Category Archives: Art

CYCLING THE GREEN HEART – Holland’s most beautiful

The oldest town in the Netherlands. Not so many people know about it.

The oldest town in the Netherlands. Not so many people know about it.

‘This landscape always reminds me of Holland,’ said my mother, years ago, somewhere outside Melbourne, on a road between Springvale and Frankston.

She’d never seen Holland and neither had I, but we both knew what she meant. What I only discovered recently was that the image we had of classic Dutch landscape came from 19th century paintings. Even the word ‘landscape’ comes from the Dutch ‘landschap’. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland

ARTZUID PHOTO TIP – take a lady in red with you

Our favourite for 2015 - Duma, by Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa

Our favourite for 2015 – Duma, by Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa


Mevrouw T and I are big fans of Amsterdam’s biennial sculpture exhibition ArtZuid.

The setting may not be quite as spectacular as that of Sydney’s wonderful Sculpture by the Sea, but the leafy gardens of the Apollolaan and Minervalaan in the Oud Zuid (Old South) district are lovely too. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Amsterdam, Art, Holland

PUTTING THE ART INTO HOBART

Our favourite was the first thing we saw.

Our favourite piece was the first work we saw.

My Scottish Presbyterian forefathers were sure no good could ever come of money not earned by hard work combined with thrift. David Walsh has proved them wrong.

His professional gambling earned him a fortune. He somehow managed to avoid paying the $37million the Australian Tax Office claimed he owed them and used it to buy art instead.

In 2011 he generously opened his collection to the public in MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, an extraordinary new gallery which has rapidly become Tasmania’s premier tourist attraction. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Art

DANCES WITH WARRIORS

They're just fun to play with.

They’re just fun to play with.

We get a lot of Chinese visitors in Sydney these days, particularly around the Chinese New Year.

They all want to see the icons around the harbour. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

LOVE YOUR WORK, TOM – though shooting that dog was wrong

Tom Otterness's sculptures take pride of place by the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

Tom Otterness’s sculptures take pride of place on the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

We’re very sorry to be missing the always wonderful Sculpture by the Sea event in Sydney this year, but the Dutch have sculpture by the North Sea too.

Googling the American sculptor Tom Otterness, after seeing his work by the beach in Scheveningen, I read that he once filmed himself shooting a dog, for an art film. It cost him some lucrative commissions. He apologised. Not good enough, say some of his critics. He killed the dog in 1977, when he was 25. Is all forgiven? Is it okay to enjoy his work now? Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH – public art in Bratislava

There's some lovely interaction going on between these two groups of visitors, but note the Napoleonic Soldier photobombing.

There’s some lovely interaction going on between these two groups of visitors, but note the Napoleonic Soldier photobombing.



City fathers, yes, city mothers too, have options when it comes to installing or authorising public art. Heroic statues of kings, emperors, politicians and generals have long been standard fare.

Bratislava has its fair share of national heroes gracing the streets. But it has also more recently installed public art with obvious appeal to locals and visitors alike, your correspondent included. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Art

THE ARTIST WHO MADE VIENNA FUN

In a nondescript back street, one facade springs out is unmissable.

In a nondescript back street, one facade catches the eye.

At first I found Vienna and the Viennese a little intimidating. Too grand, too well-dressed, and possibly too expensive. The ATM dispensed 100 euro banknotes – it was the first time I’d seen them.

That Habsburg¬†architecture is impressive of course, though isn’t it also overblown and pompous? Fine for a palace or opera house but would you really want to live under all those cherubs in the cornices?

So it was welcome light relief to discover Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who revamped a Viennese city incinerator and later the public toilet block in Kawakawa, New Zealand, making them surely the world’s most enjoyable garbage disposal units. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, Austria