Friday, 31 December 2010

The Satyr - Happy New Years Eve

A sculpture in the Botanic Gardens (located near the Opera House gates).

The Satyr is by Frank (Guy) Lynch.

According to his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, 'The Satyr' was modelled on Frank's younger brother Joseph Young Lynch (1897-1927), a black-and-white artist. On 14 May 1927, while drunk, Joe threw himself off a Mosman-bound ferry near Fort Denison, fought off a would-be rescuer and drowned; his body was never recovered. Joe's unruly life and tragic death inspired poet Kenneth Slessor's elegy, 'Five Bells'.

Wikipedia says:

"In Greek mythology, satyrs  are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing.

Satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman conflation with Faunus, a carefree Italic nature spirit of similar characteristics and identified with the Greek god Pan. Hence satyrs are most commonly described in Latin literature as having the upper half of a man and the lower half of a goat, with a goat's tail in place of the Greek tradition of horse-tailed satyrs.

Satyrs are described as roguish but faint-hearted folk — subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly.
They are lovers of wine and women, and they are ready for every physical pleasure. They roam to the music of pipes and bagpipes, and they love to dance with the nymphs (with whom they are obsessed, and whom they often pursue), and have a special form of dance called sikinnis. Because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding wine cups, and they appear often in the decorations on wine cups."

Just right for the spirit of New Years Eve......

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Hyde Park Barracks

Coffee break at Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie St, Sydney. The Barracks, designed by colonial architect Francis Greenway, is a world heritage listed building.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Quiet paths, Government House

Government House in the Botanic Gardens used to be the residence of the Governor of NSW (the Queen's epresentative in the state). Marie Bashir, the current Gov doesn't live here, and the grounds are open to the public.

There are lots of quiet, and beautiful, places to escape the rush of the city. Even the ibis find it ideal.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Monday, 27 December 2010

An EXCEPTIONALLY retail Boxing Day

Pitt St Mall - Boxing Day start to retail sales (though most things seem to have been "on sale" for months!). It is as if, having missed one day of retail opportunity, a consumerist frenzy broke out.

Never before, and never again!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

A very Sydney Christmas

Well, it was gorgeous. The best type of Christmas weather - warm, very sunny, the gentlest of breezes. Perfect for a swim and snorkel in the morning, back home for an outdoor meal in the mid-afternoon, lingering into the night.

Seasons Greetings to you and everyone in your life.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

A very chocolate Christmas

Window displays at Belle Fleur chocolates in Rozelle.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, Milad Majid, Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand, Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun, Selamat Hari Natal, Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!, Shuvo Naba Barsha, Vesele Vanoce,
Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina, Feliz Natal, Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat, Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo, Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!, Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun, Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan, Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito, Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth, Pace e salute, Rot Yikji Dol La Ro, Mitho Makosi Kesikansi, Sretan Bozic, Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok, Glædelig Jul, Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak, Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast, Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!, Gajan Kristnaskon, Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi, Melkin Yelidet Beaal, Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!, Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad, Hyvaa joulua, Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar, Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!, Bo Nada, Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Kala Christouyenna!, Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto, Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!, Mele Kalikimaka, Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova, Shub Naya Baras, Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket, Gledileg Jol, Selamat Hari Natal, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay, Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto, Sung Tan Chuk Ha, souksan van Christmas, Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!, Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!, Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto, Priecigus Ziemassvetkus, Linksmu Kaledu, Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar, Schèine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch, Sreken Bozhik, IL-Milied It-tajjeb, Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa, Meri Kirihimete, Shub Naya Varsh , Merry Keshmish, God Jul, Gledelig Jul, Pulit nadal e bona annado, Bon Pasco, Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu, En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!, Maligayang Pasko!, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie, Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha, Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua, Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn, Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!, Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit, Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom, Buorrit Juovllat, La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou, Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou, Nollaig chridheil huibh, Hristos se rodi, Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa, Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok, Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto, God Jul, Ett Gott Nytt År, Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon, Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal, Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!, Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas, Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun, Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM, Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas), Chuc Mung Giang Sinh, Nadolig Llawen, E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!, Geseënde Kersfees, Een Plesierige Kerfees, Rehus-Beal-Ledeats, Gezur Krislinjden, Kamgan Ukudigaa, Melkam Gena, Yeni Iliniz Mübarək, З Божым нараджэннем, Шчаслівых Калядау, शुभ क्रिसमस और शुभ नव वर्ष , Честита Коледа, 聖誕節同新年快樂 , 聖誕節快樂, 新年快樂 , 聖誕快樂 新年快樂, 圣诞节快乐 , 聖誕節快樂, 圣诞快乐, Me Nomuni na marau ni siga ni sucu kei na tawase ni yabaki vou, გილოცავთ შობა-ახალ წელს , Καλά Χριστούγεννα!, સાલ મુબારક, शुभ क्रिसमस , メリークリスマス, Жаңа жыл құтты болсын!, Жаратканнын туысымен Жана Жылыныз кутты болсын, 즐거운 성탄절 보내시고 새해 복 많이 받으세요, शुभ नाताळ , ਕਰਿਸਮ ਤੇ ਨਵਾੰ ਸਾਲ ਖੁਸ਼ਿਯਾੰਵਾਲਾ ਹੋਵੇ, С Рождеством Христовым , Христос се роди, Krismasi Njema, கிறிஸ்துமஸ் மற்றும் இனிய புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள், సంతోషకరమైన క్రిస్ఠ్మస్ !, کرسمَس مبارک
کرسمَس مبارک

Apologies if your language is not there, or there are errors! Blame Google!

