A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: sydney

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?

HOUSE CALL // harry seidler, vaucluse waters

Soaring above the rugged coastline on the Diamond Bay cliff walk and balancing on the edge, is the 1960’s apartment block Vaucluse Waters. True to the modernist era, it is constructed predominantly of concrete and glass. It stands out in the area due to its vast height compared to the surrounding buildings as well as the prime position on the coast. Designed by renowned architect Harry Seidler, it is possibly one of his less famous projects in comparison to many other landmarks around Sydney.

In typical Seidler fashion, the style is very linear and angular with windows taking advantage of the vista. In old photos it seems there may have been balconies when it was first built, which have been closed in at some stage. The sweeping ocean views are breathtaking but have also subjected the apartments to the harsh weather elements. Unfortunately it is damaged and in need of major repairs, but hopefully the upgrades will be undertaken with respect to the original design. Many of these gems are constantly at risk, either lost completely in demolition or being redeveloped so much that the true architectural character disappears.

DEAR DIARY // hello sunshine

Being on the cusp of a new season and well into the latter half of the year, it feels like a good time to recharge and set a new list of goals. A busy work schedule and organising a new home has slowed progress on a few projects that I had to put on hold. Warmer weather definitely gives me more energy and inspiration, which I’m hoping will help me to rediscover my artistic side. I am looking forward to getting creative again, just picturing myself making art in the afternoon sunshine after spending time lounging at the beach. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I have heard it said that winter, too, will pass, that spring is a sign that summer is due at last. See, all we have to do is hang on.”

WEEKEND WRAP // watsons wonderland

The weather this winter has been so mild and idyllic, with plenty of sun and clear blue skies. I enjoyed a quintessential Sydney weekend visiting my local haunts in the east and exploring the outdoors.

Saturday started with friends popping over to my house and after hanging out for a while we were then off to Bondi for afternoon drinks at the pub followed by dinner nearby. Sunday was spent at Watsons Bay, walking around South Head taking in the sights of the harbour and city skyline. We ventured around the clifftops with stunning ocean views and saw the historic remnants of the Dunbar shipwreck from 1857. A lunch of fish and chips in the park was an obvious choice, after all we were in Australia’s oldest fishing village. The perfect end to the day was joining the coastal walk and going to Macquarie Lighthouse, which is Australia’s oldest lighthouse and is still operating today.

It’s so easy to take these locations for granted especially when they’re at your doorstep, so it’s nice to play tourist every now and then to rediscover our city. Watsons Bay is not only steeped in history but a natural wonderland by the sea.

DEAR DIARY // mid-year reset

Everyone is saying that 2019 has flown and how quickly we have hit the mid-year mark already, but I find it’s a great point to reset our lives. A new year feels like a fresh start but halfway in allows us to reflect on what we have done and where we would like to go. All those resolutions and vision boards can be updated with any new goals or dreams.

We are heading into July which has been called an eclipse season since there’s a total solar eclipse and new moon on the 2nd, as well as a partial lunar eclipse and full moon on the 16th. It seems the stars are also giving us signs that it’s time for new beginnings!

TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage branding

Discovering and documenting historic signage has become a hobby of mine. I’m always on the lookout for faded signwriting, vintage advertising and retro posters. With so much redevelopment in Sydney I am finding that many of these treasures from our past are being lost. Even looking back at my Instagram, it’s shocking to see how many of the images I’ve posted don’t exist anymore. These signs were taken on Devonshire Street which is being overhauled thanks to the new light rail route, so I’m just hoping they won’t disappear too. In particular, my love for classic Australian brands with a long heritage are my favourite finds. Even though Tooth’s brewery no longer goes by that name, some old signs are still on display which I’ve discussed before in a previous post about pub art. Bushells is instantly recognisable as it’s a national icon that has been around since 1883. Working in design, I enjoy seeing how these brands have evolved and how these examples remind us of our childhood and the culture of our country.

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