Gallery Crawl

There are a couple of really stunning video works in the exhibition, LandSeaSky currently showing at the National Art School in Sydney. The one that really caught my attention, appealed to both my head and my heart, was a work called Littoral (2014) by Derek Kreckler. As you walk into the space on the second floor, images of large waves at sea are projected onto vertical blinds. Behind the blind, an electric fan slowly oscilates, moving the vertical blinds, giving an actual sense of movement beyond that which is shown through the projection. It’s a physically beautiful work and Kate and I sat and watched it for quite some time, as part of our all-day Saturday “Gallery Crawl”.

Well, not so much “all day” as we started off with some late morning yum cha. From there we wandered to White Rabbit, one of our favourite galleries. I really loved the last exhibition there, though was not as excited about this one, “Commune” which runs until February next year. There are some really good works in the exhibition. In particular, we both really loved The Remnants of Images (2013), by Hu Jieming, where some wonderful older photographs have been animated slightly with modern images. If you love photography, you’ll really enjoy the way the images have been modified, modernised, and presented.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know by Zhou Xiaohu

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know by Zhou Xiaohu

But aside from that, there wasn’t too much I couldn’t really get too excited about. Though something happened which took me back to the last exhibition and the really really amazing work by Zhou Xiaohu featuring incredibly life like sculptures. They were so lifelike even one of the gallery attendnants mentioned he sometimes became confused. As I entered the second floor today I saw a similarly life-like sculpture sitting on a bench, looking intently at his mobile phone. As I moved closer to have a look I noticed his thumb was slowly sending a text message. I was so intrigued I went up for a really close look. Really close. “Amazing”, I thought to myself. A few seconds later, the “sculpture” got up from the bench and walked away. I can laugh about it now, though I felt mortified at the time.

Throughout the afternoon we visited a few other galleries in the area. We both really liked “The War On Perspective” by Timothy Harland at X88 Gallery. I really loved his image of the now de-commissioned Sydney Monorail, and I suspect I’ll go back and purchase a copy. We also popped in to William Wright Gallery on Stanley Street where the artist, Ann Graham had an exhibition opening. Upstairs there was a really intriguing body of work, where the artist had made clothing from dog hair. Accompanying the clothing were photographs of people wearing the clothing and the dogs which, presumably, it came from.

We ended the day at the Sydney Opera House for “Now I’ll Have To Kill You”, a comedic story telling night hosted by Glenn Robbins and featuring Davd O’Neill, Peter Berner and Kitty Flanning. It was a rally fun way to end a really enjoyable day. Kate’s on her way back to Newcastle, and I’m home for a quiet night after a reasonably busy week both at work and socially. Time for a bit of catch up TV, I suspect.


Ichibang - Surry Hills

Good Japanese in Surry Hills – Ichibang

Even though I’ve often bought takeaway from there, and even though I live about fifty metres from Ichibang, I’ve never actually dined there before. But I was feeling somewhat lazy (you know, Friday night), and I’d reached the point (nine o’clock) where I could either choose to eat or simply go to bed hungry. I chose the former.

As it was reasonably late I chose two entrees: a squid tempura dish and some sushi. The sushi was absolutely fantastic. It was beautifully prepared and tasted great (which is what you want from Japanese food). The tempura was okay, though I hasten to add, I always think tempura is a bit of a disappointment: it always sounds like a good idea, but I’ve never been excited when it arrives.

The service was good, fast and efficient: though when ten o’clock came around I note there was a bit of pressure to get out the door as quickly as possible. I’d have happily stayed a bit longer, sipping on a glass of wine and reading my book, but the message was clear: it was time to go.

By the way, have been meaning to post this link for a couple of weeks, as the journalist Esther Han had actually asked me if I would be interviewed for it. I’d written a blog post in 2008 about how I’d overcome the “stigma” of dining alone. Largely due to timing, we never actually did the interview, aside from some email contact. It’s a nice little article.


Franco & Franco Flowers

Street Gardens

One of the really interesting trends which has emerged recently in Surry Hills is the “street garden”. By this, I mean restaurants with small trollies of herbs on the street outside their establishments. Franco & Franco (on Crown Street, Surry Hills) has been doing it for a few months with a variety of herbs, and even some root vegetables. I snapped this photograph tonight, showing their latest contribution, some gorgeous flowers. It’s a lovely trend, breaking up the concrete and bitumen otherwise dominating the landscape.