A sunny day to visit one of the premises of Open House Melbourne. 200 significant commercial and civic buildings, private homes, infrastructure and landscape projects are open, demonstrating some of Melbourne's most progressive, historical, contemporary architectural designs.
Majority of the them were open to the public yesterday, unfortunately we were unable to attend.
One we did visit was the oldest morgue in Australia. In May 1860, Williamstown Council called for tenders for one to be built on what is now known at the Gem Pier.
Ventilation shafts for the breeze to blow through to keep it's inhabitants cool using the Coolgardi Safe method.
At the end of the pier, the Sea Shepherd ship , The Steve Irwin, is in dock for repairs.
We also visited the Jack's Magazine, a former explosives store on the banks of the Maribrynong River. Opened in 1878 and unused since 1990. Built into an escarpment and concealed behind a blue stone perimeter wall on Crown Land, it is largely hidden from view.
As I was on the other side of the city, called into Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre to view this exhibition. All exhibitions are free to the public.
Built in 1899, the homestead is a magnificent Queen Anne style Federation mansion operating as a historic house, art gallery and cafe, registered by Heritage Victoria and certified by the National Trust. Built on the land of the Wurundjeri people, on property known as Bundoora Park, which means "the favourite haunt of the kangaroo", for the Smith family who were well known the horse racing industry.
The beautiful stained glass ceiling insert.
"One Step Further" is a collection of 29 new works created by leading textile artists of Australia and New Zealand. It explores a range of textile art techniques including collage, piecing , print making, painting, fabric manipulation, dyeing, stamping and embellishment.
A sample of the exhibition and their statements:
Sea Wall #6 by Sandra Champion
Rusted, burned, painted, oiled, patched and stitched.
"Visitors to the small park in Secheron Bay, near where I live, would not notice the old sea wall. I love its tired grottiness, its many intriguing layers and hidden traces of history that can only be guessed at".
"Haute Couture Musing" by Fran Batrouney
Boro, kentha, tacking large and small.
"Musing is what it takes. Musing is how things evolve. Musing is dreaming and designing".
"Sentinels" by Annette Packett
Mono printed borders & panels to create tree limb images, hand stitched, painted, collage, seed stitch and machine quilted.
"I am an admirer of trees and use trees imagery to create restful, peaceful artworks. A deciduous tree reveals an intricate network of branches in its shape. The colour blue I've used reminds me of wintery days".
As a member of the NGV, a viewing of the Terracotta Warriors prior to the opening hours of the gallery at 8am was held this morning. An excellent time to see them as there were only approx 100 people in total.
Beautiful clear and crisp morning.
The discovery of the warriors, one of the most significant archaeological finds of the twentieth century, was made by chance. In March 1974, seeking water during a period of drought, local farmers began digging an irrigation well in Lintong district Xi'an. .Little more than a metre below ground, they unearthed fragments of the terracotta army, including a warrior's head and a group of bronze arrowheads. Had the farmers commenced their digging a metre to the east, the warriors may have remained undetected.
Six years after the discovery of the warriors, the tomb of the first emperor was confirmed by the discovery of two bronze chariots. They were originally in large wooden boxes which had collapsed over time, the chariots were squashed flat by the earth on top of them. They were reconstructed from thousands of broken pieces.
"The Transient Landscape"
10,000 suspended porcelain birds, spiraling over visitors heads. The birds create a three-dimensional impression of a calligraphic drawing of the sacred Mount Li, the site of the ancient tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang and his warriors.
Peonies in full bloom have been an important motif in Chinese art for centuries frequently appearing in brush and ink paintings and works of porcelain. They symbolise, royalty, virtue, honour and wealth. The exhibition features two works, 360 degree gunpowder drawings, rendered on silk capturing the peony flower across the four stages of it's life cycle: emergence of the bud, blooming, wilting and decay.
This gunpowder drawing represents the vast mountains and horizons of China's Central Plains.
Located at the lower reaches of the Yellow River, the plains are considered by many to be the cradle of the ancient Chinese civilisation.
From the centre of the gunpowder drawing ignitions burst to the left and right, creating an energy the reflects the Chinese title "Dimai" or "veins of the earth".
Gunpowder drawing of Cypress trees which have been known to live for centuries, remaining evergreen throughout the cold and dark of winter.
Also exhibited were a large array of artifacts found with the warriors.
More than 150 treasures of historic Chinese art and design.