Another Trip to the Museum

Sunny Sunday

It has been a glorious day today in Adelaide. Perfect blue skies, warm in the sun, cool in the shade. We thought we would go and check out an exhibition of opals at the Museum of South Australia. Like a bower bird, I like colourful bits and pieces!

Parking behind the Botanic Gardens is the best part of coming into town on a non-work day. I love the walk through the gardens to see what is out (see pics below!) and enjoy the day like the other folk having picnics, lying on the grass and drinking coffee (we even passed a group of young guys talking about My Little Ponies, which I thought strange yet great!). 

The exhibition was small but interesting. I'm not a big fan of large information boards and video screens,  but I guess these are for groups of children and it can't always be about me. I like to get straight to the cabinets, the rocks, the jewels, the colourful bits. And that we did. My only criticism I guess is the entry fee for adults, being $17 seemed to be on the steep side, though I understand the insurance costs might have been hefty for the museum (the Queen sent a tiny carved stoat in white opal with ruby eyes, by Faberge, no less).

Here are some snaps from our time out. The lino is from the Egyptian Room, the possum from a tree on North Terrace (eating a strawberry of course) and the rest are opal and mineral displays (just click on the image and it will switch to the next).

Prints and Prints

Escaping from work

I noticed that the Flinders University Art Museum and City Gallery is now located in the State Library of South Australia, so I went to visit it during the week to see what was on offer.

Currently on show is an exhibition of South Australian political prints from the 1970s and 1980s called "Mother Nature is a Lesbian".   The period covered now seems like a golden age for South Australia, what with Don Dunstan and a healthy and visible culture of protesting for change.  Maybe I'm looking back through rose-coloured glasses, but there's something very appealing about those years from where I stand.

I loved the energy in the posters on display, all pre-digital era of course, and I snapped a couple of my favourites below.   I highly recommend a visit to this very conveniently located gallery.  The exhibition closes on 13 July 2014.

Pamela Harris, 'Memory Trace' 1983, serigraph.

Pamela Harris, 'Women' 1984, serigraph.

Ann Newmarch, 'Nationalize the Car Industry' C1975, serigraph.

Mandy Martin 'But for the 750,000 people in the world who depend on 

General Motors for their daily bread' 1975, serigraph.

Mandy Martin, 'Gallery 2' 1977, serigraph.

Also at the State Library of South Australia is a small exhibition of photographs and photographic equipment called "Moriendo Renascor: 19th Century Photography".  I would love to see more from the library's collection and I understand that the public may browse its collection.   This exhibition closes 31 July 2014. 

A modern print of a C1850 daguerreotype 'Actors', photographer unknown.

The photo above is an extract of a modern print of (I think) a glass plate negative C1879 showing the studios of an Adelaide based photographer, Captain Sweet, on Flinders Street.   

Of course, the name Captain Sweet alone is enough to pique anyone's interest, but what little I have seen of this photographer's work makes me want to learn a lot more!  I understand he photographed a lot of landscapes, but it is his portraits that caught my eye.  I have one in my own collection which is one of my favourites, a gentleman in dark glasses.   The subject is interesting, of course, because it is unusual to have a sitter wearing dark glasses, perhaps he is vision impaired, or perhaps it's a trick of the light turning his standard reading glasses dark.  I don't know.  But it is also the space, the jaunty position of the sitter and the quiet simplicity that I love.  

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).

19th Century Papier Mache Mushrooms

The Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Gardens

I don't know why, but I often feel drawn to Victorian things in the days following Christmas.  I think it must be a desire to be grounded in that quiet, solid world of elaborate design, earnest pursuits and brown things after the brash, noisy rush of Christmas.

Boxing Day, I like to pore over (or is that paw over - I do both) my small collection of 19th century gardening books, read a little Tennyson and go through my collection of cabinet cards and cdv photographs. 

So, today, I was pleased to make a visit to town with my partner and we wandered through the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, including the wonderfully stern Museum of Economic Botany.

Within this small museum, there is housed an amazing collection of 19th century papier mache mushrooms, apples, pears and plums, made by Heinrich Arnoldi & Co, Gotha, Germany.   They live in lovely Victorian cabinetry with their original labels.  They were a joy to see!









Underwater Wonderworld

A trip to the museum

A lovely day out today.  My friend and I were passing the South Australian Museum and we decided to pop in just to see how much it has changed since we were last there - which was some time ago.  We were pleasantly surprised when we found some old favourites were still there (love the Victorian cabinetry in the Pacific Island exhibition room) and some new displays (minerals!).  We took a lot of pics, but here are some I took from the underwater exhibition room, the mineral room and the Pacific Island exhibition room: