VUCA

Volatility. Uncertainty. Complexity. Ambiguity. It’s a military term that has taken off in leadership management circles the past few years, but I think it’s also an apt description for this time of living through a world-wide pandemic. I’ve never been great at ambiguity and uncertainty, but I’ve accepted this is where things are for now and perhaps a lot longer than any of us can guess.

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I’ve realised looking around my house there are certain themes of freedom, travel and movement represented, which is probably why it’s hard to stay at home when there’s a compulsion to move forward (just like our national symbols the kangaroo and the emu) and feel free. I think it’s why I love birds and what they symbolise.

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I was very taken with Cai Guo-Qiang’s Murmuration installation of 10,000 porcelain birds last year as part of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the NGV. And I wasn’t the only one given the gallery was able to successfully fundraise to secure his largest ever porcelain artwork as part of its contemporary art collection. Closer to home, the Freedom Bird project created by local artist Helen Platania invites children, adults, crafters and artists alike to download a 3D bird for a collaborative, community art project.

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I was watching The Teskey Brothers perform in the empty NGV as part of The State of Music last night. La Trobe University sponsors both the NGV and The Australian Ballet and performing arts companies are doing it very hard at the moment. The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Victorian Arts Centre are all running free digital performances and I feel very lucky to live in a time where many of us can continue to work from home and be entertained with video on demand and livestream.

Drive-in cinemas look set to re-open in coming months but with that innovation too around drive-in live music and theatre shows, similar to what is being done in Europe as social distancing measures continue. Might need to rug up over winter but I think it’s a great idea to keep the music going!

Sun is Shining

img_9362.jpgI hope you make the most of the next two weeks before daylight savings ends. It’s already darker in the mornings and I’m trying to steel myself for the coming cooler months – I think a holiday in the sun might need to be booked! I’ve been flat knacker these past 10 weeks and started my week with a Monday night event at the NGV helping host over 600 prospective post-graduate students and alumni while they attended an exclusive Escher X Nendo: Between Two Worlds exhibition viewing (images above and below).

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If you haven’t yet been, make sure you visit in the next fortnight as it closes on 7 April and as much as it was a working event, I did get lost in the beauty of it with some of my work colleagues once our official duties were over. I loved the boldness and graphic nature of the show and hadn’t realised most of it was monochromatic (black and white) until the very end when one of my friends pointed that out to me. Escher had a very unique way of seeing the world and I think that’s the one thing that distinguishes great artists from good – they have a style and signature that is completely their own.

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One of the most beautiful parts of the show was the installation of tiny houses where if you walked to a certain point, the silhouette of a larger house could be seen right in the middle, which I somehow managed to capture on my iphone below.

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I will be trying to take it easy this weekend. The Home Harvest Picnic is on at Edendale Farm in Eltham on Sunday and speaking of food, I have been going down the back streets of Preston of late going past Spanish donut pit stop Mr Churros near Thornbury Secondary College, which I’ve previously mentioned, as well as visiting  middle eastern grocery store Cedar Bakery which has been there for a while but expanded to offer seated cafe-style tables.

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Have a great weekend!

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Iceland in Melbourne

Mr Rosanna and I saw Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Monday night. It was our first visit to the Centre and we loved it – we met my little sister Cat for a drink at Blondie bar outside where I spied singer Clare Bowditch at another table (and who we later saw at the gig) before moving indoors into the amazing and beautiful wood-panelled interior concert space (pictured below).

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We were treated to a journey that was cinematic, orchestral, electronic and ambient all at the same time. Besides Olafur Arnalds on piano/keyboard, there was also a drummer and strings including cello, viola and violins.  The atmospheric set showcased a full sound and light show (below) with a solo encore performance by Arnalds that ended in total silence. It was an incredible experience and he has had an interesting musical apprenticeship listening to classical music as a child (my favourite song of his is Lag Fyrir Ommu dedicated to his grandmother) before being in a punk rock band in his younger years (in some ways similar to his compatriot Icelandic female singer Bjork who has always been a little bit different).

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Summer in the city is exciting – as Mr Rosanna and I walked to the Centre we were treated to a live tango performance in the Victorian Arts Centre forecourt before walking past animated light boxes outside the National Gallery of Victoria which is currently showing the newly opened Escher X Nendo: Between Two Worlds exhibition.  We exited the city close to 11pm and I couldn’t believe the amount of people still walking the streets – Melbourne really has become a bustling 24-hour metropolis.

