Visual Arts – 2015Monday, 14 December 2015
◄ At the beginning of the year, the Melbourne Arts Centre’s ‘Homes’ project. They turned out thousands of little wooden ‘homes’ and people (lots of school kids) decorated them and distributed them all over. I rather liked the spelling on this one.
◄ The Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square, the Australian part of the National Gallery Victoria (NGV), had an exhibition of the art of Mambo titled ‘30 years of shelf-indulgence.’ Classic T-shirt designs by Reg Mombasa are, of course, a large part of the Mambo story. Like this one with the note that it’s been tested on animals.
◄ Melbourne is famous for its colony of fruit bats – aka flying foxes – which hang out (as bats do) at a bend in the Yarra River a few km upstream from us and fly out every night, in search of fruit. Just after sunset they flap over our house, sometimes thousands of them. So it was nice to encounter a little bat exhibit, hanging out from the ceiling of Federation Square in Melbourne’s city centre.
◄ I really liked the Two Girls Apartment complex which popped up in the Melbourne inner city suburb of Richmond. I lived in Richmond for more than 20 years, Lonely Planet had three different offices in Richmond and my favourite Melbourne (maybe favourite in the world) pizza place – E Lounge – is in Little Saigon, just round the corner from the Two Girls. Who happen to be daughters of the developer.
◄ I spoke at a travel conference for The Economist in Madrid, Spain and stayed at the Hotel Urban, which I’d read was noted for its Egyptian art collection. Gone. Totally. But in its place was a new collection, principally from Papua New Guinea and very impressive.
◄ Back in Melbourne, and earlier in the year, that iconic Barack Obama ‘Hope’ portrait that featured in his original election morphed into Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and ‘Hopeless.’ Which he truly was. A great wave of relief swept across much of Australia when he was turfed out in favour of Malcolm Turnbull. Yesterday’s blog featured two interesting projects in the battle against climate change – an English wind farm and an American solor power project. Mr ex-Prime Minister Abbott would have been against both of them, he was a climate change denier and adamantly against alternative energy developments. Thank God he’s gone.
Driving back to Melbourne from the mountains in the north of Victoria Maureen and I stopped for lunch in Mansfield, where we saw this nice little collection of ceramics noting local history and sights. Mansfield was the site for one of the key events in the Ned Kelly bushranger saga back in 1878. ▼
▲ After Ai Weiwei was imprisoned by the Chinese authorities for 81 days without charge he was released, but not allowed to leave the country. His passport had been confiscated. For 600 day he filled a basket on the front of his bicycle with flowers and stood it outside his compound. This flowery protest finished when his passport was returned, the exhibit features the bicycle backed up by a wall of photographs of the flower baskets.