A Travellerspoint blog

May 2015

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney - NSW

rain 23 °C

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Neon Light Installations (Peter Kennedy)
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Drawing for Neon Light Installations (Peter Kennedy)
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U-8 Links (William Seeto)
...the perceptual qualities or art; how it affects our senses and how it can alter our awareness of space and time.
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Be Some Other Material (Sandra Selig)
...shows squares and rectangles of light projected on wall and a column.
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While appearing to accidently interact with its surroundings, the work is in fact highly choreographed.
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Untitled 2014 (Daniel Boyd)
...more than 18,000 circular disks reflecting the activity of the MCA foyer.
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naa (to see or look) (Jonathan Jones)
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to be carried away by the current, to be dissolved in the Other (Sangeeta Sandrasegar)
...larger than life, faces out over the harbour to the ocean beyond.
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It is a mer-child, combining the body of a child with the head of an ancient fish, a fossil of this 419 million year old fish was recently discovered in China.
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Untitled 2005 (Spiderman) (Stephen Birch)
...confrontation between a life sized model of the superhero Spiderman and a worm-like, bearded figre, whose head sits on an arm-;ike neck.
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Arnott's Collection
...consists of over 260 nark paintings from the late 1960's.
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Particle paradise (Brian Blanchflower)
...passionate about the natural environment, in particular the colours, textures and vasr scales of the Australian desert.
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The Tenderness of Rain (Lindy Lee)
...pierced and burnt with a soldering iron.
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Showtime (Nike Savvas)
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The Price is Right (Fiona Hall)
...made form humble Tupperware household items.
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Automated Colourfield (Rebecca Baumann)
...100 flip clock and lasser cut paper
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Snake Oil (Hany Armanious)
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it's kept together by moving all around (Nigel Milsom)
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Returning to Places (Ricky Maynard)
...Wik people, who were dispossessed of their land through mining and pastoral leases in the early 20th century.
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Painted Room
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Part of a temporary exhibition Luminous is an exhibition of light works by Australian artists from the MCA Collection. Luminous includes shooting star spirits, geometric patterns of light and dark dancing on walls, ambient installations and infinity windows carved into architectural space. Featuring works that explore the astonishing and subtle effects of light, the exhibition presents works created from the 1970s to the present day. DSCN0773.jpg

Posted by charlystyles 13:21 Archived in Australia Tagged museum_contemporary_art Comments (0)

Chinese Gardens, Sydney - NSW

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Stepping into another world it's easy to immerse yourself in a beautiful landscape of waterfalls, lakes and hidden stone pathways. Along the way are traditional carvings and sculptures.
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Initiated by the local Chinese community to celebrate Australia's 1988 Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden is the result of a close friendship and cooperation between the sister cities of Sydney and Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of China.
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The Garden was design and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners and is governed by the Taoist principles of Yin-Yang and the five opposite elements - earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of qi, the central force of life and energy.
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Yin-Yang plays such a vital role that just one missing element would disrupt the garden's harmony and balance. However, when combined perfectly, the five elements form a fluid and nurturing environment.
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Everything you see in the Chinese Garden has been hand-picked and meticulously placed to capture the five elements and the energy of qi. Some of the garden's highlights include:

Main Entrance
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Guarding the entrance to the garden are two Foo-dogs (Chinese Lions), which have been carved from rare Chinese granite. Always in pairs, the female with her cub guards to the left,
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while the make, with a ball of chi (energy), guard to the right.
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A hybrid of a dog, lion and dragon, they represent loyalty, strength and prosperity.
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Commemorative Pavilion
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Dragon Wall
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Dragon walls are often a feature of traditional Chinese Gardens and are normally created on a solid wall in bass relief. this ceramic wall is special in that it may be viewed from two sides and it is a three dimensional sculpture. It is formed from hundreds of individually crafted and glazed pieces. In this display the dragons of Guangdong and New South Wales are seen playing with the pearl of friendship.

Water Pavilion of Lotus Flavour
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With panoramic views across to distant pavilions, you can watch koi swim amidst the reflections on the still water. In summer the magical fragrance of the flowering lotus drifts across the lake.

Pavilions among Bamboo and Rock
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Featuring a traditional circular moon gate, this intimate courtyard is a garden within a garden.
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Walls of bamboo and a running stream create the atmosphere of a secret garden offering glimpses of the nearby lake and waterfall.

Reading Brook Pavilion
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For viewing the waterfall as well as contemplation and reading, this is a small intimate building at the head of the brook. Seating is the traditional bench with curved backrest. It is only a tiny building whose humble function is reflected in the very simple roof architecture.

Waterfall
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One of three main water sources in the garden the waterfall is the most dramatic.
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From its source on the mountain water drops to a series of smaller bodies beneath to finally end in the Lake of Brightness.

The Seven Sages in Bamboo Forest
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This peaceful grove of black bamboo evokes the Taoist retreat of a celebrated group of third-century Chinese scholars and poets. Bamboo is a symbol of old age and humility.

