Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival 2017 Review

So I went along to the Cherry Blossom Festival held at the Auburn Botanic Gardens last weekend. I love going to this event and every year, it’s always on my must-do list. Since this event is only open over a two week period, it can get a little busy. This year, we did things a little differently this time and decided to beat the rush to get there at opening time. This meant we got the chance to snap the blossoms before the lunch rush.

Hanami (flower viewing) is the Japanese tradition of welcoming Spring. This annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature by gathering under the sakura (cherry blossoms).

There’s just something about cherry blossoms isn’t there? In the non-stop world we live in, it’s so refreshing to be able to unplug and just soak up the magic of these whimsical tiny flowers.

I must say, in comparison to my last visit, this year’s crowd control was excellent. The one way in, one way out method had visitors passing through, enjoying the sights and taking their scenic selfies without the feeling of being in a mosh pit.

After viewing the cherry blossoms, we slowed down the pace to enjoy the beautiful sights of the Japanese gardens. It goes without saying these gardens are just breathtaking. I haven’t been to Japan yet, but it’s really lovely to have our own little bit of Japan right in our backyard. I enjoyed seeing so many families come along dressed in their Sunday bests to take some beautiful pics for their family albums.

The other thing I love about these gardens is spotting the peacocks. These have to be the most ostentatious birds of them all.

The weekend schedule was jam-packed. Visitors could take a self-guided tour of the cherry blossom trail, feast on some tasty Japanese snacks from the Food Village, head to the Izakaya Bar to sample some sake or watch a sumo wrestling demonstration at the Sumo Stadium.

We enjoyed the sumo wrestling. The demonstration included the referee explaining the rules of the sport as well as sharing some of the in game rituals. The demonstration was very family friendly and they even got the little ones to participate and take on the wrestlers. Needless to say, it’s pretty obvious who won the sparring session.

Heading across the road to the Peacock gallery, visitors could enjoy some craft in the sun and try their hand at floral headwear and costume making and attend the origami workshop. We also enjoyed some really cool traditional Japanese drumming. Talk about getting a good workout!

To our surprise, MasterChef’s Adam Liaw was there promoting the ‘Love Your Leftovers’ program. Adam showed the audience how to make better use of their leftovers and showed how easy it is to make your own homemade beef stock. Turns out it’s really easy…

Hopefully, the next time you visit the gardens, you get a chance to spot Gary the show-off peacock as you’re leaving the gardens (not his actual name, but a name I gave him because I think he kinda looked like a Gary) He just loves the cameras…

Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival 2017Did you get a chance to visit the Cherry Blossom Festival this year?

Love, Festival Girl

The Sydney Fair | 25 – 28 May 2017

The Sydney Fair is back! Looking for that perfect mid-century modern chair for your home or perhaps, a standout couture dress that has its own story, then The Sydney Fair is the place to be. Let fifity of Australia’s Antique dealers come to you and hopefully, you’ll find the item you’ve been looking for. There will be a wide range of items on display and for sale including Furniture, Decorative Arts, Jewellery, Vintage fashion including couture and luxury vintage goods from all eras.

For lovers of vintage clothing, the event also includes a couture exhibition showcasing evening dresses from 1920s to 1990s. See pieces from Chanel, Dior, and many designers from the Hollywood era Travilla and Chapman. Immerse yourself in the past and watch a film of the Paris catwalk parades from the 1950s while you explore a parade of vintage couture.

Details
What: The Sydney Fair
Where: The Royal Hall of Industries
1 Driver Avenue Moore Park Sydney N.S.W.
When:
Opening night Thursday 25th May 6.00pm to 9.00pm
Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May 11.00am to 6.00pm
Sunday 28th May 11.00am to 5.00pm
Tickets:
For sale at the door or online
$30 Opening night
$15 everyday of the fair
$10 Concession (not opening night)

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera AGNSW Exhibition – Review

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So last weekend I went along to the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Why did I wait until the last few weeks long to go? It’s a long story actually. I heard about this event coming to Sydney in late 2015 and at the time I was so excited I was counting down the days. So when the event finally rolled around, I decided to wait until at least the second week to avoid the crush. Then what happened?… on the first week of August, I fell and stuffed my ankle for a few weeks, got very distracted and then all of a sudden, the exhibition was almost at an end. Sigh.

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At $18 per adult ticket, entry into the exhibition is staggered every 30 minutes and the reason for this is pretty obvious. It was much busier than I expected as we all crammed into the small space. I really enjoy going to museums and art galleries, but I personally struggle with the anxiety of having my personal space invaded… It can’t be just me that feels this? Anyway, personal space issues aside, here are my thoughts on the exhibition.

There was absolutely no confusing Frida and Diego’s work with any others, nor should there. Large printed photos on the walls of Frida and Diego created a really warm feeling in the space and made it feel like home. Although there were only 33 paintings and 50 plus photos on display in a relatively small space, it’s the detail in the masterpieces that has people captivated.

I love how this exhibition was curated. Coloured walls throughout the space reflected Frida’s colourful style whilst also highlighting and complementing some of the most important works.

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‘Landscape with Cacti’ by Diego. This is a large and very attractive piece representing colourful cacti in the dessert. This caricature landscape seems different to Diego’s usual style featuring vast spaces with lots of people and often represent a reflection of society.

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Personal letters are on display with interactive tablets displaying Spanish to English translations of handwritten letters. An true insight into their life.

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In contrast to Diego’s pieces, Frida’s works are small, humble and mainly self potraits of the subject she knows the best, herself.

I enjoyed people watching and see others observe the works. I love seeing the excitement in their faces. I love how engrossed people become observing a story. I love seeing people examine every brush stroke and of course, fighting every urge to stroke the delicate paintings.

I enjoyed people watching and see others observe the works. I love seeing the excitement in their faces. I love how engrossed people become observing a story. I love seeing people examine every brush stroke and of course, fighting every urge to stroke the delicate paintings.

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Family album style photographs adorned almost every blank space and invited people to come close and experience their life.

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There’s something so personal about seeing these hand-drawn etchings by Frida. After walking through and observing the photographs timeline, it felt like I had experienced a glimpse of Frida and Diego’s journey through life. It was actually very confronting and emotional to see the final photos of Frida resting in peace.

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The Love Embrace of the Universe,the Earth,Myself,Diego and Senor Xolotl (centred). This is probably one of the most favourite paintings I’ve experienced in the flesh. It’s truly iridescent and seems like no photograph can portray the illuminating contrast between the deep blue and the mint-green colours of the right-hand side of the painting.

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Coloured photos of Frida. 

frida-kahlo-exhibition-11‘Self Portrait as a Tehuana’. Dressed in traditional Tehuana dress, Frida started painting it in 1940 after Diego and her divorce and completed it in 1943. Diego was still clearly on her mind.

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Self-portrait with Monkey. This is probably my favourite piece. I love how the choice of a bold red gallery wall helps lift the piece. Frida depicted monkeys in a huge amount of her paintings and some say these represented the children she was unable to have with Diego.

During their careers, Diego’s career seemed to elevate above Frida’s, however, it’s clear that Frida draws the masses. Frida as an artist, her story and of course her art, is what captivates people to this day and probably will continue to do so for years to come. The lives and stories of Frida and Diego are so entwined and they will always be two parts of a whole.

Don’t miss the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition – with only one day to go, I urge you to go and experience the masterpieces if you can.

Love,
Festival Girl