Friday 25th September

We had planned to do a cruise on the Hawkesbury River with Sarah and Wendy, but the weather was wet and windy – certainly not cruising weather – so the girls came and picked us up and we went to a couple of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.  We had set out to walk across the Botanical Gardens to get there on a couple of occasions but the weather had been so poor, we had abandoned the previous trips, so it was an ideal opportunity.

First up was the 2015 Archibald Prize.  This was a competition for portrait painters   There were some amazing entrants and they were all of a very high standard.  Keith and I did not agree with the prize winner, although Sarah did. She loved it.  I think my taste is a bit more conventional.  We spent a very happy hour strolling around the paintings and identifying our favourites.  There were two other prize categories – both interesting but I felt the portraits were the best.

The second exhibition was from the Victoria and Albert in London.  It was the photographic work of the 19th century photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron.  She is obviously well thought of and a pioneer of portrait photography.  She travelled around a bit and spent some time in Australia – hence the connection.   I found them a bit whimsical for my taste, although the photographs of some of the prominent figures of her day, eg Darwin and Dickens, were interesting.  She seemed to specialise in out of focus pictures – something I seem to frequently achieve without much effort………

Our culture trip over, we adjourned to an area called the Surry Hills (the Australian spelling – not mine!) for what turned out to be a great Lebanese meal for lunch.  We all ate vegetarian and it was really good.

The girls brought us back to our eyrie and we had a couple of hours down time before we were whisked down the hill to the Colleroy pub for what was called a ‘grown up’ beer!  Like the Colleroy club last week, it overlooked the beach, but given the inclement weather the surf was much more evident crashing on to the sand below us.  They had some really interesting photographs of the Colleroy area in the 1920’s.  A very different place with a real pioneer feel…..

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