Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A MELBOURNE GETAWAY


Hello
'Tis the Season to be busy...
So we added in a little Cultural Trip to Melbourne, Victoria


Our hotel was located along the Yarra River, close to the Arts Precinct..



Loved this Art Deco chandelier, based on the Flinders Street Station, seen in the photo above with the green dome



Went to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Hamer Hall -
Dvorak's 'The Noon Witch' brought back memories of our recent trip to Prague, and a lively performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 5, conducted by Karina Canellakis was enthusiastically received.


Our group travelled to the Heide Museum of Modern Art, which I have long wanted to visit.  The sculpture garden was good.


Geoffrey Bartlett, Australia, 'Circus by the Sea' 1982


Mirka Mora

The current exhibition is 'Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux - Drawings and Dolls'. 
Recently deceased, French-born Mirka Mora (1928-August 2018) was a Melbourne artist and cultural identity since arriving in Australia in 1951.
With her husband Georges, Mora owned several cafes and French restaurants, introducing French cuisine to Melbourne.  Georges became an influential art dealer, and Mirka found time for her painting and textile art, while also raising three little boys.




The dolls were fascinating..



Here is a late photo of Mirka, wearing one of her designs translated into fabric.



I bought the book - the story of their lives together, with the addition of many of their French recipes.


The original 'Heide', now called Heide 1, was this farmhouse owned by John and Sunday Reed, famous art benefactors from the early Twentieth Century.
From 1934 it became a gathering place for young Modernist painters including Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, and Albert Tucker, some of Australia's best-known artists.



Now part of the exhibition spaces, the house has a permanent collection of works from that time.
Sidney Nolan, 'Head, Dimboola' 1943
Sidney Nolan 'Ned Kelly: "Nobody knows anything about my case but myself' 1945
Nolan's Ned Kelly series, about a famous bushranger of the Nineteenth century Colonial era, was painted on the large dining table at Heide.


We moved on to Coombe Estate, once the home of the famous Australian operatic soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931).
The property is still owned by her descendants, and has been beautifully preserved.  The garden is stunning.












Our trip to Melbourne was completed with the Australian Opera's production of
Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger' .



Our Pre-performance talk by Prof. Heath Lees was very enjoyable and greatly enhanced our first experience of Wagnerian Opera. 
 The performance lasted six hours!  







No visit to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria.  They have a fun exhibition of the work of British visual artist Julian Opie:



Back to Brisbane, and another heat wave.  
Spare a thought for the many Queenslanders who are facing awful bushfires today.  Tomorrow will be another scorcher, 37C and higher in many places.

Stay cool and be well.

XXXX






19 comments:

  1. This post is an absolute gift for the senses! Thank you dear for sharing your love of the Arts! Mirka Mora's work is so intriguing! And I can't even imagine a 6 hour performance of any kind! Did you stay for the entire time?

    so sorry to hear there are awful fires in Queensland! Here in California there have been the worst fires recently, in the history of our state.

    Sending big hugs your way from Southern California! xox

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    1. Thank you Tamera, our whole trip was such a gift! We did stay for the whole performance - there was a one-hour intermission when we had a quick meal, so it all worked well.
      I have seen the news of California, so sad for your State. We have a very similar climate to California, and some of the water-dropping helicopers are shared between California and Australia. Unfortunately, at the moment we both have fires simultaneously.
      Hugs across the ocean to you too! xox

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  2. I never imagined there was so much in Melbourne! Mirka Mora looks very talented. And I'm glad you enjoyed the opera - that was a lovely picture of the curtain with that fantastic design. Was it illuminated or just embroidered? I am so sorry to hear about the fires, though.

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    1. Melbourne is a great centre for the Arts in Australia. The Australian Opera and Ballet companies are based there. The wonderful red velvet curtain is actually painted! It is many layers of impasto paint with gold leaf in the mix, which catches the lights beautifully. It is absolutely stunning, and was made in 1984. The motifs include Australian flora and fauna, most eye-catching being the lyrebird tail in the centre.

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  3. I've always admired Mirka Mora. Melbourne is such a wonderful place to visit if you want a cultural break. Unfortunately it is growing so fast that the trip from the airport to Melbourne central is really daunting now.

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    1. So true, I always love Melbourne. The last time we went it was to see the Catherine the Great exhibition - wonderful. And yes, I did notice how dense the city has become as we came closer - seemed to take ages to get a short distance to our hotel. I fear Brisbane is becoming similar, and I find driving to the city a bit daunting these days.

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  4. What a wonderful cultural trip you both had in Melbourne. I had never heard about Mirka Mora, so thanks for the introduction. I love that first piece with the rather naive plump angels. Not sure just what they are up to, at first I thought that it was a take off of Adam and Eve. What a lovely looking young women she was too.
    These terrible fires around the world seem to be increasing year by year, whatever are we doing to our climate!!!

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    1. Hello Rosemary, I think most of Mirka's angels were up to highjinks of some kind! She was very high-spirited, in life, love and art.
      The fires continue, and we wonder what happened to our Queensland climate too - there were 110 fires yesterday. Hot and dry, and very unusual for December.

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  5. What a nice little trip you had, Patricia. The dolls are different, aren't they? Interesting story about the French artist. I have a blog friend from France, and she sent me a handmade doll that she made herself. I just love it, and will cherish it always. The symphony orchestra sounds fantastic. I'm sorry to hear about he bushfires. We had the most terrible fires this year in California. Such a scary thing.

    I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season, Patricia.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, how exciting to have a handmade doll from France. This is the joy of blogging at its best. I am enjoying the Christmas season, and singing at lots of concerts. In fact trying to find time to write another post!

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  6. They are expanding the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney but Melbourne is still the cultural capital of Australia IMHO. What a nice getaway. I'm starting to get itchy feet...

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    1. Totally agree, Melbourne has a cultural charm all its own. I have heard about AGNSW extension, so will watch with interest. Meantime, need to get to Sydney to see the Hermitage. Have you been?

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  7. Trish, so glad you took us with you. I love bright Melbourne is this time of the year. A city to visit should I ever get myself to Australia, which is on my bucket list!

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    1. Oh Debra, do put Melbourne on your list if you come over to see us. It is very cultural and has lots of old-world charm. What fun if you came to Brisbane too :)

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    2. As it's a long trip from America, I'd have to plan enough time (3-4 weeks) to crisscross the country in order to see its many wonders ... including friends in Brisbane (not to mention all the pretty trees, flowers and birds). But it's always the people who make a place memorable and fun!

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  8. Hi Patricia it's Shez here I have started up a new blog as I missed my blogging friends,I am now also your newest follower hope you will visit and follow me too. I have planned a trip to Melb this Saturday with my sister and SIL,we are going to see Myers window decorated for Xmas. You have had a wonderful time in Melb you always find the best things to visit and see,glad you had a lovely time my friend.xx

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    1. Hi Shez, and welcome back to Blogland. Just goes to show how much we enjoy our blogging friends. Thank you for following, and I have found yours too. Melbourne is always enjoyable, a lovely, cultural city.

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  9. What a wonderful weekend. Melbourne looks very rich in cultural activities. I would love to go there to. In fact Australia is very high on my wish list. Your photos are lovely, Patricia. I would like to stay warm for now, though, not cool, but I understand :)

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    1. We had a great time in Melbourne, such a graceful and cultured city. You will have to put it on your wish list. Hope you make it soon!

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