Foxy

Foxy

When we went to Dubbo we also dropped in at the Cultural Centre. This is a free place, with an art gallery and a small museum. It also has a good cafe, where we accidentally stuffed ourselves with a late lunch big enough for 3 or 4 people!

The museum had lots of old things from the area, including some crazily narrows shoes and a replica of an old school classroom. The wooden desks with ink wells and space for books inside reminded me of the desks where I went to primary school, and they even had old books in them!

Back to school

Back to school

The art was particularly good. They had a few different exhibits, including some ‘designs’ for silly futuristic things like a flying polar bear farm (?!?!?!) and an exhibit from a competition on making art out of everyday rubbish. The pictures of my favourites are here. They’re a lizard made from a tyre, a fox made from chicken wire and old curtains and a penguin made from an old gas bottle. He looks pretty mean with a cigarette in his mouth.

Tyre lizard

Tyre lizard

 

Penguin from a gas bottle

Penguin from a gas bottle

 

 

 

John Lennons glasses

John Lennons glasses

In Sydney, on the edge of the Harbour overlooking the Opera House if the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. They have a free collection which changes regularly, and rotating paid exhibits to.

Since November there has been a series by Yoko Ono there called War is Over! (If you want it). Tickets are $20 and I thought it was worth a look. There are about 25 different works there, and I spent about 90 minutes going around. The works include sculptures, installations, interactive pieces, films and photographs. The theme (according to the booklet) is about “capturing the power of the human mind to transcend the present and wish for a better world in the future, without conflict”.

I enjoyed the art, and here are some of my favorite pieces (some of this stuff is a bit profound):

Play it by Trust: Another interactive work, these were chess sets where all the pieces on both sides are white. The piece is originally from 1966. Once you start playing and the pieces mix together its hard to know who’s piece is which, the idea of competition breaks down and it is meant to create a shared understanding and a new relationship based on empathy rather than opposition. Like in a real life battle or war I guess, if you realise we are all people. Matt wasn’t there to play a game with me, but given that he wouldn’t have been able to win i’m not sure he would have enjoyed it!

Play it by Trust chess set

Play it by Trust chess set

Telephone in maze: This is what it sounds like. The maze is made of perspex, and very disorientating as you can’t easily tell where the walls actually are. When you go in they warn you to put your hands in front of you as they’ve had a few minor injuries! I was OK inside the maze, but may have had a slightly embarrassing moment when I tried to go into it in a place which wasn’t the door! (Ooops). 

Doors and sky puddles: This was a big room, with a out 10 upright and a couple of fallen over suspended tatty doors with small messages from Yoko on them. On the floor were puddles coloured like the sky – sky is a recurring theme in a lot of the pieces. The booklet says ‘doors are just a figment of our imagination’ and barriers exist in our mind as much as in reality and that we need strength and courage to pass on through them. This idea resonates well with me. What barriers do you make for yourself? What if you didn’t? (A problems not a problem until its a problem).

Doors and Sky Puddles

Doors and Sky Puddles

We’re all water: This is named after a song with John Lennon, and is a wall full of glass bottles, all full of the same amount of water. They all have names of famous people on them from Charles Darwin to Hitler and Cleopatra. The idea (I expect) is all about highlighting the commonality between different people. It made me think about the nature of the self – briefly, until that all became a bit profound.

Touch me III: This was weird. Its about violence done to women and is a series of boxes, with silicone body parts in it laid out in a body shape, some of which have become deformed and worn over time. You’re invited to touch them, which I did. It was very strange as the silicone was a lot wobblier and softer than I expected. That’s all.

Vertical Memory and Wish tree for Sydney: These two pieces were on a similar theme of participation. In the first one you wrote where you wanted to go on a luggage tag and put it into a suitcase (I really had to think about narrowing my list down for that one). The second one was you wrote down a wish and tied it to one of several lemon-scented eucalyptus trees out on the balcony overlooking the Opera House. Its about Yokos belief in the power of the mind to effect positive change. 

It’s definitely worth a visit if you like art, even a little bit. Hopefully this post wasn’t too out there!

 

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