Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunrise at the Cemetery

Last week Ian and I got up before dawn and went out to watch the sun rise over the cliff-top cemetery. I am quite fond of this cemetery and went there quite a lot in my final years at school. I used it as inspiration for my final school art-project, using sketches and photographs of the gravestones at sunrise. There is something magical about the warm orange light creeping up the statuary and the sparkling sun over the ocean at that time of morning. It is also eerily quiet - all you can hear is the birds singing to the sun.

I don't often wear long dresses, but I thought I would take inspiration from the stony angels for this outfit. Ian got so many great shots as the light changed so rapidly. We topped off the morning with breakfast on the beach - such a nice way to finish a hectic week.

 Outfit Details:
dress - thrifted
belt - Supre
headscarf - Mum's
shoes (when I was wearing them) - RMK

 Maxi | Everybody, Everywear

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Writing Marathon

Last weekend I had an epic writing marathon in order to get my proposal to my supervisor this week. The good news is she was happy with it and has only a few minor amendments - so it is very nearly done! I can't WAIT to get into the archives and do the fun part now.
On Sunday afternoon Ian dragged me from my computer, insisting I get out of the house and check out the crazy surf that the wind had kicked up - so I took the opportunity to show you guys my 'writing uniform'. I have been wearing variations of this outfit for a week. The waves were pretty incredible too. We got flecks of water hitting us all the way at the top of the cliffs and I couldn't keep my eyes open in the wind!

 I have also been meaning to snap some pics of the amazing passion flowers that have just come out. Mum - that vine has more than doubled in size since you guys were here! I love passion flowers - they are like crazy looking aliens. And even better: they curl up and go to sleep at night. They are also a big feature in a lot of the Victorian art I adore because they are a Christian symbol of Christ's passion. At some level I understand that symbolism, but spotting these mad-frizzy-alien flowers in a serious biblical painting always seemed a bit odd.
 Outfit Details:
skirt - American Apparel
Top - Portmans
- Mango
Scarf - mum's
belt - vintage fair
pin - gift from Linda
bow - Ian's bow tie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Black Swan

We took these photos over a month ago, when I went to see Black Swan (which I loved!). They came out a bit grainy - but I kind of like it! I haven't had time to get out and shoot outfit photos this week because I have finally found flo in my writing and am running with it as long as it will let me! My amazing (and scrupulous) mother edited my proposal for me, which has helped me find some clarity.


 Outfit details:
Top: gift from Stella
Skirt: Thrirted
Cardigan: k-mart
Shawl: Gift
headband: Sportsgirl
Shoes: RMK
Tights: Myer
Bag: vintage - from a market in Berlin

Friday, March 11, 2011

Delacroix in Morocco

Women of Algiers (in Their Apartment). 1834. Oil on canvas. 180 × 229cm

This semester I am tutoring an art history course called 'Travel, Art and Empire'. Using Said's notion of Orinetalism we will be re-examining the work of 19th and early 20thC (mostly French and British) artists that depicts Oriental themes and subjects. I thought it might be fun to give a little round up of each week's themes here for those of you who are interested in art.

A short intro: In 1978 Said coined the term 'Orientalism', using it to describe the way in which Western scholar's have 'dealt with' the East: "by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient". Said was a literary critic and focused his argument on writings by 19th century French and British writers.

In 1989, Art Historian Linda Nochlin extended Said's ideas to art in her essay 'The Imaginary Orient'. She analysed the cover-art of Said's book, Gerome's Snake Charmer, illustrating how Said's literary criticisms could be extended to art. I won't rehash Nochlin's essay - but it is well worth a read! She is such an energetic and engaging writer.

This week we looked at Delacroix's Moroccan journey. His diaries offer vivid descriptions of his experiences, but also contribute to an already established practice of writing about and painting the East as a place of fantasy and violence, and as an ancient space preserved in time. His journal shows his concerted effort to describe and catalogue visual details that then resurface in his art throughout the rest of his career. His writings are the observations of an artist, full of visual detail and exacting descriptions that read like notes for a painting.
The Jewish Bride, Tangier, 1832
The Jewish Wedding, Salon of 1841
pages from Delocroix's Jorunal: Water-colour sketch for 'The Jewish Wedding'

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black and white turns grey

This week I am determined to finish a final draft of my thesis proposal. I have been huddled in cafes bent over my typed pages scratching in corrections and notes, attempting to reshape my words into a cohesive whole. But a proposal is a difficult beast. At some level I feel like it should be easy to write, because it is all me: my plans; my ideas; my reactions. And yet that is what makes it so hard! I read over the bits and pieces I wrote in fragments over the last year and get lost in all the different directions I could take - my pages of black and white turn into a big grey mush.

So here you have an outfit to reflect my mood - my new black and white dress nabbed in the recent Modcloth sale (and shipped here at light speed! Seriously - under a week!!), set in the grey rises of the grandstand by my house. I love the neatness of the horizontals and the wildness of the wind. It looks just like my writing feels at the moment: the proposal is such a regimented technical document, with templated subheadings that I am trying to make my own - speak my thoughts and reflect my inspiration. I find myself blowing in and out of the boundaries, messing them up, then trying to make them neat again.

Outfit details
dress - Modcloth
bag - Beacon's Closet
cardi - K-mart
tights - ? 
shoes - a gift from my wonderful brother

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sun, Surf and Spots

Here we have the last of the holiday posts. Our trip feels like months ago, now I am back to teaching and writing deadlines. The idea of running around the mud flats and feeling the ground squelch up between my toes in all its oozy goodness is just a little bit magical. Happy Monday!

And some shots around my grandma's place...
Outfit Details:
Dress - Vintage fair
Hat - Brooklyn Flea

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have one or two more posts from my time away, but I wanted to do a bit of a special thing for my 100th post! So here you are - we happened to shoot these in Centennial Park. It was totally unplanned (I screamed PULL OVER THERE! on our way out to dinner), but seems entirely appropriate to be in this park, made for colonial Australia's Centennial in 1888 to celebrate my own 100.

Thank you to all of you who have followed along - it is quite exciting to reach such a mile stone.

This dress is another one I have had sitting in the dark depths of my wardrobe for a while. I initially bought it thinking 'yay summer', before realising it was quite heavy fabric and needed a slip. So it is now more a 'yay autumn and cool summer days!'. I think of it as a '70s demure safari dress. So I stuck my wildest animal pin on (my sleepy fox) and was amazed by the wild beasts that came our way - that is the bats that were flying out to feed as the sun set - you might just be able to see them - the little specks below above the trees.

Outfit Details:
Dress - Glebe markets
Shoes - Django and Juliette
Bag - thrifted
Fox pin - a little gift shop in Summer hill

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Jolly Holiday with Mary!

Why thank you Mr.Pussy-Cat! I discovered this little gem on the mirror in Vinnies in Maryborough. Unfortunately, not even the cute cat could convince me that brown dress in the background was working for me.

Maryborough is the town where P.LTravers, the woman who wrote Mary Poppins was born. So they have a few Poppins bits and pieces around the place. The town used to be a major port at the beginning of the 20thC, but is now a pretty small place with some lovely old buildings and pub grub.
 Practically perfect in every way!
 They also have a wonderful little military museum.
 Shhhh... the enemy has ears (not sure how that relates to safety matches - anyone care to enlighten me?)
 I was quite taken with the amazing military details, ornate embroidery, trimmings and piping. My next sewing project perhaps?
 These little gems were for sale at the local market. They are holograms. They are framed. There are dolphins. Need I say more?
 Till the wind changes... Poppins watches over the streets of Maryborough.