Who Wants to Live in a 1949 Farming Pavilion? Me.

Optimistic Architecture

from The Penrose Annual 1951, photographer Alfred Cracknell

from The Penrose Annual 1951, photographer Alfred Cracknell

Some things are designed to give such joy. I came across this small photo of a pavilion in an old advertising industry journal. A quick check reveals it was designed by Sir Misha Black (1910-1977) on behalf of the Hulton Press 'Farmers' Weekly' magazine for the Bath & West Agricultural Show in Bristol, 1949.

It has all the elements I love - stripes, white metal fretwork, stairs, angled roofs, glamour! So yes, I could live in this, even with the flags (which in my house would each be a primary colour and green for the fourth, with a central motif, like a crown, a pine cone, a palm leaf and a trident. Or something).  And the stripes? Maybe cadmium yellow and white! It's a happy looking building.

 

Royal Adelaide Show

Another extravaganza!

Part of our spring ritual is to visit the Royal Adelaide Show.  When we went yesterday, it was a beautiful clear day, very crowded and full of things to see.  

We always visit the floral displays, the crafts, the baking, the birds and the Grand Parade.  We always buy a freshly squeezed orange juice, buy daffodils from Hancock's and have tea at the CWA cafe.  I look forward to these simple pleasures every year.

This year, it was the 175th anniversary of the Royal Adelaide Show, something I had to think twice about - 175 years?! 

The bonus this year was a stage show put on in the Goyder Pavilion.   "175 Years of Fashion" promised to be an interesting display of costumes from those years, a fashion parade, or so we thought.  It proved to be a dazzlingly camp dance extravaganza of dubious historical accuracy.  The routines, gymnastics and glitter more than made up for the lapses in detail and the show was well received by the audience of city and country folk who crowded around the stage.

I highly recommend a visit.  The show has a rare connection with the past and is a wonderful opportunity to indulge in nostalgia and to eat lots of sugary food.  I even love the promotional campaign for the show this year.  It has collage, old photographs and flowers - of course I love it!   Here it is;

A Brief Holiday

Through the grainy, hyper-coloured lens of Harinezumi

My partner and I have just returned from a short holiday to Melbourne.   We drove along the Great Ocean Road, which has to be one of the world's great coastal drives, and I took along my bag of cameras, including the Harinezumi.  This little toy digital camera has a number of effects but they all come out looking roughly like a super 8 film, faded or saturated with time. 

We arrived in Melbourne via Geelong.  I hadn't been to Geelong before, and I loved it.  It had a lot of great domestic architecture and was very atmospheric.  I felt the past, being in Geelong.  Of particular note was the Eastern Beach precinct.   It was a dream for nostalgics, with sweeping lawns, a brilliant blue paddling pool, handsome red brick kiosks, brightly coloured picnic seating and, best of all, a whimsical fountain of joy!   The fountain itself was wonderful to look at, with lots of shells and stylised dolphins, but surrounding these were four large water birds standing on turtles!

We also visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art.  There was a wonderful exhibition of work by Emily Floyd called "Far Rainbow".  The exhibition was made up of a number of different media; prints, wood sculptures, a slide show, even grass matting!  I thought it captured an idyllic early 1970s feel with its primary colours and wooden toy-like shapes.  Of course, there is a more substantial reading of the work, but you can find this out for yourself here!  The two snaps below were taken at the exhibition (no flash, of course).

1940s Interiors

A photo survey

There are so many wonderful image collections out there, on flickr, pintrest and the like, but it is surprisingly difficult to come across images of interiors from the 1940s.

My interest in 1940s interiors is a personal one, that is, I'm looking for inspiration for our home, so I have put together a short(ish) collection of scanned images from some of our books and magazines, which I think is worth sharing here.  This selection follows on from an earlier post on 1940s fabrics.

The images are mostly of fairly modest homes, a reasonable starting point since we're not likely to be in a position to furnish our home with Andre Arbus anytime soon (which reminds me, I need to speak to those lotto people about this on-going issue...) and I have selected them because each one has a particular feature or finish that interests me.

And why the 1940s?  Well, it's hard to pinpoint, but I'm very fond of art deco, streamline moderne and post-war modernism and the 1940s is the in-between point of these styles.  It's a place where there is a way to blend the otherwise very distinctive and opposing styles spanning either side of the second world war, and that's great for me and my partner and our eclectic tastes.  So, here we are:


1. Textiles: Stroheim & Romann. Ceramics: Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Co. Ltd.  From 'Furnishing the Small Home' - Margaret Merivale (1945).
2. Fireplace treatment. Designer: W. Curtis Green R.A. ibid
3. Room detail. Joseph Aronson. ibid.
4. Studio room by Helen Park. ibid.
5. Room detail.  Oliver Hill. ibid.
6. Dining room, Bowman's Ltd, London.  From 'Design in Every Day Things' - Australian Broadcasting Commission (1941).
7. Hand woven woollen materials by Catherine Hardess of Melbourne. ibid. 
8. Living room of Miss Patricia Detring, Bel Air. Designer: Paul T. Frankl Associates.  From 'The Studio Year Book.  Decorative Art 1943-1948' - ed. Rathbone Holme & Kathleen M. Frost.
9. Scale model of living room.  Designer: Edward D. Stone. ibid. 
10. Japanese pavilion, World's Fair, Paris 1937.  Designer: Junzo Sakakura.  From 'Furniture & Interiors of the 1940s' - Anne Bony (2002).
11. Shangri-La Hotel 1939-1940.  Photographer: Julius Schulman. ibid.

Blackbird, Fly

...super hyper mega fun.

The Blackbird, Fly is a twin lens reflex camera.   The viewfinder is on the top and you look down into it - one of the lens is for the viewfinder, the other to capture the image on film.  It's made of plastic and comes in a range of bright colours.   I haven't taken mine out for a spin for some time, so I might get some more film and experiment.   

Here are some snaps of some 60s architecture in my local area, taken with the Blackbird, Fly.


Mater Dei, Woodville Park and Ukraine Catholic Church, Woodville.

And some other brightly coloured snaps:


Mini Golf at Semaphore and Kingston Park beach.

Picture Diary

Where Have I Been?

During the week, I went for a lovely drive in the hills with a friend and we stopped by this beautiful creek just outside of Ashton.  The area was heady with the smell of dirt, aniseed and water - an evocative wintery smell.


This weekend I had breakfast by the sea at Largs Bay.  It was bracing and sunny.  Here are some snaps of the beach; the Largs Pier Hotel, St Albans Church and Queenies Store.



Bookshop find

During a recent holiday up north, we visited a wonderful bookshop in Kingscliff.  It was old school so far as bookshops go, so there was much to find there.   I came away with a couple of design books from the 1940s including this modest little number "Design in Everyday Things", published by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1941. 


The book was an accompaniment to a series of educational lectures broadcasted on the ABC radio.   It has a number of thought-provoking essays on design, but it is the illustrations, advertisements and photographs which interested me.  

Being a big fan of moderne, streamline, art deco architecture, I zeroed in on these images in particular.


 


The first is an illustration in an advertisement for International Correspondence Schools (Australasia) Pty Ltd.  The photo is unidentified and uncredited.

The second breaks my heart.  It is identified as Wyldefel Gardens, a block of flats in Potts Point, Sydney.  In 1941, they were being demolished to make way for a new Naval Dock.  Imagine the views!