Wednesday, September 30, 2009

where the 1860s sketches led


I've been checking out 1860s men's fashions and imagining these gentlemen are on their way to the orchestra at the exhibition building where a fellow patron will sketch their profile in a moment of idleness/boredom/romantic yearning.

1860 sketches

I was looking through programmes for work yesterday and came across this page of sketches on the back of a Melbourne Philharmonic Society programme from 1860. The drawings are very fine, mostly in faint pencil on delicate, thin paper. I wonder who drew them and if they are sketches of other members of the audience. Finding a page like this is why I like working in museums.

Monday, September 28, 2009

John Northe at the cinema

The inspiration for one of my favourite John Northe drawings. I loved this book when I was a kid and the cover was a similar still from the movie. I always found these images very spooky as a child. I was easily spooked.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Police and Justice Museum

One of my favourite places to go in Sydney is the Police and Justice Museum down at Circular Quay and this plaster cast of the 'pyjama girl' is one of my favourite items in the collection. There is so much fear and resigned sadness in that face. The policeman who modelled it, Cecil Jardine, has given her a grace that she wasn't given in death. It has haunted me since I first saw it many years ago.
pyjama girl                       

Sydney's criminal history is fascinating and the museum has some incredible collection items. One small room is filled with confiscated weapons, some dating back to the first Police Museum of 1910. They were originally collected at the scene of crimes and only viewed by trainee police. Looking at all the home made knives and knuckledusters and the brief details of their origin gives an insight into the tough world it was down at the Quay before it was gentrified.
In 2007 I was lucky to catch the exhibition 'City of Shadows' which you can read about here:

I used to live in Darlington so many of the photographs were of familiar streets, although they are now mostly home to cashed up inner city dwellers rather than the down-at-luck types seen in the mug shots. The book is a real gem...

Glass cases

Friday, September 25, 2009

John Mackay Northe - rest in peace

Portrait of John's mother Edna.

The day the earth stood still

Today Rob and I went to the memorial service for John Mackay Northe. It was a touching celebration and I felt privileged to be there. John's aunt Jeanette spoke on behalf of the family. I loved the stories of his childhood, when he would wind string all around his garden and hang hundreds of objects from the trees. She talked about his time at Arts Project and it was very clear how important it was for John that his talent was recognised and valued. John was fortunate that members of his family gave him the support and freedom to be true to himself. A sad but beautiful farewell.

Images care of Arts Project Australia. All works pictured are in the Permanent Collection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Indian art

Minhazz Majumdar showed me some incredible work done by Indian Outsider artists when she was here in Melbourne. This is one of the drawings I bought.

Apologies for the poor snapshot quality.

Minhazz's website

Glass cases

Pretty much every photo I've taken in a museum is slightly blurred. I'm either sneaking them when the guard isn't looking, if the museums doesn't allow photos, or trying to find an angle with the least reflection and then holding my breath for the long exposure.


Dubrovnik is full of cats

Let me fix that for you

Peeling saints

Baby jumping

I'm a vegetarian but I like these little butchers

Terracotta men surveying the scene

sad monkey musicians


Looking anxious


For Hazel

I loved seeing all the home made Yoshitomo Nara inspired creatures in the catalogue for his show 'I Don't Mind, If You Forget Me'. When my friends had a baby I decided to sew my own for a present.This is what I ended up with for little Hazel.

Exhibition images from Tomio Koyama Gallery Tokyo