Sunday, March 24, 2013

Heide Museum of Modern Art

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have an all day event for work at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen.  It was my first visit to Heide, which has a couple of galleries as well as various sculptures scattered throughout the grounds.  The property was originally the home of the Reed family and became a retreat for several Australian artists (Sidney Nolan painted his Ned Kelly series in the dining room) before being turned into a museum in the 1980s.

The exhibition that was on while we were there was Louise Bourgeois: Late Works.  It focused on pieces from the last 15 years of the French-American artist's long career.  Most of the works were sculptures she made using different fabrics- from headless torsos to severed heads both hanging from the ceiling and in glass boxes.  There were some interesting embroidered pieces and images made by folding fabric into patterns.  They also had one of her giant spider sculptures over a cage with tapestry on it, which reminded me that I had previously seen one of her spider sculptures that was on display along the Embarcadero in San Francisco near the Bay Bridge a few years ago. Overall it was a confronting and thought provoking exhibit which I quite enjoyed.  I wish I had had more time to spend looking at the pieces.

While at Heide we were also fortunate enough to have a two course lunch from Cafe Vue.  I chose the main course and dessert for my two dishes, which were part of a special menu done for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  The main was a lamb terrine with fried eggplant and salad.  Dessert was a macadamia banana split, which consisted of caramelized bits of macadamia nuts and cubes of banana bread with pieces of banana and sauce on top of them.  Both dishes were very good.  One of these days I hope to do the degustation menu at Vue de Monde.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Neil Finn and Paul Kelly- Return To The Palais

Mary and I returned to the Palais Theatre tonight for the second run of dates in Melbourne and show number six of Neil Finn and Paul Kelly's tour.  A big thank you to my friend Ben for getting us tickets (as well as for Fran and her sister).  Since they have been on the road for a couple of weeks I was curious to see how things had evolved since I saw them at the start of the tour in mid-February.

Lisa Mitchell was the opening act again and seemed to be more chatty tonight.  She played a couple different songs from the previous nights, including "Bless This Mess."  My highlights of her set were "Coin Laundry" and the closer "Spiritus."

Neil and Paul once again emerged onto the dark stage with lanterns and shook hands in the middle before playing Paul's "Don't Stand So Close To The Window."  The set list was pretty much the same as the previous two shows I saw, with a couple of changes to Paul's songs, including the addition of "From St Kilda To Kings Cross."  You could tell the whole band was much more comfortable with the songs and now able to add their own special touches to each number.  A lot of my favorite moments remained: the variety in the selection of songs from Neil's back catalogue, Neil's breathtaking version of "(You Can Put Your) Shoes Under My Bed," and the energy of so many of Paul's songs throughout the set.  Neil had a ripper of a guitar solo during "Distant Sun" and Paul's playing of the opening guitar riff on "Don't Dream It's Over" adds a whole new dimension to the song.  I feel very fortunate that I got to see three of the Melbourne shows and be able to watch these legendary songwriters perform with each other.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sydney Road Street Party 2013

It wasn't until I was coming home on the tram earlier in the week that I realized the Sydney Road Street Party was on again this weekend.  The weather today was quite nice, and I headed down to Sydney Road in the late afternoon to check out a couple of bands that were on the Local and Live Stage.  First was Francolin, who I have been meaning to see live for a while now.  They played songs from their debut album Won't Let You Down, which had a bit of a calypso feel to them with the trumpet and guitars.  I really enjoyed their set and hope to catch them again soon.

While Francolin were playing Ruth and Danny joined me since they were in the neighborhood.  We had a wander around the street party and checked out the various booths along Sydney Road.  It was the usual things from previous years, although it did seem as though a few more of the shops had set up stalls in front of their stores. 

We headed back to the Local and Live Stage in time for The Harpoons.  As always it was wonderful to see them play live.  The Madin brothers and Bec Rigby took turns on lead vocals and we were treated to a mix of songs including "Swim My Baby," "Walk Away" and the usual show stopper "Faith."  They finished their 45 minute set with "Keep You Around" and I am hoping that this is the year that their debut album finally sees the light of day!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Baby Guerrilla Solo Exhibition Opening

Yesterday evening Kat and Dave joined me for the opening of Baby Guerrilla's solo exhibition at Post Industrial Design in Footscray.  I am a huge fan of her street art, which I have posted about here and here.  But besides the very detailed black and white stencil paste ups she has put on walls across Melbourne, she is also an accomplished painter, having graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts.  It was interesting to see these two sides of her personality on display in the exhibition.

There was a big turn out by the time we got there, with some people wearing masquerade masks (had we known there was a theme we could have participated).  Baby Guerrilla herself was there in disguise applying temporary tattoos of her artwork onto people.  There were also some sticker decals for sale, as well as her paintings and drawings.  It was great to be able to see her work up close, especially the paintings.  If you happen to be in Footscray go check out the exhibition, which runs until 22 March.

Afterwards we went to have dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant Dong Que, and then returned to Kat and Dave's lovely renovated house for dessert and to watch Silver Linings Playbook.  Both Kat and I really enjoyed the movie, and I was impressed by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's performances.
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