Wednesday, 20 May 2015

2015 Sculpture by the Sea - II -

Following from the previous post, here are a few more sculptures from 11th Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Cottesloe Beach, Perth.

With 23 artists from 9 different countries and about 70 pieces on show, the sculptures were quite diverse and fun. Well, one could say the Western Australian artists were the majority!

"Water Dreaming" was a collaboration of 3 Aboriginal artists - Shorty Jangala Robertson, Nicole Bailey and Trisha Lee, under the name Warlukurlangu Collaboration made using 250 pvc balls half buried in the sand, based on the Aboriginal dot paintings.

At the far end you can see the Indiana Tea House building, a popular eating venue at the top and the Surf Lifesavers Club at beach level.

Warlukurlangu Collaboration - "Water Dreaming"

Water Dreaming - seen from the top

Western Australian artist (Addam) Marwah Eid, presented "Cultural complexities of a wandering spirit", made of stainless steel and brass, and draped over the stone walls/steps down to the beach.

Addam Marwah Eid - Cultural complexities of a wandering spirit
Cultural complexities, seen from the top

"Sea Anemone" by New Zealander Rebecca Rose, made with galvanised steel pipe, was very popular with the kids.  
It would look good in my garden too, matching the orange chair covers of my outdoor furniture.

Rebecca Rose - Sea Anemone

Another Western Australian artist, Russell Sheridan, presented "Sisters", with a 2 girls one of them holding a "lamb"? or is it a strange looking dog?, and a few more dogs surrounding them.

"Primordial" by WA artist Tony Davis, was made with Blackbutt and Jarrah woods, resembling the Bungle Bungle range in the Kimberley region of Western Australia as you can see from photo below this one.


The real Bungle Bungles beehives (photo from net)

Jimmy Rix from New South Wales presented "Roo Shooter", a reverse of the coin, instead of us shooting them they shoot us?

Keizo Ushio from Japan presented "Oshi Zokei Hexagonal" and at the far end you can see a yellow metal sculpture called "Spline" from WA artist Mark Grey-Smith.
Keizo Ushio - Oshi Zokei hehagonal

Virginia King from New Zealand showed us "Turning stones" made of stainless steel.

From Japanese sculptor Akiho Tata,  "A breath of fantasia".

Akiho Tata - a breath of fantasia   japan
Another Japanese artist Toshio Iezumi with "m130901" a beautiful piece made with glass, that I wish I could have in my garden too... it might be a bit expensive though... I can imagine the sun rays through this would be amazing!!

Toshio Iezumi - m130901  

"Hearts in Paradise" from WA artist Ayad Alqaragholli,  who has a few of her signature statues around Perth.

Very much in fashion, recycling an old car into a planter - called "Victory or revenge" by WA artist Tim Burns, this car is planted with grass trees.

Britt Mikkelsen 0f WA, presented another beauty - "Ocean Lace".

Guess how many bottles were used to cover this statue? 1500!!
Made with fibreglass, wheel bearings and bottle tops, covered in a special chameleon paint that changes colour according to the angle. Called "For the love of sculpture" by WA Claire Davenhall.

Yuku Takahashi from WA, "Way of the Wind" a lot of little flags in the wind.

Danish sculptor, Keld Mosehold presented " Is this a step forward" - 3 men walking with a book in their hands.

Kevin Draper of WA, with a metal piece called "Penelope".

                                                                     Kevin Draper - Penelope  

Some art works are self-explanatory, others are a bit vague, some names suit the piece, others don't have much meaning, to me anyway. But artists are artists...

With so many pieces it's hard to pick a favourite, but I would go with the slender glass piece "m130901".

As I was leaving the beach I saw this striking vintage VW Kombi and remembered how years ago when living in Germany we used to own an orange one that had been transformed into a camping van. Good times we had travelling through Europe!!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Returning to the Beach - Sculpture by the Sea 2015

With much needed rain falling today and tomorrow, it's certainly no time for a visit to the beach...but these photos were actually taken in March just after my arrival from Amsterdam.

That weekend of the 21st and 22nd March would be my last chance to visit the 2015 Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Cottesloe Beach, so even though I still felt jet-lagged and quite tired I drove the 20 odd kms to the beach.

Being the last days of the exhibition, the exhibits were surrounded by people, there were actually more people on the sand than in the sea - so most of my photos have people in them.

Still, it was a worthwhile visit to once again see so much talent and ingenuity displayed in such a beautiful setting like the beach.

Norton Flavel -  Lucky Country
The piece above by Australian artist Norton Flavel, of a ball and chain, entitled "Lucky country" won the Western Australia Sculptor Scholarship award of $10,000 to be shared with Kim Perrier, a Canadian born/Australian resident artist, who exhibited the piece entitled "Ashes to Ashes" a burnt tree with carved figures (next photo).

The "Lucky Country" was also chosen by the Town of Cottesloe to be added to their collection, probably to be exhibited somewhere in Cottesloe in the near future.

Norton Flavel also had a popular entry in last's year exhibition with the "Bulk Carrier" an oversized wine cask. You can see his sculpture in this blog post.

Kim Perrier - Ashes to Ashes

Detail of "Ashes to ashes"
The People's Choice Award of $2,500 was awarded to Chinese sculptor Wendi Zhang for her collection of a flock of huge red Flamingos, entitled "Mi No 5".  Not sure about that title, why no 5 when there were at least 10 flamingos?
Wendi Zhang - Mi No 5
The flock of flamingos
Perth street artist Stormie Mills, won the Children's Choice Award with a pink gigantic rabbit entitled "The stormie mills project".

