“We have daughters and we want them to grow up in a society where they have equal rights.”
If you live in Sydney, you are very lucky. It is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world and there is always something to do, but seemingly, more so during summer. With some of the most amazing beaches and the stunning harbour, Sydney has plenty to offer during the warmer months, but what about winter?
If you’ve spent too much time curled up under a blanket in front of the TV lately, take some inspiration from the following list of things to do in Sydney in winter:
1. Bondi ice rink
You think Bondi is only good in summer? Put your ice skates on and change your mind! From June 20 to July 12, Bondi Pavilion will transform into a winter wonderland with its own ice rink. Enjoy the view on beautiful Bondi Beach while showing off your skills on the ice.
2. Art Gallery NSW
There’s nothing better than escaping a cold, rainy winter’s day and entering the magical world of a museum. The Art Gallery of NSW located in Sydne’s CBD offers over 30,000 artworks to inspire you and you don’t even have to spend a cent to see them. General admission to the museum is free!
3. Whale watching
If you’ve always wanted to see a whale but you don’t want to go on a whale watching cruise, then Sydney is the place to be in winter. Between May and November, thousands of whales are migrating and passing Sydney, so just keep an eye out! There are plenty of good vantage points; we especially like the many scenic lookouts around Watsons Bay.
4. Hire an igloo
Want the ultimate winter feeling? Gather your friends and hire an igloo as part of Sydney’s Winter Garden Festival. Ok, so the igloos aren’t made of ice, they’re inflatable. That doesn’t make it less fun, though!
5. Explore the Blue Mountains
Yes, you’ll need a warm jacket, but hiking in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful winter activity as the crisp winter air makes for an even more spectacular scenery than in summer. And if you’re lucky, you might even see a bit of snow falling from the sky!
Image via firstdegreepr.com
An emerging Brisbane artist who’s set the art world abuzz is now hoping to convince controversial businessman-turned-politician Clive Palmer to sit for him for the prestigious Archibald Prize 2015.
Kristian Williams, 29, received widespread acclaim following his debut solo exhibition Bold & Unbridled at Brisbane’s Mercure Hotel last March. There, his art captured the eye of the gallery director of Fortitude Valley’s celebrated REDSEA Gallery Brisbane which represents artists and sculptors from across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. Now, REDSEA is hanging some of Kristian’s works and will proudly host his second exhibition, featuring 12 pieces, from July 22 until August 9.
And Kristian is definitely going places, says REDSEA Gallery Director, Lee Steer. “I think Kristian Williams’ work embodies an energy that is synonymous with all our artists at REDSEA Gallery,” Mr Steer says. “His unbridled use of colours and textures exhibit a strong neo-impressionist vibe, almost as if it belongs in an Avant-Guard New York art-house.
“Kristian is incredibly motivated towards devolving his artistic career, and that motivation, coupled with his unique talent, will prove to continue to propel his artwork into the psyche of the Australian art market.”
As for the Brisbane-born-and-bred artist, he says he was pleasantly surprised – and hugely relieved by the sell-out success of his debut exhibition. An impressive 30 works in his signature, strongly-coloured, neo-expressionistic style were snapped up quickly on the night and soon afterwards by both local and interstate art collectors.
“The fact that my first exhibition was a sell-out was great,” Kristian says. “It was really, really exciting. It was also really nerve-wracking! I was nearly sh**ing myself; I couldn’t hide in the corner that night because there was such hype leading up to it and then we had 170 people turn up on opening night and in that space, it was just a moshpit!
“I felt a bit like a celebrity; the Mercure did a beautiful job. There was heaps of social media that night and a lot of people were hashtagging my name. One guy put up one photo of my artworks, one of his followers in Sydney then found my Instagram and then contacted me directly and I ended up selling three pieces of art to this guy who wasn’t even at the exhibition!”
However, Kristian’s talent is no accident; painting is in his blood, with his artist and landscape designer parents and artist grandfather fostering his natural abilities before he could reach an easel. Following his Queensland Government Minister’s Award for Excellence in Art (2003), Kristian completed an undergraduate degree in creative industries majoring in visual art in 2009 and then pursued his Masters of Creative Advertising. After success in both creative industries and high-end fashion, last year he took that leap of faith, deciding to concentrate full time on his true passion: painting.
