Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Leaving Sydney, taking the train to Brisbane

Jim and I have had a lovely time in Sydney.  We stayed with friends, Rob and Sal, for a couple of days.  We spent a lot of time just walking around Sydney, looking at buildings.  There is a contrast between powerful impressive Victorian buildings and the modern commercial office blocks.  Yet, somehow it all seems to meld together better than in the UK.  Not sure why.  One of the phrases that keeps coming to mind, is "contemporary retro", was a term used about a student's work in the textile class.  This is where a retro design is created with a modern twist.  And seeing the Queen Victoria Building juxtaposed with modern office block window reflections makes me think how a textile designer might use the two sources of inspiration to create a contemporary retro fabric.  I've also been thinking about the Scott sisters botanical illustrations, with the palest imagery of the landscape in the background, with the bold botanical illustrations over the top of butterflies on their host plants - this contrast of pale detailed background with bold imagery superimposed, might appear in my design work next semester.  Maybe architectural detail from iron lace railings, with australian plants?  So many ideas, so little time!

On Saturday, I had a trip to Bondi beach to see a sculpture exhibition (which I failed to find!).  Bondi beach has never appealed to me before, because over the years it has had a reputation for being overused and litterstrewn.  But when I arrived, it was beautifully clean so there has obviously been a big push to keep it pristine.  I had a lovely peaceful afternoon, watching the various school activities being conducted by the surf lifeguard team.  Some of it was obviously water safety, but other games were in progress.  One game involved boys lying in a line, facing away from a line of rubber hoses, (one less than the boys left in the game). The life guard said, "head up, head down, go" and the boys bobbed their heads, leapt up and ran to grab a hose.   Far too energetic for me. 
Surf lifeguard

Surf school games

Water safety lesson

Bondi beach - it was much brighter than it looks

I've not seen this sign in the UK

 We found a 50 metre pool yesterday and had a lovely swim.  It is the first time I have swum in such a long pool, and it was not as different as I expected.  I had expected to find it very tiring to swim with fewer turns but I must be fitter than I thought, as it just felt as if I were flowing along easily.  Mind you, the lane was very wide, and there was only me and Jim swimming in it. 900m for me, 1200 for him.

Jim and I have not managed to find a campervan to take us up to Brisbane/Cairns, so we booked an overnight train for Wednesday to take us to Brisbane.  Only $69 each.  Then Jim has found us a B&B for 4 nights, so I can work my round all the museums. 

Yesterday I took my large sketchbook out, and sat to draw the Sydney Opera House in charcoal.  I only managed 3 sketches, before the rain came in (didn't it just!) but I was quite pleased with how I represented the shapes and curves.  When we first came to Sydney a couple of days ago, I saw the opera house in fog, and thought then, "it needs to be drawn in pastels".  I've now decided that what interested me visually at that stage, was not the opera house, it was the atmospheric effect, and it was the atmosphere that demanded pastels.   Working in charcoal, in better light, it was the shapes that caught my attention, and the charcoal media was excellent to represent the sweeping curves.  I'm starting to get better at selecting the relevant media to obtain the required effect. 
Rain approaching opera house and artist!

This morning I looked up my university results - they are due on line at 5pm today.  So by 9am, I wondered if they might, just might, be on-line.  I am a very happy bunny - Historical Issues in Art & Design 89%; Private Lives, Public Issues 71%; Studio Textiles - Pattern & Meaning 83%; and Visual Inquiry - Reconsidering Traditions 79%.  I was absolutely delighted.  And I am quite sure that had I remained in the UK this year, my marks would not have been so high.  I certainly needed to raise my game when I got here, and work hard I did.  So from the marks, it looks as if I succeeded in raising my game.  Thank you Curtin University. YIPPEE!!!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Cathy, well deserved.