Trip to Warragamba Dam
In the German Catholic Church bulletin (don't ask me to explain why I got my hands on this) I read about a daytrip of a group of senior residents to Warragamba dam. It sounded as if they had a lot of fun so I decided its time for our family to go there too. Australia is the driest inhabited continent of the earth so water supply is vital.
After a short drive west towards the Blue Mountains we left the M4 just near Penrith. Then we were driving through beautiful countryside and felt like a million miles away from Sydney. As we reached the grounds of the dam it seemed like an oversized park with picnic areas, given there were only 5 or 6 cars in the parking lot. Unfortunately visitors are not allowed to walk onto the dam wall, so one can only look at the dam from a viewing platform. The sight of the dam and especially the level of the water was still impressive.
Usually when I check the rain radar it never rains over the catchment area, but last summer and this winter have been very wet so the dam has reached full capacity, it even began spilling this April which was big news on TV. The all time low of 32.5% of capacity was recorded in February 2007.
Vivid Festival 25.05.-11.06.2012
Sydney must be one of the best cities in the world for free family outdoor entertainment. Starting the year with the summery Sydney Festival and all the outdoor gigs like Opera in the Domain, Symphony in the Domain, outdoor movies and theatre performances, we are now heading towards the annual mid-winter festival called Vivid. It started off in 2009 and has grown bigger ever since. Last year it had 400,000 visitors. Take the kids and stroll around the city, the Rocks and Circular Quay to explore spectacular light installations, music events, night markets and art shows.
My top five picks (not all kid friendly)
1. Light installation - Opera House.
This years transformation of the famous sails is being done by german artist collective Urbanscreen. In addition to that there will be more than 50 light installations around Circular Quay.
2. Museum of Contemporary Art
Lighting, free art exhibitions and art bar. The new wing of the museum opened two weeks ago and I can't wait to have a look.
3. The Temper Trap
The Aussi band will be performing in the Opera House on May 31 and June 1. I like their music and you can listen here.
4. Lomo Magic
Anyone with a passion for this type of photography. Course is on at June 2nd and costs $180. Diana Camera included.
5. The Argyle
Absacker and some house music.
Today I went to see the Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.
I am not the biggest fan of his surrealist work, but I did not want to miss the greatest Picasso display ever to have visited Australia. Only once I got there I realized I was wearing the fan outfit: a black and white striped T-Shirt, how embarrassing. The exhibition was packed and it was hard to get a good and close view of some of his most famous works without a running commentary of really smart people. But I was not there for the famous surrealist works anyway. What made the biggest impression on me were the pencil sketches, scribbles and drawings because they are so very personal. Each stroke can be identified and it is like watching Picasso sketch in person. I also like his sculptures, again the works of his early years are my favourite pieces.
I tried to find my top five Picasso artworks of the Sydney exhibition. I did not make it to five but here are the three paintings, that made my day:
1. The Bathers (1918)
2. Jacqueline with Crossed Hands (1954)
3. Sacre Coeur (1909/10)
I loved 'The Bathers' because it seems to be such an Australian scenery. This painting brings up happy memories for me and the colours and movements seems soothing like a lazy afternoon by the beach.
The exhibition will be on till the 25th of March and features around 150 artworks from the Musée National Picasso in Paris.
Art Month Sydney
The contemporary Sydney art festival is on for the third time this year and I have never even heard of it before, so its time to check it out. I had a look at their website and my two favourites are the 'Art at Night' events and the paper art events including the paper cutting session with Gregory and Watts this Saturday. The Art Month will run till the 25th of March and offers a diversity of events, talks, exhibitions and workshops.
The drought is over
Due to the record summer of rain Warragamba Dam near Sydney will reach full capacity, the first time in 14 years. No more water restrictions in place, you can water your lawn (not that it needs it) and wash your car again.