So, how did he get his big break? “I’ve always painted, but it was always on my days off,” Kristian says. “It’s strange how it all started: I managed Ralph Lauren for eight years [in Brisbane city]; left there, got into advertising, where I hated my job and basically what happened was that I had a commission I was doing for a friend of mine and I put it up on Facebook and an old client from Ralph, who is the director of sales and marketing at the Mercure Hotel, phoned me and said: ‘We’ve got this huge gallery space, would you be interested in putting some of your art up there?’
“It’s gone gangbusters, which is really great, but of course there are quiet moments when you think, like in any business, ‘When is the phone going to ring?’”
Kristian regularly references mythological, cultural and surrealist themes – often waking up from a dream and painting what his mind just experienced. And while at one end of the spectrum, his use of bold colours and violent, emotive lines create stand-out statement pieces, he also creates gentler works which explore the quirkiness of the human soul.
“A lot of my inspiration for art comes from dreams; I’m at my happiest when I’m painting and creating, for sure,” Kristian says. “I’m also very inspired by the neo-expressionism movement, so that’s a huge thing for me. That particular style has always got me going; there are a lot of crazy, bold colours and thick slabs of colour, which certainly makes my work stand out.
“One of the biggest things about my art is that sometimes people think I’m a bit angry! I’ve had comments from people before where they go: ‘Oh geez, what’s going on in his head?’ And I’m not at all and that’s one of the most common misconceptions. I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time, most people really love my art – the colourful aspect of my art makes the viewer know that all is not lost; the colour is indicative of happiness and a good feel.”
The artist’s ultimate dream is to stage up to three exhibitions annually and showcase his art on an international scale – possibly with a little help from none other than Mr Clive Palmer, the divisive leader of the Palmer United Party, whose media team is yet to answer the artist’s request to paint him for the Archibald Prize 2015. But with time running out – Archibald entries must be completed by June 26 – the artist is hopeful of locking it down soon.
“I like the fact that Clive is a very controversial figure and when you’re painting someone for such an amazing show as the Archibald, you really have to choose someone who has a strong character attached to them. He’s very outlandish and easily recognisable and I think if I was to paint him, I could execute it quite well,” he says.
“The Archibald is quite true-to-life, but obviously I would like to incorporate into the portrait something essentially true to my style as well, so you know, if I put an Indian headdress on him – something with a bit of flair that’s quite out there.
“Clive’s wife [Anna] used to be one of my top clients as Ralph Lauren so we’ll see how it goes. It’s kind of exciting. I’m really, really hopeful of getting Clive Palmer for the Archibald.”
As well as a return to portraiture, which he hasn’t done for some time, Kristian is also dabbling in textiles at the moment – painting shirts, jeans and a jacket for Brisbane fashion and PR identities. “I’ve had a lot of great feedback on the garments I’ve painted, so I’d like to do some designs on fabric and have them sent overseas and have them all printed on silk and embellished with jewels,” he enthuses.
“Ralph Lauren is a huge fashion inspiration – I love the lifestyle attached to the brand – but in terms of outlandish design, the head designer for Burberry, Christopher Bailey has done amazing things for the brand. But when it comes to a muse, I’d have to say the late African-American artist, musician and producer Jean-Michel Basquiat; his painterly ability and his sense of colour coding and aesthetic are a true inspiration to me. Closer to home, my mum is an inspiration and has always been there to guide me on my creative journey.”
So, what are his ideal creative conditions to work in, at home? “I paint four to five days a week in my open-air studio courtyard, night-time is my switch-off time. I just get out there in the sunshine, put on some great jazz music, get my coffee out and just go for it,” he says.
“I just know I have to do it. And you can have off days, but you have to just keep on pushing through. And I think that’s what makes a good artist, someone who keeps going and going; you can’t leave until it’s done and you come up with a solution.”
Whose dating life resembles that of a Hollywood movie? Anyone? Didn’t think so. While we all love the over dramatized rom coms and Nicolas Sparks novels, they aren’t a realistic depiction of what love really is. So it’s refreshing when people like Korean artist, Puuung, demonstrate that love is not hundred dollar gifts or amazing dates it is in fact, those small private moments that you and your partner share.
Through her watercolour series, Puuung aims to showcase the love we experience in our daily lives while attempting to change society’s unattainable perception of love that is created for us in film.
“Love is something that everybody can relate to,” she says, “And love comes in ways we can easily overlook in our daily lives. So, I try to find the meaning of love… and make it into artwork.”
Just one look through the series and it is easy to see that Puuung has achieved her goal, depicting real love.
These images have gone global and it’s easy to see why. These gestures of love, although small, are universal and it’s these that create meaning within a relationship. Her raw, unpolished illustrations show real love as it appears in our daily lives. It is these moments that we all crave and hope to one day attain.
