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White Rabbit Gallery & One Central Park’s Heliostat – Sydney

Sunday, 16 June 2019

I stayed at the interesting Old Clare Hotel in the Sydney central suburb of Chippendale during the recent Sydney Writers Festival. That’s easy walking distance from Central Station, the main Sydney railway station and connected directly to Sydney Airport.

▲ A short walk from the hotel is the White Rabbit Gallery at 30 Balfour St, very flash and focusing on very unusual contemporary Chinese art. Weird even. The current exhibit Hot Blood runs until 4 August and features Patty Chang who urinated her way across China following the South-North Water Diversion Project, pausing for a pee at every important junction in the channel – that’s on video – plus the assorted plastic water bottles she fashioned into interesting stand-up urine containers. There’s a whole floor on Chen Zhe who recorded her regular self-harm episodes – cutting, burning, bruising – and, fortunately, eventually decided it was not a good idea. Then there are cigarette ends from Yin Xiuzhen, used ones, unlike the cigarette art I saw at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai five years ago. Or Mia Liu’s Möbius Strip of little paper hands. Not to mention Lu Yang’s Electromagnetic Brainology video game enclosure as you first enter.

▲ Between the gallery and my hotel there’s also some very interesting artistic architecture including the One Central Park vertical garden and the building’s weird cantilevered heliostat. So what is a heliostat? According to Wikipedia ‘A heliostat (from helios, the Greek word for sun, and stat, as in stationary) is a device that includes a mirror, usually a plane mirror, which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target, compensating for the sun’s apparent motions in the sky.’

Right and what does it do? Well One Central Park’s heliostat’s 320 mirrored panels move to direct light into what would otherwise be dimly lit areas between the buildings in the complex. Then at night LED lights turn it into an art project. Cool.

White Rabbit Gallery & One Central Park’s Heliostat – Sydney

16 June 2019 | Culture

I stayed at the interesting Old Clare Hotel in the Sydney central suburb of Chippendale during the recent Sydney Writers Festival. That’s easy walking distance from Central Station, the main Sydney railway station and connected directly to Sydney Airport. ▲ A short...

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The Big Issue … and travel

15 June 2019 | Media

Out on the streets in big cities around the world you'll find homeless people selling the Big Issue magazine. Well this week in Australia I'm with them, the current edition features my article A Life Best Travelled - including Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, enc...

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Exhibits in Melbourne – the ’60s, Terracotta Warriors & others

12 June 2019 | Culture

I've just posted about exhibitions in England, but there's plenty on in Australia as well.▲ 60s psychedelia At the Melbourne Museum the swinging '60s exhibit Revolution: Records & Rebels runs until 25 August. It’s a reshowing of the London Victoria & Albert...

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London Exhibitions – Kubrick, Leonardo da Vinci, Writing, Manga

8 June 2019 | Culture

There are lots of interesting exhibits at London galleries and museums this summer including the terrific Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Design Museum in Kensington (open until 15 September 2019). ◄ You’re greeted with this bright orange Probe 16 which featured in ...

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Oz to UK – non stop

7 June 2019 | Transport

I flew on the non-stop Qantas flight from Australia to England, Perth. It took 16 hours 47 minutes, slightly faster than scheduled and although it’s not the longest non-stop flight it’s certainly right up there. Qatar’s Doha-Auckland is slightly longer and Singapore A...

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Lake Eyre in Flood

29 May 2019 | Places

Lake Eyre is in flood, it happens when huge rains – like from Cyclone Trevor in Queensland in early 2019 – the water heads south-west towards the vast salt lake. Click here for the weather bureau’s story on this year’s floods. I wrote about the process in 2017, writin...

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Airlines Flying over Iran

26 May 2019 | Transport

▲ A FlightRadar24 snapshot of the air traffic over Iraq and Iran on 23 May 2019. For a time Iraq was looked upon as being unsafe and everything went over Iran. Today airlines fly over both countries, but not much is going over Afghanistan in the image above, not becau...

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Slow Trains – to Switzerland & Venice

21 May 2019 | Culture

In fact Diccon Bewes claims to have just taken one slow train on his Swiss jaunt (in fact there were quite a few) while Tom Chesshyre happily confesses to riding lots of them on his oh-why-are-we-doing this pre-Brexit tour of Europe. Not all of Tom Chesshyre’s trai...

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Contraband

8 May 2019 | Culture

American photographer Taryn Simon spent a week at New York City’s Kennedy Airport photographing items confiscated from arriving passengers or at the post office where arriving mail is inspected. Contraband uses 1075 of those photographs and having done a circuit of No...

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Paris & Notre Dame

16 April 2019 | Places

▲ Looking past a gargoyle from the Notre Dame tower across the Seine and Left Bank towards the Eiffel Tower In 1996 I lived in Paris for the whole year and most days walked from our apartment on Rue Saint-Paul in the Marais across the Seine River to the Lonely Plan...

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