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Victorian Arts Centre forecourt

A couple of things to mention today – the Wild About Melbourne market is coming to Rosanna Village tomorrow and my yoga friend Susie will be selling her hand poured soy candles tomorrow at the market – a good one in time for Christmas.  If you’re a fan of gin which a number of my colleagues are – the Xmas Gin Market is being held at The Craft and Co in Collingwood on Sunday.  My Uncle Peter has also worked for Yarra Valley-based Four Pillars gin and is a fan.

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Mr R outside the NGV

There’s only a couple of weeks to go before Christmas but I still have my foot flat to the floor with work and other commitments. I hope you get a chance to wind down as we approach the closing weeks of 2019 and start to reflect on the year that’s been.

 

The Pioneer

It’s the name of the new cafe that’s yet to open at 2 Station Road in Rosanna.  From the signage and graphic design already up, it looks very promising.  I just hope they get the numbers given the lack of parking in that particular spot although lots of people walk past on their way to the train station.  I love the name – I was only still grumbling to Mr Rosanna last week that people seem to think culture is non-existent in the suburbs when there’s a big demand for more inner-city style cafes.  Just because I’ve moved a few kilometres out of the city doesn’t mean my sensibility and taste have changed…IMG_5876

I made it to the Van Gogh exhibition for my birthday earlier this week and I think we spent more time queuing up to see the show, than in the exhibition space itself!  I’d bought tickets online but it was still a wait as there were lots of people like us wanting to see the show before it closes this weekend.  I will say, Van Gogh’s later work is beautiful – the way he captured light in his paintings is amazing.  I’m also looking forward to the House of Dior  fashion exhibition at the NGV which will open late August.IMG_5864

The boys took me to upmarket Japanese restaurant Sake beforehand for lunch so it was lovely to spend time sitting in the sun beside the Yarra River.  I’m glad there’s been a lot more development by the river – I could see across to Riverland Bar and know that there’s also ice skating on at the moment at River Rink at Fed Square.  After the exhibition, we actually made it to a late afternoon screening of Wonder Woman at the Westgarth Theatre in Northcote so we loaded up on coffees and hot chips beforehand at Barry.IMG_5875

I got some lovely small things from my family for my birthday including some T2 green tea (with spinach!) and a Frank Green environmental coffee cup designed in Australia.  I’ve not seen the War on Waste TV program but I know there are far too many disposable coffee cups and plastic straws thrown away.  I recently met a senior staff member from T2 who informed me of their ‘Three Cs’ branding – no coffee, no coke and no colour!  Apparently all the staff wear black.  I’m not sure I’d survive a day in there without coffee…IMG_5852

Mr R also bought me some beautiful tulips that I’ve been admiring all week on our bench top – tulips along with orchids and lilies (which unfortunately make me sneeze) are one of my favourite flowers.  I’ve always wanted some Art Deco glass tulips which are collectors items if you ever see them.  Have a great weekend – one more week until we are officially halfway through winter.IMG_5856

Woven together

Sometimes I don’t like watching the news and this is one of those weeks.  I know we’re not immune from the things that are happening on the world stage but it can seem much worse the more attention you give it.  Whatever happens, everyone loses when hatred and fear win and I feel for the politicians who have to make hard decisions in order to do what they think is best to protect the majority of us who simply wish to live in a peaceful, inclusive society.

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Image via www.wwkipday.com

On a brighter note, there are a number of cultural and other activities currently happening around the place.  It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday 10 June and Australia is one of the participants including activities taking place locally here in Banyule.  Timely too with it being winter here in the southern hemisphere.  I discovered upmarket knitwear label Cable Melbourne not that long ago and have long loved the sweaters from Purl Harbour in Sydney.

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Image via Purl Harbour

In the city, the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition is currently on at the NGV and I love the sound of the accompanying Lunch like Van Gogh deal at No 35 Restaurant at the Sofitel where you’re treated to classic French edible works-of-art from $45.  Sounds like lots of fun.

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Image via Sofitel Melbourne

The Winter Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market has started on Wednesday nights if you’re brave enough to face the elements (albeit largely undercover) while the music lover in me has been curious about both Bird’s Basement in the city and The Jazzlab in Brunswick.