After a long day of travel, I arrived at my very comfortable hostel. Flinders Backpackers is a large but personal hostel with very nice private accommodations for a good price right in the middle of Melbourne. I recommend that anybody take the free walking tour on the first day to get the lay of the land and a feel for the city. Our guide, Kellie, was exceptional and the tour was informative and entertaining.
OUR TOUR GROUP
KELLIE GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON MELBOURNE
Melbourne is a city of about five million people that are very much into sports. There is football, cricket, and rugby to keep you busy. There is even a hybrid of football and rugby that is truly bizarre, but don’t worry if sports are not your thing because there are plenty of other things to keep you interested in this culturally and activity diverse city. Day trips to the Great Ocean Road are available from tour companies as well if you feel like getting out of town for the day.
The food here is tip top because the competition is so great that mediocre places go out of business immediately. You’ll also find whatever you might be looking for, from French haute cuisine to Spanish paella. There is a Chinatown and a Little Italy where I had some delicious Thai curry for lunch, and because tipping is not a big thing here, you will be able to afford to eat out regularly.
Museums and the Arts are world class and many of the exhibits are free of charge. The parks and gardens are beautiful even in the winter. Melbourne also has a thriving Live Music Scene which is such a welcome thing in a world where EDM and DJ’s seem to have taken over completely. There are a plethora of rock music venues and good jazz is also easy to find. Good theatre is also available if you want to take in a show.
THE ALLEYWAYS ARE OFTEN FILLED WITH STREET ART AND CLUBS
R.I.P. MALCOLM YOUNG – “C’mon Saint Peter How many bloody times you gonna make me play Hells Bells before you let me through the gates Mate?!?”
I was not aware, but it turns out that AC/DC is an Australian band from Sydney.
R.I.P. MALCOLM YOUNG – Malcolm Young left the band in April 2014 to get treatment for dementia, and succumbed to the disease on 18 November 2017. His brother Angus is the only original band member that remains with the group.
FRANK ZAPPA – SHEIK YER BOOTY – ANOTHER GREAT DEPARTED ARTIST
The famous Cherry Bar was in danger of being shut down because of noise complaints from a new posh apartment building. The rock & rollers came to the rescue and donated enough money to soundproof the club and this save a Melbourne institution.
CENTO MANI – Meaning one hundred hands in Italian, this is one of hundreds of excellent cafés in Melbourne. Starbucks thought they would clean up here, but the locals are real coffee snobs who would not put up with their mediocre product, and Starbucks ended up closing seventy percent of their stores here. They currently have only 30 shops in a city of five million, and the only people who drink their coffee here are the tourists. A local wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks. The “flat white” is the favorite coffee drink here. It’s halfway between a latté and a cappuccino, but isn’t all frothed up hence the flat attribute.
Eureka Tower dominates the Melboune skyline with striking architecture and profound symbolism dating from Melbourne’s gold rush days.
THE BLOCK ARCADE is one of the finest examples of a 19th. century shopping arcade on the planet. The heritage shopping arcade was built between 1891 and 1893. It’s design was modeled on Milan’s grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
The boutiques and cafes taking up residence in the Block have retained the arcade’s richly decorated uniform design, ensuring a seamless shopping experience from the colour-coordinated plant holders and paintwork to the heritage lighting and translucent glass ceiling.
These beautifully restored interior spaces are from an era that offered little in the way of indoor shopping.
THE ROYAL ARCADE is another historic arcade in the center of Melbourne. Opened in 1870, it is the oldest surviving arcade in Australia, known for its elegant light-filled interior, and the large carved mythic figures of Gog and Magog flanking the southern entry.
GOG AND MAGOG
This H+M is housed in the General Post Office building.
AN ALLURING VIXEN LOOKS OVER HER SHOULDER WITH A SMOLDERING GLANCE
SECTION 8 – Buzzy open-air bar with drinks served from a shipping container, DJs and graffiti-covered walls.
NUDE SMOKING A SPLIFF IN A DIVING HELMET
STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA
OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
This is the prison where Ned Kelly was brought before being sentenced to death. Because of his popularity as a Robin Hood type figure who was in the habit of burning mortgages in the banks he robbed, the local police worried about riots and attempts to break him out. As a result he was spirited away to a pub which had a secret room until the time came to hang him.
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Wedges – 2018
SPLIT POINT LIGHTHOUSE – 1891
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
The Great Ocean Road fulfilled a dream to link up the seaside settlements, open up the coast for development and provide the motoring public with ‘one of the most beautiful drives in the world.’
