All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


3 Comments

Melbourne 2015: Spotlight on Street Art

One of the things I’ve always loved about Melbourne is the assortment of street art that decorates its streets, alleys and laneways. No matter where you look, a talented individual has painted an awe-inspiring image upon brick, stone or wood. One of the major locations for street art in Melbourne has always been Hosier Lane, which runs between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane. There is so much street art on this single laneway that you cannot help but be impressed by the skill some of these artists display.

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Back when I was homeless, you could walk down Hosier Lane and be the only person in sight. Not so now. No matter when I took a detour down this alleyway there were always dozens of camera wielding tourists analysing the artwork and taking selfie after selfie with their favourite piece. It was a tad saddening, to be honest, the touristification of a once peaceful street. But this is happening all over the world as more and more people come to know about a city’s hidden secrets.

Collected below is an assortment of the street art I encountered during my recent adventure in Melbourne. And next time you’re in town, pay attention to the walls around you, for you never know what you may find when you least expect it! :)

Advertisements


2 Comments

Melbourne 2015: Spotlight on the National Gallery of Victoria, International Collection

After yesterday’s excursion through the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, today we’re taking a brief stroll through the magnificent collection on offer at the NGV International. You see, the NGV’s collection is so extensive they need two galleries to display the work; one focusing on Australian artists, the other focusing on several centuries of international artists!

NGV International

NGV International

In 2011 the NGV celebrated its 150th birthday and acquired a highly important masterpiece by Correggio, one of the most influential figures of the Italian High Renaissance. The work, titled Madonna and Child with infant Saint John the Baptist, was painted circa 1514–15. The painting was purchased at Sotheby’s London for $5.2 million and is the single highest priced acquisition in the NGV’s history.

Personally, I much prefer the NGV Australia to the NGV International. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because the Australian collection speaks to me more than the international collection, perhaps because I’m more Australian at heart than I would like to believe, but either way, I still relish and adore the international collection. Wandering the dimly lit halls of the exquisite building still fills me with the same calmness, the same serenity, that the Australian gallery infuses me with.

In 1959, the commission to design a new gallery and cultural centre was awarded to the architectural firm Grounds Romberg Boyd. In 1962, Roy Grounds split from his partners Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd, retained the commission, and designed the gallery at 180 St Kilda Road (now known as NGV International). The building was completed in December 1967 and opened on 20 August 1968. One of the features of the building is the Leonard French stained glass ceiling, one of the world’s largest pieces of suspended stained glass, which casts colourful light on the floor below.

The Leonard French stained glass ceiling.

The Leonard French stained glass ceiling.

So why not join me on a brief tour of the NGV International. Its collection is wide, varied and covers all cultures and countries. It is, without question, one of the best collections of art in the world; certainly the best collection in Australia.

After the Massacre of Glencoe (Peter Graham)

After the Massacre of Glencoe (Peter Graham) [Note: this is my second favourite painting in the collection, mainly because is depicts a tragic chapter in Scotland’s history]

Mount St Michael, Cornwall (Clarkson Stanfield)

Mount St Michael, Cornwall (Clarkson Stanfield)

Susanna Highmore (Joseph Highmore) [Note: I have a bit of a crush on this beautiful woman!]

Susanna Highmore (Joseph Highmore) [Note: I have developed a bit of a crush on this ravishingly beautiful woman!]

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Margit Pogány)

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Margit Pogány)

The upper level of the NGV International is devoted to contemporary art. Sculptures, installations and mixed-media from a variety of artists that, usually, I wouldn’t much care for. For as long as I can remember I have never been fond of contemporary art. There is something about it that irks me, that rubs me the wrong way. It’s not that I don’t understand it, it just leaves me feeling cold.

However, on this occasion, there was a beautiful installation from Borna Sammak that caused my soul to sing. A large, rectangular screen was suspended from the wall. Upon the screen ran a continuous loop of colour. Colour that exploded, danced and pirouetted before you. Unable to take a video of the installation I settled for a series of still images that I hoped would capture the ever-changing melody of colour that played out before me.

So when viewing the following nine images, imagine them moving, imagine the colour dancing, imagine a glorious symphony of animated wonder!

Splash Into Me Yeah [Still] (Borna Sammak)

Splash Into Me Yeah [Still] (Borna Sammak)

~ Click each image to enlarge ~


1 Comment

Melbourne 2015: Spotlight on the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Collection

One of the most beautiful places in all of Melbourne is the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Ever since I arrived in Australia, back in 2002, I have been positively in love with this magnificent building and the collection of inspirational art that is housed within.

Back in my heyday, when my mental health was stable and I had a loving group of friends, I was a regular visitor to the NGV. On my days off from work I would travel into the city just to walk the halls of this building and gaze lovingly at the artwork on display.

During my homelessness, when my mental health was far from stable and my loving group of friends had long since departed, I was a regular visitor to the NGV. During those long, brutal days, it offered solace from the chaos of my life. I would leave my bag at the cloakroom and spend hours studying the brushstrokes on display, losing myself (and the pain I felt) to the beauty of the art.

The NGV was founded in 1861. Victoria had been an independent colony for only ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was the richest colony in Australia, and Melbourne was the largest city in Australia. In addition to donations of works of art, donated funds from wealthy citizens have been used by the NGV to purchase Australian and international works by both old and modern masters. The NGV currently holds over 70,000 works of art.

So it’s no surprise that upon my recent return to Melbourne, it was the first place I headed for. In fact, throughout my week-long adventure, I returned to the NGV Australia four times. It is, for me, one of the most calming and relaxing places I know. No matter what is going on in my mind – PTSD flashbacks, anxiety attacks, waves of depression – being in the NGV Australia soothes my soul and negates the evilness bubbling away within.

Collected on this page is just a small sample of the artwork on display at the NGV Australia. For those of you who don’t live in Australia, who have never had the honor of exploring this magnificent gallery, it is a chance to see the brilliance of what is on offer. For those of you who live in Australia, who perhaps have never been to Melbourne, it is an opportunity to urge you to find time for a visit.

It is impossible to be disappointed with the NGV Australia. Its collection is diverse, enlightening and comprehensive, covering every major movement in the Australian arts scene. Its collection is beautiful, ravishing and truly inspirational. As I’m sure this sample of artwork will attest.

So settle back and enjoy this beautiful array of art. You won’t be disappointed! :)

Collins St 5pm (John Brack)

Collins St 5pm (John Brack)

An Emigrant's Thoughts of Home 1859 (Marshall Claxton)

An Emigrant’s Thoughts of Home 1859 (Marshall Claxton)

Lost (Frederick McCubbin)

Lost (Frederick McCubbin)

Swanston Street from the Bridge (Henry Burn)

Swanston Street from the Bridge (Henry Burn)

The River Nile, Van Diemen's Land, from Mr Glover's Farm [Detail] (John Glover)

The River Nile, Van Diemen’s Land, from Mr Glover’s Farm [Detail] (John Glover)

~ Click each image to enlarge ~