Photo courtesy of Pinnacles Music
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Caught the last ten minutes of Kristin Berardi and James Sherlock playing at Manly's 30th Jazz Festival today. It would have been easy to say, "No, it's too late to see them." But I'm glad Daniel and I raced from lunch to watch them perform. Kristin's got such a sweet and mellow voice - it's not surprising she won the Jazz Voice Competition at last year's Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Locally she's won the coveted 2007 Freedman Jazz Fellowship.
Friday, 28 September 2007
Last night was book club and we kind of cheated. Many of us hadn't finished reading Antonia Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette so we watched the Sofia Coppola film instead of discussing the book. I had heard the film panned so many times that I really didn't have high hopes. And many of the crew were ho-hum about it afterwards saying that the most interesting part of her life had been left out (her last years in Paris and the beheading). I actually felt quite differently. I loved the film because it dealt with her younger years. Ask anyone what they know about Marie Antoinette and they'll talk about the guillotine. But not many people know the story of her younger years. So I thought it was a great choice for Coppola to focus on this time. There were also comments about the film being slow - to me, that's called subtlety. The photography was stunning and dreamy. And I loved the use of modern music and that the actors spoke in their American accents - tres post-modern. I think Coppola gets a lot of press because of who she is (the family tree link) but not everyone enjoys her films - which is at it should be - and so she gets subjected to the tall popppy syndrome. I have to say, though, since watching The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, I'm a huge fan.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
A few ideas were thrown around at Italian tonight about where to eat for a farewell of one of the students. Someone suggested Bondi's Gelbison, which is kind of funny as I hadn't heard of it until about a fortnight ago. Then a work colleague recommended the pizza as one of the best in Sydney - a big call. Naturally, D and I had to put it to the taste test. Pleased to report that the Calabrese (pictured) was ottima (excellent - for you non-Italian-speaking types). And the zuppa di cozze (mussel soup) was amazing, too.
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Got back from the Blue Mountains a few hours ago and have to admit that while it was good to have some time out in the blissful countryside, it was also great to be back in the big smoke. In fact, on the way home I made D stop in the city so we could do some shopping. Then when we arrived in Bondi we went for a walk along the promenade. I missed the ocean so much, which is pathetic as we only left on Saturday morning. Anyway, we stayed at the Hydro Majestic, which has so much potential as an amazing hotel given its deco features, but it just didn't live up to our expectations. The staff were friendly but badly trained - I had one of the worst cocktails of my life there. And over dinner we were tucked into a dark corner like we'd been bad children - all very strange. But the view from our room was breathtaking (see above). The management need to pay more attention to the maxim: under sell and over deliver - please!
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
The week is young but a highlight has been receiving an invitation from Ray Hughes to attend one of his weekly lunches. This bigwig of the art world has been holding them for four years, bringing together twenty-four people from various fields purely for the purpose of conversation "and the exchange of ideas". Presumably, if you turn up you've got to be loquacious and have something interesting to say - oh the pressure. Can't wait, though, especially as I've been forewarned that a "respectable" exit would be 3.30pm!
Photo courtesy of Ray Hughes Gallery
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Late last week I was lucky enough to attend a champagne preview screening of Atonement, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan's brilliant book. It's always a hard sell, trying to do justice to a novel that has a multitude of fans. And so the big question is - does it live up to the book? I went in slightly sceptical and came out pleasantly impressed. The film was produced by Working Title, which has a fairly high standard of work (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Elizabeth) as does the director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice). While I felt empathy for the lead characters, played by Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, I didn't fall completely in love with them either. But the film was so beautifully shot that I would definitely recommend people see it... especially ones who have read the book.
Photo courtesy of Universal.
Photo courtesy of Universal.
