Wednesday 22 March 2017

Ophelia- the enigmatic

Ophelia is a fictional character from the ingenious pen of Shakespeare. She is a victim of the patriarchal system, an object to be used and cast away. Torn between her condemned love to Hamlet and her blind obedience to her father, she eventually drove herself to madness and drowned silently in sorrow.

Under her father’s command, she orchestrated a lie and facilitated the spying on Hamlet. When her deception was uncovered, she was accused by her lover as a cheater, a “breeder of sinners”, and was asked to join a “nunnery” (an Elizabethan slang for brothel). Heartbroken and dejected, she died dramatically when she fell from a willow tree into a flowing brook.

Ophelia hence fulfilled her role as a dutiful daughter, yet suffered the loss of the love that she once steadfastly held fast.

Sitting at the Southgate Complex in Southbank, the sculpture of Ophelia overlooks the Yarra River enigmatically in her distorted form. Adorned with brightly colourful mosaic tiles, she is hard to be missed and almost impossible to be deciphered. She was once the “face of Melbourne”, perhaps controversially so, yet it was not hard to imagine her being the talk of town. She is confused and crazy, desperate yet resigned. She is metaphorical, surreal, and full of inexplicable emotions.

Meet Ophelia of Melbourne, the prominent woman that watches over the river.

Artist:             Deborah Halpern 
Where:           Southgate Complex, Southbank

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Soxhibition - everything is about socks

Nothing elaborate or ostentatious. Just an unpretentious exhibition solely dedicated to the art of socks, held at an unassuming basement venue inconspicuously hidden on the very hippy Flinders Lane. It is a unique display with an unconventional theme, a literally “underground” style, and a hint of unintentional cuteness.

Drawing inspirations from individualized heritage and ordinary objects, the audience is invited to examine the original designs and to explore the stories behind the fancy woven footwear. We see oriental dragon scales, daisy floral prints, geometrical and non-geometrical shapes, repetitive patterns, and animal-inspired stripes and spots. It is fun and unsophisticated, a pure enjoyment of something simple and modest.

The Soxhibition is part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival arts program. It is a beautiful outcome produced as a collaborative effort of some of the most interesting local artists and designers, thanks to The Social Studio and the savagely stylish Soxy Beast.


Fortyfivedownstairs Inc, Basement 45 Flinders lane, Melbourne


7 – 18 March 2017
Tues- Fri, 11 am – 5 pm
Sat, 12 pm – 4 pm

This is a free event

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Female Traffic Lights - how can you not love Melbourne?

The town is busy discussing about the female pedestrians silhouettes on the 12 traffic lights, recently installed at the intersection of the always-bustling Flinders and Swanston Streets. Some view it as a significant symbolic gesture combating unconscious gender bias; it is a lovely touch, a befitting move in conjunction with the International Women’s Day. The cynical raised their eyebrows and questioned the necessity of such a meaningless act. Melbourne is out of its mind; why spend money on replacing a few traffic icons when the fund could have been used for more worthy causes? Think about the more pressing issues such as unemployment, crime rates, domestic abuse, and wait a minute! Who said woman must wear a dress?

Regardless of the general disapprovals, we are glad that the project has provoked interesting conversation about gender equality and inclusiveness (amidst the beeping and buzzing sound of traffic lights). Angry taxpayers were assured that their hard-earned money has not gone into the controversial initiative. The 12-month light-replacement trial was funded by Camlex Electrical and hence, no public money was touched.
The movement was initiated by the Committee for Melbourne, a not-for-profit organization comprising various business and community groups in Melbourne. The ultimate goal of the organization was to install (progressively and slowly through routine maintenance/ replacement) an equal number of male and female pedestrian signs in Victoria, as a way to openly demonstrate to the world at large that women represent half of the population. 

Where:  Intersection of Swanston and Flinders Streets

Saturday 4 March 2017

Beaney Lane - a new street art transformation

Like a mischievous illusionist armored with invisible magic wand, the city sprung surprises on its unsuspecting audiences time and again, silently transforming the least noticeable laneways into the most glorious hallways full of evocative images, almost always in the blink of a night.  

Once, Beaney Lane was that low profile bloke who intensely enjoyed its inconspicuous status without a whine or whimper. Carefully and without drawing too much attention to itself, Beaney Lane provided a quiet access to vehicle owners in search for parking spaces, or the nighttime partygoers craving for an exotic venue with a Middle Eastern touch (the glamorous Spice Market bar and cocktail lounge).

Yet its secretive charm was soon discovered by a group of street artists. Beaney Lane is no longer that deserted place harboring no attractions of its own. Its vibrancy flourishes and captures the attention of all persons who casually swing by the south end of Russell Street. It presents a magnetic scene entrenched with an unspoken mysteriousness.

A pair of guarded, fearful green eyes hidden behind a veil of blue satin; Melbourne’s favourite realism artist Matt Adnate has once again created striking emotions within a static sphere of wall. Mongolian born artist Heesco painted a portrait of a very beautiful Asian model, with an enigmatic twist of blue complexion similar to a character from Avatar.
Beaney Lane: off Russell Street, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane.