Monthly Archives: June 2013

THE CHINESE BIKE ART PUZZLE

'Forever' by Ai Wei Wei

‘Forever’ by Ai Wei Wei



Ai Wei Wei may be China’s best known artist. I say that only because I know his work, from the Tate Modern in London and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

I was very pleased to see him included in what’s become for us an unmissable biennial Amsterdam event, Art Zuid. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Holland

OLD AMSTERDAM IN SEPIA

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam



I’ve been playing around with the buttons on my iPhoto editing programme (Note intentional ye olde spelling of ‘programme’).

It’s all too easy and all too tempting. With the click of a mouse, I can take my images back a hundred years. I’m rather pleased with the results. Continue reading

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Filed under Holland, travel photography

ANOTHER BIKE STOLEN – DAMN!

Mevrouw T’s bike was stolen last week.

Pouring rain, a dash into the supermarket, forgetting to fasten the lock, remembering too late, a dash out of the supermarket, a desperate search of the bike racks, questions to bystanders (who naturally saw nothing)…and a long walk home. In the rain.

It wasn’t only the bike she lost, and the just-purchased lunch of Hollandse Nieuwe herring she had in the saddlebag; self-respect and faith in humanity were stolen too. ‘How could I be so stupid?’ was closely followed by ‘How could anyone be so mean?’ and ‘What sort of sick town/society/world do we live in?’

Bicycle theft is falling from its highs in the early 2000s, but is still the most common crime in Amsterdam. I did some research on the figures. Sobering reading.
Continue reading

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YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – Alkmaar’s Festival of the Foot

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

The mass walk is a peculiarly Dutch activity, one that I’d avoided until now. That’s surprising, given how much I enjoy hiking.

But yesterday I tagged along with my friend Anita and 6,800 of her Dutch walking mates on the ‘Plus Wandel4Daagse Alkmaar‘, for a brisk stroll through North Holland. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Holland

A NEW PLAY WORTH A PLUG

He's nothing but hands and a couple of little torches, but you come to love him.

He’s nothing but hands and a couple of LED lights, but you come to love him.

I wish I could be in Brisbane next week when a new show from Dead Puppet Society opens in the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Power Kids festival.

I had the pleasure of spending a week earlier this year working on Argus as dramaturg in a creative development workshop. I loved this process. Continue reading

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Filed under Art

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: CURVES – bend it like Gehry

Hotel in Elciego, Spain

Hotel Marques de Riscal in Elciego, Spain.

Want to win an architecture award? Put a few curves into your design; those straight lines are so boring and someone else will deal with the problem of fitting square bookcases and wardrobes into the bendy walls.

If I sound a little cynical, I shouldn’t be. Frank Gehry’s buildings are a wonderful gift to us photographers and we’ve been lucky enough to see a few of them on our recent travels. So here’s my offering for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

What do you think of his work – genius or gimmick? Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, travel photography

DUTCH BACKWATERS – the Schermer

Danger, danger! Fluisterboot approaching!

Danger- fluisterboot alert!

The Netherlands has more people per square kilometre than almost any country on earth, though they’ve spread themselves out so sensibly that it only feels crowded when there’s a royal abdication or a football final.

Sprinkled between the Dutch people are places that feel delightfully deserted. The village of Driehuizen, just north-west of Amsterdam in the Schermer district, has more than three houses, but not many more. Continue reading

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