Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NGV Australia, Federation Square

With a very short amount of time before my allocated session of Bowie Is, I decided to have a quick walk through the NGV Australia, next door.
NGV Australia Melbourne 
I was thrilled to see many of my favourite Victorian towns and regions, painted by some of Australia's finest artists, such as Isa Rielly's  Waterfall at Mount Macedon and William Ford's At the Hanging Rock.

NGV Australia Melbourne
The forests of Mount Macedon always reminded me of the Frederick McCubbin paintings I had seen in books, but I had never seen the fantastic triptych, The Pioneer, in real life before.
NGV Australia Melbourne
Yosl Bergner's Walhalla is dark and dramatic, a stark contrast to the town in my mind's eye, where we spent the day a few months ago.
*note to self - must write that blog post. The place is STUNNING!
NGV Australia Melbourne

The Sidney Nolan wall lit up the entire room of the gallery - his bright reds, blues, yellows and greens bursting out of the frames, depicting scenes from regional Victoria, like the Grampians and Ballarat.

NGV Australia Melbourne
Melbourne's Oldest Chef by Arnold Shore 1934. I wonder who the Chef was...

NGV Australia Melbourne
John Brack's Collins St 5pm could have been painted yesterday, it looks so much like a regular peak hour evening in Wintry Melbourne.
So much more to see here, I must come back soon for a more relaxed visit.
NGV Australia Melbourne
p.s. Give a wave to the furry Maneki Neko (waving cat) at the bottom of the escalator.

Where: Federation Square, City
When: Tues - Sun. 10:00am-5:00pm
Why: Australian art
How Much: FREE
Nearby: David Bowie Is

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mining Relics, Maldon

There's something eerie about old abandoned buildings and machinery. 

Like old farmhouses, where animal and farm noises would have emanated; or jails that would once be filled with the sounds of voices and clanging doors; and old machinery that would have at one time been incredibly loud - but now stands in silence.

Just out of Maldon, in Porcupine Flat, we spotted this old machinery on the side of the road, the Dredge and Dragline. 
Dredge and Dragline, Maldon
Dredge and Dragline, Maldon
The giant dredge was once used to dredge the Porcupine Creek, to rework the mining site that had previously been foraged by hand. It now sits in a dry dam, rusted and vandalised.

The dragline was brought in from a coal mine, used for a very short time and has since sat on the bank of the dam, overlooking the dredge, for about 30 years.
Dredge and Dragline, MaldonDredge and Dragline, Maldon
Down the road on the opposite side, a private property has an eclectic bunch of bits'n'bobs on display by the fenceline, for passers-by to stop and have a look. 
The sign says "Photos welcome - tresspassing not."
Dredge and Dragline, Maldon
These old Quartz Kilns near Carman's Tunnel, were built in the 1800's and used to roast the rocks and make them brittle enough to be crushed more easily. They ceased operation in about 1900.

Quartz Kilns, Maldon
These places may be abandoned, or no longer buzzing with activity, but they have a kind of still life appeal to them and are worth a look if you're in the area. 
Where: around Maldon
When: Daily
Why: history, goldmining
How Much: FREE
Nearby: Carman's Tunnel

David Bowie Is, ACMI, Federation Square

David Bowie Is....a fantastic trip down memory lane.
David Bowie Is ACMI Melbourne
I grew up in the 70's, with the albums, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, on high rotation on the record player at home, thanks to my Mum and older sisters.
I may not have been old enough to understand what he was singing about, and I am guilty of singing "the stuff that gets in it" for many, many years, instead of the actual lyrics to Suffragette City, but hey, man - oh, leave me alone - I was just a kid. 
The hair, the makeup, the glitter, the costumes, the platform shoes; the songs about dogs, and stars, and astronauts, and genies  - that's all that mattered. Bowie Was and Bowie Is a musical idol of mine and probably always will be.

"Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren't no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive"

The interactive exhibition, complete with audio pod and headphones allows you to wander through the displays at your own pace, cranking up the volume to that hazy cosmic jive...
It was a bit crowded at the start, but the exhibition is not in chronological order, so you can meander around and avoid the busy hot spots until there is more room.

A fantastic collection of costumes had me reminiscing about watching the associated  music video clips on Countdown on a Sunday night; movie posters promoting the films Bowie starred in (still swooning over Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth); hand written lyrics to some of his most famous songs - the exhibition is packed with nostalgia and had me wanting to come back again for another look and listen.

A quick visit to the gift shop resulted in the purchase of this cool print and a totally Bowie-esque bag to carry it back to the car. 
Now, to find somewhere to hang it...
David Bowie Is ACMI Melbourne
Special thanks to the friendly staff on the door, for suggesting we cloak our jackets, as it was very warm in the gallery.

Where: ACMI, Federation Square
When: Daily from 10:00am. 16 July - 1 Nov
Why: David Bowie
How Much: $25 (membership deal available)

Nearby: Street Art, Hosier Lane