Monday, April 30, 2012

Australia - Sydney

Australia is a young country, and Sydney is a young city. You can feel the energy of the city when you walk the streets, when you see the architecture, or on a Friday or Saturday night when the  girls are all dressed up and not worried about their looks or whether they will attract unwanted attention. The city is vibrant and full of life.

There is a lot to see in Sydney -  Opera House and  Harbour Bridge, to start with - and human form is showing up in all it's glory unexpectedly all over the city.

A bar counter at Darling Harbour
Dance of Love, by Larissa Smagarinsky, 1988

This Sydney's favorite fountain  is a gift by J.F. Archibald, and commemorates the association of Australia and France in the World War I. Erected in 1932, sculptor - Francois Sicard, Paris. Bronze Apollo is surrender by other mythical figures.  The donor (his real name was John Feltham) was fascinated with all things french and hoped his fountain will rival fountains in  Paris - the city of his dreams.



Those masterpieces were caught undressed, but the problem was quickly fixed...
The monument to Captain Arthur Philips, the first governor of New South Wales. Sculptor - Achille Simonett, 1897, cast in Florence, Italy. The creation of the sculpture was at the center of a controversy, which resulted in  replacing the original realistic supporting sculptures with allegorical ones.  They look nice, but a bit funny in association with the brave captain in a young and pragmatic country.




Bondi Beach is a famous Sydney's attraction. Little less known is "Sculpture By The Sea" -  Australia's largest annual outdoors exhibition of of contemporary sculpture - right next to the Bondi beach.
The Eight, by Stephen King


I think it qualifies...

Random walk:



The Royal Clock, Queen Victoria Building. It performs on the hour showing scenes of the English History and close connection between England and Australia.

One of the scenes...
Another scenes. The taking of Children is a pailful page in Australia's history.

 A bit upside down, but human forms are still present.
This is called "Walking in Time" by Dominique Sutton, 2003


The Blue Mountains are located not far from Sydney. The Three Sisters is a sandstone formations and the best known natural attraction in the region.

 Three Sisters Fountain is supposed to be another attraction. It will show parts of the Aboriginal legend about three sisters and a Witch doctor - a chain of events which resulted in the creation of the above mentioned formation.   The sculptures are currently  within reach ( and touch) of tourists which love to pose in front of the sexy nude sisters.

 According to the legend, the Witch doctor accidentally pointed hist magic bone toward his daughters, and turned them into stones. He dropped the bone, and is still looking for it while his stoned daughters are waiting...


There is a sign which says: "This sculpture is by Terrance Plowright. These figures are part of a proposed water feature that will portray a dreamtime story about the Three Sisters.  These figures represent members of our indigenous community. Please be aware of Australia's indigenous culture and treat the statues with respect, as inappropriate behaviour may offend" ( the sculptures?)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Buenos Aires - Botanical Garden

Before posting this entry, I've looked up "Buenos Aires Botanical Garden" on Google, and in addition, specifically checked Frommer's Travel Guide. I was amused to find out about things which visitors were most impressed about. Invasion of cats (that's true), central greenhouse (well, ok), plants from all over the world (as in any botanical garden), myriad of walkways,  nice fountains, and so on. And almost no mentioning of one of the most amazing collection of outdoor statues by Spanish, Italian, French and Argentinian sculptors,  majority of them nude, and all beautiful.

The garden was designed by an architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays, and inaugurated in 1898. It covers 15 acres, and is home to 7000 species of plants. The garden was practically abandoned of a period of time, but partially resorted just recently and declared a historic monument.

 Each angle of this statue is so nice, it's hard to choose a photo

 Saturnalia, by Ernesto Biondi, 1909. According to the description, "Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Ancient Rome... Here you can see 10 people drunk or in funny attitudes...slenderness and voluptuousness of the female figures...". We can also see a sculptor on par with Rodin.

This is the only copy of the sculpture, the original is located in Rome's Museum of Modern Arts. The copy had a complicated history, it was pushed around till 1987 as inappropriate before being installed in the Garden.
Drunk and voluptuous...

 Flora Argentina, Emilio Adino, Argentina, 1875-1935
 Purity, Alfredo Rigatti

 Sagunto, Augustin Querol, Spain,  1952-1909.
Represents a real event in the history of Spain, Valencia, whose inhabitants preferred the sacrifice of their lives rather than surrender to the conquering troops of Hannibal 218 AC
Indigenous Flora, Pendal Leguzamon  Gozalo, Argentinian (1890-1944)

 The sign: The awakening of Nature, Juan de Pari, Italian, 1857-1934
The sign: I Tiempo de la VI Sinfonia, De Ludwig Van Beethoven. Tomassi Leone

The sign: V Tiempo de la VI Sinfonia, De Ludwig van Beethoven. Tomassi Leone
The sign: IV Tiempo de la VI Sinfonia de Beethoven, Leone Tomassi

La Soberania (Sovereignty)

 A nice sculpture must be seen from different angles...
Banista (Bather) Falconet Mauricio Esteban, French (1716-1791) 
I don't know the name of this statue, and it's not in line with the rest, but is very touching.

Click photos for full screen