One of my favourite things to do on my days off is to snuggle up into a corner of the couch with my latest copy of Sydney's Time Out magazine - an absolute bible of things to do and see in this town, and an entertaining read as well.
Which was why I was so damn pleased to score a year's subscription when they published a photo I submitted to the magazine's 'City Snaps' section in December last year.
(If you've got some interesting Sydney-ish photos lying around, I'd certainly encourage you to submit them. Everyone loves to win a free subscription!)
Gleaning much from my Time Out magazines, DD and I have been doing + seeing plenty over the last few weekends.
On Saturday we spent the day on an architectural tour of The Rocks (hosted by the Historic Houses Trust) which also included entry to the Susannah Place museum. It threatened rain, but thankfully didn't, although the rain clouds added some nice drama to our early-morning snaps of an arriving cruise liner:
The walking tour of The Rocks was pretty good, but I found the couple of hours we spent in the Susannah Place museum were even better. For a museum, it's so unique - a row of four terrace houses (built in the mid 1800s) incorporating a re-created 1915 corner store. Parts of the museum are maintained in "original" condition (with all their layers of past interiors + occupants), while other parts re-create distinct eras of domestic working class life. I was fascinated by the details, the textures and the layered histories of the place. Worth a visit if you're into that kind of thing.
After Susannah Place, we wandered down to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) to see the Tim Hawkinson exhibition, which was just fantastic. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed :( but I'd definitely recommend seeing it for yourself before it finishes in early March. Tim's art is very unique - a mix of the kinetic, mechanical, aural, and organic, if you can possibly imagine such a thing. I was very excited by his highly inventive use of unusual materials, and particularly like this 'picture' he created from a canvas and 2 pieces of old clothing:
The weekend before, DD and I did a "trifecta" of museums... started at the Justice and Police Museum, then over to the Australian Museum, and finishing up at the Powerhouse Museum.
^ This was the 'dark and scary' room in the J&P Museum, a vault full of murder weapons and haunting photos of criminals. Creepy.
While we only just caught the last day of the J&P Museum's 'Tough Men, Hard Times' exhibition, the Australian Museum has a couple of brilliant exhibitions on right now that are continuing for another month or two:
^ Downstairs is the Face to Face exhibition, an incredibly evokative display of ape portraits taken by a world-class photographer with a message to communicate. A must-see.
^ Upstairs on the top floor, is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, and while it mightn't sound terribly exciting, it'll surprise you with its brilliance. I loved it, and others must have too, because there were A LOT of people milling around, to the point where some pictures had waiting times if you wanted a closer look. But despite the crowding, there's some very impressive photography on show.
Elsewhere in the Musuem, we delighted in the Skeleton Room (as did many excited children). A whole room full of a vast array of skeletal forms and low-lighting - it was a photography bonanza!!!
I especially loved the skeleton bird in its cage:
Of course there was also the mezzanine floor of minerals and insects to explore + photograph, particularly the cases of moths and butterflies (I have a real thing for those framed cases of mounted butterflies):
It was a bit of a whirlwind visit to the Australian Museum, so I'd love to go back again sometime in the next few months, even if only to photograph and sketch/paint some more of these things (I'm really quite cheap to entertain...). I find that going to a Museum is like stepping into a little self-contained world where your attention is focused exclusively on the miniature one minute, and the infinite the next. And there's something quite alluring about that, especially to an artist!
Anyone want to join me next time on a visit to the Skeleton Room? ;)