Friday flowers

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Flowers and People – Gold, 2015 (teamLab). Still from video installation. Seen at NSW Art Gallery, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie 2018

A slightly different take on flowers today.

Flowers and People — Gold, (above) is a video installation that sees digital flowers bud, bloom and wither, moving about on a giant screen in infinite variety. It’s installed at the NSW Art Gallery, and watched at the end of a long day, it is mesmerising and incredibly soothing.

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Princess flower tea; with jasmine and globe amaranth flowers. Image: Su Leslie 2018

My last meal in Sydney (if you don’t count snacking in the Air NZ Lounge) was lunch at the White Rabbit Gallery teahouse. I couldn’t resist photographing my princess flower tea as the jasmine and globe amaranth flowers unfurled in the pot.

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Unfurled. Princess flower tea with jasmine and globe amaranth flowers. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Postcards from Sydney #4

This is my last night at the quirky and frankly brilliant Collectionist Hotel, so it’s fitting I begin by showing you some of the things that make this place so nice.

I’ve just left “happy hour” — a three hour evening ritual, where the staff put on complimentary drinks and nibbles for guests. I’m normally too introverted for anything like this, but I as arrived home, the lovely young man who has organised my late check-out offered me a drink, and it would have been rude to refuse. It’s a very nice beer (above) for anyone who’s interested.

In general I’m not a fan of Nespresso machines — or of any device that relies on single-use consumables. But, I have to admit, having one in my room has been brilliant. The coffee is really very good. And the little cup — which looks like a disposable — is ceramic.

Even better though is the presence of a jar of loose tea and a pot to make it in!! So much nicer than teabags.

My day has involved lots of art, lots of walking, and too much food (including some breakfast banana bread also provided by the hotel).

I’ve been to the Modern Art Museum and to the NSW Art Gallery. As with any gallery, there is much to love and a lot that I just don’t connect with.

I’ve realised from my photos on this trip, that I am more and more interested in three-dimensional art that works with the human form. My Bondi photos show this, and it was reinforced at the NSW Art Gallery tonight.

Walking, Wei Wang: seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bipondi.

Shifting Horizons, April Pine. Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

The English Channel, Michael Parakowhai. NSW Art Gallery

Veiled Female Bust, Agathon Leonard, NSW Art Gallery

I like Sydney. It is in a beautiful location. There are so many places to eat. Public transport is frequent, reliable and seems affordable. People are really friendly, and everywhere you go there are directional signs with destinations and distances — for pedestrians and cyclists.

But: it is a city that seems to be “under construction.” Everywhere I look there are building sites and cranes and people in hard-hats. That means it is also very, very noisy. More than the traffic and the planes overhead, the sounds of construction are relentless.

Snapshot of development: the view from Pyrmont Bridge.

I have totally loved my time here, but I am looking forward to going home tomorrow.

Postcards from Sydney #3

Damien Hirst Looking for Sharks, Cool Shit.

Short postcard today. I was up early, and walking the Bondi sculpture trail before 8am to avoid the heat and crowds.

Definitely the way to go– but my knee is paying for all the stairs and steep streets between Tamarama Beach and Bondi Road.

Walking, Wei Wang. Bronze sculpture, visitor and resting bird.

Sea Scene, Rebecca Rose (a New Zealand artist).

These were some of my favourite shots.

The other nice thing about getting to Bondi early, is that it left lots of time to do other things too. so I’ve been “playing tourist” wandering along Circular Quay and past the Opera House.

While I admire the exterior architecture, I’m not a great fan of the interior and couldn’t face the stairs up to the entrance.

Instead, I went to the NSW State Library.

Like the Victoria State Library in Melbourne, this is housed in a beautiful neo-classical building (oops, forgot to photograph the exterior I was so keen to see inside).

The main reading room is lovely

… and I was very taken with this ‘Curate your own Exhibition’ activity on the lower floor. There were two boxes of prints that people could put into the frames. A lovely way to engage visitors.

I’ll leave you with the sunset view from my balcony — sans wine tonight. I’m just too tired.

Postcards from Sydney #2

I am definitely feeling my age — or perhaps just my arthritic knee.

I visited Sculpture by the Sea today, and found that by the time I got to the trail end at Tamarama Beach, my knee was aching and I was feeling quite tired.

I suspect this may partly have been due to how busy the exhibition was. Trying to enjoy art with so many people intent on taking selfies is exhausting.

With 107 sculptures being exhibited, there is so much to see, and I will go back — probably quite early in the morning to avoid the worst of the crowds.

In the meantime, here are a few images from my day.

Another glimpse of my home away from home. The balcony is proving to be a lovely place to enjoy breakfast and dinner — and a glass of wine as the sun goes down.

There seems to be quite a lot of sculptures featuring human forms at this year’s exhibition. Here are a few of them:

Detail, “Niemand”: Victor Fresno, 2015 (with friend). Full sculpture below.

Bank”: Mu Boyan, 2017. One of the most popular sculptures, judging by the crowds surrounding it.

Thoughts of Pinocchio”: Kim Bongsoo — and detail below.

Look inside my mind”: Studioex@UNSW

I’ll leave you with a shot I took outside a bookshop in Newtown. I like the Karen Walker quote (she’s a Kiwi fashion designer for those who don’t know), but I absolutely love the blind-date book idea. What should I choose?