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Talk about a rapid descent into debauchery. After starting yesterday with a hearty breakfast at bills on Crown Street, Surry Hills in honour of Real Living's picture editor Sascha Christopherson (in the black jumper), who finished her last day at the magazine yesterday, the farewell turned into a cocktail-induced haze later that afternoon. Mixologists Grant Collins and Mike Enright from the award-winning Zeta Bar turned up at our office to make some out-of-this-world drinks. After sampling a mandarin-spritzed vodka martini and the coconut, pineapple and rum cocktail (above), it was time to head out to The Argyle in The Rocks - Sydney's latest happening bar. Yep, I really think all of Sydney was there last night. The bar was five-deep and the place was heaving with people. Definitely the place to be on a Friday night.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
This is one of almost 20 works currently exhibited at Martin Browne Fine Art Gallery in Potts Point, Sydney, by artist Linde Ivimey. She's made quite an impact in the arts world with her dark and goulish works, recently being featured in The Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum liftout. I had seen one of her pieces a few months back and was intrigued but I'm not quite sure if the current exhibition lived up to my expectations. Some of the works border on puppetry. But Daniel is quite a fan so I did the good wifely thing and went along to the opening night yesterday. Having said that, if you're in the area, it's worth checking out. Oh, and, yes, the works are made out of bones. The exhibition runs until October 7, 2007.
Photo courtesy of Martin Browne Fine Art Gallery
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Just went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, primarily to see the Primavera exhibition. This showcases Australian artists under the age of 35. There were some amazing works. My favourite were those of Honor Freeman, who created porcelain sculptures of Tupperware from the 1970s and 80s and displayed them as still-life vignettes. Also, Briele Hansen's DVD projection of a ghostly body onto a bed of white sheets was eery and funny at the same time. Well, it made me laugh. Also loved Martin Smith's photography, which was cut out with text and stories from his adolescent years. The exhibition is on until November 4, 2007.
Also saw the retrospective of Julie Rrap's work (pictured). She mainly explores the female body and different representations of it via photography and sculpture. There were similarities to Cindy Sherman's work (one of my favourite photographers) and Sam Taylor-Wood, especially the second image pictured above. There is something captivating about seeing bodies in flight. The sense that anything is possible. Body Double is on until January 28, 2008. PS Both exhibitions are free - even more reason to check them out. And as I said in the Sydney travel diary for Real Living, the MCA is such a great gallery to visit because it really shakes the dust out of your mind.
Photos courtesy of Julie Rrap and Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery.
Okay, so it's hard to talk about "four seasons in one day" without rolling the eyes thinking about the Crowded House anthem. But that's pretty much what the weather has been like this past week. And I think almost everyone in Sydney is a little over it. One positive outcome has been that the Festival of the Winds at Bondi looked pretty spectacular even though the photo doesn't really do the scene justice. (It was taken on Saturday - not the "official" kite-flying day.)
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
I met Casey, who is an illustrator and designer, while researching the Melbourne travel diary I wrote for the October issue of Real Living. He was working at the Spacecraft store in Fitzroy when I rocked up with a photographer, photographer’s assistant and D. Unperturbed, Casey filled me in on all I needed to know about the company and was incredibly patient while we took over the shop with our gear. Then just over a week ago he got in contact with me, telling me he’d set up shop with his girlfriend Sassie, who has been running a deli on Brunswick Street. It’s called In The Woods, selling mostly homewares with a few quirky additions, such as jewellery. Oh, and the shop is also a café, serving and selling organic, fair-trade coffee. Aren’t those cupcakes the best!
Saturday, 1 September 2007
One of the highlights of visiting New York last year was seeing live jazz. I got it into my head the other night that I've got to be more supportive of local musicians so I found out that Jackie Orszaczky was playing a gig at The Macquarie Hotel which badges itself as "Sydney's Only House Of Funk". It was so inspiring to watch him play with his band. I doubt he makes much money but he is so obviously incredibly passionate about his music. I've got the highest respect for anyone who pursues their dreams - whether it's music, writing, art. It's intoxicating being around such people.