Who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit? I poppped in to ACMI to see the wonderful Aardman exhibit this weekend. It was brilliant and some of the movie clips are hilarious. What these guys do with their modern version of plasteceine is incredible as is the detail of every tiny thing – something you can appreciate looking at some of the sets they built.
I hadn’t realised these guys were behind Morph – a character Brits in my age range will recall from their youth and you will also remember the fab Peter Gabriel video for Sledgehammer – great song and great effects by these guys. But I am most fond of Shaun the Sheep (get it) – must be something to do with all that time I’ve spent in NZ……
Aardman characters. – Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Lady Tottington and Morph
Finally visited Parliament House (funny how the places you live right next door to are the ones you visit last). The one hour tour is worthwhile although a bit disapppointing that all the things that look like real gold are just painted on! I did this after a great Meltours which involved grazing our way around Melbourne and trying cuisine from just about every ethnicity you could imagine while learning about the food history of Melbourne and why it has become such a foodie icon – I loved it.
So that’s Parliament House, the Treasury, The Gaol and all the museums done – anything else I absolutely must go and see? I still have the inside of the Shrine of Remembrance on my list.
Parliament House, Victoria
After days of hibernation in a chilly and wet Melbourne (but with the advantage of being able to watch The Handmaid’s Tale – how creepy yet mesmerising is that dystopian world?) I ventured out today for a walk. I like to consider Treasury Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens as my personal parks as they are right on my doorstep (lucky me – convenient and no gardening required) and both gorgeous. Very excited to see definite signs of Spring.
Bit of a shock to leave mid summer and return to mid winter (although Melbourne winters are really very mild) but I have got wimpier about the cold after 10 years in Australia. Anyway, obviously a good time to consider indoor activities and so I trotted off to the Hokusai Exhibit at the NGV. It was magnificent – many many pieces including the Great Wave, waterfalls and other Japanese scenes. I am amazed how he can create such lovely images with so few brush strokes and of course it has set off my wanderlust to visit Japan again – now that I have visited Tokyo and Kyoto I would love to explore other parts of the country – maybe an Autumn trip would be nice and then I can chase golden leaves instead of cherry blossoms.
Hope you like them as much as I did and if you live here – GO!
Continuing my efforts to be a tourist in my home city I found myself wondering through the Ian Potter Centre on Flinders Street. I hadn’t been for a long time so I walked through the whole thing and as ever there were two paintings in particular that kept drawing me back. Although before I get to those, I would be remiss in not mentioning the “Who’s afraid of Colour” exhibit which was not at all what I expected (in a good way).
Anyway, I kept coming back to two John Brack paintings – the first is called 5pm on Collins Street and is dated 1955 and the second is called The Bar and dated 1954 O(when apparently bars had to close by 6pm so it is no wonder everyone is heading out with a mission in the first paining)! I live close to Collins Street so know exactly where the first painting is set and wonder if much has changed? Maybe those crowds are more likely at 6pm and no more hats on the men but thankfully more women in the crowd. Do people still look that miserable?
As for the lady at the bar – clearly you wouldn’t want to mess with her but she also retains a
particular charm which made me smile – and check out those fab earrings.
Back home but always lots to do here so visited the NGV as they have Van Gogh as their Winter Masterpieces exhibit. Of course it is hard not to love Van Gogh’s work – some of it is so passionate in its colors and vibrancy that it brings a lump to my throat. There are not many artists who can do that. This exhibit takes a seasonal approach to his work and displays the pieces by season rather than in any other chronology. Apparently he loved Autumn the most but I think his summer works are the most spectacular (but then I am rather fond of European summers).
Given my recent visit to Japan I was interested to see that he had been heavily influenced by Japanese block prints (which are also prone to a seasonal focus) and these were shown in the exhibit also to provide context before the Van Gogh exhibit started.
Below are the Japanese block prints, some of my favorite summer paintings and finally the one that drew me back again and again. I had not seen it before. It is a simple drawing of a peasant reaping at harvest time – it was done close to before he shot himself so whether there was any double meaning with the “grim reaper” I don’t know – but there is something about it that I couldn’t stop looking at.
See what you think?
Japanese block prints that influenced Van Gogh and which he collected avidly
My personal faves