You can see some of Stormie Mills street artist work in this post about last year's Form.

Stormie Mills - "The stormie mills project"
The giant pink rabbit at the beginning of the pier

There were a lot of giant statues this year from grown men to babies.

Chinese artist Chen Wenling 's "Harbour" is similar to the red piece (Childhood morning) he exhibited in 2012 and also the one exhibited in 2013 of a man on his head with a child on his feet. Not sure about the name though...

Chen Wenling - Harbour

Chzec sculptor David Cherny, exhibeted 3 giant crawling babies entitled "babies three pieces".

Thai artist Naidee Changmoh presented "The ascetic".
I had to look up the meaning of "ascetic" as I'd never heard it before - but it means recluse, solitary, celibate, spartan, puritan, monk. 

Naidee Chanmoh - The ascetic

Chinese artist Wang Shugang work of art consisted of statues of men sitting on balls entitled 
"Men on Ball". It rather reminds me of "See no evil", "speak no evil" and "hear no evil", only there are 5 men here and not only 3.

Wang Shugang - Man on ball

Soon I'll post some more photos of other sculptures that I enjoyed at this years Sculpture by the Sea.
Which one was your favourite?

Sunday, 22nd March 2015 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Swan Valley - wine and chocolate tours

Located just 30 minutes east of the city of Perth, Swan Valley, an area settled in 1829, is home to quite a  few award-winning wines and restaurants.

In February, just before leaving for Europe I had to use up a voucher given to me for my birthday the previous year, for an afternoon delights tour by Swan Valley Tours.

I took the train into the city and with some time to spare walked around the area surrounding the main railway station at Wellington street.

Old and new architecture side by side

At the arranged time, 11,50am the bus driver picked me up as well as a few of my fellow tour takers from the bus stop close to the station, and after he introduced himself and told us about the tour we drove to the Swan Valley area, where wines have been produced for the past 180 years.

We drove past the gateway to the Swan valley - the historical village of Guildford, settled in 1829 by the European, the village still has a lot of interesting old buildings, antique shops and cafes.

This area is also known for it's arts and crafts markets, art galleries, fresh produce road-side kiosks, wildlife parks like Whiteman Park, plus of course the many wineries, breweries, fine restaurants and accommodation.

Our first stop was at the Houghton Estates where we were give an array of white and red wines to taste ranging from Verdelho (a Portuguese white grape also grown in this region) to Shiraz. I'm not a great drinker at all, so I limited myself to 2 tastings and then perused the interesting shop and went into the garden.

Houghton shop at the Cellar door

Gardens at the Houghton wine estate

Next stop was at the Windy Creek Estate - again about 17 different wines were lined up to be tasted. I wonder if anyone actually manages to taste them all? 

This time I tasted two of the fortified wines - an Old Tawny (type of Port wine) and a Liqueur Muscat - actually the type of drinks I like are the sweet ones like liqueurs, so I liked these and bought a bottle of each to take home.
Here we were served some crackers with cheeses and preserves - "Wicked stepmother", which were also very nice.

Rows and rows of vine and mountain in the distance
A few of the tour takers were already in high spirits and we went back to the bus to visit the third winery of the tour, the family operated Swanbrook Winery.
I loved the old truck at the entrance, and they had a beautiful gift shop, a Cafe and a well cared for garden.

An old farming truck at the entrance of the winery

Gift shop and Cafe at Swanbrook winery
Outside in the shaded garden there was a big cage with a Galah, and a little boy informed us that it's wings were broken so he couldn't fly. He was aggressive though if anyone tried touching him...

Our next stop was a the Mash Brewerie , where they have a range of beers and ale.
We were all entitled to one free drink, everybody going for beers of course, but I hate beer, just don't like the smell of it, so it was a soft drink for me.
A very interesting venue where you can see the brewing tanks behind the counter. They also sell snacks as well as meals.

Mash Brewerie
The menu had some interesting beer quotes

- Milk is for babies! When you grow up you have to drink beer! (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
- You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. (Frank Zapa)
- Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. (Kinky Friedman)
- Beer - it's the best damn drink in the world. (Jack Nicholson)

Some people went for a second round, paid for this time, and the guide took some photos of the group for their site.
On our way again, to the Margaret River Chocolate factory.  Yummi!!  Alas, chocolate tasting was a bit restricted, a handful of chocolate chips and then we could choose one chocolate from their gourmet range. The chocolates are great, a bit on the expensive side though. Nowadays they also have a shop in Perth's city centre.

Chocolate factory

Across from the chocolate shop, at Providore - they had tastings of chocolate liqueurs, as well preserves and chutneys. They had containers with all sorts of goodies and you took a tiny disposable spoon and tasted what you wanted. The liqueurs were really nice! 
The shelves were full of lovely  jars of preserves, olive oils and other gourmet goodies - all very appetizing.

Providore - gourmet foods

It was around 5pm and time to return to the city, where the bus driver dropped us at various spots according to what suited us best. 
I was dropped near the train station in the city so I could catch the train home.

It was a wonderful afternoon with a handful of people from 5 or 6 different countries, who all had a good time and a few laughs. Pity I couldn't eat more chocolates....

Perth city skyline at one of our stops

Wednesday, 11th February 2015

A Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers of the world!
Enjoy your special day. Well, I know in Europe it was celebrated last Sunday, but here in Australia and some countries in the Southern hemisphere it's celebrated on the second Sunday of May.