Tag Archives: NGV

Australia, Returning to Melbourne – friends, food, art, theatre and one of the loveliest cities around

As Melbourne feels like home to me have decided to just do one large blog on this three week visit., Will be back to more frequent blogs once I am in new places again later in March.

MELBOURNE – the place.

Still one of the loveliest cities. Never tire of wandering the lanes and cafes and always find new ones just when I think I have tried them all. Only downside at the moment is that a lot of central Melbourne seems to be under construction as they are building an extended subway system. Lots of very large holes in the ground.

Nice to finally see the scaffolding off Flinders Street Station though

FOOD

Always one of my favourite reasons to be in Melbourne – and that includes drinks too of course. It is the city of cool bars – many are hidden speakeasys or rooftop sites. Here is the kind of thing you can expect here including some home cooking if you have nice friends who entertain you (thanks Mike and Maria)

ART

As usual I had to visit the NGV – not just once but twice. I loved this exhibit of dogs as fashion models.

And some examples of the more modern permanent collection,

but the best thing was the Escher X Nendo exhibit. M C Escher is a Dutch graphic artist who makes most of his drawings using woodcuts and lithographs – quite amazing the detail and colourations he can create through this medium. My woodcuts at school never looked like this! Then to make it even more interesting the exhibit is displayed in an environment created by Japanese Design studio – Nendo – just brilliant. And watch how Escher plays with perspective and you mind with some of his works. Where does one bit start and another begin? And how do this birds turn into fish?

A visit to the Melbourne museum included a look at the Mandela – my life exhibit just before it closes. It was done very well and it remains shocking to read and watch videos about how people were treated under apartheid so recently.

Then a trip to Heide to see the Mirka Mora exhibit of dolls – drawings and stuffed ones. I am a huge fan of Heide and always like what they show – Mora was a prolific artist who spent a lot of time at Heide as an exile from Paris. She died last year. I like her naive style.

THEATRE

I saw some wonderful shows in Melbourne this trip – Miriam Margolyes in Woman in the Van; MSO doing the Beatles at Hamer Hall; Eddie Izzzard at The Arts Centre; Macbeth in the Botanical Gardens; Evita with Tina Arena and my favourite – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It must be the magic……

FRIENDS

Always the best bit of coming back to a place after some time away. Catching up with my pals has been amazing – many of my friends I made during the time I worked at ANZ here for 10 years and it is fantastic that we are still buddies. Some I’ve even known since my HSBC days and it was also really special to have a few drinks with my former HR team from ANZ – so exciting to see them all and already looking forward to doing the same thing next year.

And BIG HUGE THANKS to the lovely Tania and Shane for opening their home to me and putting up with my comings and goings. They are the GREATEST xxxooo

Australia, Melbourne

How lucky am I to live in Melbourne. Visited the NGV triennial for the second time yesterday and saw a few things I missed the first time. It’s all free so I’m sure I’ll be back again. But in the meantime here are some of my favourite exhibits from the artists from all round the world who have contributed. Don’t miss it – you”ll have to wait another three years for the next one.

Australia, Melbourne- NGV triumphs again with its new Triennial – who needs Venice?

So lucky to get a sneak peak at the brand new NGV Triennial . It is superb. All the fashion designs of Guo Pei are breathtaking – and it is the first time she has shown all her work in one place.

And I loved the interactive Yayoi Kusama- the dot artist that some of you will know I’m somewhat obsessed with. The display is a complete apartment with flower stickers that each visitor can stick wherever they like (mine’s on the kettle as I couldn’t find a champagne bottle!). By the end of the exhibit in a few months’ time,it will be covered in flowers so everyone will have completed their own Kusama experience. Brilliant idea.

Then there is the room of human giant skulls – confronting when you come across it unexpectedly upstairs.

Can’t wait to go back and see it again — and it’s free!

Australia, Melbourne- Not a surprise that everyone is adoring Dior at the NGV

It’s Friday so I’m indulging myself with this blog on my recent visit to the Dior Exhibit at Melbourne’s NGV. If you live here, you must go if you have even the slightest interest in works of art that you can wear and if you don’t, please get on a plane and see his if you possibly can.

Welcome to a world of fantasy and do feel free to wallow and zoom in to your heart’s content.

A Dress for every Occasion

It’s all about the detail darling

The magnificent designs of John Galliano

Fantasy ball gowns – although who are the people who get invited to places where you could wear something like these???

And finally my personal favourites

Australia, Melbourne – back home – cold and wet but nil desperandum – NGV comes good again

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!

Australia, Victoria, Melbourne – NGV – Ian Potter Centre

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.

Enjoy

Australia, Victoria , Melbourne – World class art at the Van Gogh exhibit but my fave piece is a simple black and white drawing

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

The Reaper