A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: australia

DEAR DIARY // etsy made local

 

 

Being a designer I’m always on the lookout for inspiring new artists and makers. On the weekend I went to Sydney Made at Centennial Park, which is the market held by Etsy Made Local. Crafters and artisans are able to sell their wares straight to the community as well as meet customers in person from their Etsy online store.

It was lovely to wander the beautiful grounds and see the variety of products available while meeting the creative talent. It feels good to support small businesses and also discover a unique find that is not mass produced.

My personal highlight was visiting my friend Catherine’s stall of stunning homewares for her brand Splendid Wren Ceramics. The display was amazing and her handmade clay creations were very popular with the locals. Her style is natural, textured and earthy and she deserves every success doing the work she truly loves. A new bud vase (like the ones you can see above) has found a spot in my home and it brings a smile to my face as bright as the yellow flowers that came with it.

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TYPE-RIGHTER // modern love

I mentioned in an earlier post how I kept seeing the word LOVE everywhere, which gave me the idea to use this as a theme for a project. Making a start on this concept has stalled with the usual restraints we all have with work, family, friends and life admin. I’ve also been working on other business and product developments, which I’m still yet to finalise and launch. So I thought I’d keep adding to the LOVE series here in the meantime since I’m still coming across examples.

This window decal at Ziggy’s Barber Salon in Darlinghurst is fun but also supporting the LGBT community using the symbolic rainbow colours. Metal 3D letters highlighted with moody lighting and placed artfully on the wall at Gowings Bar in the city is also a stylish design. Two different treatments but these signs are still popping up to ‘show me love’ and it’s also a nice reminder for us all to believe that ‘you’ve got the love’.

MASTERSTROKE // poster poetry

Banksy has become world famous for his political street art but the mystery behind his identity garners just as much interest as his art. I’ve come across posters around the streets of Sydney with profound words but the creators remain anonymous. Sometimes the messaging is simple or has a satirical take with dark humour but the reader can interpret it to their own lives. It’s such a shame that council often removes them, like this second photo I took in Surry Hills years ago which is sadly gone. I came across the first poster recently on a wall in Oxford Street near the cinema, so I’m hoping it stays there for people to see. Coming across these poetic gems not only makes your journey more interesting but also gives you something to think about.

TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage pub art

Pubs in Australia are part of the suburban landscape and iconic to our culture. It’s a shame that so many are disappearing and being redeveloped into high rise apartment blocks due to the land size and good locations. Luckily there are some that are bought and revamped but it’s a fine balance of keeping the heritage while bringing them to the modern age. The architectural styles of the buildings can vary like Federation or Art Deco but I also find the signage used at the time interesting.

Vintage posters and beer branded signs were commonly displayed because the breweries had major influence over pubs by controlling the choice of beers they sold. Tooth & Co dominated in Sydney and eventually bought out Resch’s, which led to them owning the majority of city pubs. Tooth’s branding is still seen around such as this painted mural at Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont. Posters advertising beer brands were also popular and can still be spotted in older areas like The Rocks. I particularly like this Victoria Bitter one at the Royal Hotel in Bondi as the surfer represents the beach area and the graphic style is reflective of the era.

STREETSCAPES // industrial pyrmont

Pyrmont was home to the Eora people but soon became an industrial hub as Sydney grew as a colony. Originally established as a sandstone quarry until more industries were introduced such as a sugar refinery. During this expansion many warehouses were built to house these businesses. In the 1800’s, the suburb was also densely populated due to the local workers living in the lovely terraces you can still see today.

Darling Island Bond & Free Store is a beautiful brick structure that has fallen into disrepair. This site began as the Australian Thermite Company Pty Ltd and was roughly built in the early 1900’s. Thermite was a metal oxide mix used for welding, commonly on trains and rail tracks in that period. It changed occupants a couple of decades later and you can still see the faded signage with the painted lettering for Bond & Free Store.

Arrow Marine building was designed by Sydney Harbour Trust’s Chief Engineer, H D Walsh, who changed the face of the harbour waterfront at the time. It was built in 1917, at the same time as the adjacent wharves and was used as a dockside garage and facility for the workmen. This significant building is important as it shows early 20th century design as well as being functional. It is also the only known surviving wharf structure of its type in Sydney with the original timber gable.

In the last decade this area has had major redevelopment with high rise apartment blocks changing the historic landscape. Luckily there are still some traces of this rich history and while some sites have heritage protection, my biggest fear is that more buildings like these will be lost in the future.

DEAR DIARY // winter blues

I have a confession and I know I’m going to sound like a typical Sydneysider, but I’m not a fan of winter – AT ALL. It’s only the beginning of the season but I’m already dreaming of warmer climes. While sitting at home drinking endless cups of coffee by the heater, I’m transported to Mykonos having cocktails on the beach. When walking in the rain past this aqua apartment block in Bondi, I’m strolling under the sun among the pastel buildings in Miami. I’ll just have to play out these illusions until I work out a lifestyle where I can travel the world enjoying an endless summer.

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