One of the great delights in taking a long weekend out-of-town is the ability to direct some creative energy into viewing the new environment with equally new eyes. Melbourne is not a new city to me, but I hadn’t traveled there for some time and an opportunity to visit the theatre and check out some art galleries is always to be valued. Taking the creatively lazy option, I chose to document my visit using only my smart phone. The best camera for the job is the one in your hand at the time.
A seat in the venerable 125 year old Her Majesty’s Theatre to view the current production of Les Misérables was the first port of call. Avoiding the eagle eyed usherettes, I was able to document the theatre interior, whilst avoiding a protracted legal battle with the Cameron Mackintosh organisation by NOT recording the stage set.
The joy of an inner city high rise hotel is the view from the windows. Melbourne has a delightful mix of old and modern within its skyline. Art must quickly follow Theatre on a trip like this; so a visit to the Ian Potter Centre was both necessary and a short walk away. An extensive display of art produced by the Boyd family is currently taking pride of place. The art is the story, but the glue holding the exhibition together is the photographic documentation that helps to put the work into context.
Further more the Ian Potter Centre is part of Federation Square and the architecture of the sprawling structure is of vital interest. I have wrestled with a particular spot on the second floor overlooking a footpath during several visits spanning several years. It was no different on this current visit – achieving success is only in the eyes of the viewer.
Next stop was to head to the National Gallery of Victoria to view the much acclaimed Fashion World of Jean Paul Gautier. This lavishly staged exhibition was a visual avalanche with not only great haute couture garments but high end fashion photography. Stand out shots by Pierre et Gilles, Peter Lindburgh, Dimitris Theocharis, Remy De La Mauviniere and many, many more were enough to keep me interested. The animatronic models speaking with viewers and interacting with passersby (or seemed to) also brought what could have been a static display very much alive.
The weekend away finished with a great meal at Movida Next Door in Hosier Lane. The lane is a magnet for both graffiti artists and photographers; and eating at sunset seemed to bring out droves of photographers. Whilst I don’t have a huge interest in street photography, or more correctly the documentary style of photographic illustration, I may have reluctantly featured in a couple of shots taken through the window of the tapas bar. Fortunately copious quantities of ’12 Vina Esmeralda Moscatel/Gewurztraminer Catalunya were enough to ward off feelings of animosity or the desire to head out into the lane way and give them the “benefit of my knowledge”!