Saturday, March 31, 2018

Newport Mosque

I attended a session at the Louis Joel centre showing a film about Glenn Murcutt (Australia's most eminent architect) and decided to go and see it and arrived just as a tour was starting.
A few years ago I saw the Architecture of Faith exhibition at NGv about the design for the new Mosque. Murcutt and Melbourne practice Elevli Plus worked with the Newport Islamic Council for nearly a decade on the creation of a contemporary Australian mosque and Islamic centre. Importantly, this significant building has been funded and built by members of the local community.
What started out as a straightforward search for new facilities became a project embraced by Australia's most internationally celebrated architect. Murcutt is the country's only recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize – architecture's equivalent of the Nobel – a distinction that puts him on a par with global giants such as Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and the late Zaha Hadid.
His designs all aim to reflect and include nature and are open to the surrounding landscape.

It was this house design that won the Pritzker Prize.

So he certainly was not interested in a project for a traditional Mosque with Minarets and domes.
He didn't even want a tower and minaret but rather his interpretation of a minaret,  the peak with crescent, will symbolise his vision of a contemporary Australian place of prayer. It isn't a traditional round tower .
The film I saw is not just about his work and designs but the amazing faith of the Newport Muslim community who funded and supported the Mosques building even when many of the older community must have been very sceptical . He worked with  a local architect and many of the construction teamwork form the community, as well as much local tradesmen contributing. The tiled forecourt was laid by all the tilers in the community! 
Newport  (Mason Street near Williamtown Rd) Lebanese immigrants surged into the area during the 15-year civil war that started in 1975, mainly from the small country's northern villages of Mish Mish and Fnaidek. There are now more Indian, Vietnamese and Greek-born people in Hobsons Bay than Lebanese-born, but according to the 2011 census, Arabic is still the main non-English language spoken here.
Up till the new Mosque opened they were using an old Red cross building and they had grown out of it.

 According to our guide, men are expected to attend the Mosque, women only if they wish or can. Hence the need for bigger men's space. 
The upstairs womens space with shutters and the glass panels 
 The women in Newport ended up in a separate house next door or in a big carport area!
The angles of the concrete slabs means that there is always nature to see.

From the entrance drive off Blenheim St 
Still needs the garden landscaping
The minaret on a 16ft wall 
Glass front walls of the Womens area stairs 

Lofty ceilings with some of the Lanterns 
Our guide
The water feature will eventually be full and reflect indoors  
The size of the space 
The carving is lighted by whichever angle Lantern is directed on it at the time of day 
The Lanterns are like light wells all white except for the glass of different colours 

The lanterns from the back car park 
It is surrounded by trees
One is the golf course an date other the Miniature Railway, that came chugging by as we left 


Friday, March 23, 2018

Frankston Library

The two other art works listed as pre existing were actually the walls of the Frankston Library on Playne Street.
 Artists are Brigitte Dawson and Melissa Turner (same as the All The Green Year)
Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker 
Entrance to the Library Buildings 
The mural is painted in a “trompe l’oeil” style, especially so the garden scene on the far wall, making the white rabbit’s garden blend in with the real plantings.
This wall is on the right as you enter

The from entrance path

Alice in Wonderland The door to the library is to the left 
View up stairs of the Nutcracker 

The Cheshire cat opposite door
The Caterpillar

The lovely Tweedledum and Tweedledee
The Rat King and soldiers

More of the Nutcracker 
The Mad Hatter 

Big Picture Fest

Well Frankston is another city building its profile with art work. This is led by redevelopment of the station complex and builds on existing works.
I went down today to their Big Picture Fest  and amazed at the size of Frankston since we lived there in 1978. Parked the car (noting carefully where I had left it) and headed out tentatively and then asked  man on the street where I was, When I said where I wanted to go he knew of it and gave me clear directions. A few minutes walk through the shopping mall.
The first artist I came across was Zedr where there were a collection of very helpful maps!
Zedr at work 

Around the corner was Loretta Lizzio.
Seen her work in Benalla and she was Happy to have a chat!

This is Dvate  
Dvate's work was down a lane with a barrier so it was hard to get a clear picture, But again it was of birds Often endangered species. (Goorambat Silo Owl)
 There were also existing works marked on the map and this one called All The Green Year was by Brigitte Dawson and Melissa Turner
All the Green Year 
It was down a side lane with open one side.
What was unexpected was that all these works were un tagged!!
This piece (not listed ) was by Sheldon Headspeath in Beach Lane 
 This one was commissioned by the Gym that this is its back wall to stop tagging and graffiti, Its been there in this pristine state since early February

This is Tristan Kerr who's aid he can't draw so does geometric stuff 
 He had only just started and look like his piece which goes round the corner was to say  This Mayhem He's not in a cage just a wire fence!

The top artist of the Festival is Smug and this will be visible from the station I think 

 Sam bates know as Smug is an Australian street artist based in Glasgow.demonstrate a photo-realistic style.
Although I have not seen it he is the artist of 'Grandparents' the four-storey mural on the wall of the former power station on the corner of Lonsdale and Spencer streets, 
Up the scaffold machine 

Christmas Lights

While Brooklyn Victoria is not on the scale of Brooklyn New York a local street is becoming  the for Christmas lights So we planned a walk ...