Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sinking In

Three days into the Australia Adventure, as I will now call my escapades, I went to work for the Sydney Festival, Australia’s largest annual Arts event that attracts over 1.5 million people and has also sorts of shows from music to dance, from theatre to visual arts. One of the highlights of the last week was a concert given by Oscar-winning composer and songwriter for Slumdog Millionaire A.R. Rahman out in Parramatta. Apparently 50,000 people came out and it was a wonderful celebration.
I have yet to take advantage of some of the free tickets I scored to some great shows, but served my time in the Info Booth yesterday and at Tix for Next to Nix (cheap tix the day of the events) today. It’s surreal to be working and handing out information about a city I hardly know, but what better way to get thrown right in? Plus it’s a nice way to chat with people and put yourself out there, gung ho!

When I wasn’t working yesterday I checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW). I’ve been really curious to discover what Australian art is all about. I’ve known a bit about Aboriginal art and its great influence and presence in Australia but otherwise I knew nothing. What I discovered is that 19th and some 20th century Australian art borrows and resembles European movements at the same time (or takes after them a little later). Otherwise, when the art has to do with national identity, that is when it is more contemporary, it can be really powerful. It seems to me that a lot of Australian art seeks to reconcile its colonial past and its influence on the Aboriginal peoples. More to come as I review shows for The Art Blog…

There is QUITE the art scene in Sydney. I’ve been a little overwhelmed with the number of galleries that seem to be around, but it is also an exiting prospect. Sydney seems to be on par with New York City in the amount of events that are happening every day. One day I’ll go venturing into Paddington where I hear there are lots and lots of galleries.

The day ended with a museum talk about yoga (yoga and art meet? WOW) which was given in association with the Garden and Cosmos (Royal Paintings of Jodhpur) exhibit at the Gallery of NSW. It was an interesting lecture although I never really enjoy when yoga teachers are showing off a bit and acting like motivational speakers. Will have to try a yoga class and see what its really like…

And as always more interesting and deep conversation with Nick as we made up a stir fry (with green beans, onions, ginger, kale and an accidental amount of chili powder). Gotta say I’m quite happy to be around this place, starting to feel like myself, starting to adjust, explore, and venture…
G’day to you all.

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