A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: historic

ECO LIFE // fred hollows reserve

We are all aware of climate change and the environmental issues facing our earth, with most of us doing our best to try and improve our carbon footprint. I want to celebrate the beauty of nature as well as share any ethical, sustainability and eco-conscious information I find useful in my own life.

Going on a weekend walk I stumbled across Fred Hollows Reserve which is a hidden oasis in the heart of Randwick. This two hectare park is a natural area originally called Glebe Gully, spanning between two major roads and tucked away between dense housing. It is an easy short walk along a well designed boardwalk that follows the gorge leading to a footbridge crossing over the creek. With lush vegetation of ferns and tall trees creating a magical canopy, it transports you to a tropical rainforest in the middle of an urban area.

Historically it was used by early settlers for hunting and woodcutting until the land was subdivided in the 1880’s. Neglected and under threat as high rise apartment buildings were developed in the 1960’s, it was thankfully saved by conservation efforts. Weeding and replanting has restored the landscape and encouraged native animals to return like the rare Gully Skink. In 1993, the reserve was renamed in honour of renowned humanitarian and eye surgeon Fred Hollows. This parkland is an encouraging win and perfect example of the benefits of preserving the environment.

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.

STREETSCAPES // callan park

The changing of seasons from autumn into winter has made it perfect to go for walks on the weekend. Callan Park is a vast parkland covering 61 hectares across Rozelle, Lilyfield and down to Iron Cove. This gorgeous heritage-listed site has beautiful landscaped gardens you can wander through, complemented by city and harbour views.

Originally built in 1885 as Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital, it closed in 2008. There are countless historic sandstone buildings, some that are still being used but many of them are abandoned and derelict. It has faced demolition because of the decay, but locals and a volunteer group are fighting to protect it. There have been proposals to include more recreational facilities to add to the sporting grounds and picnic areas.

This idyllic spot is a great place to exercise, catch up with friends or take a guided tour. Events and exhibitions are frequently held to not only bring the community together but to also let the public enjoy this special place.

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.

INSTA-JAM // farewell 2019

           

Not only is it the end of 2019 but we are also closing off the decade and saying farewell to the 2010s. For many of us it has been a big year with changes, decisions and some turmoil. This uneasy environment has been playing out on the world stage, especially in politics and climate change issues. We still have to focus on the beauty of life and here are the monthly highlights from my Instagram that I hope will reflect some positive vibes. In Australia it’s very tough at the moment with the summer heatwave creating a bushfire crisis. Growing up beside a national park and experiencing this many times first hand, I know what a tough and stressful situation it is to live through. My thoughts go out to all the people affected and in particular the brave firefighters defending homes and protecting lives. I’m using my Christmas wishes for the fires to end soon, bring plenty of rain, safe holidays for everyone and a better start to 2020.

DEAR DIARY // christmas magic

It is less than a month until Christmas and this time of year can trigger panic and dread for many people. So much more gets crammed into our schedules with parties and catch-ups, let alone trying to buy gifts as well. It’s nice to step back and look through the eyes of a child and take in the wonder that we once had for the festive season. Walking through the crowds shopping in the Queen Victoria Building was a more enjoyable experience when I stopped to take in the QVB Swarovski Christmas tree.

Every year the Sydney icon is assembled by over 100 people to become the city’s tallest tree in the historic and beautifully grand shopping precinct. Standing under the stunning stained glass dome, it towers to the 3 floor span at a height of 24 metres. Topped with a gilded star and decorated with over 100,000 ornaments and 65,000 twinkling lights, it is a magical sight. Swarovski crystals adorn the tree and have been encased in a glass stand at the base with multiple curtains of beaded garland strands like icicles. Mirrored prisms above it reflect the light creating a mesmerising spectacle when you stand underneath. Maybe those mirrors were magic and have given me a fresh ‘crystal clear’ outlook?

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