The multi-coloured figures in the banner for this page aren’t too bad. But if you look closely, you will notice that some of them don’t have heads. So, is this the way it’s meant to be? or have I come across some of the ‘faceless men’ they talk about in party politics, or has Marie-Antoinette decreed “Off with their heads”.
Campbell Arcade – Glass cabinets filled with often political artwork are set into the walls of the long walkway leading up to the shops. Once intended to house advertisements, the cabinets are now curated by Platform. Founded in 1990, it is Melbourne’s longest-running public art program. On the first Friday of each month, a new exhibition is unveiled. Platform Artists Group Inc. was established by artists Andrew Seward and Richard Holt in 1990 as a non-profit public art organisation. For more information, see my original post.
Federation Square– colloquially known as “Fed Square” and is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. Incredibly controversial during its construction, it has over the 10 years “mellowed” and been accepted for what it represents. The glass walls of the Atrium space covers a lane way-like space covering five stories high with glazed walls and roof. The labyrinth is a passive cooling system sandwiched above the railway lines. Environmentally over the seasons, during hot summer nights; cold air is pumped in the combed space, cooling down the concrete while the heat absorbed during the day is pumped out. The following day, cold air is pumped from the labyrinth out into the atrium through floor vents. This keeps the atrium up to 12 deg C cooler than outside and comparable to conventional air-conditioning but using one-tenth the energy by producing one-tenth of the carbon dioxide. During winter the process is reversed; so warm daytime air stored in the Labyrinth overnight is pumped back into the atrium during the day.
A form of floating art or canal art belongs to items found on and around canal or narrow boats. Common sites include the doors to the cabin, the water can or barrel and the side of the boat along with ornate lettering giving the boat’s name and owner.
While the practice declined as commercial use of the canals dwindled, it has seen something of a revival in recent times with the emergence of leisure boating. Narrow boat decoration with roses and castle themes are a reasonably common sight on today’s canals, although these may utilise cheaper computer-printed vinyl transfers in place of the traditional craft of hand-painted designs. More on this topic can be found within this post.
Window art dressing is certainly a specialised art. Special treats are for those who dress windows for children for Christmas – like a specialised one-on-one silent pantomime. Merry Christmas to you all.
Laminex tables Remember eating off these? Room for movement here! I can cover a lot of ground from fabrics, linoleum, wallpaper, cloth, etc. Here’s one example from the ‘archives’ – laminex. I remember we had a red laminex kitchen table. This one is obviously green. Can anyone recall any other colours? I actually saw a red laminex table out on the kerbside clearance about two weeks ago. Lasted about half a day before someone picked it up. It had an obvious lame wooden leg when I saw it. This also made me think – were laminex tables only really done with metallic legs, or were some in wood?
The Flexi-ball – (the amazing shape shifter), was originally developed by Tibetan monks around the 8th Century A.D. and has been used by both Buddhists and Hindus to assist with meditation. Buddhists believe in emptying the mind and being totally in the present moment. The shape shifters were originally known by the Sanskrit (ancient and sacred language of India) word “Mandala” meaning circle, community and contentedness. The idea is to gently push the wires around so that you can make many different shapes. This one was made in India.
Dragon and lion dance costumes are common during the Chinese New Year festivities. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the dragon or lion dancing aggressively can evict bad or evil spirits. Needless to say, as spectacular as it is to watch, the Lion Dance ceremony and get carried away with the moment, how often do we all stop and think about the artists and creators who have spent many hours putting together these fine Leontine creatures for everyone’s enjoyment.
I thought you might like to see an early version of pop-up art (as opposed to pop-art), in the form of an earlier version of pop-ups – the pop-up book. The term pop-up book is often applied to any three-dimensional or movable book, although properly the umbrella term “movable book” covers pop-ups, transformations, tunnel books, volvelles, flaps, pull-tabs, pop-outs, pull-downs, and more; each of which performs in a different manner. I must add, a friend of mine has a pop-up copy of the Kama Sutra. I’ve been looking out for a copy of that for some years – alas, with little success!
Did you know your vehicle has ears? This is what I call shadow art. All vehicles, whether domestic car, work utility, people mover, bus, taxi, truck, have many facial features. Headlights resemble eyes. The front grille on many vehicles can look like a cheesy grin. Your car also has ears although you can seldom see them. Depending on the time of day of travel, you can drive along the road and see your vehicles ears – you’ll notice here that this vehicle’s ears have not been pierced -unless it’s wearing studs!
Plenty of people collect teatowels and there is probably a collector’s term ending in -ology which relates to it, but what about a collective noun. Could it be something like a ‘wipe of tea towels’. Wikipedia provides some historical information about the humble tea towel (English) or dish towel (American). By definition, it is a cloth which is used to dry dishes, cutlery, etc., after they have been washed. In 18th century England, a tea towel was a special linen drying cloth used by the mistress of the house to dry her precious and expensive china tea things. Servants were considered too ham-fisted to be trusted with such a delicate job, although housemaids were charged with hand-hemming the woven linen when their main duties were completed. Here’s no surprise – Wikipedia goes on to say that tea towels have been mass-produced since the Industrial Revolution. The picture depicts various nautical knots used for a variety of purposes. It’s really hard to sit here and not say “get knotted.” Here is the original post.
Snow-domes aka snow-globes, snow-storms or water-globes are spheres enclosed with water where the water serves as the medium through which the “snow” falls. Snow-domes first appeared at the Paris Universal Expo of 1878, and became popular in England during the Victorian era. By the end of the 19th century Erwin Perzy, a producer of surgical instruments, invented the so-called Schneekugel (snow-dome) and was the first to patent it. (The production of the ‘snow’ is still a secret). Perzy and his brother Ludwig opened a shop in Vienna where the family business is still operating. For more, see my original post.
Had it wrong – all this time. Yep, must confess, that I had my terminology wrong and now stand to be corrected. This set of nested dolls are NOT babooshka (or Babushka) dolls BUT matryoshka dolls. So then why does a whole shop dedicated to these, which is in one of our finest shopping arcades, call itself Babooshka? (wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong). A matryoshka doll, also known as Russian nesting/nested doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about its history. For further information see my original post.