Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brisbane Culture

Brisbane for the weekend! Traveled up Business class using my frequent flyer points. No Direct flight so had a 40 minute wait in Sydney then arrived to sunshine and 28degrees. Staying at the Ibis hotel who offer some free internet access so catching up in the bar while I have a gin and tonic in happy hour ($4!!)
I met up with Kate, Jo's daughter and with her young son Natal 6 months. We went to see the Valentino exhibition What a delight room after room of fabulous gowns, A beautiful selection of his collection,We arrived at 1000 and got in with the first 5-10 people In half an hour the place was packed and we stopped walking in sequence and just viewed the ones with less of a crowd. Natal in a baby byorn was a good as gold; attracting attention of his own being so gorgeous as you can see.
There were desdescriptions of the gowns as well as any info of who might have owned or worn them Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Cate Blanchett, Liz Taylor etc.
There was a fascinating video called The Red Dress. Valentino drew a picture of the dress fine pleated, straight with a insert ruffle a shawl type body and a bow at the bust. Then he hands it to the Chief dressmaker and she works out how to make it!!!!! She described how it was hard to keep the dress tight and straight as the pleated fabric needed bulk so she had to build it over a flat body corset. He just admired or criticised the finished product!! And to my embarrassment I can't remember her name!!! I hope she receives appropriate remuneration!
We the had lunch and chatted about families, then Kate headed off for a driving lesson and I went to the State library (next door) I missed the War and Love exhibition opening next week, but saw a great exhibit about the Lindsays, Norman and his siblings.
Then down to the Art Gallery and saw an exhibition of (another) unknown-to-me artist Vida Lohan who was a contemporary of Margaret Preston. As well as other painting she became well admired esp by Arthur Streeton for her flower paintings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Artistic day

I now have alternate Wednesdays off and instead of frittering them away I have resolved to do something specific each time. This week I went with Sue M to see the Titanic Exhibition that has been on for months, but due to close soon. It has been booked solid all school holidays so we booked ahead.
It was fascinating and well displayed from the construction of this 'unsinkable' boat to the iceberg, the rescue, the loss of life and the subsequent massive changes in Maritime safety law. I didn't know about the coal strike in England that meant many people transferred off their planned ship to travel on the Titanic. The quirks of events that lead to.... The Grand staircase was replicated and the first class bedrooms and state rooms. The list of survivors and those lost was a huge imbalance of first and 3rd class passengers.When the ship went down there were still 1500 people on board.

After that we went down to Federation Square to ACMI (Aust. Center for Moving Image ) to see a new Bill Viola Installation. Not so new as he did it in 2003; I'd seen one of his in Melbourne last year (the same one was on in Japan when I was there with Kiyoe!). He uses water in his slow motion video images. The one on right is someone seen through a veil that you realize is water, and then they slowly move forward into the sheet of water and come through. Amazing in slow movement.
The recent one as part of the Melbourne festival is The Raft showing a group of men and women and women of various races and socio-economic backgrounds suddenly being knocked to the ground by a huge, high-pressure jet of water. Water flies everywhere, clothing and bodies are pummeled, faces and limbs contort in stress and agony against the cold, hard force.

Then, as suddenly as it arrived, the water stops, leaving behind a band of suffering, bewildered, and battered individuals.The action in The Raft is recorded in high-speed film and unfolds in extreme slow motion to reveal subtle nuances of the light and colour in the explosive impact of the water and the individual expressions and gestures of the figures in the face of an overwhelming onslaught. Described by the artist as “an image of destruction and survival”, this powerful and extremely moving work is a symbol of hope in the difficult times we find ourselves.
Seemed appropriate after the Destruction on the Titanic.
Next week I am off to Brisbane to see The Valentino Exhibition. A far cry from grief and destruction




Wednesday, October 6, 2010

End of the wattle


This tree is on my daily walk and looks wonderful and symmetrical!
I had cut a huge branch off my wattle tree as the neighbours complained of the leaf litter and her allergy to wattle. She has a Wattle on her nature strip and hasn't asked Council to cut that down!
So it now has a lop sided air but was in full glory for the last 2 months.
Now I have bits of blossom all over the house as the wind blow it about. It collects in great drifts on the ground.
I swept it up today as last year when it rained it stuck and stained all the bricks for weeks and set like concrete. Eventually it went.