Saltaire gets the colourful Hockney treatment.
Build a smart new museum and someone will complain that it lacks soul. Convert an old industrial site to a cultural facility and it immediately becomes a cool place.
Salt’s Mill was the thriving hub of Bradford’s booming textile industry in the 19th century. Now it’s an art centre, boasting the world’s largest permanent collection of work by Bradford-born and Yorkshire-resident David Hockney.
Thanks to what is turning out to be an inspired home exchange, Mevrouw T and I are spending the Easter break in Saltaire, West Yorkshire. Continue reading
Karel Appel’s playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.
I feel well disposed towards artists who admit they really don’t understand what they’re doing.
“I just mess around a bit,” said Dutch artist Karel Appel; and it became the most famous thing he ever said in his life.
Appel’s work and that of his 1950s contemporaries from COpenhagen, BRussels and Amsterdam is celebrated in the COBRA Museum in Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam. The museum’s permanent collection is one of the Netherlands’ greatest treasures.
This year, Appel and his fellow Cobras have been joined in Amstelveen by work from New York’s Guggenheim. Pollack, Rothko, de Koning, Poliakoff and others splashed, dribbled and daubed colour onto canvas, apparently at random, yet by some magical process the effect is wonderful. We thought the exhibition was fabulous, and highly recommend it to anyone who’ll be in Amsterdam over the next few months. Continue reading
By the Amstel River. ‘Amster-dam’ = ‘Dam on the Amstel’, remember?
We’ve just arrived back in Holland, the breeze is gentle and the rain won’t be with us for two more days. So what better way to fight the jetlag than a ride through the Dutch countryside?
One of the most hit-on posts on this blog is my brief list of Holland’s Prettiest Villages. I decided I’d see how many of them I could manage to ride around in a day. My route took me through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Abcoude, Weesp, Naarden, Muiden and back to Amsterdam. A respectable 72kms, plus a few where I forgot to switch the computer back on.
If that seems a bit energetic for Day 1 in the saddle, let me confess up front that Mevrouw T kindly offered me use of her electric bike. I know, that’s cheating, but we thought the beast should be tested again, before we take it farther afield.
It was indeed a lovely ride, and the bike’s electric booster left me energy over for photography. Continue reading
Of course there’s some hiking coming up.
We’re in pack up mode, leaving Sydney next week to head back to Europe, sad to be leaving family and friends here for a while, but looking forward to the adventures we’ve planned for the next few months.
Cycling in Holland is a family affair.
We’ll be back cycling in The Netherlands in less than a fortnight, so we’re planning some interesting routes.
Coincidentally, my correspondent Lianne just sent me a few questions (with attached compliments – flattery will get you everywhere!) about how to arrange a cycling holiday there.
So here it is – info on bike hire, route planning, weather, all the essentials to get started on planning a bike trip through Nederland. Continue reading
“It feels like I’m in Madeira, mate.”
It’s on again, the annual Biarro Portugues – the Petersham Food and Wine Fair.
I was there with the requisites – a camera and an empty stomach. Continue reading
This could be the start of something very big.
Hundreds of people have spent a good part of this decade in dark, windowless rooms, doing tedious, repetitive, painstaking, frustratingly detailed work. Our son was one of the captives. The result is The Lego Movie.
So it was a moving experience to sit in a dark, windowless cinema crowded with hundreds of those people, the staff of Australian production company Animal Logic that made the film, as for the first time they shared the show with their families.
The Lego Movie is already taking the world by storm, but it will be next month before it is publicly screened in Sydney where the work was done.
We loved it. No, really, we did. Continue reading