Thursday, 28 July 2011

Chinese Gardens Sydney

Here's a pic I did for some friends who got married there last year. I've been playing a bit with "frames" for drawings a bit like Aubrey Beardsley work (not as bawdy). Adds an interesting dynamic and a chance to have a bit of fun with patterns and textures.

Enjoy!     J

sydney chinese gardens 2010

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

newtown graffiti #1

OK, OK.... I've been accused of only showing Melbourne art on architecture!!!!  I know we have just as good stuff up here.

Here's some of my favourites from Newtown. Today it is around the Fiji Markets in south King Street.

It's a riot of colour, composition, mystery and imagination.  Enjoy ..........     J

oh the spice of life.....   Darley Lane and Fiji Indian Markets

blessed by gods!!!!

portraits and old salts

beautiful woman ignoring scary M & Ms

now that's a tag!!!!

fantasy world with camera wielding elves and
aloof fairy queen with spray can holding servants.

red carpet moment...

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Consecrated in 1248 as a chapel connected to the palace of King Louis IX it remains one of the best examples of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. Louis was a bit of a religious nut and spent a kings ransom buying various religious relics, like a piece of the holy cross, the crown of thorns, the image of Odessa, the sacred spear, etc.  He needed a place to keep all his stuff so he commissioned the chapel. Like most French sacred buildings it suffered major damage during the French revolution of the late 18th century. At one stage it was used as records storage and the lower sections of beautiful stained glass were removed to allow more light in. The building was later faithfully restored by Eugene Voillet-le-Duc in 1855. It was declared a national monument in 1862.

It's located in the Palais de Justice area on the Isle de la Cite. You pass through police checks and metal detectors to enter the area. It looks non de script when first viewed from outside. A relatively small building with deep buttresses, none flying. You enter into the lower chapel, built for the servants, before taking narrow stairs to the main chapel that was preserved for the king and his family. There you are hit by an explosion of coloured light. The buttresses, that looked dour and heavy outside, are almost imperceivable as the tall windows dominate the space. Look further you look you start to pick up exquisite detailing everywhere.

The favourite past-time is to simply sit there and experience being in the space.

Most of these shots were taken with my trusty analogue Minolta and beautiful 17mm lens with up to half  second exposure (braced against whatever was handy).       J

relatively dour exterior

beautiful lower chapel. Low sense of scale

explosion of light in the upper chapel.
Where did those buttresses go to?

one of the most intact collections of 13th century glass anywhere...

lovely detailing around the base walls

amazing ceiling

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

St Mick's hill

In 708AD the Bishop of Avranches must have got the shock of his life when the Archangel Michael appeared and said he just had to build a church on a rocky islet on the coast of Normandy. Thus began a long history of ecclesiastical construction on what is now known as Mont St Michel. It weathered many storms, wars and neglect. At one stage during the French revolution the abbey was closed and it was used as a prison. It was only through the hard work of influential French people such as Victor Hugo (who also helped save many other national building treasures such as Notre Dame in Paris) that it was restored. The prison was closed in 1863 and it was declared a national monument in 1874.

It's an easy drive through narrow Brittany and Normandy country roads and cute villages to arrive at the causeway. Park on the higher areas to avoid the flooding tide. Meander up through the medieval lower village (avoid the world's most expensive omelette restaurant - madame ... we nevair put cheese in our omelettes!!!) to arrive at the spectacular higher buildings.

Go out of tourist season and the crowds are bearably thin....     J

the classic view from the main road

medieval street through the lower village

a wonderfully organic procession of spaces leading up to the citadel/abbey area

you start at the main courtyard at the top in front
of the Romanesque 11th Century church

to the rear the main apse was rebuilt in the
13th Century in the Gothic style after a fire
during one of the many sieges by the English

lovely patina in vertically dominated spaces

offset by the horizontality of the wonderful 13th century cloisters

simple but beautiful landscaping is a break from all the stonework

lobby to the refectory

giant refectory fire places ... you could live in there!!!

Romanesque refectory. You can almost hear the chants before supper.....

Monday, 4 July 2011

Melbourne graffiti #4

Some more great work from the big smoke (south). A lot of the graffiti from the previous posts has already gone or been painted over. You've got to enjoy them while they last .......       J

funky fish...

old unused buildings allow for wrap around art
even the van is painted

perfectly placed peeking picture

part of the fun is catching the brief glimpse of
art in a side ally

this sums up the inner city ..... cool Vespas and cool street art

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Wendy Whiteley's secret garden

Hidden away in Lavender Bay is a beautiful hidden garden designed, created and overlooked with great love and care by Wendy. It can be a short walk on it's own but better to make it part of a longer walk, exploring Blues Point in general. There are statues, hand crafted stairs and shady nooks. Take the stairs down through the tunnel under the rail line and you emerge into the sparkling vista of Lavender Bay, washed by the sounds of merry makers at Luna Park.       J

Art and nature

Antarctica Dicksonia spreading dappled light.

lovely stairs and shade tolerant planting

grand Morten Bay fig and undergrowth

stair and path from Lavender Street

framed view and flowering natives

pedestrian tunnel under railway line

sparkling view

relaxing foreshore

old slipway

Friday, 1 July 2011

funky Melbourne architecture

Where do you start ... Melbourne is full of surprising little developments, tucked into back lanes and streets of the inner city. Sydney councils mostly take it upon themselves to be the arbiters of what is suitable for our streetscapes. Like junior town planners really know....    Because of that all the really interesting stuff is down south. These are just a few for your amusement.   J

A little taste of organic architecture down the road from the Fitzroy fruit market.

Opposite is one of my favourite older, modernist residential buildings.
Sinking under the weight of unsightly tags...

What were they thinking. Just down the hill from Smith Street this building could almost
be seen as an homage to Dame Edna!! 

Lovely organic shaped precast walls with beautifully trained foliage
on simple wire security fence above lovely heritage style brick base wall.

I liked the little modernist fleur de lise head on the fence post.

Amazing (in it's simplicity) infill development. All visible surfaces seen above heritage
buildings are done in raised seam zincalume and galvanised steel.