THE DIGGERS – This sculptures was unveiled by the Honorable Bruce Billson MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on April 13th. 2007, in honor of the three thousand Australian returned soldiers and sailors of the First World War (1914-1918) who built the Great Ocean Road as a memorial to their fallen comrades.
Medals on the Sculpture
THE GREAT OCEAN
MAIT’S REST RAINFOREST WALK
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Bark #1
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Bark #2
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Bark #3
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Aboriginal Dream #1 – 2018
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Aboriginal Dream #2 – 2018
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Aboriginal Dream #3 -2018
The clipper Loch Ard struck a reef here at 4am on May 31st, 1878. The exact spot is that small bit of rock jutting out in the upper left hand side of this picture. The ship carried 36 crew and 18 passengers. Water flooded into the cabins. With each swell, the yardarms smashed against the cliff bringing pieces of mast and rock crashing down. Waves swept across the deck, hampering attempts to launch the lifeboats. Paralyzed with fear, the passengers clung to one another, and amidst their screams and cries, the ship slipped into the silent depths below.
Only two survived the ordeal, Tom Pearce, a cabin boy, and a sixteen year old girl named Eva Carmichael. Tom having made his way to safety on a beach, heard the cries of Eva in the darkness. Risking his own life he managed to find her and accompany her to safety.
That night they sought shelter in a cave, and in the morning sought assistance from local farmers. Eva lost most of her family in the shipwreck, and eventually braved the journey back to England to live with her grandmother. Tom became an accomplished seaman who sadly lost his life at sea.
This is the cave where Tom and Eva took shelter after surviving the wreck of the Loch Arn.
These formations seem to be floating on the water.
CHERRY BAR – AC/DC LANE – A MELBOURNE ROCK & ROLL INSTITUTION
I was not aware of it, but AC/DC is an Australian band out of Sydney that has a strong following here in Melbourne. This tribute band had the special quality of featuring a female lead singer who had all the right moves. I had the privilege of seeing an all female Led Zeppelin Tribute Band called Zepparella in San Diego a few years ago that was outstanding.
Teetering on high heels these Saturday night bar hoppers huddle under an umbrella.
BETTY BOOP – Everyone’s Favorite Tootsie
Travel ZEALOT – Abstract Extractions – Glass, Steel and Reflections #1 – 2018
ACMI – AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE
WONDERLAND – AN ALICE IN WONDERLAND EXPERIENCE
THE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS – Sir John Tenniel is mostly known for his exquisite illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. He was also the principle political cartoonist at Punch for over 50 years. Despite thousands of political cartoon contributed through the years, it is the collection of illustrations of Alice’s adventures that assured him enduring fame, set the tone and put a face on one of the most famous fictional characters in history. No matter how many movies are made, his drawings are the benchmark for all experience to be had in the Alice universe.
Wandering through the exhibit elicited fond childhood memories of my first profound literary adventure curled up with the book in our library as a boy.
MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES – CIRCA 1870’s
Tenniel received no payment for the use of his images in these slides.
MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES – W. BUTCHER & SONS LTD. – 1905-08
MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY
THE GRYPHON & MOCK TURTLE
The Dream is Over
It would not be long before the very first cinematic Alice boldly came into the frame. Cecil Hepworth’s silent, black and white Alice in Wonderland appeared in English cinemas in 1903, taking its visual cues from Tenniel’s drawings and using in camera effects to shrink, grow and disappear Alice.
In 1951, Disney released his long awaited Alice in Wonderland, a full-length animated feature and an enduring classic that is intimately linked to the formation of Disney Studios itself.
THE MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY EXPERIENCE
It’s times like these when mind-altering substances might seem useful.
Here you take your map and turn it over, and find a playing card to decorate with stickers to cut out. It was fun to play, and join in on the fun. The best part is that once finished with your card you would insert it into a device and then you stuck your face in a hole to amusing results.
The next thing you know, there you are walking around a garden painting roses red or white with the other participants.
There I am putting the finishing touches on a rose in my minimalist card featuring a duck which showcases my affinity for magrét de canard. That’s just a fancy way to say duck breast, but suffice it to say my mouth is already watering for the duck that awaits me in Paris in a mere two weeks. I love my life.
“Hey pal, I’m walkin’ here, and wipe that shit eating grin off your face before I give that beard a color treatment!” Look at the shitty job he did cutting out decorations for his card. There were four year olds doing a better job. What a schmuck. Off with his head!