Dragon Post
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Depicting the traditional dragon motif spiralling around it this carved post also displays the various animals o the Chinese calendar. As a garden sculpture this decorative feature is also a lantern when a lamp or candle is inserted in to the caged section.

The Gurr
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Situated at the garden's highest point is a beautiful hexagonal, two-storey building - the Pavilion of Clear View, known as The Gurr.
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The golden roof tiles and intricate wood carvings are gifts from Guangdong. the ornate lamp signifies prosperity.

The Rock Forest
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based on an ancient Chinese poem, the Rock Forest tells the story of the Dancing Maiden Ashima and the Landlord. There are several variations to this tragic love story, but it always culminates in the drowning of the beautiful Ashima, whose spirit is transformed into a beautiful 'dancing rock'.

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A small simple pavilion with enough room for a visitor to pause and take shelter, this building is the gateway to the mountain.

Dragon Rock
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Dramatic rock forms symbolise mythical creatures. Dragons which can be seen throughout the gardens are seen as benevolent guardians and are associated with good fortune.

Peace Boat Pavilion
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[b]Rock Arch
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Featuring Ying Tek rock stacked and mortared this stone entry to the teahouse courtyard is an extension of the building.
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Not only does one of the upper floor structures 'grow' out of the stone but the only access to the tea house is via the steps through the rockery.
Integrated into the rock is a waterfall and pond.

Other beautiful views in the gardens include:
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The White Ibis
Historically rare in urban areas, the Australian white ibis has immigrated to urban areas of the east coast in increasing numbers since the late 1970s; it is now commonly seen in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville. Debate continues on whether to consider it a pest or vulnerable species
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Posted by charlystyles 13:32 Archived in Australia Tagged chinese_gardens_sydney Comments (0)

City Walking Tour, Sydney - NSW

rain 17 °C

Flying from Perth to Sydney gave great views of the south coast, to Adelaide
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My first morning in Sydney I thought I'd get a feel for the place with a free walking tour. It was great, 2.5 hours of a little history, and a lot of sight seeing, including places I wouldn't have thought to go.
The tour started at Archibald Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park
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gifted to the citizens of Sydney under the will of the late J.F.Archibald, the Lord Mayor, in 1932.

Opposite St Mary's Catholic Church which has the greatest length of any church in Australia (although it is neither the tallest nor the largest overall). Built in 1882, the two spires were only added in 2000!
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and along Elizabeth St to Hyde Park Barracks museum
Described by Governor Macquarie as 'spacious and well-aired' they were built by convict labour and designed to house 600 convicts between 1819 and 1848.
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and of course, where there's convicts, there's always a Church for repentance - St James' Church. Constructed by convict labour and originally designed as a court house in 1819 but plans were changed to build a church instead when plans to construct a cathedral on George St were scrapped. It is the city's oldest church.
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There are several statues of Lachlan Macquarie.
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Some are more flattering than others! He served as the fifth and last autocratic Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony.
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He is considered by historians to have had a crucial influence on the transition of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement and therefore to have played a major role in the shaping of Australian society in the early nineteenth century.

Parliament House
The central section of this building which houses the State Parliament is part of the original Sydney hospital built from 1811-16.It has been a seat of government since 1829.
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The Royal Mint, operated on this site from 1855 to 1926, processing over 1,200 tons of gold from the Australian goldfields and producing over 150 million coins.
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The building then housed government offices and later a museum, before being transformed into Sydney Living Museums in 1997.

The Library
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A free public lending library service has existed in Sydney since 1877 when the New South Wales state government opened a lending branch of the State Library of New South Wales on Macquarie Street. By the end of the same year there were over one thousand registered borrowers.

Passing Ill Porcelino the wild boar of good luck!
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He collects money for the Sydney hospital. Legend sys that if you rub the nose of the boar you will be endowed with good fortune. So he has rather a shiny nose!

Lands Department Building This three storey colonial edifice was built between 1877 and 1890. All the decisions about subdivision of much of much of rural Eastern Australia were made in the offices within.
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Palace Gardens
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A fine set of gates leading into the Botanical Gardens on Macquarie Street announces the Garden Palace, home of the International Exhibition. Beyond the gates, a circular garden bed recalls the former location of the dome of the Palace building.
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Everything about this building was flamboyant. Its four towers and spectacular wooden central dome dominated the skyline, dwarfing all other buildings. However, being built of wood in Australia was not a good idea, and it soon burnt down.
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Governor Phillip fountain is the only large neo-classical fountain in Sydney and was the most expensive public sculpture produced in Australia in the 19th century. It was unveiled in June 1897.
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Crafted from Italian bronze and marble, it took seven years to complete and cost £14,000 (at the time the Director of the royal Botanical Gardens annual salary was only £550). Who knows what motivated the composition of large mythological figures representing mining, agriculture, commerce and navigation and self-conscious Australian motifs? All this in honour of the towering figure of Captain Arthur Philip, first Governor of New South Wales.

