Archive for July 20, 2009

Darling Harbour and The Rocks

After the Powerhouse Museum I walked across to Darling Harbour, which was buzzing, with people everywhere as it was school holidays in NSW.

Feeling the need for some centering and contemplation (and food) I went to the Chinese Friendship Garden first. This garden is just beautiful and a wonderful place of tranquility in the midst of such a busy city. I again took loads of photos which will be of interest to the Holey Moleys.

Lots of holey windows

Chinese garden window 1

Chinese garden window 2Some beautiful vistas including holes:

Chinese garden vista

Chinese garden bridgeAfter a lovely lunch in the tearooms I walked on to the Harbourside shopping centre. Nothing very exciting there (one shopping centre is pretty much the same as another) until I came across this wonderful Baboushka shop full of Russian Baboushka dolls of every size and variety.

Babushka shopThe old lady figure sitting in the doorway reminds me of Mags adventures in sculpture.

I then followed the foreshore walking path to The Rocks, passing some amazing buildings, some of which are literally built on the rocks.



Historic building 1

historic building 2Rather than walking all the way around to Sydney Harbour Bridge I took a ‘short cut’ up the rocks (about 150 steps) to Observatory Park, the site of the Historic Sydney Observatory. From this wonderful vantage point I took these photos (again lots of holes/apertures for the Holey Moleys.

View from Observatory HillThe lovely Moreton Bay fig:

Moreton Bay fig 1And of course the Sydney Harbour Bridge:

Sydney Harbour Bridge 2

Sydney harbour bridge 1In The Rocks itself there is of course plenty to see in terms of history and historical buildings, shopping, and galleries. I’ll just mention a couple. After a lovely moccha coffee and friand I came across a sensational button shop stocking all manner of vintage and new buttons. I just bought a few little green leaves and a gorgeous little pocket watch button.

buttons the rocks

My next wonderful stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art which had some amazing exhibitions currently showing. The first was documentary photographer, Ricky Maynard. Very much a thought provoking exhibition. I managed to get one photo of some wise words from Ricky Maynard painted on the wall of the gallery.

Ricky Maynard ExhibitionAs some of the photos were of indigenous people who have died, it is not appropriate for me to display them here on the blog.

The second exhibition was of the Moving Image art form, a series of rooms displaying moving images sometimes simultaneously on 5 or 6 large screens. This exhibition was a collaboration with the MCA, San Diego, California. I would love to show it to my youngest son who is very much into movie making.

I’ll be back to textile art next weekend.




July 20, 2009 at 12:34 pm 3 comments

Information Overload

Last night I returned from the International Drama Education Research Institute’s (IDIERI) triennial conference in Sydney (hmmm, the next one is in Limerick!!). The conference took place over the full week, but I flew up early Thursday morning for the last few days,which were just sensational. So many inspirational people from all over the world and Australia.

The Friday was a networking day, but with information overload, I decided to take a cultural break (shopping and exhibitions).

Firstly I went to the Powerhouse Museum.

On the walk from Glebe I walked along an archetypical Sydney street full of terrace houses:

Terrace housesAnd came across this wonderful street grate:

Fish grateWoops, upside down!

Unfortunately I was a bit early for the 13th International Design festival beginning on August 1st, but there was still plenty to enjoy. I firstly spent an hour and a half in the ‘Inspired Design Across Time’ exhibition where I took loads of photos. The exhibition covers all types of design from the early 1700’s to the present, and includes ceramics, wood, metal jewellery, fashion, furniture etc. There is a good representation of textiles, especially fashion, through the years, though not a great deal of embroidery. There was a good selection of various types of teapots and a retrospective of Florence Broadhurst designs. Also featured was an outfit made from the new release of her designs on fabric.

Florence Broadhurst displaySome glass teapot/goblets by Richard Marquis (1994)

Glass teapotsZandra Rhodes evening dress(1982). You can tell it’s 80’s by all the puff!

Zandra Rhodes dressThis ‘Oz Frock’ (EastonPearson, 2005) Newsprint dresswas interesting, commissioned by the Weekend Australian Magazine. It is fabric printed with actual copies of the newspaper overlaid with sprigs of wattle and embelliahed with swarvski crystals. Stunning!

I loved the quirkiness of this Peter Chang (2004) plastic bracelet:

Plastic fantasticI also loved this Tiwi Designs (Bathhurst Island Northern Territory, 1996) screenprinted cloth and ‘Forest Settle’ (Michael Gill, Christine Payne, 1980’s) with it’s design based on the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

Tiwi screenprint and bench

(Good examples of holes and circles here Holey Moley’s.)

While at the powerhouse I also had a look at the Contemporary Japanese Fashion Exhibition.

I loved the origami bags:

origami bagAnd the display of intricately carved Chinese toggles.

This ivory toggle represents a slice of a lotus root:
Chinese toggle

Toggle 2This one represents the ‘three friends of winter’, the bamboo, pine and prunus branches being courage, perseverence, longevity and integrity. (More holey Moleys)

I also called into the Lace Study group Centre and spoke with the very helpful guide about caring for my Grandmother’s lace wedding dress. She said they are in the process of setting up a register of important historical lace items, one of which could be this dress. This centre is situated in a quite small room, but provides a wonderful resource for those interested in all types of lace and their historical backgrounds.

Lace Study Centre


I have so many more photos, showing all the design phases throughout history. If you can get to Sydney do go and see this exhibition.

To be continued……

July 20, 2009 at 11:33 am 1 comment


July 2009

Notebook Project