Take a look through SHESAID’s favourite pieces in Puuung’s collection.
Let us know how you feel about love and which piece is your favourite!
Do you have an amazing piece of art, but no where to display it? Rather than creating a hole in your wall, get inspired by a few of these nifty ideas and try them out in your own home. No tools required!
The easiest way to take advantage of art which is already in a frame, is to prop it against a wall. Not only does this give a desk some character, but it doesn’t require any commitment! You can just move it whenever you like, and change the design of any room.
A super-simple collage is the best way to update your desk space without drilling any holes in the wall. You could easily use a double-sided tape to carefully create a beautiful workspace.
Get a little crafty and suspend some of your favourite pieces of work (and those made by the kids), on a nifty modern mobile. Start with a simple base, then tie each string onto different edges. Finish off by painting the base a funky colour, or keeping it minimalist to suit the rest of your home.
Keep everything looking neat and tidy with a pair of floating shelves above your workspace, or even in the living area. Not only will it make your home look like a bookstore, but it will keep everything in it’s place – which is also easy to clean!
Against the wall
For larger pieces such as antique mirrors and old pieces of artwork, you can easily lean them on the wall for effect. Beside them, add a few candles, books, magazines and other features which will create a nice mood in any room.
Images via Hayley Bonham, VK Visuals, Then Let It Be, Domaine Home
A Photoshop addict/photographer has delved deeper into her photo-editing addiction with a series of images entitled ‘Photoshop In Real Life’ where she explored what life would be like if we could alter our real selves with the software. The 20-year-old from Hungary, Flora Borsi, told the Huffington Post: “I’m really curious about what people would do with Photoshop in real life… Maybe everybody would be perfect, but only [on the] outside? What would be the difference between us?”
See the pics here.
She says she is a self-confessed Photoshop addict and relies heavily on the program to manipulate each and every photograph that she takes. Flora even admits that this practice has ultimately began to affect her own self-perception.
In one images, shared on Facebook, Flora poses side-on, showing how her nose has been made to look longer and she is holding a toolbox with a mouse symbol clicking on ‘Puppet Warp’.
There are two common barriers to unleashing creativity in our lives. Firstly, we simply don’t feel any creative energy inside us. Work can be very draining, whether you’re in back-to-back meetings or just staring at a spreadsheet. At the end of the day it’s easy to feel you only have the energy to flop on the sofa and watch Big Brother on the telly.
Creativity is a beast that needs to be fed. Nurture yourself by spending some time absorbing the arts. Go to a play, or a movie that’s a little different to what you would normally choose. Listen to some music, really listen, don’t just have it on in the background. Read a good book. Anything that allows you to suspend reality and just enjoy the ride is good soul food. It’s great to do something like this regularly. Make it a priority, not just a way to pass the time.
The second barrier that stops us from being creative is focusing too strongly on the outcome. We’re trained at school and at work to write the best possible assignment and create the best looking presentation. In Home Economics we were marked on how good our cake looked, not how much fun we had making it.
As a result of being so focused on the end goal, we forget to enjoy the process, and when you’re introducing more creativity into your life, the process is the goal. It’s something that we do just for the pleasure of it, not because we particularly need appliqu?d cushion covers.
Remember kindergarten? Everyone loved painting. We’d paint and paint until the paper was soggy. And no matter what the end result was, we wanted to stick it up on the fridge. We loved to sing. We’d sing in the supermarket, or walking down the street, not caring what anyone else thought, we did it because we enjoyed it. It’s that sense of fun that is so often missing in our adult lives.
To enjoy being creative you need to give yourself permission to be less than perfect. When you sit down to write a short story, you need to fight the urge to edit every word before it’s even on the page. If you’re taking your first pottery class, it really doesn’t matter if you end up with a round bowl or not.
If you can’t silence your inner critic, then you need to outsmart it. Choose an activity you want to do, and just do it. Start writing. Start painting. Start singing. Don’t give yourself a split second to think about the outcome. Just do it, no matter how badly. Don’t allow the fear of creating something less than perfect stop you from enjoying yourself.
If you’re still too afraid to start writing that screenplay or rock song now, start smaller. Paint your toenails in different coloured stripes. Buy some lollies and decorate a cake. Take your camera somewhere new and work on your photographic skills.
Try not to take it too seriously. You’ll be surprised at the result when you loosen the reins on your creative self.
By Louise Pattie
*Louise Pattie is a freelance writer who likes motivating others and enjoys a range
of unfashionable hobbies.