We saw several Australian White Ibis birds minding their own business, they look so prehistoric.
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First Fleet Memorial
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commemorates the first voyage and arrival in Sydney of the first fleet which bought to Australia European settlers under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. The fleet sailed from Portsmouth on 13th May 1787 and anchored in Sydney on 26th January 1788.

H.M.S Sirius anchor,
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from the original ship which convoyed the First fleet, sailed from the Isle of Wight and was wrecked at Point Ross Norfolk Island from where this anchor was recovered and erected in 1907.

Customs House
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the first Collector of Customs was appointed in 1827 and the Department has occupied this site since 1854. After Federation the collection of customs duties passed from State to Federal control.
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It has a great scale model o the city of Sydney, under a glass floor!
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The Stables originally commissioned in 1815 as the stables and servants' quarters for the proposed Government House of New South Wales, the oldest Conservatorium building was designed by the convict architect, Francis Greenway.
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A gothic structure with turrets, the building was described as a "palace for horses" and is a portrayal of the romantic vision of Governor Lachlan Macquarie and the British architectural trends of the time. The stables, located close to picturesque Sydney Harbour, reflect the building techniques and the range of materials and skills employed during the early settlement era. It is now owned and used by The Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Matthew Flinders who explored and skilfully chartered a large portion of the Australian coast during the years 1796 to 1803.
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and his cat you can see on the wall behind him
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Near the harbour is an area called The Rocks.
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Established shortly after the colony's formation in 1788, the original buildings were made mostly of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name. From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. During the late nineteenth century, the area was dominated by a gang known as the Rocks Push. It maintained this rough reputation until approximately the 1870s. By the early 20th century, many of the area's historic buildings were in serious decay. In 1900, bubonic plague broke out, and the state government resumed areas around The Rocks and Darling Harbour, with the intention of demolishing them and rebuilding them. More than 3800 houses, buildings and wharves were inspected and hundreds demolished, but the continuation of these plans were brought to a halt due to the outbreak of World War I. During the 1920s, several hundred buildings were demolished during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, the outbreak of World War II once again stalled many of the redevelopment plans, and it was not until the 1960s that serious attempts to demolish much of the area were revived. Today the Rocks is a partly gentrified area, but still contains a significant proportion of Housing Commission properties, and there is still a significant problem of urban poverty and street crime in this district. As housing stock becomes dilapidated, government policy is to sell the now extremely valuable public housing units to private owners, in the expectation that they will restore the properties.

Today, it boasts one of Sydney's oldest pubs
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We walked up Nurses Walk
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The nurses at both Sydney hospitals, which were located in this area from 1788 to 1816, were selected from convicts . They received no pay but were maintained at public expense. The first hospital consisted of two roughly constructed buildings and a garden was located at the rear where both exotic and native herbs were used to relieve the shortage of drugs.
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to the Suez Canal
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one of few survivors of the many narrow alleys that acted as thoroughfares in The Rocks, it remains much as it was when first formed in 1841, no doubt named by locals after the torrent that poured down its course every time it rained.

and up to some old houses, that literally were two-up two-down.
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Campbell's Storehouse
Robert Campbell, a prominent Scottish merchant in the early days of Sydney, purchased this land on Sydney Cove in 1798 and in 1802 he began constructing a private wharf and storage houses in which he housed tea, sugar, spirits and cloth he imported from India.
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Nearby is the shortest street in Sydney
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and along to Susannah Place
a terrace of four brick and sandstone houses dating back to 1844 which has a rare history of continuous domestic occupancy since 1840 through to 1990. TI is now a museum showing the living conditions of its former residence..
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Opposite here is an original section of road, made from wooden bricks!
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This is how all of Sydney roads would have looked.

A wall painting on the side of a fish and chip restaurant interprets different stages of The Rocks,
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from pre-British settlement to the present. Specific buildings are highlights and reference so viewers can relate The Rocks of today with the artwork.
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and just down the road it an interesting three sided war memorial called The Impressions.
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It depicts The Convicts, The Soldiers and The settlers.

A little further down this road and you're at The Cove which comes alive at nights with restaurants and bars.
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here, I saw my first view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
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with a beautiful tall ship in front
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and The Opera House.

I continued exploring after the tour with one of the girls I'd met,
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First, we went up the tower of a nearby restaurant, for some better views.
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Under the bridge you can see Lunar fun Park
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Looking to the east, was the imposing view of the Opera House
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there is a constant stream of ferries crossing, but this one, is called Charlotte!
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We walked along the jetty to find some lunch at the opera house, with a great view of the bridge.
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fending off the seagulls,
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but stopping to take photos of the colourful parrots that are almost as common as pigeons here!
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From the steps of the Opera House there's a great view back to the CBD (Central Business District) and the Botanical Gardens.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:00 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_walking_tour Comments (1)

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