A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: design

INSTA-JAM // 2020 be gone

          

To say this year was a nightmare is an understatement! Here in Australia we started with the bushfires, then floods, then the Covid-19 outbreak and to cap it all off we have storms thanks to La Niña. The world has been rocked by the pandemic which keeps fluctuating and wreaking havoc on lives. Since we were all in lockdown at various stages I didn’t get out much, but here are some highlights from my Instagram that I hope shines a little bit of light amongst the dark times. On a positive note, with less distractions we spent more time outdoors and went back to enjoying the simple things in life. I guess you always have to look at the bright side and with that I say… good riddance 2020!

MASTERSTROKE // revamped classics

Newtown has always been a creative hub and the artwork on display is always changing, so it’s worth taking a stroll to see what gems you find in the streets and laneways. Even the supermarket car park walls have been covered with paintings depicting the faces of the local people, but my favourite is the beautiful mural on the side of a terrace house next door. It covers the whole building but I was unable to capture it all with parked cars blocking the rest of the illustration. It shows a woman reclining surrounded by flowers, cats and birds with a stack of books at her feet (which I’ll try to photograph another time if the car park is ever empty). The style and colours are reminiscent of Katsushika Hokusai‘s print ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’. Taking inspiration from his Japanese woodblock art, the line work is simple yet detailed and the colour palette uses a minimal but tonal range.

Venturing further I came upon other homages to famous artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh. I love how this street art is inspired by renowned traditional artists but in a new expressive interpretation. Wolf&Kitten is the collaboration between Dolan Reskov and Juliette Furio, the artistic duo use paint and collage to create layered chaotic pieces. I’m loving how all these examples have revamped the classics in their own way and I’m looking forward to what I will discover next.

STREETSCAPES // love is the answer

It sure is! With the end of the year approaching we can all agree that 2020 has been the worst (to say the least) and we are ready to move on. We need to love and respect each other, as well as being kinder to ourselves. I’m continuing my LOVE project which began when I continually came across the word LOVE. I started the series here and it has been far too long since my last post. Now more than ever… ‘love is the answer’.

TYPE-RIGHTER // waverley cemetery

 

Waverley Cemetery sits above the cliffs at Bronte, giving the heritage-listed site one of the best locations in Sydney. Opened in 1877, it is occupied by many significant Australians such as poet Henry Lawson. His grave wasn’t easy to find, but an old hand painted metal sign lead the way, which was as simple and unassuming as his grave.

There are many grand, immaculate Victorian and Edwardian monuments adorned with beautiful inscriptions, crests and insignias. Walking around and looking at the creativity and craftsmanship on display is a lesson in typography from another time. It is interesting to see which fonts and symbols have been used to represent the person, marking their life and their final resting place.

MASTERSTROKE // colour block

Pardon the pun but I couldn’t help myself! Wandering around suburban ‘blocks’ to find this gorgeous art using ‘colour blocking’ turned out to be a perfect combination. This was a fashion trend where an outfit revolves around a palette of multiple solid colours, usually in bold and bright shades.

The first image in Rozelle has window-like panels with murals of people peeking out to reveal themselves or parts of their faces. Painting these in black and white gives them contrast and depth to the colourful background. The second photo is in Ultimo and is an architectural piece reflecting the surrounding city buildings. Located on the industrial historic site of the former rail line, it has now been converted to a pedestrian pathway and cycle way known as The Goods Line. These graphic and abstract designs follow the ‘colour block’ style and brighten up these walls while adding character to the area.

 

TYPE-RIGHTER // state library

Visiting the State Library of New South Wales is always an enjoyable experience and the Mitchell Vestibule quote engraved in the sandstone foyer is a perfect example of classic type that resonates. It hints at the treasures nestled inside the oldest library in Australia that was established in 1826. There is an extensive range of heritage-listed special collections and references, plus my love for reading makes the library a nostalgic haven. Beautiful vintage books are on display with stunning cover designs and elaborate illustrations, providing much inspiration for artists, designers and typographers.

There are multiple exhibitions at any given time on interesting subjects and they are open to the public for free. Sydney Elders by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, tells the stories of four Aboriginal elders (Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra, Uncle Dennis) with personal accounts of growing up in Sydney, their ancestors, as well as their contribution and legacy in our city. Another exhibit that was impressive and well curated was Dead Central. Taking you back to 19th century Sydney when there was a vast cemetery that opened in 1820, exactly where Central Station now stands. I never knew that a major burial ground with over 30,000 bodies was cleared in 1901 to make way for the station, and I don’t think many other Sydneysiders know this about the historic site. To begin with there is the clever use of type printed on black tape in two lines like a train track running along the hallway leading to the entrance. All the signage, backdrops, photography and displays are beautifully designed and complement the audio recordings and video reels perfectly.

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