Category Archives: canberra tourism

Canberra Sculpture Walk proposal

P1110483

When reading the latest thought bubbles from the property lobby, it was difficult to avoid laughing out loud. In their quest to improve Civic business activity, the Civic property lobby has recommended that the ACT Government should hand over money to assist in the refurbishment of the Melbourne and Sydney buildings.

Continue reading Canberra Sculpture Walk proposal

Blue Poles at the museum

poles-P1150836

There is talk in the art world about the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) changes to their permanent collection galleries and how this has included the movement of the famous Jackson Pollock painting, Blue Poles, from its long historic position downstairs to the upstairs galleries.

Continue reading Blue Poles at the museum

Kingston Arts Precinct

There’s was a recent announcement that the government is calling for developers to put forward proposals to develop part of the Kingston Foreshore site as an arts precinct.

One wonders what their perception and concept of what is art precinct. Then there will be the issues that the government is looking for a commercial entity to propose an arts precinct.

Continue reading Kingston Arts Precinct

Canberra

Book Review

Canberra, Paul Daley, 2012

canberra-paul-daleyThis is small book is another in the city series published by Newsouth (University of NSW). I have previously reviewed Hobart (click here) and Adelaide (click here). Paul Daley has told a set of stories about Canberra, the National Capital. Sadly he seems to not have invested the time to gather local knowledge about the city, its people, its life style and its complexities as a 21st Century city of 380,000 people.

Continue reading Canberra

NGA Contemporary

Review: Visual Arts

NGA Contemporary

252917 5768762-3x2-700x467 NGA-contemp-P1070589

Down by the lake in Canberra, within that strange-looking architectural structure which is part of a local folley, called Commonwealth Place, the National Gallery of Australia has moved in to open an exhibition space for Australian contemporary art. It is called NGA Contemporary and is well worth a visit.

Continue reading NGA Contemporary

NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

Review: Visual Arts
Several exhibitions at the NGA

237644-1Our public galleries are places you should visit often, and not just for the big blockbuster exhibitions.

There are many other exhibitions, especially collection exhibitions, that are a wonder to see and enjoy.

Continue reading NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery

Review: Visual Arts/photography
Exhibition: John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

till 19th October 2014, then touring.

front-P1070002The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra has done itself proud with this special exhibition of photographs produced from the archive of the photographer John Witzig. Full marks to the historian curator, Sarah Engledow.

Continue reading John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery

Embassy Architecture – Solomon Islands

Review: Embassy Architecture in Canberra

The Solomon Islands High Commission1-solomonP1060929I spotted this example of successful embassy architecture as I was driving past to have lunch at the Beaver Gallery Cafe in Deakin. From the available online information (and there’s not much) I think these new buildings for the High Commission for the Solomon Islands were completed around 2011/2012.

Continue reading Embassy Architecture – Solomon Islands

100 Canberra Houses

Review: Book
100 Canberra Houses: A Century of Capital Architecture / by Tim Reeves and Alan Roberts

100Houses-0This book about housing in Canberra is welcomed by those amongst us who would love to see more good design in the provision of houses in Canberra. Much of Canberra, as with most places internationally, is presently being devastated with loads of new badly designed suburbs as well as very awful blocks of cheaply rendered apartments being foisted on the older inner suburbs. The authors of this book are to be congratulated for illustrating that the architecture for residential properties can be something to be enjoyed.

Continue reading 100 Canberra Houses

Canberra Architecture

Review: Book
Canberra Architecture, Andrew Metcalf
Watermark Architectural Guides, 2003

CanberraI picked up this book quiet a while ago but it is only now that I have had time to look through it. I am glad I did, as after reading through quite a bit of it, I have become more aware that Canberra has a reasonable amount of good and notable architecture.

I have a quiet interest in good architecture and have spent some energies complaining about the current crop of badly designed houses and commercial buildings being thrust onto Canberra. Residents have despaired that good design in our civic areas and suburbs has become a thing of the past.

Continue reading Canberra Architecture

Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin

Comment: A memorial for Walter and Marion

Christopher-VernonSeveral months back there was an article by Christopher Vernon, of the University of Western Australia, putting forward the background and argument for a permanent memorial in Canberra for Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Click here for that article.

There are various things scattered around Canberra that tell their story.

Continue reading Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin

New Acton Precinct, Canberra

Review: Urbanity
New Acton Precinct, Canberra

NA-P1040192

There was much ado about this whole precinct development when it was being built and this continues through to today. Having visited the site a few times now, to meander, to eat, to meet for coffee and the occasional business, I have to say that it is a very mixed result. It is worth a visit on a busy day to see for yourself. But it does not match some of the rhetoric that has been put about – click here for an example of some project-porn spin*.

Continue reading New Acton Precinct, Canberra

North Canberra Greenway

A brief concept proposal:
The North Canberra Greenway and Artwalk.

This is a proposal to enhance some present green infrastructure within inner north Canberra.

Drain-Walk-01

The North Canberra Greenway could be formed by linking and then enhancing the present green infrastructure elements throughout inner north Canberra.

