Saturday, February 28, 2009

Melbourne - Creative and Craft paradise

Melbourne is the home of much that is the best of handcrafted, craftsman made.
Parthenon Shoes in Coburg is one such business. Run by Christine and her Father John Koikas, this is the shoe as art! Christine is holding one of her personal favourites among her creations.
Craft made ball gowns and bridal gowns glitter from street front boutiques along the long, long stretch of Sydney Road. Glorious gowns with finely detailed beadwork and exquisite lace look out of suburban shopfronts.

The markets in Melbournes' beachfront St Kilda are typical of the amazing array of highly original craft work on offer at affordable prices!

From Mugs on Mugs to Aussie Animals, Origami Architecture to Sleeper Clocks.

St Kilda Marketeers include:

Sculpted by Senia - Australian, handcrafted pottery animals,

Glass Art - Sally Green's unique lampwork jewellery
Celtic Handmade - Tony Fitton,
Handmade pewter jewellery - Yvonne Moloney & Colin Fleming,
Recycled redgum, clocks - Bill Jackson,
Handmade kilnformed glass - Ray Seeber
Metal jewellery - Edward Faingold,
Ocean inspired jewellery - Dan McGill -
Art & Craft - Yani Moediman -
Stainless Steel Design - Serge Rudakov -
Handcrafted bells and windchimes - Bird's Gallery
Handmade Metal Art - Lee Rodsted - Hyram's Metal Webs
Other crafts -
Danny's Knitwear, Queen Victoria Markets,

For the art of writing and associated excellent conversation - Collected Works Poetry & Ideas Bookshop,

Melbourne - living well, eating well and CHEAP!

Evidently, Melbournians are full of angst about the prices they pay for their food stuff. Please, come north and compare! We wished we could truck it all back to QLD with us! The fresh, the exotic and the range of cooked delicacies from everywhere - we were in a constant state of salivation!
The Coburg Fruit Garden run by Toni [here with Geoff] and his brothers Milad and Fred was the first big eyeopener - B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

Northeners look at the quality and the prices and drool!
Melbourne is flush with markets - in the suburbs and the urban cities and Melbourne CBD. Good value and high quality is the hallmark of these places.
The fish and meat markets at the Victorian Markets.
Have a variety we don't see up north and the prices - well, you can see!
A freshly baked spinach and cheese wrap with a cup of coffee at the Markets gave me back change from $5.00.
Eateries in Melbourne are often literally on the curb side!
A Greek eatery with mouthwatering selection of goodies - cake and coffee with the traffic at your elbow - this too was Coburg. Yannis Patries and Cakes, in Coburg, served you a shave away from passing trucks and cars.

Service everywhere was friendly and everyone was helpful! Michael Lorenzen's Highway 31, Cafe & Diner in Brunswick has the reputation for the BEST burghers in Melbourne. If mentioning service, Geore of "C&B" in the CBD and Vishal of Seven Eleven would have to be singled out as exceptional!

Last but not lest, chocolate to die for.....tucked away in Acland Street, St Kilda is San Churro, Spanish Chocolateria.

Don't forget Haigh Chocolates in the CBD either! YUM!

Melbourne - the message - art on the streets!

Melbourne has art on the street corner, and down the alley ways. It is on the rooftops and walls and down the arterials and it says, 'Hold up, society is heading down the highway full speed, WRONG WAY!'
Figuratively, it is the Writing on the Wall. Who is looking. who is listening?
To Melbourne's credit, certain areas are set aside for the art of protest and its message.
The alleyways of Melbourne CBD are alive with it. St Kilda alleys and rooftops also resonate the warnings.
Melbourne Artist, Tigre, viewed Melbourne's response to street art as enlightened compared, interestingly, to New York, where zero tolerance is the rule. No street art lasted longer than maybe an hour before the whitewash brigade obliterated its message. Till, that is, an entrepreneur bought up an apartment building, opened it to the artists and funded its existence with funky retail outlets.
AMelbourne's street art targets irresponsible affluence, greed and disregard for environment. all things with a price tag that is not nice or 'convenient' but is indiscriminate in who it punishes. Tip the natural balance and everything falls into the refuse heap - Soylent Green anyone?

Nothing is spared the piercingly perceptive eye of the alley and rooftop artist.
Are we standing in queues waiting for nothing to happen;
waiting for action from those with the power to make change but won't because they are committed to
the status quo?

Where to now?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Melbourne - art is everywhere

Art is all over the place in Melbourne - you just keep walking into it , over it and under it!

This city is having a full on affair with art - it's everywhere!

It's in the buildings, on the street corner and walking the streets!

Yes the guy qualifies! What a statement!

How about this web of metal and iron lacework - sklylight roof in an arcade.

And this beautiful

leadlight feature in another arcade - does anyone know who the artist was?

This sort of thing is hidden all round Melbourne.

How about the mural! This particular building was 'full of fit' artwise, an Art Deco treasure trove!

Don't neglect to look under foot either - this intricate mosaic is the centrepiece of Block Arcade.

Buildings in Melbourne bear a

degree of decoration I've not found in other Australian cities.

The doors, the walls, the windows - inside and out - art wherever it could tastefully feature.

This door, one of a pair at St Paul's, is, to me at any rate, reminiscent of the decorative art of William Morris.

What sort of statement do you think the artist was making who put Tom to oversee the much in need of restoration Edinburgh Building?

Then there is the 'purpose' placed art. This is a touch spooky!

Buildings, especially bank and finance related buildings had 'guardians' placed over them - hidden amongst the decorative gothic Victorian/Edwardian architectural features but very much a 'presence'.

The Guardians of the ANZ! There are at least 7 levels of Guardians built in to the facade.

The Safety Deposit Building has at least three levels of Guardians.

Modern finance related edifices do not differ. Melbourne's Crowning glory, the ultimate tribute to the Packers, is the Crown Casino, watched over by Kerry himself.

You can't say the man didn't have a sense of humour and a respect for tradition!

The portrait urn at the entrance of the Crown Casino.