Spring is in full glory once more in our Southern hemisphere. Blossoming is at its peak. All around colours and scents are rich and delightful. There is a sense of focused busyness as nature tries to ensure the future.
Spring inspires. Below is an embroidery on wool felt that was stitched last year.This project drew inspiration from the blossoms in the top picture and also tried to connect to older symbols of Easter eggs,babies and blossoms for new life and new hope.
Above all Spring is an experience of joyful beauty
One of the things that I especially love about Melbourne is the music. The streets are stages for a joyous mix of buskers who represent possibly every genre. Rap, pop, classical, jazz , rock, opera, digeridoo, Asian flute and strings and more.
Their ability ranges from the beginner to the adept professional. Music is to be found all through the city on the streets, in the squares and in the alleyways.
Melbourne resonates to various tunes. The hum of the traffic, the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages, rumble of the trams, beeps and sirens become an accompanying orchestra as the city sings along.
This is but a tiny taste, There are so many other venues through the city and suburbs that offer a huge range of live performances. One of the many reasons that Melbourne has gained a reputation for being a city that promotes and encourages art and culture.
January has proved to be a month of comings and goings. During this time there were touchdowns in three Australian states, Victoria, the A.C.T and Queensland, as well as in three different capital cities, Melbourne,
Canberra, leaving as a warm,bright day became stormy ,
and Brisbane. Brisbane as a last stop seemed to shine a special welcome back, the setting sun giving the city quite an ethereal glow.
All three cities have provided inspiring experiences and ideas, but it seems that the garden beauty of Melbourne, and in particular St.Erth at Blackwood, has lingered.
From this wonky computer taken, “pushed for time”, picture you can see that everything is still unfinished. These are all are works in progress that will hopefully see completion this weekend.
Now I really do need to settle and connect again to that slower, daily rhythm that encourages creativity and utilizes the wonder and passion that the memories have filed. That rhythm requires stillness, solitude and a hermit like phase, which seems to be elusive as I dart here and there, reconnecting with friends, local places and activities. This year it seems has chosen constant motion and travel as a theme.
The recent trip to Melbourne, as well as my own garden, has inspired a small piece, this pincushion which is a tiny pumpkin patch surrounded by a border of flowers. Mostly made from wool felt the pumpkin vine has tiny wire tendrils . Growing with the vine are some novelty flower pins. The larger flower pinhead is hand made from the felt, the other pins purchased.
On return I discovered that the pumpkin planted in a garden box in our under cover area had escaped. It had literally taken off over the sides of the plant box, raced along the ground and headed out the door.
Visiting St.Erth, a Diggers Club Garden, the herbaceous border, food forest and terracing had an impact.
Another significant influence was the Community garden at St.Kilda . A fertile oasis with a noble intent, and although opposite Luna Park and the trundling roller coaster, crowds and traffic it offered a haven.
This garden was originally a bowling club that has been “re-purposed” , and meanders around small plots, aviaries and a chicken pen as well as various buildings.
Interwoven throughout this magical and quirky space is art: painting, mosaics, sculpture that work with the garden to create an interesting and enriching environment.
The other garden that has inspired is this tiny community garden begun last year in a bluestone laneway. Already it is attracting birds,insects and lizards .
Small beginnings have such potential for growth and magnificence. This is the garden that my daughter has initiated so it is one held dear and with much love and pride.
Life has intervened, as happens. The mad rush at the end of the year swept up all the best intentions to have some blog drafts ready to publish while away in Melbourne.
Has Christmas really come ? Was it only just a blink of sparkling frenzy? Is all that anticipation and stress and mad running now a little blip of memory? Seems so.
Melbourne is a city that holds my heart, moreso each visit. It never disappoints. Aside from the joy of being with family I had another mission this time. Cat sitting.
Another unexpected event was a purchase, (it is said that Melbourne is the place to shop). Now I have my first, very own computer, so on a learning curve of exciting discovery – obviously more discovering and learning is needed as I try to unravel the secrets of uploading and editing photos and managing a new programme. Exciting, excited. However it is also time to get back into my workroom and create to tap into all that inspiration that Melbourne offers.
In late September I visited Melbourne. Once more it reminded me of Paris, although on previous occasions this was but a thought , now a comparison based on experience.
As in Paris music is to be found throughout the city, music of every genre. On Spencer Street Bridge which spans the Yarra River, Captain Pugwash kindly posed for this photo.
In the city outside the Royal Arcade, as the trams rumbled past and crowds jostled, strains of classical music hovered in the air; rich, honey tones of a cello. Perhaps for a few seconds the frenzied crowds and souls were soothed.
A little further up the street there were rock and folk bands, a comedian, a clarinet and a mime artist, each adding to the richness and variety of creativity, music and culture to be found everywhere in the city .
Cafes, galleries, gardens and four seasons; cobbled, bluestone alleyways and terrace buildings; trams and horse drawn carriages; old lanterns, street art and flower displays; the river. All of these and more to delight, inspire and savour. Every visit made to the city over the years presents new discovery, new insights, new learning and inspiration .
Maybe he would suggest that a visit to Melbourne always nourishes all the senses.
Watching, guarding, thinking, relaxing; I found this bird -man resting on a bench in the chicken pen at St.Kilda Community Garden in Melbourne. What a wonderful guardian they have. I met him just after Christmas 2013 and totally smitten.
Art was incorporated everywhere in the gardens. Each plot had a unique identity. I was very excited to see the care, love and creativity expressed there. Such an amazing place and a wonderful inspiration. Although located in the the city it was a place that was sacred with its heart beating strongly in exultation encouraging creativity, nature and self sufficiency.
Immediately opposite was the funfair, Melbourne’s historic Luna Park; brash, noisy, manufactured and artificial enclosed by black asphalt and high walls. Trundling and rumbling around on high wooden trestles was an antique roller coaster, accompanied by screams and yells. It was very loud in there compared to the peace across the road. The hard surfaces and flashing lights, advertising and contrived fun were a glaring contrast to the lushness of the garden and individuality of the art and decorations adorning it. The two co-existing side by side seemed totally incongruous, yet both characteristic of the St.Kilda genre.
St.Kilda has a chequered history. Once home to the gentry with gracious and elaborate mansions, it became the fun district for the city at the turn of the Twentieth Century and later better known as a notorious red light district. Since the 1960’s a Bohemian hub has flourished. It is eccentric, interesting and has a lively and vibrant buzz.
Stretched out behind both locations is the bay, also offering a cacophony of sounds, colour and movement as families congregate on the beach relaxing, chattering, playing games. The boardwalks seem to be an intermingling of different motions with skateboarders and bikes as well as walkers. Out on the horizon stretches a line of container ships and closer to shore bobbing sail boats. Such a richness of sights and sounds as well as links to days of yore.
Did the experience enrich? Incredibly so. Many new ideas and a lot of contemplation has resulted, as well as a deepening of love for the city and the diversity of experiences it offers.