Alice Through the Looking Glass costumes
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – THE QUEEN OF HEARTS – ADDRESSES A TART THIEF
THE ARRIVAL OF FILM – On the evening of 28 December 1895, 33 people gathered in a basement room in Paris to see a new invention called the ‘Cinématographe Lumière.’ As the show began, a still image of a city plaza was projected onto a small screen, sending a wave of disappointment through the small room. Would this be another magic lantern slide show? All of a sudden, the image began to move. The guests were astonished.
The Lumière brothers, inventors of the cinématographe, sent agents around the world to demonstrate their innovation, amazing audiences everywhere they went.
A TRIP TO THE MOON – Georges Méliès – 1902
MUTOSCOPE – 1894 – Photographic cards strung together on a reel, created one minute of viewing time. It would have been housed in an amusement park or popular seaside resort.
GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
FELIX THE CAT – US, circa 1920 – He was the best known character of the silent film era. Australian Pat Sullivan created the original version of Felix in 1917. Sullivan also owned the studio that created the character, and there were over 200 Felix the Cat films produced in the 1920’s alone.
Bonnie & Clyde and Jaws
STAR WARS action figures – 1977
Before Star Wars, merchandizing was a relatively low priority for film studios. George Lucas understood its potential, however, and insisted upon owning the licensing rights to his film. Star Wars related toys, games, and ephemera went on to become some of the biggest merchandizing moneymakers of all time.
REPRODUCTION CROCODILE DUNDEE HAT
BODY ARMOUR – NED KELLY – 2003
DAME EDNA’S SCREAM DRESS – 1992
Poly-cotton painted all over in multi-colored hues. Cream latex figures modeled on Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” applied across the front, upper back and left sleeve.
PIANO PLAYED BY HOLLY HUNTER IN “THE PIANO” – 1993
I don’t know what it is that makes this critically acclaimed movie so repellent to so many men? Perhaps it’s the nauseating love scenes between Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter, but whatever the cause I would rather visit the dentist or have a colonoscopy than see “The Piano” again.
The movie depressed and annoyed me, and that is a hard thing to do when you are shooting a film in a beautiful country like New Zealand. I think if you wanted to drive me to the brink of suicide, all you would need to do is make it a double-feature with “The English Patient.”
“The English Patient” seems to be another film that men generally are driven to break up with their girlfriends and wives over. Again, you would need to duct tape me to a chair, force my eyes open, and put tears in my eyes with a dropper to get me to watch that one again. So ladies if you really feel the need to punish your man just cue up one of these little beauties. If you want to end the relationship do the double feature.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA
As water sheets down the glass, this leaves remains precariously stationary punctuating the drama of its existence.
Harry GORDON – Mystic Eye Poster Dress – 1967
I’ve always liked eye-motif, modern art. This looks like something Man Ray or Dali would have conceived.
Campbell Soup Company – The souper dress – 1967
Warhol had nothing to do with this dress, but it looks like the Campbell Soup Company was out to ride on his coattails and establish themselves as counterculture superheroes rather than the manufacturers of middle of the road, bland soup products.
Andy WARHOL – Self Portrait no.9 – 1986
Andy Warhol is arguably one of the most significant artist of the twentieth century. A leading protagonist in the development of Pop art, Warhol’s influence extended beyond the world of fine art to film, television, music, celebrity, and popular culture. Through its exploration of consumer society, fame, and celebrity, media and advertising, politics and money, death and disaster. Warhol’s work encompasses some of the most defining iconography of the late twentieth century. In this eerie self-portrait, produced only a few months before his death in February 1987, Warhol appears as a haunting, disembodied mask.
Salvador DALI – Designer – Limoges – 1967
Ashtray for Air India
A couple of Rothkos and a Rietveld chair
Gerrit RIETVELD – Red-blue chair – 1917
Rietveld’s famous Red-blue chair was first produced in 1917. With its uncompromising modernism, evident in the geometric elements, straight lines and primary colors, it formed a radical departure in furniture design.
Pablo PICASSO – Weeping woman – 1937
The Weeping women compositions of late 1937 belong to what have been termed the ‘postscripts’ of Picasso’s famous painting Guernica. The common stark motif in these disturbing images, that of a woman’s grief laid bare for public scrutiny, derived from the figure at the far left of the Guernica mural – a woman who screams uncontrollably and attempts vainly to escape the bombing, grasping her dead child to her chest.
Aspects of Picasso’s turbulent love life have also been read into Weeping woman – a complex web of relationships involving his former wife Olga Koklova and concurrent new lovers Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar.
