One of the great things the Powerhouse museum has done over the years has been to highlight design and engineering. There is a current example of that focus in the exhibition of the Design Excellence awards for 2013. Design is an important part of our daily lives and so it is great to be made aware of the progress in every day design
The exhibition includes the amazing Opal card reading device being introduced for Sydney Transport, a new cinema quality camera that is easily transportable an retails for around $3,000, new high quality microphones linkable to smart phones, rescue equipment, and a range of other practical socially useful devices created by some clever engineers and designers. I loved it in that admiring way of an outsider who uses lots of technology I do not understand.
A little exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is on 10 great technological inventions. When I got home from a recent museum crawl and told my wife of this one the first three she came up with were not included in this set and that just illustrates the challenge of doing this type of exhibition. In this one there are agriculture, the printing press, the clock, penicillin, computer, the smart phone and a few others.
At the end you can put up a post it note with your suggestions and there were heaps of predictable ones such as the internet, google etc but the one that surprised me was digital voice analytics. It was a thought provoking thing to walk through it to think about ones I would have included.
I dress cheap and daggy but have always been fascinated by people who create fabulous clothing. I see very little Cinema but as soon as I heard about the film Strictly Ballroom I offered to shout the family to see it and we had a fabulous time in it and celebrating it in discussions after it.
Today I witnessed close up dozens of the costumes used in the film that are on display at the Powerhouse Museum, The show is on to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the development of the story and to mark the arrival of the musical on stages in Australia. I was gobsmacked. The glitter, the colour, the feathers and the exuberant fun of the designs meant I could not stop looking at them. Some of the costumes were front and centre in the film but there were lots that contributed to that visually stunning look of the film. Whoever put it together has my gratitude. I have put some pics below so you can see and remember the glory of the ballroom experience.
One of the delights of spending time on foot in the Sydney CBD is the serendipity moments you encounter. Walking down George Street the other day I noticed that St Andrews Cathedral was open. I had time so I went into have a look. It was wonderful. Lots of gorgeous stained glass windows. /fabulous carved panels in the walls, remarkable high ceilings combined with flat screens and sophisticated electronics. There was a wonderful age about the place and a sort of aged vibe that is attractive for a man who grew up in Canberra where only a few buidlings predate WW1.
They have a great brochure that does some good explanation of this grand old building. It is attached to this post.
Accompanying the delightful Winter Garden exhibition at M16 is a set of paintings giving impressions of Japan from six local artists. The impressions range from delicate patterns on fragile looking papers to richly coloured scenes from Japanese countryside The six artists aremEmily Casey Patrick O’Keefe, Maija Frederika, Stephen Russell, Amy Kerr-Menz, Melinda Heal and Alan J Jones.
Art that engages people always has a special vibe to it. School holidays have seen a great participatory art project called Make it Sew it running in the main gallery at Wollongong City Art Gallery. People have access to cardboard and other creative materials and are encouraged to help build a city. By the time we saw it on Saturday there were a large number of contributions to the fascinating city. There was a a led workshop with primary and preschool children going on while we were there. Lots of people have obviously exercised lots of creative contributions and you can see some of their efforts in the pamphlets below.
One of the major exhibitions at the Wollongong City Art Gallery features an artist who has done an artist in residence program with the gallery. The exhibition is confronting, vibrant and has lots of contemporary references and inclusion. The aesthetic is drawn from magazine and poster styles and the content borders on the macabre at times. Ms Carter has a flair for rich engaging use of modern cultural icons and takes up many social concerns in her art.
Many of her images are ugly but that is what makes them hard to look away from. There is one very large image based on a Calvin Kline ad that was confronting in its full frontal reclining male nudity. I found it more amusing that I chose not to include that one on my camera roll but as I was walking past it a young mother got her pre teen daughter to take a picture of her posing in front of that image.
Every year there is a public exhibition of the art of senior school students in the Illawarra held at the Wollongong City Art Gallery. Their work this year is truly inspirational. There are works of photography, painting, video, sculpture, metal work. wood, pencil and other media.
The students have their work on the wall with a paragraph of explanation along side. Walking around the space I was constantly struck by the insight into life, the skilful use of their chosen median and often with a wonderful sense of fum.
There is a prize given by Australia Post as the major sponsor’s award. It was given to a work called Continuity by Emily Barber from Bulli High School. It was a beautifully executed set of drawn panels of insects, birds and lizards within their environment.
I have included a sample of the student work to give you a sense of the range and depth of the exhibition. It is an inspirational hang.
Australian Currency Museum at the Reserve Bank in Martin Place Sydney
Today I ducked into a museum I have known of for a while but have never entered. It is a history of Australia’s currency and is housed on the ground floor of the Reserve Bank building facing the Eastern end of Martin Place. The exhibition struck me as being thorough, well laid out and richly fitted out with wonderful examples of the currency from each of the eras of our history.
The displays are housed in clear glass and the wall panels are crisply written and well sequenced. I enjoyed reading the wonderfully detailed historical details on the methods of making notes, the biographies of many people whose faces have been featured on the notes and the decisions about changes to the currency.
I also enjoyed seeing equipment used in the processes and the locations our note making processes have been sold to. This museum is a gem for me and I will make sure I head back when I have more time. I have included some pics below to give you a sense of the place.
I love architecture and have always been fascinated by house design. So an exhibition on the top floor of the Sydney Museum was a particular delight for me. I sat for half an hour and watched a video in which maybe a dozen houses were discussed either by the architect and or the current owner and much of the design and history of the house was explained. The houses were exhilaratingly different and the styles went from almost industrial concrete to corrugated iron holiday shacks. Video done it was time to absorb the cheerful big picture panels of many more chosen houses. Again the range was wide the displays were clear and colourful and the text had a brief simple explanation. The curators have done a great job of choosing fabulous examples of creative solutions to people’s housing wants. They range from rooftop extensions to an inner city building to a cantilever construction on a steep site that morphed in use from a bachelor pad to a home for a couple with four children. I enjoyed the show and I recommend it to anyone who likes quality designer built houses. Some pics of the panels below.
This exhibition travelled in 2016 to Canberra at the National Archive of Australia There is a big set of pics in the NAA folder 2016