and Swiss;  CASTLE “Vegemite” tea towel
Bottom row:  David Shrigley “Life Is Fantastic” tea towel;  Del Kathryn Barton “Cosmic Crime” tea towel from Third Drawer Down (if you’re in Brisbane there’s also a Third Drawer Down concept space in the Gallery of Modern Art).

Have you seen any noteworthy art tea towels lately?

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