Amadeo MODIGLIANI – Portrait of the painter Manuel Humbert – 1916
Henri MATISSE – Reclining Nude on a Pink Couch – 1919
Pierre Auguste RENOIR – Young woman seated with neck and shoulders uncovered – 1891
Claude MONET – Vétheuil – 1879
Throughout 1878 and 1879 Monet painted many views in and around Vétheuil, observing the town’s various aspects across the changing months, as seasonal light brought differing effects to its architecture and setting. Monet’s virtuoso manipulation of shimmering, iridescent hues imparts a shimmery lyrical feel to this quintessentially Impressionist painting.
Édouard Manet – The Ship’s Deck – 1860
Manet’s interest here is in the ship itself as the vehicle for his immersion in nature. Seen from the truncated viewpoint of a helmsman, the plunging angles and stark lighting convey the painter’s enthusiasm for the sea. This dramatic subject, which stands at the beginning of his career, belongs to a minor theme he returned to many times throughout his life: imagery of the sea and ships.
Édouard Manet – La Maison a Rueil – 1882
In 1882 Manet spent his last summer at this house in Rueil. By now, he was much affected by terminal illness, but during his stay in this Restoration-style villa Manet was still able to sit outside under a tree and paint a number of views of the garden and the sunlit facade of the house. Exploiting the principle that complementary colors heighten each other when juxtaposed, Manet has here evoked the dazzling effects of bright summer light.
Paul CÉZANNE – The Uphill Road – 1881
Edgar DÉGAS – Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot – 1900-1910
BRITISH & EUROPEAN 19TH. CENTURY
George HARE – Victory of Faith – late 1800’s
Edwin LONG – Queen Esther – 1878
Here we see Queen Esther preparing to see Xerxes. The frame for Queen Esther was designed by Long, incorporating motifs taken from the bases of columns at the ancient city of Persepolis.
Aby ALTSON – The Golden Age – 1893
Mr. Altson was at considerable pains to obtain his studies for his work, it being no means as easy as it used to be in Prance to obtain permission from proprietors of land to paint the nude in the open. Mr. Altson succeeded by stealth, and took his models to the Island of Noirmontier, off the south-west coast of Franc, his painting ground being a spot of remote and rarely visited land in the neighborhood. Under these conditions he obtained beautiful studies of flesh, golden in the full light, with tender roses and purples in the half lights.
CITY CIRCLE FREE TRAM
This tram is a great feature of Melbourne. It essential goes in a circular loop around the central part of the city, and they also utilize the vintage trams which are nowhere to be seen on the main lines. I didn’t pay for transport the whole time I was there.
ETIHAD STADIUM – One of Melbournes many sport facilities, and a great place to catch a game of Footie.
Once again a duck set my mouth to watering.
I didn’t bother with this exhibition having seen superior stuff in Norway a couple of years ago. I also skipped the museum’s other exhibits since I wanted to save something for my inevitable next visit to Melbourne
KILLER METAL FISH SCULPTURE
I really didn’t see many hipsters during my wanderings through this part of town. A nice lady who owned a Design Shop said that gentrification was sending them packing, but I did see many hipster shopping destinations and cafes. The hipsters themselves must have been dormant at the time.
Some nice street art did present itself along the way.
Lots of Vintage Clothing stores
THE FITZ – COFFEEHOUSE
Even some of the local businesses integrate street art into their motif
VICTORIA BOTANIC GARDENS
EDWARD VII – 1901-1910
QUEEN VICTORIA – She wrought her people lasting good.
THE GLORY AND SERVICE AND SACRIFICE THIS PERPETUAL FLAME WAS LIT AND THIS FORECOURT WAS DEDICATED BY HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
28TH FEBRUARY 1954
SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE
THIS WALL CONTAINS 4,000 SERVICE MEDALS. EACH REPRESENTS 100 VICTORIANS WHO HAVE SERVED AUSTRALIA IN WAR OR PEACEKEEPING, AND SIX WHO HAVE DIED.
T.E. LAWRENCE – Seven Pillars of Wisdom – 1926
When Sir Harry Chauvel arrived at Damascus on 30 September 1918, a British liaison officer ‘attired as the Serif of Mecca’, told the general that King Faisal’s Arab army had taken control of the city.
Chauvel agree to keep the Desert Mounted Corps outside Damascus, unaware that Faisal’s army had yet to arrive. Chauvel only realized the British officer’s deception the following day when widespread looting took hold inside the city. Chauvel entered Damascus at the head of his corps and restored order.
When Faisal arrived he was informed that Syria was promised to France, and that the British were keeping Palestine. The liaison, Colonel TE Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia”, had tried and failed to achieve independence for the Arabs. He later wrote critically of these events, and of Chauvel, in his 1926 memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Mick ARMSTRONG – The Warring “Forties” – April 1943
Mick Armstrong was a celebrated Australian cartoonist best known for his work in the Melbourne Argus during the Second World War. Here he depicts the opposing wartime leaders: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin in the top line, and Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo in the bottom line.
