Wednesday 26 October 2016

Svestival continues in Melbz

Fifth Province / Second Home
The unwanted large birthday continued to disguise itself in other activities as we headed to Melbourne for a weekend of art exhibitions. One was particularly meaningful - that of Annemieke Mein, whose work has constantly inspired me since I first saw it. More on that soon....
We arrived to some pretty miserable weather, but found refuge in an Irish pub just a block from our apartment, as we waited for it to be ready. We were to return here a few times, as it was right beside the tram stop to the city, full of friendly Irish people, and as I said, a block from home. We settled in to our very handy abode before heading down Ackland Street, enjoying some amazing old buildings along the way, enjoying the crazy vagrants (many shouting, and some with large sticks) and the rain somewhat less.
Kirra Gallery
Buttons and mushroom
We  met up with fellow WOW folk, Phillipa and Mark Stitchbury-Cooper for dinner and a diagnosis of this years WOW show, as we never managed to catch up with them afterwards in Wellington. It's always good to talk WOW!
Federation Square Atrium
Arintji lunch
The next morning dawned with some charming wind and driving rain. We
wandered down to the markets anyway, but ended up catching a tram into town for a wander around, stumbling into some lovely markets inside the atrium at Federation Square, where I couldn't resist some unique buttons, as well as  a visit to Kirra Gallery. I managed to sneak a wee photo from the side, with elements of the amazing chandelier visible behind the bowls in the window, but I think I got fairly frowned at for this from the counter. However, I went in and enjoyed the display of both retail and exhibition work, and decided to purchase a wee memento of the weekend in the shape of a pink, orange and purple glass mushroom (we have a family history of being vulnerable to glass and ceramic mushrooms). By now we were ready for brunch, and I was thrilled to be taken to the lovely Arinjti at Federation Square.  It was a tough choice, but I was very happy with the decision I made, with the guidance of our helpful waitress.
Road texture
We caught the tram back to St Kilda to transfer to the bus to Brighton - oh no - we have half an hour to kill! Hello, Irish Pub! (Did I mention that the roadway where we crossed to go to said pub/tram/bus stop was quite lovely, and I'm happy with the way the photos turned out - Matt did not enjoy the process - get OFF the road, Svenja!!)
We caught the bus alright, but it did not run to
Annemieke Mein exhibition, Brighton
St Hotel
the route I had researched, and slightly too late I questioned the driver, who advised us to get off then and there. Unfortunately, this meant a walk of around 4 kms back to Brighton town centre, with me stressing about missing the Annemeike Mein exhibition, and Matt grumping about having to walk so far. However, we made it in the end, much to my relief and my absolute delight. Unfortunately, as with many textile exhibitions, the lighting was negligible, which, as I get older, bothers me somewhat! Also, photographs were not permitted. I gazed in wonderment at works I have drooled over in a book for  years, and got to see the stitches in the flesh. Some works were bigger than I had imagined, which afforded me an even more detailed view than I could have hoped for. Some had sparkling threads and beading that I had been unaware of.  Did I say photographs were not permitted? There was no way I was going to be denied this once in a lifetime opportunity. I wouldn't use flash anyway, so I don't really see the problem. I was sad not to get one of me with a work, but Matt not only snuck some on his phone, but acted as decoy whilst I took a few! Bless! We left, and trudged the streets of Brighton for a while before realising that a bus back into town on a Sunday was not terribly realistic, so bit the bullet and called a cab.  Traffic was shite, so we got out as soon as we could.
Melbz laneway
Desperate for a beer, we headed to get some takeaways at Woolies, but got drawn into the St Hotel, which had some live music.  We only had a little time before our next activity - dinner with a work colleague of Matts, who took us up some high-rises he does the  water treatment on, for some fantastic views of the city and surrounds.  Then it was off for dinner in Hardware Lane, where we sat outside because it just felt a bit groovier, although it was quite chilly!!
Monday morning was Melbz CBD day, and we set off leisurely, arriving at the NGV just in time as it opened, so it was off to the Viktor & Rolf Exhibition for this happy little Bunneh!! Ohhhh, sparkly, sculptural deliciousness, where photography was most welcome! And photograph I did. This is but a taste of what I acquired. I loved the row of the 'Russian Dolls' series, displayed on slowly rotating mannequins - so often we are stuck looking from only one angle - and the sparkles looked almost electric
as they caught the spotlights. There was also some fabulously atmospheric music, setting a real scene for the works.

Next stop, the pure fun of Kylie costumes, certainly a very different genré, however, I couldn't help but boogie along to the video footage! Goodness, those mannequins were tiny!
From there, it was off to visit the creation of a friend, no, not some wearable art, but some engineering art. Matt's mate Steve made this impressive smoker, now in residence at San Antone at Crown Casino. It was just before lunch when we visited - then we saw they had Fried Green Tomatoes on the menu, so we just had to stay.  They were fabulous, as was the brisket burger that we shared.
Rolex shop window - beautiful leather work 
Fabulous lighting in Crown Casino
We rolled out and trotted through town, to visit Tessuti fabrics, as well as stopping at Quick Brown Fox along the way (lusting after a green rabbit fur coat so tempting but so unnecessary in Queensland!) We also enjoyed a play in RetroStar, a wonderful vintage shop.
Then it was back on the tram to - ooooh, the Irish Pub (Fifth Province for those who are interested) for some drinks, conversation, marvelling at the blue sky, and another shared meal.  My first ever chicken parmigiana, with Napoli sauce - quite fabulous! 
Our last sleep in the fabulous bed of our abode and Matt woke me with a frightened 'did you set the alarm?!!', as it was already quite light outside. Heart attack over, I packed up as Matt picked up coffee and croissants - what a man!
View of The George from our pub

Back home, and I have relished getting straight back into work -  I enjoyed a bit of design drawing whilst I was away, and was totally inspired by things I saw - but nothing replaces the feeling of sewing and cutting leather, and pinning it into a foam head to create something rather lovely.  Happy to be home, but love you Melbz.


  1. love it! jealousy plus at the exhibitions!

  2. Next time call and I come! Love it all

  3. WOW... just WOW... oh and many birthday wishes ��

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