If you love design and happen to be in Sydney between the 3rd and 18th of August, you might like to book yourself in for some of the excellent talks, tours and workshops lined up for this year’s Sydney Design.
Now in its 16th year, more than 75 events across the city will explore the theme, ‘Design re-think – can clever design save the world?’. (I bloody well hope so!)
My top picks? I’ll be making a beeline for:
Head over to Sydney Design to check out the full program.
Photography courtesy of Sydney Design and The Powerhouse Museum.
According to Instagram, my week looked like this…
- I made a last-minute makeshift Halloween costume for my 20 month-old toddler. We already had a lion’s hat from IKEA, so I crafted a matching mane/bib out of three different squares of felt. I traced around a mug to make the neckline, and then I used scissors to cut different lengths of fringing. I layered them on top of each other and fastened it at the back with a safety pin. Too easy and it took all of three minutes. He loved it.
- I went to my first ABCD meet-up (Artists + Bloggers + Crafters + Designers) on the weekend, which was held at the lovely Polli design studio in Sydney. It was a ‘sweet treat’ Pot Luck, which resulted in a table groaning with cakes and slices and biscuits. I ended up leading an informal chat session about privacy on Instagram. Can’t wait ’til the next one.
- Sydney is in bloom at the moment! Bougainvilleas, hibiscus and jasmine spill over front fences and brick walls, while this year’s jacarandas are putting on a magnificent show. So beautiful.
I also tackled the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi and caught the final day of the incredible Sculpture by the Sea, which is an annual exhibition in Sydney. There was a really fabulous line-up this year, and I also loved hiking along the cliff tops of six magnificent beaches and bays. It’s been many years since I’ve done the walk (with London, pregnancy and bringing up baby being the major distractions) so I immensely enjoyed taking in the spectacular natural beauty of this major Sydney must-do.
Tell me, what have you been up to? Has anyone else seen Sculpture by the Sea?
Californian artist SHAG (aka JoSH AGle) has always had a thing for beautiful birds – of the feathered variety, naturally – although come to think of it, there are very few of his works that haven’t portrayed some lovely lounging ladies of the bouffant hair and bikini variety, either. As a long-time fan of SHAG’s inimitable ’60s-style work (his glorious depiction of Sydney’s Rose Seidler House hangs above me as I type), I’m rather excited about his upcoming Australian exhibition and the book launch of Supersonic Swingers Revisited.
‘Original Owner’, SHAG.
For those unfamiliar with SHAG’s work, imagine a darkly glamorous ’60s world inhabited by women in wiggle dresses, cocktails in hand, batting their lashes at the sharply-dressed men reclining on the lounge. Long before Mad Men brought us the likes of Joan, Don and Betty, SHAG was creating anonymous but no less complicated characters in his colour-saturated, detail-rich, mid-century landscapes, and he’s attracted a cult global following.
‘Kookaburra’s Roost’, SHAG.
His upcoming Australian exhibition is hosted by the fabulous Outre Gallery in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and his devoted fans will be thrilled to learn that there are loads of new works for sale. You can also meet the man himself at the Saturday book signings in each city. Naturally, I’m sold on his new combined print/sculpture work, appropriately titled ‘Pecking Order’ (see top), which is a very low edition of only 100 world-wide, and is approximately $1350 for the sculpture set and framed print. For more information, contact Outre Gallery.
Don’t miss SHAG’S Australian exhibition, Outbound with the In-Crowd:
249 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
3-16 November 2012
Book Signing: Saturday 3 November from 12 noon (all welcome)
260 William Street, Northbridge
10-23 November 2012
Book Signing: Saturday 10 November from 12 noon (all welcome)
Shop 7, 285a Crown Street, Surry Hills
17-30 November 2012
Book Signing: Saturday 17 Nov from 12 noon (all welcome)
According to Instagram, this is what the last week or so in my life looked like. We went back to Cockatoo Island in Sydney today to see the rest of the Biennale of Sydney. It finishes next week so make sure you catch it before it goes. It was a glorious day on Sydney Harbour, and I loved wandering around the old industrial buildings exploring the installations.
I really loved Li Hongbo’s extraordinary Ocean of Flowers; a wondrous landscape of multi-coloured honeycomb paper sculptures that upon closer inspection actually folded down into revolvers, arms and bullets. And Phillip Beesley’s incredible Hylozic Series was well worth the half-hour wait, with a delicate and interactive forest of fibre-optic lights that responded to movement and touch. I hate to say it but it reminded me of the fantastical world of Avatar. But don’t let that put you off: it was truly incredible!
And predictably I rather enjoyed Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Museum of Copulatory Organs, which is entirely dedicated to the genitalia of insects. And it was FANTASTIC; imagine delicate ceramic and resin sculptures of the most extraordinarily complex penises. Who knew the penis of the bean weevil was the “spikiest in the world”? Apparently, it’s not size that matters. It’s shape.
We also headed back to Quay restaurant for our seven-year anniversary and feasted on Peter Gilmore’s seven-layer chocolate cake and jersey cream with “ethereal sheets”. Amazing.
And if you fancy the awesome vintage Mr Men toddler pants, they’re by My Poppet Shop for My Messy Room.
What have you been up to? And if you’re on Instagram, find me @WeeBirdy.