The NGV or National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, Australia.

The NGV or National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, Australia.

Very rarely do I land in a place and rush to a museum or gallery. Rightly or wrongly I decided very early on in my travelling career that I would leave the heavy stuff (for example the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Louvre in Paris - although I did make a quick visit once to see Mona Lisa, so incredibly small?), until dancing in clubs and walking up tall things was difficult. And so, as I am still dancing, many of the world's great museums and exhibits are yet to host me. 

However, recently whilst booking a trip to Melbourne I knew that during my time there I was going to have to visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and the exhibition ‘Triennial’

Why did I know I needed to visit this exhibition?

Had I found myself involved in a discussion about the arts with a friend and he’d insisted I must go? No. Was I browsing the internet looking for an event of some kind to attend so as to scratch a cultural itch? I think given my opening paragraph you know that ain’t it. Was I encouraged to go by some arts programme broadcast on RNZ National? Or perhaps a podcast? No and no. No, I knew I wanted to go to the NGV for the ‘Triennial’, because I’d seen a million pictures of it posted on Instagram. Eh, life in 2018!

“It’s art for everyone”, someone described the exhibition to me as. And whoever that person was, they were right. If like me, you aren’t an art connoisseur, struggle to tell your Rembrandts from Bach (intentional), often utter the phrase “well I could’ve done that”, when looking at modern art, but aren’t opposed to a bit of eye titillation from time to time, this is the exhibition for you. 

On display are works from over 100 artists from 32 countries – even little old New Zealand. There is art (both modern and traditional), design, architecture, animation, performance, video, drawing, new technologies, literally something for everyone.

There are exhibits that will make you think; like that of Olaf Breuning’s various pieces which offer comment on modern life. Installations you can contribute to; like Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Flower Obsession’, where everyone that enters adds to the piece by placing a sticker of a flower somewhere of their choosing. Pieces that will leave you in awe; like teamLAB’s ‘Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices’, a fully immersive exhibit where your movements are tracked by sensors and the projections made around you are altered accordingly - so very, very cool. And pieces (and I think these were some of my favourites) made out of everyday items; like that of Dutch art collective ‘We Make Carpets’, who’ve made some incredible art out of everyday items such as pegs and sponges. There is even a piece entirely devoted to your sense of smell. Unfortunately, my nose was blocked when I visited, so I have no idea if Sissel Tolaas’ ‘SmellScape Melbourne_ PastPresentFuture’ was a winner or not. If you go, and have two functioning nostrils when you do, please let me know what you thought. 

‘Triennial’ is on at Melbourne’s NGV until April 15th.
Entry is free.

For more details check out the NGV's website.

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Hanging on Kuaotunu Beach in early March. 

Hanging on Kuaotunu Beach in early March. 

And then all of a sudden it was March and I hadn't written a blog in three months!

Whoops. Bad Mark.

Firstly, how did it get to March? Where does the time go? I remember talking on the radio once about how time seems to go faster the older you get. Many agreed. I can’t even begin to imagine how quickly years pass in your eighties. Are years like weeks? Months like days? I joke. 

So a quick update of the first three months of 2018. 

Well the bulk of it was eaten up filming Heartbreak Island. As you are probably aware after wrapping up at Newstalk ZB in Jan, I flew out of NZ to a now no-not-so-secret location (the Herald told everyone) to film the reality dating show Heartbreak Island. 

Now my plan was to blog throughout the filming process, buuuuuut it was gonna be hard to do: 

a) without revealing the location of said filming

b) without giving away any details of the show

…and so I didn’t. To be honest, there wasn’t the time either. I had grand plans to get all sorts done while I was away filming. Not so. Although Matilda and I (I know she agrees), without a doubt had the easiest jobs on the island, it still took it out of me. Prancing around in front of a camera and looking pretty – well attempting to (I failed miserably on a couple of times, one notable example was when I put an oil-based sunscreen on my face and my skin broke out, can’t wait for that episode to air). In the heat of the tropics, turns out, it’s actually hard work. 

Hard work, but the most fun ever. Except when I got stuck in a toilet. But seriously, I’ve had some pretty awesome jobs since leaving school, but hosting Heartbreak Island is definitely my all-time favourite so far. Learning how reality TV is made was incredibly interesting, but being right in the middle of it and watching it unfold right in front of my eyes? Next level. 

I’m still unsure if it’s a positive or a negative just how much I enjoyed it. I guess it’s the voyeur in all of us that attracts us to reality TV, and the voyeur in me that had me loving every minute of hosting a reality TV show. I do remember thinking a couple of days into filming, ‘Why have I only discovered this now? Why haven’t I been doing this since I was 20?’ Ha! 

But better late than never, huh? 

So safe to say I cannot wait for you to see it. Obviously I still can’t say anything about what went on. But put it this way, I was engrossed in the going-ons of the island the entire time I was there, everyone in the crew was! Once it’s cut down and edited for your viewing pleasure, I’m sure you will be just as fixated. 

The things people did with cameras present…

So with Heartbreak Island wrapped I returned to NZ and… got drunk, slept and ate. 

When I quit ZB I figured I would just work through the summer holidays as come 15 Jan (or thereabouts), I would be unemployed and thus would have all the time in the world to relax, sleep, travel, whatever! 

However landing Heartbreak Island meant I worked at ZB until 5 Jan and was on the ground filming 8 Jan. There was no time between drinks at all. And so by the time filming wrapped mid Feb I was behind on so many things, but incredibly so on sleep and time with mates. 

And so that has been the last few weeks, catching up on all the life admin I didn’t do while I was away, and seeing friends and family.

There has been trips to music festivals (ahhhhh Splore I miss you already), the annual dress up party at my mum and dad’s bach (this year the theme was ‘L’. I went as a lamp, but Mum won best dressed as 'lost luggage’), and some travel - I am currently in Melbourne visiting friends and just hanging out. Yup, life has been/is tough. 

So what’s coming next? Well to be honest – I have no idea. Ha! 

There are a number of possibilities and so until one or a number of them land or fail, I don’t really know what my next move is. 

Of course the plan this year was to travel, and that will happen eventually (hopefully). Well put it this way, I will be out of NZ for the bulk of winter come hell or high water… Ha! But dependent on when the TV show goes to air, dependent on if this business that I have been working on for the last year and a bit gets funding, and a whole host of other things, will kinda dictate when and what I do next. 

It’s funny, I explain my current situation to people and many exclaim, “That must be stressful!”, but I actually love it. The unknown excites me. The fact that I have no idea what is going to happen next, where I am gonna end up, what on earth I will be doing in three months, let alone six months or a year, is bloody exciting. 

Tell you what though, how sweet is Melbourne? I could totally live here. It has been so nice catching up with friends from all over the world over the last few days and I had THE best coffee I have had in years this morning. If you find yourself in Melbs, and in the north, check out Barry’s. Honestly, so good. I got a long black and it was so flavoursome. I feel like had I had the tasting notes in front of me I would’ve (for potentially the first time ever), been able to whole-hearty agree with the description. Just amazing. 

ps click here to join my mailing list and never miss a blog post.... I know I have said this before, but I am actually going to start taking this seriously. None of this every couple of months rubbish. Promise.