Ship’s Medical Officer Uniform – 1945 – (left)
Royal Australian Navy Uniform – 1944 – (right)
Women were not permitted to perform military duties outside the medical sphere at the outset of the war, but severe manpower shortages forced a rethink.
The Womens Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF), formed on 26 February 1941, was the first and largest women’s service. It was followed by the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) from April 1941 and the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) from August 1941.
Women never served in direct combat roles but performed a host of vital roles in signals and intelligence, as typists, stenographers, file clerks and cooks, on anti-aircraft and coastal artillery sites, in mechanical and ordinance units, and as drivers, mechanics, cartographers, and draughtswomen.
By war’s end almost 54,000 women had served in the three services. A further 4,300 worked as farm laborers in the Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA, formed July 1942), which was run along military lines.
Australian Infantryman April 1941 – (left)
Tunic July 1941 – (right)
The classic image of the Australian soldier fighting in the eastern Mediterranean is undoubtedly that of a digger wearing a Brodie steel helmet, with light khaki drill shorts and rolled-up shirtsleeves or, very often, no shirt at all.
Australian fighter pilots served in RAAF, RAF and other British Commonwealth squadrons throughout the war, flying in Europe, the Middle East, British India and the Pacific.
I can only imagine how nice this park is in the Spring given how pleasant it is in the winter.
AAMI PARK – Rugby Stadium
Sydney Meyer – 1878-1934
Merchant, Visionary, Philanthropist and lover of the Arts
SYDNEY MEYER MUSIC BOWL
THE GENIE – A FANTASY PLAY SCULPTURE FOR CHILDREN – TOM BASS: SCULPTOR
MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUNDS – ONE OF ITS MANY ARENAS
NGV AUSTRALIA: THE IAN POTTER CENTRE
20TH. CENTURY ABORIGINAL ART
Lorraine CONNELLY-NORTHEY – Possum-skin cloak: Blackfella road – 2011-13
“Possum-skin cloak: Blackfella road is my interpretation of a possum-skin cloak. The barbed wire signifies the desecration of Aboriginal skeletal remains, occasioned by the construction of an unsealed road near Swan Hill. The circular forms indicate different modes of transport using this road. The fringe of the cloak represents hunters and gatherers whose remains were desecrated, signified by their multiple artifacts and disembodied hands that clamor for social justice.”
LORRAINE CONNELLY-NORTHEY, 2013
John HOLLISTER – ABSRACT EXTRACTIONS – CLOAK #1 – 2018
John HOLLISTER – ABSRACT EXTRACTIONS – CLOAK #2 – 2018
John HOLLISTER – ABSRACT EXTRACTIONS – CLOAK #3 – 2018
Mathaman MARIKA – Wawilak Ceremony – 1965
Shulim KRIMPER – Screen – 1961
Jeffrey of Melbourne – Jacket and Dress – 1967
Cami JAMES & Nadia NAPREYCHIKOV – Jacket – Dreams and Screams – 2015
Cami James and Nadia Napreychikov named their label Di$count Univer$e as a flippant rejection of the luxury industry, and launched it in 2009 through their blog. “The blog was fundamental for us in creating our own voice and also forming bonds with our customers,” the designers stated in a joint interview. This tongue-in-cheek subversion of fashion and fashion systems embodies the archetypal spirit of the Australian larrikin.
Margaret WORTH – Fragment 9 – 1966
Colin LANCELEY – The king is in his counting house – 1964-65
Clement MEADMORE – Duolith 3 – 1962
Lenton PARR – Orion – 1959
Lenton PARR – Standing figure – 1958
Two distinct stylistic periods are evident in Lenton Parr’s sculptural practice. The first, which includes his heavily textured biomorphic works such as Standing figure, 1958, and Orion, 1959, was influenced largely by the time he spent working with Henry Moore as a studio assistant in 1950’s. The second, which began in 1965 and lasted until his death in 2003, saw Parr produce streamlined works, drawing influence from his time working in the engineering industry prior to pursuing a career in the arts.
Robert HUNTER – Untitled – 1966
PARIS CAT JAZZ CLUB – MELBOURNE
Paris Cat is an authentic Parisian jazz club in the heart of Melbourne except that it has a lot more elbow room, making it a good deal more comfortable than its Parisian counterparts. So if you’re like me, and prefer an atmospheric and intimate jazz experience, this is the place for you.