Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sydney Holiday

After the craziness of my book launch, I thought it would be nice to have a mini-holiday. I had two weeks off work at my part-time job, and at the same time my gallery Daine Singer was showing at the Sydney art fair Spring 1883. I made five new small scale paintings for the exhibition at Spring 1883, and because they would be on display I thought it best to make the most of the circumstances and fly up to visit them. I convinced my boyfriend to come too, and we flew up in Jetstar luxury on Wednesday morning for half a week of sunny Sydney festivities.

As you know, I like to explain things in detail - refer to my post about our Tasmanian holiday - so you have been forewarned before I talk about insignificant points such as what I ate and on what side of the bed I slept. Anyway, upon arrival we took a stinky taxi to our hotel. I am 100% an Uber convert and use taxis only out of desperation or necessity. $50 later we arrived at our hotel - Hotel 1888 in Pyrmont, and it was pretty fancy, so I was pretty excited. Our room was small but housed a King sized bed, a very generous bathroom and a little mini bar closet type section. We were informed of the multitude of special deals happening at this hotel (that even upon reflection seem too good to be true) our mini bar was free and restocked daily, free buffet breakfast in the mornings, and every evening the bar offered free drinks between 5pm - 7pm... It all seemed rather excessive but I was in the position to take advantage.

One thing about Sydney that is better than Melbourne, really and truly, is the weather. It was a brilliantly sunny 23 degree day when we arrived, and continued on an upwards trajectory until we left. It felt like summer, I had my sandals out, and sleeveless tops, etc etc. On Wednesday, after a sunny lunch and Messina ice-cream detour we went back to the hotel to take advantage of a half-hour of terrible Foxtel television and then free drinks at the bar. After that, we headed to the VIP opening of Spring 1883 at the Hotel Establishment. It was indeed VIP, with immense floral arrangements, cheese platters, and an opportunity to purchase Bvlgari jewellery (I still have the sales assistant's business card incase I make a fortune in the future) and champagne. So much champagne.

Madeline Kidd installation at Daine Singer's suite in Spring 1883

My works in Spring 1883

Thursday morning we wanted to go shopping - or rather, go to book stores to see if my book was there and move it to more prominent sections on display. We walked everywhere which was wonderful under the sunshine, and popped into the Museum of Contemporary Art before lunch at Misschu. There wasn't a lot on display at the MCA, and I was a little disappointed. They were sort of between exhibitions with Grayson Perry and Primavera opening in a few weeks. We did see Aleks Danko of course, and that was a fun show. I was pretty excited to find Yayoi Kusama washi tape in the gift store and was so into it that I paid an exorbitant $23.95...! Eeep! How could I resist though?

That night we went to the Sydney Contemporary opening, which was really intense. There were so many people, there were weird rules wherein you couldn't bring drinks bought at particular bars through particular sections, the art was generally unremarkable except for select stands (mostly from Melbourne) and to be honest we couldn't wait to get out of there. Scathing, but true. Afterwards, we met up with a work friend of mine and we went out for drinks and something to eat at Freda's in Chippendale which was fun, and another one of my boyfriend's good restaurant choices turned the night around!

Walking along the bridge from Pyrmont 

I bought this postcard at the MCA gift store
and of course my Yayoi Kusama washi tape!
Aleks Danko
For our last full day, Friday - I was fixated with going to the beach. I figured you just go to Bondi beach in Sydney, even though it might not be the most brilliant of beaches to visit. Anyway, before we headed there we got up early and went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It was really lovely there, and I was much more satisfied with the collection and exhibitions on display than at the MCA the day before. Some pictures of my favourites are below!

We got the bus to Bondi and it took a little while. Once we got there, we ate lunch at a little cafe whose name I've forgotten, and got some more Messina ice-cream (they're everywhere in Sydney!) before taking a walk on the beach. The weather was perfect and we even paddled our feet in the water. There was a strange kite festival with animal shaped kites flying in the sky that was somewhat enjoyable. 

Buffet breakfast entree of chocolate cereal in awesome Editorial mag tee
Being silly in hotel rooms is my favourite

Sydney Ball

Sol Lewitt
Guerrilla Girls

I got these daggy Clark's sandals before I left and I wore them every day!
In Bondi

The kite festival

After the bus back to our hotel we took advantage of happy hour, again, and then headed to Artspace for the opening of the Art book fair. It was so fun, but I didn't take any pictures except post-event of the book I bought - American Denim: A New Folk Art. It is the most brilliant book EVER. I do not say that lightly! After spending all our money on books, we went out for dinner to a place called Chester White's in Potts Point. It was our best meal of the trip and pretty remarkable customer service!

Last happy hour

We had to leave Sydney on Saturday on a 1.45pm flight :( I really, really did not want to go back to overcast and chilly Melbourne. We made the most of our last day by getting up early, eating as much as we could at our last buffet breakfast, and thought it would be fun before the airport to head to the Museum. I always enjoy exploring museums in different cities and this was no exception.

From the Uber on the way to the airport :(

To be honest, I could have stayed on holiday for another three weeks. But, it was a great little interlude of relaxing and exploring a slightly different environment to the one I am so often tied to. It was the perfect distraction during the come-down from the craziness that was my book launch. Couldn't be happier. Thanks for reading this play-by-play, I love writing these super daggy/potentially boring vacation posts cause I hardly ever go on them, I guess. I am so happy I did :)


  1. omg that mineral display is life- they actually contextualized where each mineral forms in the earth, this makes me heart sing (the rocks are pretty too but conveying the science is obvs v. v. important to me!)

  2. There are more than a thousand of activities to be done in Sydney and a variety of attractions to visit. Hence, it is no wonder you were not willing to head back home to reality. The sceneries are stunning and everywhere around the corner is something to indulge in. However, if you become a permanent resident here, then I bet that perception would change. Like the saying goes "The grass is greener on the other side".

  3. It looks like you had a stupendous holiday indeed! The art pieces look eccentric and fascinating whilst the beaches are simply breath-taking. Here in Adelaide, it is pretty much the same scene with various attractions to visit and picturesque sceneries to enjoy.

  4. Great photos! It gives me inspirations to check out my local art museums here in LA
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    Check it out for cheap flights :