Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodbye Australia

My last day here. It was a good one. This evening after the day's events, I went down to the harbor and watched the Opera House change color with the sun set. This image is a bit blurry, but the color is most beautiful. What a view.

To sum up the last few days of Oz:

Anne-Maree and I did a collaboration. :)

Have you ever met one of those people that just jazzed you up and the two of you are so excited about something you are bouncing off the walls? That's what Anne-Marie and I do about our stuff. We gave ourselves an our to make a book each, then the plan was to switch them and work on them for another hour.
Well, our two our plan turned into about six. But look what we did!
Anne-Maree's book (she made two!):

... you go ...
... always take the weather with you."
She made the book out of a one-page structure and some of her prints and I added the stitching.
These are the only photos I have of my book at the moment. I'll have to post more with what Anne-Maree added. I really wanted to use the PaperBark Tree (Melaleuca) for a book. And I was thinking about all that I'd learned about Australian Bush. It really needs fire to flourish. I find this amazing. So to me it became like a phoenix.

Anne-Maree added some really gorgeous stuff. Wait 'till you see. :) I think if we could have had our way, we could have played in the studio for the entire three week period. But now we will have to do the mailing thing.
It was sad to leave Anne-Maree's beautiful house and her three sweet kitties and three great boys. This is Jasper - she's a sharp little kitty. There's no petting her until she's had a very good sniff at you.
My last morning in Newcastle I did what I should have done every morning. My hotel was on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The first morning I did get up and went down to the beach, but didn't look anywhere because I was collecting shells. An entire bucket full!
The next morning I slept in, and then the last morning I went down to the beach and banned myself from collecting any more shells. I bought coffee and a croissant at a shop, went down to the beach and watched the surfers for almost an hour.
I also got a good walk in, and took lots of photos of the tide pools. Newcastle is so quiet, the tide pools are full of life, even right on the beach. I found a starfish and I think I saw some abalone in one pool. Hard to tell when they are alive.
Barnacle Central:
Anne-Maree drove me down to Sydney on Sunday. We feasted on dim sum in China Town, in Australia it's called Yum Cha, perhaps a little more appropriate? Then we headed of to the Powerhouse Museum. What a coooooool place. I couldn't quite get the gist of their collecting scope, but I think it's "human-made" objects. There is an entire train on one floor. We saw a fabulous design show, a show about Macedonian Aprons, and this cool thing:

It's a "globe" for the blind. Every continent has been hammered out in metal with Braille writing on it. All of the main shipping lanes have also been laid in and are labeled in the same way. It's a really beautiful thing!
But our main reason for going to the museum was to see the Hyperbolic Coral Reef. This is a coral reef made entirely out of crochet. Sounds hokey, right? Nope. This things was way cool. First of all it was huge. Second of all, it's to bring attention to the plight of coral reefs. And thirdly it's all done in crochet based on a way that two women mathematicians came up of illustrating a mathematical theorem that Euclidean geometry couldn't. How cool is that! I bought the book - you can all read it because that's about all I can explain about it off the top of my head.

The next morning I spent the day at the Australian Museum. It's a natural history museum with lots of dinosaur skeletons, and stuff critters from Australia. There is a fantastic hands on section, mostly for kids, but I still loved it. There was an aquarium full of stick insects. They were so cool. Then there was this wacky crayfish looking thing called a basher. The guy showing it to me was trying to explain what it did (it was in a plastic bag on the desk), and as he put his finger near the bag she whacked at his finger so hard I couldn't believe it didn't break the bag. She made contact too - and he stood there shaking is finger in pain. He then told us that you don't see many in captivity because once they reach a certain size they can break the glass of the aquarium!
The two things I really loved though, were the minerals, which really reminded me of the coral reef the day before:
And the second thing I really loved was the section giving voice to the aboriginal people. It was a very respectful and comprehensive exhibit which especially talked about spirituality. I keep coming back to it in my head.
I had dinner in The Rocks neighborhood, and worked out a book I want to do when I get home. Among other things.
Anne-Maree came back down to Sydney today so that we could visit Monica Oppen's collection of Australian artist books. We looked for three hours. Here's one of Tim Mosley's books. It's a one page book with a beautiful paper cover. Perfect example of what's possible for my students!

I also became more familiar with Peter Lissiotis's work. I really like his things too. He reminds me of Buzz Spector a bit - working with photography.
So yes, went down to the harbor, one last time. Watched millions of people all taking pictures of the same thing. Saw some crazy people walking over the bridge as well. And then I went in search of another Works Burger. Found one - and yes, it was amazing, definitely will give In 'n Out a run for their money.

1 comment:

Lynda Kelly said...

Thanks for your kind comments about the Australian Museum. Check out and join our new website to carry on your Australian memories: http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/