And let us not forget - the one and only Wingdings!! 
Merry Christmas!

Friday, 24 December 2010

A very retail Christmas

Santa will be setting off from a Westfield shopping centre at any time now. Looks like his helper elves are boarding now for take off.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

It's work....

Every day I see young people walking from Chalmers St in Surry Hills towards the CBD, arms laden with these foam antler things, there to be sold as part of the binge of retail ephemera. I guess, but don't know, that the army of young salespersons are predominantly backpackers, who flock to Sydney at this time of year.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Times change

Back to the pool again, this time with my underwater camera. A beautiful, bright warm (about 29 degrees max) day. And when I arrived there was only me and a family there.

Times change. A bright sunny, summer day in school hols & the local pool almost deserted.  When I was a kid we spent all day at the pool.

Suspect a few factors are at play here:
  1. The prevalence of the backyard pool
  2. Culture shift - newer residents not so enamoured with swimming play
  3. "Stay out of the sun" messages
  4. Kids under 16 no longer allowed in without adult supervision - oh&s, fears of litigation & the fear of teenage & adolescent horseplay has pushed kids out of spaces. Public pools now much more serious places with lap lanes prevalent.
  5. Anxiety about the safety of kids who no longer seem to be able to disappear outdoors at dawn, to reappear for food sometime late in the day!
 When I was 8 or 9 I used to be "the responsible one" with the local kids at the pool. It was the norm for kids to walk or ride their bike to the pool & spend hours there. I used to love the 1 & 3 metre diving boards - they've pretty much disappeared too except at "out of bounds" competition pools.

What has changed since you were young?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Ripples on the surface

Sometimes still waters run deep; other times the winds of change blow, creating ripples on the smooth surface.

It started out cold (ish) in Sydney today; in other parts of the state there were snowfalls! By mid-morning it was perfect for getting stuck into a long overdue job : taming the wilderness otherwise known as a garden.

Them the sun came out, just in time for a restorative swim. It was still windy, hence the ripples on the water surface as the wind blew across it. However, the water temperature was just right!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

In front and behind

There I was enjoying the sunshine and the view across the city (look closely and see if you can see the Harbour Bridge!) from Jubilee Park in Bardwell Valley. I was feeling the sunny warmth on my arms and legs. And then I looked behind!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Putting on the covers

When you're at cricket, and the sky gets like this, you need to hurry to put the covers over the wicket...

Thursday, 16 December 2010


The federal government has been privatising the provision of adult migrant English programs, after 60 successful years of puboic provision. Of course it is all about lower costs - public teachers are paid "too much".

This afternoon a protest rally took place outside the Department of Immigration and Citiznship in Sydney.

Friday, 10 December 2010

centripetal by Matthew Harding (Vic)

"When you look at yourself from a universal standpointsomething inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about." Albert Einstein.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

oh my god by Lucy Vader (NSW)

Statement: "Using her background in architecture and interiors, the artist has segued into steel sculpture, knitting the two forms of expression in a way that affords levity and longevity."

I have only one thing to say: FFS!!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

monument for small changes by Vlasé Nikoleski (NSW)

For Nola. This was her favourite sculpture this year, and today is her birthday! Happy Birthday, Nola.

The artist says: "Dealing with natural and man-made events that mark the attrition zone between land and sea."

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

the dancer by Jeramie Carter (NSW)

Another one of my favourite pieces from this year. Carter says: "Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.", Ted Shawn. The work gives the viewer the mirror image provoking the imagination to give the viewer an alternate look at themselves and their surroundings."

Monday, 6 December 2010

the big melt by Jane Gillings (NSW)

Statement by artist: "Icebergs break off and drift. Ephemeral sculptures, dripping and changing. Icicles cling to overhangs. Little swords of Damocles. Falling imperceptibly. Returning to the sea."

Gillings won the Kids' Choice award last year (click here).

Sunday, 5 December 2010

bureaucratic tank by Edward Horne (NSW)

Horne says: "Bureaucracy is like a military tank. It won't stop for anything and has a disregard for humanitarian values. It leaves a path of paper wherever it goes."

Saturday, 4 December 2010

mirroring 1995 by Keld Moseholm (Denmark)

This year's winner of the major prize of $60 000 (The Balnaves Foundation Sculpture prize).

I have liked Moseholm's works before - click here for his 2009 entry; 2008 entry

The work is made of bronze and granite. Moseholm says: "There is a relationship between reality and unreality symbolised by the imaginary mirror."

Friday, 3 December 2010

entering the exit by Braddon Snape (NSW)

The camel from yesterday, seen through this work.

"This work ponders the notion of journey in all its incarnations - physical, spiritual, cognitive, psychological, social and personal."

Thursday, 2 December 2010

the adaptable migrant by Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend (NSW)

This sculpture won the "People's Choice" award this year.
Artists' statement: "A resolute exodus over epic distances into the unknown. Precious cargo: culture, history, memories. Searching for a place to belong."

Evocative of the early Afghan camel drivers who travelled Australia as hawkers.