So this is the second post of my long weekend Melbourne trip, you can read the first part here. It seemed appropriate to start with a picture of Federation Square that’s across the road from Flinders Street Station (first picture in my last blog). Unlike my last post that was a old historical and architectural buildings bonanza, I think this one is more about modern Melbourne – the new developments and the current events going on in the city.
The first time I went to Melbourne back in 2000 (10 year ago! I feel so old now…) Federation Square didn’t even exist. From my extensive research (aka I looked it up on Wikipedia) it seems that they started development on it only a couple of years later.
I’m usually pretty iffy on modern architecture myself but I found the Square to be pretty cool. While we had a break and hit the free wifi in the BMW edge, I was wondering how much it cost to get each of those glass panels cut to size since they all looked like a unique shape. However, after spending more time walking around the square and looking more closely, I started to see that there was actually a triangular pattern. Can you see it?
Part of the Fed Square precinct is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). The night before when we were walking home from the Forum, I noticed that the ACMI were advertising “Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales“. I love classic Disney movies and I was really excited to check out the some of the concept art from some of my favourite films.
We went on the one of the last days of the exhibition so there was a bit of a line.
I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibition but I figured I would buy the accompanying show catalogue on the way out. Unfortunately when we went through the shop the book had been sold out and they had no plans to reprint :(. I ended up just buying some small cards with some of the artworks I liked but even then they didn’t have much of a selection.
The show itself was great, I loved all of the original concept art, especially the work by Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle who created the visual styles for Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty respectively. I was less interested in the last 2 featured films – The Princess and the Frog and Tangled because I haven’t seen them and I guess I felt that those films didn’t really pull at my heart strings like those that defined nearly all of my childhood movie watching. I think it also comments a bit on how I feel about Disney now as a global business enterprise but I’ll save those opinions from another time.
There’s so much graffiti in Melbourne that I’m surprised I never noticed it on our last trip. There’s alleyways and buildings covered in it and it’s all really creative, not just your standard tags. I think they’re a nice contrast against the old brick buildings surrounding them. This is only a small selection of what we actually saw over the weekend, I wish I had taken more photos.
On our way to the Disney exhibition we got caught up in the crowds waiting to see the ANZAC parade. I must admit that I do feel patriotic when I see these and a lot of other people must do as well because the crowds were so large, we had to wait until the march was over before we could even reach Fed Square. My favourite parts are always the marching bands because they make me want to go and join in with them. I even enjoy the bagpipes if they’re playing :P.
Other Sights Around Melbourne
One thing I noticed in Melbourne is that most of the streets are lined with beautiful trees and since it’s autumn, there are heaps of these large leaves on the ground. They look really crunchy to step on but despite my numerous attempts, I couldn’t get them to make a sound :(.
Following on from the leaves, we saw this water feature in the city (I think the corner of Collins and Swanston streets?) where people used leaves to make pictures and writes names. I’m really curious to know if this was intentional or someone just happened to discover that leaves would stay in place with the water, made something and then others caught on. If it was intentional, I wonder what original work they put on it to prompt people to try it out for themselves. Does anybody know?
Well I think that’s everything worth noting from our trip!. I don’t know if we’ll be heading back to Melbourne anytime soon, especially with Winter creeping in, but I hope we don’t stay away for too long.