Wordless Wednesday: Renaissance Florence



Swell Festival 2016 – part 2

On my last post I shared some of the sculptures featured in the Swell 2016 Sculpture Festival. As promised, here is a part two of my selection of images.

Swell Festival 2016 – part 1

Up before the sun and with a hit of caffeine, Hubby, Bundy and I were ready to head south to Currumbin, host to the 2016 Swell Sculpture Festival. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to experience the festival, fewer crowds and better light for taking photos. Bundy loves the festival, it is his chance to run around on the sand and meet a few new faces (or sniff new butts to put it in dog terms). Alphy the turtle is the big hit this year, as are the huge deck chairs but I really love the dog walker sculpture and the timber freight boxes lying on the sand. With so many sculptures I have decided to break up the photos and share them in two lots, you will see more of the dog walker and other wonderful works of art sometime next week.

Which one is your favourite?

Azzedine Alaïa and the Borghese

The Borghese Gallery, Rome

Poor planning on our last trip to Rome resulted in me being unable to get a ticket to see the Borghese Gallery, I was devastated and vowed that it wouldn’t happen again. After failing to successfully purchase tickets through the Borghese Gallery I decided to pay that little bit extra and get skip the line tickets through Viator. Our entry time was at 9am and we had until 11am to view the entire gallery, at 11am they kicked us all out and the next group of visitors went through. Two hours doesn’t seem like much, we could have easily spent another hour at least in the gallery especially with the addition of garments from the Azzedine Alaïa collection being on display.

The ‘no photo’ rule seemed to have been withdrawn from the Borghese, I vaguely recall reading in guidebooks and hearing on travel podcasts that photos were strictly prohibited and cameras would have to be stored in lockers. All around us people were taking photos with iphones, DSLRs and compact cameras and nobody seemed to care. After a few quick shots with my iphone, out came my trusty Nikon DSLR and it didn’t return to its bag until we were in the gallery gift shop.

The Azzedine Alaïa gowns on display were stunning, much thought had gone into the location of each gown or group of garments with some looking almost like a ghostly apparition among the sculptures and paintings. In the nineties I loved seeing Azzedine Alaïa’s designs on supermodels such as Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour, they wore them so well and the gowns looked like works of art. Moving around the gallery, my eyes flicked from classical sculptures to fashion items and while others crowded around Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne I was taking photos of the nearest design by Azzedine Alaïa. This gave me one advantage, by the time I had finished admiring the design most of the group had moved on and I could enjoy the sculptures in relative quiet.

The Borghese Gallery is a most magnificent place to visit, I walked out of there feeling extremely happy and it would have to rate as one of my most enjoyable gallery and/or museum experiences. The restricted number of visitors at any one time certainly enhances the experience, having been to the Vatican Museum where numbers do not appear to be limited and large tour groups crowd the halls and stairwells, I much prefer having to book in advance for a nominated time slot.

Black Wolves art installation – Turin

On our first full day in Turin we stumbled upon the Black Wolves art installation at a University building off Via Po. I’m not 100% sure what it was about so I photographed the poster onsite and hope that one of you may be able to translate it for me. It was an amazing experience to be able to wander through the artwork and to also look down upon it from a higher level of the building. Some of the wolves looked intimidating and you would think that seeing blood dripping from their teeth would frighten small children but the few we saw seemed more fascinated than scared.

A sample from Swell 2014

The annual Swell Sculpture Festival is currently underway at Currumbin Beach Queensland. Traffic was bumper to bumper and parks were scarce but after 20 minutes of stalking potential parking spots we were successful and joined the hordes on the esplanade at Currumbin Beach. Bundy always enjoys an evening stroll, he and the hubby spent most of their time people watching and patiently waiting for me to finish taking photographs. Here is a sample of some of my favourites from this years festival.


Melbourne, from the other side of the river

The two times that I have been to Melbourne were spent close to the CBD in Bourke Street and I never ventured across the river to the home of Crown Casino and the Southbank precinct. This week I have been in Melbourne for a conference and have had the opportunity to spend time wandering around the Southbank precinct, admiring the sculptures, drooling over extravagant menus and almost getting run over by numerous cyclists who speed along the esplanade.

Wifi in the hotel is ridiculously expensive, almost $10 for one hour or $20 per day and their weekly rate is $99! Thank goodness for the fantastic wireless access at the conference. I’ve been able to keep up with my email and participate freely in the twitter frenzy that always seem to occur during a conference, not to mention facebook and writing the post.

Outside the convention centre is a timber sailing ship, it is quite amazing to look out and see this sort of history and it provides a dramatic contrast to the steel and glass architecture. Near my hotel is a huge glass high-rise building with golden bees perched on its walls, as I walk to and from the conference venue I pass funky, colourful sculptures and paintings similar in style to some of those I posted towards the end of last year. All of this provides a wonderful break from the talk of digital repositories, data management and research support that is the focus of the conference. 

The photos I’m sharing today are taking using the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, it is one of my favourite photography apps even though it has been crashing a bit lately when using a particular ‘lens’. The other photos I’ll share another time.

Sculptures by the Sea with my iPhone


I never thought that the opportunity to see Sculptures by the Sea would arise this year, there was just too much going on that required my attention (and my budget). As it turns out, a trip to Sydney popped up and U was able to take my Dad on a tour of Tamarama and Bondi to view some in incredible art. Lacking my DSLR meant relying on my iPhone and lack of a laptop has me two finger typing this post on the iPhone WordPress app, so please excuse any typos 🙂

The day was spectacular, school kids and tourists were out in full force and everyone had some sort of camera, my photos will not be unique but I don’t care, I had a great time.


















The last of Swell 2013 (part 3)

The last of my images from the Swell Sculpture Festival 🙂

More culture at Swell 2013 (part 2)

Walking along such a popular and pretty part of the coast at sunset is a pleasant experience any time of year, during Swell it is made more interesting by the addition of sculptures scattered across the sand and along the esplanade. There are children, dogs and happy snappers everywhere, and even though the signs all say ‘Please don’t climb on the sculptures’, many of them are begging for interaction and it is possible to walk around and through some of the installations. Looking back, I have to wonder whether a theme for the festival could be one of interaction, encouraging children and adults to participate in the piece, firing up their imagination and expressing their creativity.

This gallery is the second of three galleries that I’ll be posting and featuring work from the Swell Sculpture Festival, I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I enjoyed the exhibition.