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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

The Art Gallery of  NSW in 2013I like spending a lot of time at the Art Gallery of NSW soaking up the artistic atmosphere, so when I visit Sydney I always make a point of visiting the gallery to see what’s new, however up until now I have never visited the art gallery on a Sunday.  I arrived at the gallery today just as it opened at 10am and headed down to the members lounge to do some Uni readings on globalized activism.   It is nice place to relax away from all the tourists bustling through the gallery with a private café where I had some yummy scones with jam n creams with a hot chocolate! 

So what is so different on weekends at the gallery!  Well after I left the members lounge and headed to the main gallery area there were all these screams and laugher of young children.   Sunday appears to be family day at the gallery! Great….. I’m scarred of children 🙂 Anyway I thought I would be brave and see what they were doing.  I watched a presentation from a representative of the art gallery awarding three prizes for a drawing/painting competition which I think was themed around their latest temporary exhibit:  SYDNEY MODERNS.  The top three winners were around 8 years of age!  I think there were around 50 child finalists and along with their parents it was quite a spectacle.  Later that afternoon there was a puppet show for the kids, which I watched for about five minutes. As I watched the parents sit with their kids I thought these are the sorts of things you have to do if you have young kids.

Anyway what I really came to see at the Gallery were the SYDNEY MODERNS, which are a collection of modern art works by artists capturing the transformation of Sydney into a modern city from 1910s – 1930s.  Many of the artists capture the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, transportation networks and the beginning of multi-story buildings that captured new perspectives of how people lived and worked in Sydney.  I joined a guided tour that went for around an hour and the curator explained how artists such as Grace Cossington Smith, Roland Wakelin and Roy de Maistre among others used colour, light to create a dynamic representation of the modern Australia of the time.   Overall it was a good day at the gallery and I liked learning about how Australian history can be depicted in modern art which were very controversial at the time!

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a well known Australian landmark; I have driven my car over it, taken a train daily to school over it, been a passenger on a ship underneath it, yet I have never flown a small plane near it.  That was to change on my great Australian Air Trip in 2006. One of the highlights of my trip was getting clearance to fly at 1500 feet above Sydney Harbour in circular orbits near Sydney City, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.  The one hour flight took weeks of planning, reading maps and understanding what the procedures were since this was so close to Sydney International Airport. One of the local pilots even told me sometimes Air Traffic Control (ATC) will deny clearance if they are too busy handling jets that always take priority.

Well the day came and after submitting a flight plan and convincing a couple of passengers to trust me with their life in a small plane I departing Warnervale Airfield north of Sydney towards the city. My first hurdle was at Sydney’s Northern Beaches just outside of controlled airspace where I needed to get clearance to fly any closer to the city. ATC made me circle here for about 15 minutes which felt like forever and after identifying me on radar gave me clearance to orbit on the city side of the Harbour Bridge and to maintain 1500 feet at all times.  It was a surreal experience as below 1000 feet I could see helicopters operating and further in the distance above 2500 feet I could see large jets approaching Sydney Airport. Not to mention the constant background noise of Airline Pilots communicating to ATC as I was on the same frequency as them. We saw some Harbour Bridge climbers wave at us and I even managed to take some pictures of the landmarks before my allocated time was up. I flew back to Warnervale Airfield and landed safely to the relief of one of my passengers who told me that he had never been in a small plane before yet really enjoyed the view of Sydney!

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