Continue reading North Canberra Greenway

Breakfast with Canberra Yummy Mummies

Urbanity: Breakfast in Canberra
Deakin: Double Shot (2nd Review)

I have an earlier post on the this cafe – click here

I have visited this place often and have to say that is often quite busy with social groups, business meetings and all sorts of gatherings.(good)  The music is too loud to the extent that it usually hinders easy conversation (bad).

Continue reading Breakfast with Canberra Yummy Mummies

Tent Embassy

A new future for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra

tent-P1030620

The tent embassy has had a mixed history since the first one was established in January 1972 in Canberra right in front of the former Parliament House. There is a reasonably full history on wikipedia – click here. It is worth reading.

Presently the number of tents varies as does the level of activity. Over the years I am aware that the government as well as the National Capital Authority have had discussions about its future. Nothing has changed except for the comings and goings of the residents.

Continue reading Tent Embassy

Breakfast in Canberra

Urbanity: Breakfast in Breakfast
A list of places to have breakfast

Visits to  suburban cafes during 2014 for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Watch this space as the list grows! all reviews – click here

—————————————

Tosolini’s, Corner London Circuit, West Row, Civic

tosolinis

I have been to this cafe over the years far too many times to even ponder counting. Manly for coffee and the occasional meal. I used to eat their cakes, but with age, and dangers of putting on weight, the cakes etc are no longer for me.

Continue reading Breakfast in Canberra

Breakfast in Canberra

Urbanity: Breakfast in Canberra
A growing list of places to have breakfast

We intend to visit  suburban cafes during 2014 for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. We intend here to visit  suburban cafes for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Here’s the latest. There’s more online – see link below this review.

Wilbur’s Cafe and Bar at Hackett

Continue reading Breakfast in Canberra

Cotter Dam Artwork

Review: Public Art

A review of the artwork at the Cotter Dam site.

Cotter-P1030042

There is just one lone piece of art at the new Cotter Dam site.  I am not sure of its placement on the fairly bare site in front of the very dominating new dam wall. Seems no creative landscape design was employed to enhance its placement.

Continue reading Cotter Dam Artwork

Cotter Dam

Review: The Cotter Dam Site

cotterP1030051

Late in 2013, there was much ado in Canberra about the completion of the new Cotter Dam. The new wall is a replacement and enlargement of the previous dam on the Cotter River. It was built as a result of the ten-year drought and the need for water security for Canberra.

The surrounding recreational areas had been devastated in the 2003 bush fires and the whole area has been rejuvenated to once again be a reaction area for locals and visitors on the outskirts of the capital.

Continue reading Cotter Dam

Angel of the North

Review: Visual Art
Angel of the North at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Angel-P1030341

It was just this week that I managed to get myself down the wonderful National Gallery of Australia’s sculpture garden to have a look at the Angel of the North. The piece has been on location for several years. This was the fist time I have seen this piece. Of course, this is the life-size marquette of the original Angel of the North, being about one tenth the size of the original.

Continue reading Angel of the North

Tale of two Arboretums, The National Arboretum, Canberra

Tale of two Arboretums
The National Arboretum, Canberra

Nat-Arb-P1030257

Once the devastating 2003 Canberra fires were over, the Canberra landscapes to the west of the Lake Burley Griffin were left denuded of the previous forest. The subsequent international design competition delivered a much celebrated design for a National Arboretum.

Continue reading Tale of two Arboretums, The National Arboretum, Canberra

Tale of two Arboretums, Lindsay Prior

Review: A Memorial  Arboretum

Lindsay Prior Arboretum, Canberra

prior-P1030209

If you have not already read it elsewhere on this blog, I love trees. Our home is now immersed in shrubbery. Ever morning we awake to sounds of all the bird life that enjoy our the biodiversity in the garden in our street. The front has been planted and designed in such a way that when we sit on the front verandah and look in a northerly direction, all we see are trees and shrubs. There homes and cars in that direction, but they a blocked out so that it looks as though we look out on a private parkland. But despite our private parkland and that a wetland is five minutes away, we do venture out occasionally to see what others are doing with trees. Occasionally!

Continue reading Tale of two Arboretums, Lindsay Prior

Photography in Canberra

Review: Photography at Canberra Museum and Gallery

Lens Love, The Tender Gaze of six Canberra Region Photographers.

lee-grant-P1020395

It is indeed wonderful for the Canberra Museum and Gallery to have an exhibition of photography. The exhibition brings together the works of six local photographers, most connected through the Canberra School of Art.

Continue reading Photography in Canberra

Botanic Gardens

Review: Australian National Botanic Gardens

botgrdn-P1020270

On the western edge of Canberra’s CBD, next to the Australian National University, on the side of Black Mountain, sits one of the National Capital’s often overlooked treasures, the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Although it figures in tourist brochures, I am not aware of large numbers of visitors. I am also not convinced that local Canberrans visit this site very often or that they think to take their visitors there.

Continue reading Botanic Gardens