Antipodeans: Australian Art

Celebration of all types of Australian art: painting, sculpture, design, performance, street art, and so on. Labour of love by Dr Zuleyka Zevallos. Submissions welcome.
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Posts tagged "Architecture"

The Australian Museum in Sydney, the nation’s oldest cultural institutions and one of the most important science research sites, will receive $4.7 million over two years to develop the site. These are some of the plans.


  1. Vision for new entrance (William St) - night.
  2. Vision for new entrance (WIlliam St) - day.
  3. Outlook from the upcoming Rooftop Brasserie.

Source: Australian Museum.



When Robin Boyd’s book was first published in 1960, his critique of Australia’s architectural landscape was denounced as “absolutely unpatriotic for his withering criticism of Australian aesthetics” (Phillip Adams, Late Night Live). At the time, Boyd argued for a shake up of the way in which Australians think about, teach and consume design. His book became a best seller which opened up new conversations about design.

Listen to this great Late Night Live (LNL) coverage of the 50th anniversary of Boyd’s book (from 2010).  The guests reflect on the cultural impact of Boyd’s work, drilling into Boyd’s argument about Australia’s “aesthetic calamity.” Boyd was moved to write the book because, as he saw it, Australians did not realise how bad our design was at the time (its “atrocious prettiness”).

As the Australian suburban sprawl continues to expand, the podcast guests argue that Boyd’s vivacious writing still resonates. The guests on Late Night Live argue that some critics missed Boyd’s point, which was not derision of suburbia per se. Rather Boyd sought to improve the visual landscape. This includes not just artistic vision, but also making better use of space (“medium density”). Boyd focused on “anti-featurism,” a concept focusing on necessity and “lean” design, rather than excess and superfluous detail. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently reported that Australia’s population is set to double by 2050 to 46 million people. Much of this growth will occur in suburbian Melbourne and Sydney, which will each house 8.5 million people. This population expansion will require architectural ingenuity both in terms of design, maximising space, and sustainability.

Interior of the Arts Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Photo by John Farrow via Arts Centre Melbourne.

Melbourne Where?House.

Via: Melbourne Music Week Instagram.

Audrey, Melbourne’s Vinegar Skipping Girl. This landmark neon sign has undergone major changes since she was first conceived as a drawing competition in 1915. The image was immortalised as a sign in 1936 by the owners of the Skipping Girl Vinegar company. Audrey was left to disrepair in 1968 when the company relocated, but she was rescued two years later by the Whiteway Neon. In 2002 her lights were turned off when the company ceased funding, but the National Trust of Victoria reignited her in 2009. She now skips to the beat of solar-powered panels.

Photo credits and information: 1) The Age. 2) Adam Dimech, Melbourne Neon.

The Argus Building is an historic building in Melbourne. The Argus was a conservative newspaper established in 1846. It absorbed Melbourne’s first daily newspaper, the Daily News, in 1852. In 1949, the London Daily Mirror group took over The Argus and softened its conservative focus. The Argus closed in 1957, but its building remains an iconic landmark. It sits on corner of Elizabeth Street and Latrobe Street. Here it is all dressed up for Melbourne Music Week.

Via: Melbourne Music Week Instagram.


McBride Charles Ryan - Cloud House, Victoria, Australia

Kindness is one of the aspects of the greater philosophic category of ‘Care’, (‘concern and solicitude for the other’) theorized since Aristotle as love and friendship for others based on esteem of self. Since Heidegger, with his particular interest in ‘dwelling’ and its innate relationship to care, it has been understood, that ‘shelter’ and ‘kindness’(as dwelling/care) are etymologically and philosophically related and cannot exist one without the other. Since Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur has extended the idea of care, to care of the Other, an ethics of the Other, and re inscribed it with human sensibility and empathetic emotion – pity, kindness, love, sympathy- in the form of ‘the kindness of strangers’ that Adam Phillips speaks of: that is , a care of the Other that goes beyond family or country. This is not a sentimental or ‘do-gooder’ impulse but the deeper more rigorous condition of acting on the understanding that we ‘are of one kind’, to reference Phillips again. A democratic reciprocity is at the heart of this impulse and equality between the one ‘giving’ sympathy and the suffering ‘receiver’ are ensured, in Ricoeur’s words, ‘through the shared admission of fragility and, finally, of mortality’.

It is this complex of ideas that interests us – that ‘kindness’ both affirms our connected humanity and acknowledges that we are mutually fragile and mortal: It is about love and death. Inscribing ideas about this into art and architecture would seem to be necessary to a practice of depth but in a culture that lacks memory and eschews mourning, the traits of individualism, fashion and consumerism have come to override a care for the communal well being in its collective and individual life journe

Pip Stokes, 2009.

(Writing about her art installation Shelter, which she created with husband Gregory Burgess.)

The Royal Exhibition Building, 1996.

Source: Museum Victoria via ZeeZee.


The Leonard French ceiling National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria features one of the largest suspended stained glass ceilings in the world. This amazing structure comes to life three stories above the ground projecting rays of colored light into a grand hall way bellow.

(via antipodeans)

Greg Burgess, architect of the Uluru Kata-Tjuta Cultural Centre. National Park, Northern Territory.

Source: Specifier via ZeeZee.

Architects North in association with Lahznimmo Architects. TYTO Cultural Precinct.  Herbert River Valley in Tropical North Queensland.
Source: Australian Institute of Architects via ZeeZee.

Architects North in association with Lahznimmo Architects. TYTO Cultural Precinct.
Herbert River Valley in Tropical North Queensland.

Source: Australian Institute of Architects via ZeeZee.

Rundle Lantern by BB Architects.

Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia.

Source: Australian Institute of Architects via ZeeZee.

Yury Prokopenko, 2009, Melbourne, Australia: Webb Bridge.

Taken at the Melbourne Docklands in the state of Victoria.

Source: yury on Flickr via ZeeZee.

The National Gallery of Australia is located in Australia’s capital city of Canberra. It was opened to the public in 1982 after 14 years of planning and construction. In 2010, the first phase of renovations were completed, which lead to the new entrance (second photo). Also unveiled then were 11 new Indigenous art galleries which represent the world’s ‘largest collection of Australian Indigenous art’.

Image sources: Art What’s On and NGA. Via ZeeZee.