Melbourne has always had the creative and cultural lead over Sydney (I’m sure that will create some uproarious paint splashing that Jackson Pollock would probably put to canvas and exhibit… but it’s just true) but when it’s festival time Sydney can bring it like a cheerleader to finals.
There are some beautiful pieces like Tiffany Singh’s Knock on the Sky, Listen to the Wind. An open air room filled with wind chimes, each producing a different sound, dipped in different colours, hanging above your head but just in reach, inviting you to play with them. The shadow cast on the ground looked like birds on wire, swinging in the breeze. It wasn’t windy enough but you can imagine when it was the room would come alive and sound like some spiritual, calming orchestra.
The old convict quarters on the island was littered with hundreds of letters, courtesy of artist Ewa Partum. Ways to Roverto insists you get involved and leave your mark by create something of your own out of the letters. It’s ever evolving as someone else (the wind, another arty etc) will eventually take your place or your letters.
Some left their unique contribution with their name, others spoke words of wisdom and there was the simple, quirky & funny.
Being an essentially grown up child my favourite was Fujiko Nakaya’s Living Chasm . A man made fog that engulfs an outdoor area, it was so thick in parts that visibility was limited to a Titanic’s distance from an iceberg. As you venture through the fog outlines and shadows of people and objects just appear and disappear mysteriously until you’re out of it and back in reality. The surreality of it all is heightened by the sounds of voices, steps, phones, the machine generating the fog and other unseen things.
I could have played in the fog for hours with my imagination running wild with fabricated realities of a Zombie Apocolypse, waiting for Gorillas in the Mist, Valhalla, a crashed or damaged spaceship, waiting for the ferryman at the gates of hell or the Klingon afterlife, Stovokor .
If you are in Sydney buckle up your creative boots and bound on over to the Bienale. With exhibitions at Cockatoo Island, the MCA and Carriageworks there’s a Picasso’s palette full of things to see and do. After all, what’s life without art?
Break out the Butter, I’ll be back real soon. Today’s toast is served with yoghurt (it’s culture you can eat)