Postcards from Sydney #1

I’m indulging my love of art — sculpture in particular — with a visit to Sydney to see Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi.

This involved a five am start to catch my flight, which was surprisingly not full and I had a whole row of seats to stretch out in.

I’m staying in a new hotel, in a part of town I’ve never been to before. So far, so awesome.

One of the cool things about The Collectionist is that all the rooms are designed by local artists — and they are all different. The other cool thing is that you get to choose your room. I had a choice of three and picked The Santa Rosa Suite. I’ll give you a peep inside tomorrow.

I’m not sure if it’s a legacy of my recent cold, or a sign that I’m getting old, but the last time I came to Sculpture by the Sea three years ago, I headed straight from checking in to Bondi Beach and walked the sculpture trail to the end at Tamarama Beach (and then walked back).

Today, I felt too tired to face the 12km bus trip to Bondi, let alone a 3km (return) walk around the exhibition, so I’m saving my energy for tomorrow.

Instead I’ve been exploring the neighbourhood and back towards the CBD, where I found dinner at Fishbowl.

A note to all The Changing Seasons contributors.

I will update the blogroll with links to your posts whenever I am able to, but I may be a little slower than usual.

DP Photo Challenge: transient, take 2

Bride being prepared for her wedding photo shoot by make-up artist. Circular Quay, Sidney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Bride being prepared for her wedding photo shoot, Circular Quay, Sidney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

On the transience continuum, it seems to me that wedding photos probably fall towards the “permanent” end. They are often professionally commissioned, expensive, and record one of life’s Big Moments.

So what I like about these photos is that they capture the transient moments behind the scenes; the stylists and photographers whose presence is essential, but of necessity,  invisible.

In this case, there were a bunch of other brides and grooms, all with their own stylists and photographers, having their photos taken at the same time and place. They arrived¬† en masse — wedding photography tourism.

I found it a little sad that moments which would be permanently recorded as some of the most special in these couples’ lives were being shared only with relative strangers; transients.

Waiting for their turn; one wedding party is being prepared for their photo shoot, while another is being processed. Circular Quay, Sidney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Waiting for their turn; one wedding party is being prepared for their photo shoot, while another is being processed. Circular Quay, Sidney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Daily Post Photo Challenge | transient

DP Photo Challenge, take 3: H2O what fun!

Children playing the waves breaking over seawall. Milford Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Children playing the waves breaking over seawall. Milford Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Water gives and takes life, but it also provides lots of opportunities for fun. “Beach culture” is a huge part of New Zealanders’ and Australians’ identity.

Visitors crowd to Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW, Australia on a sunny afternoon. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Riding the wave.Surfer, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia, Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Riding the wave. Surfer, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia, Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Boat moored at West Harbour Marina, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Prepped and ready to go. Runabout at West Harbour Marina, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is H2O.

 

DP Photo Challenge: treat

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Travel is a huge treat for me. Unlike my partner, for whom overseas trips are frequent but mostly work-related, my journeys are few but mainly for pleasure.

Sydney isn’t exactly “new” to me, having visited a few times before. But last week was the first time I’d gone there alone, so was free to explore at my own pace. The excuse for my trip was to visit Sculpture by the Sea, an annual exhibition held at Bondi Beach, but I was also able to see some other fabulous art, meet a fellow blogger for lunch, and generally enjoy the luxury of a few days away from the routine of everyday life.

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

I love art, and sculpture in particular, so visiting Sculpture by the Sea was a real treat. I feel very privileged to have seen so many great works in such an amazing setting.

I’ve already shared some photos of the exhibition in these posts below …

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Careful

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… so I’ll only add a couple more.

Ben Fasham, BJF13. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Ben Fasham, ‘BJF13’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

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Michael Purdy, ‘Kings and Queens.’ Seen at Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015. This shot has been shared by @sculpturebythesea on their Instagram account. An honour — and a treat — for me!

When I told my son I was planning to meet up with fellow blogger, Margaret Rose Stringer (of Adjusting my Background), he (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) repeated back to me all the advice I’ve given him over the years about “real world” meetings with online friends. I guess this is the bit where I have to confess I, um, didn’t take my own advice — unless you consider the door to M-R’s building a “safe, public meeting place”. But I’m happy to report that Margaret Rose is for real; and as cool and interesting as her online persona. We had a delicious lunch, lots of laughs and set the world to rights. Thank you M-R — spending the afternoon with you, Jocie and the beautiful, reclusive Lui Stringer was a treat indeed.

Darling Harbour, Sydney, from Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Late afternoon walk, Darling Harbour, with Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

My first trip to Sydney was in 1988, not long after the Queen Victoria Building had reopened. Occupying an entire city block, George McRae’s Romanesque Revival design of 1898 was refurbished in the 1980s and is now home to lots of interesting shops and cafes. Architecturally ornate, I fell in love with its elaborate, luxurious magic on that first trip and always feel the need to revisit.

Queen Victoria Centre, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Interior, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This time around, the building was already decked out for Christmas, with a massive tree occupying the full height of the central atrium.

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

However simple, fresh food, prepared with care is always a treat. In the foyer of a city building I was served this folded, toasted flatbread with tomato, and a rocket salad dressed simply with olive oil. Food like this inspires me; simple, thoughtful, visually attractive and delicious to eat.

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Tomato piadina with rocket; perfection. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week the theme is Treat.