away for the weekend – heading North rather than South

11 04 2011

During the first weekend in April we enjoyed some time in Castlemaine in rural Victoria (rather than the usual trip down to Cape Otway). It happened to be the opening weekend of the (10 day) Castlemaine State Festival and we thought it would be fun to check out some of the local arts & crafts and get away for a few days. Very thankful for the perfect weather and it was fairly easy to walk around the town checking out what was on display. Amongst other things, found a large sculpture of a sitting Buddha made up of recycled computer motherboards.

Motherboard buddha

There seems to be lots of local painters, sculptors, writers etc. living in around Castlemaine and we managed to get around to see quit a few things on display in public venues as well as in their home-galleries. This meant a little bit of driving as some people live out of town. We didn’t get to see any performances (other than street buskers etc.) but great to see plenty of public activities and the farmers market on the Sunday. We also dropped into the local library and were amazed by a display of some of things that have been found in returned books.

Ex Libris Detritum

On the Saturday afternoon we caught the VLine train into Melbourne, and went to see play Café Scheherazade. This was a very special and enjoyable experience. We know the book by Arnold Zable, and have been to the cafe itself for a meal, so to watch this story performed (from the front row) was wonderful indeed. This was a lovely treatment of an emotional story(s), and managed to portray the complexities of the lives of those who have lived through the Holocaust and eventually migrated to Australia.

Fantastic that we could have some time out and be inspired by the beautiful countryside and the diverse creativity of people.

 

 

 



how many ways can you get yourself some culture?

26 02 2011

After a busy week for both of us it was time for a break, time-out, culture day. We headed up to Melbourne early in the morning and enjoyed seeing the Altocumulus (mackerel sky) clouds from the freeway. An easy drive up compared with the usual busy weekday traffic.

Mackerel sky

First stop the NGV Melbourne for a look at the Gustav Moreau exhibition. A great collection of work from a prolific painter & drawer. He had a thing for the old mythical dramas and had mixed up his painting style with drawing, paint (both oil & acrylic), & etching to crate a mashup type style (which brought out the critics). Also caught the Luminous Cities exhibition of photos of the built environment from the 19th through to the 20th century. Some nice old black & white photos of Rome that brought back memories of our visits there.

Headed off for a coffee and a raspberry muffin and came across the Little Bookroom (their new store) in Degraves Street. Nice shop with lovely books (for kids) and some expensive collectors items… It was interesting to compare this book business with the mega Borders & Angus & Robertson chains, and to think about the different business models. Seems one might be more successful than the other. Note to self: must check out the original Little Bookroom store in Nicholson Street some time. Then we had a quick stop of at the South Melbourne markets before heading home.

Pako paella

Then is was out to the multicultural Pako Festa – we were too late to see the parade this year. Lots of people out enjoying the afternoon with ethnic dress, food and performances making for a lively saunter down the street. Last year the kids all had silly string, but this year it was air horns and vuvuzelas (more noise – but not as messy). The Spanish were very busy dishing up (and making more) paella, and the pubs were filled to bursting. It’s great to see this festival is alive and well. All up a busy day, but great to spend time absorbing some culture.