Monday, March 14, 2016


I began February with a visit to Sydney to immerse myself in Art and wander around the city. This is one of my most favourite things to do.

I always feel at home in museums and galleries and I love just wandering a big city, looking at the mix of architecture, people watching, and daydreaming.
So I set off early, caught the Shitkansen down and headed straight for The Art Gallery of NSW. I love the walk from St James Station near the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, The Domain, and The Botanical Gardens to the Gallery. There is always a sense of excitement and anticipation. I timed my arrival early so I could grab some breakfast at the little cafe in between the gallery and those glorious trees in the park. I sat and caught my breath and prepared myself for a lovely day of art.

A little after ten I wandered over and bought my ticket for The Greats: masterpieces from The National Gallery of Scotland. This was in its last days of exhibition, and the trip was timed specifically to catch it. It featured artists such as Botticelli, Titian, Monet, Gauguin, and Cezanne. Plus a whole lot of others that are less familiar, but equally as impressive.

I slowly made my way through the exhibit, listening to little bits of historical and artistic information about a handful of the key paintings on the headphones provided. The Botticelli’s were as intricate as you would imagine, but less sensual than you would think.  I was thrilled to be in their presence.

I always admire the Masters style, but find them too austere to call them favourites, but it is always wonderful to be in their company. Monet, Gauguin, and Cezanne, I have seen many of in various galleries in Australia, Europe, and the US, and they never fail to capture my imagination. Monet was my first art world love, and I can sit and look at his paintings for hours. Gauguin’s islanders are fascinating, his love of them deep and magnetic. But Cezanne’s simplicity and perfection always takes my breath away. 

I really loved this glorious waterfall, by an artist called Church (I think)

After a little shop in the gift shop – a must – I had a quick wander through the regular galleries, stopping to say hello to a few favourites.


Grace Cossington Smtih

Russell Drysdale

Dobell's Olley


Frederick McCubbin

Arthur Streeton
I left the gallery to a slight drizzle, and made me way through the domain to The Mitchell Wing of The State Library. I love The Mitchell Library, it IS The State Library in my opinion, as opposed to the new wing on Macquarie Street. It doesn’t have the spectacular dome like The State Library of VIC, but there is something more familiar and homely about The a Librarian, I have attended many a conference there, it is MY library and I love being on it’s hallowed grounds. The beautiful columns featured the fab exhibit I was about to see, Tony Mott, Rock Photography.

I paused in the exquisite foyer, took in its beauty, stood and looked into the main reading room of the library, and then made my way up the stairs to the exhibit. It was free and also about to finish, and what an extensive exhibit it was. Huge life-size prints of Kylie, Michael, Bjork. Regular photos, in colour and black and white, of a range of musicians from all countries and all genres. There was music playing throughout, album covers, magazine covers, and videos to watch. Mott IS the master of Australian rock photography. I was there for a long while, time standing still as it often does when you are partaking of something mesmerising.

I was getting hungry and ventured towards Circular Quay for lunch, but stopped at The Museum of Sydney on the way. I love this cute little museum hidden in the city, and always enjoy looking at the creations there. They had a small exhibition of Lloyd Rees etchings, pencil drawings etc. His work is so intricate, incredibly detailed pieces of Sydney at the turn of the century. I have always been a fan, so it was lovely to get up close and personal with these small historical mementos of time long gone. IF this is your thing, Lloyd Rees is on until 10 April, so you still have a month to see it if you like his stylings.

I had a wander around Circular Quay working out where to eat, but it was simply too muggy and hot a day – especially after the rain subsided – to do the outdoor thing, so I headed to the News Cafe for the air con and one of their great burgers. 

After feeling full and satisfied I headed to my fourth and final exhibit of the day. Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career at the MCA. I know a little about Grayson’s work, mostly his ceramics. I love his sense of wonder, diverse representations, and his warped sense of humour. I was blown away by the depth and range of his work, and that wasn’t just subject matter but the types of art he worked on. Besides many of his ceramics, there was sculptures, abstract art, installations, drawings, and tapestries. I had no idea about his hugely detailed Tapestries and was completely blown away. I was lost in his fabulous world for a long time. I love the MCA, its regular collection and the wonderful exhibits it shows. Grayson Perry is on until 1 May and I highly recommend.

I could sense a storm coming so I made a few purchases at the wonderful MCA Shop, and took the train home, experiencing the most magnificent of sunsets along the way.

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