THE URBAN MUM loves nothing more than waking up on Sunday morning with an empty calendar. A day stretching enticingly ahead…
Sydney obliged and dawned a fresh, clear morning… much welcome after the high winds of previous days. So I sat awhile in bed with the papers; and my champagne breakfast (ha, ha, ha – wishful thinking – it wasn’t a proverbial Blue Moon)…however amid the peace I did manage to get most of the way through the papers and an article caught my eye.
A new exhibition at the glorious White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale. I am ashamed to say this suburb has previously eluded me (BIG mistake); because I have also missed one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of Contemporary Chinese Art. With all things China on the brain at the moment – since my trip there last month – it was just the ticket for a lazy Sunday stroll.
Out came the copy of Urban Walkabout – Redfern, Waterloo, Chippendale and Alexandria and we were good to go.
What we discovered (when we eventually found a park – I tried really, really hard NOT to comment on The Husband’s reverse parking…) was a perfect example of Urban development done well. A glorious blend of old meets new; tiny terrace houses sandwiched between converted warehouses; and soaring glass apartment towers. Vertical gardens and community parks lent an open space feeling. All this about 10 minutes from Sydney’s CBD.
The star of the show was the White Rabbit Gallery. Established in 2009 by Judith Neilson; after a trip to China with her daughter revealed an extraordinary selection of new art – she was hooked and began collecting straight away.
The current exhibition Commune (running until 1 February 2015) explores the connections that tie a billion people together. Having seen first hand the mass of humanity in China did make the artworks all the more poignant – regardless; all visitors will take away a sense of the changes in Chinese culture that have occurred since the 1970’s. With relaxed political controls you might imagine greater liberty would bring only benefits; maybe not. Many people I met during my travels echoed some of the sentiments of the represented artists – more choices can also bring isolation and uncertainty.
Take what you will from the art – much is thought provoking and there is plenty of skill and beauty. The boys happily followed the knowledgeable guide as she led us through the various pieces. Take a peek – it is worth it…
All that culture made us hungry. Conveniently – just across the park – is Central; billed as ‘a retail experience unlike any other’. I feel this might be stretching the marketing speak somewhat. However, what we did discover was a great outdoor space, with plenty of eateries to satisfy the whole family (Max Brenner; Gelatissimo, Ribs & Burgers, Chinese dumplings, Thai; and more…); a sun-filled courtyard with a fabulous jazz duo; wine tasting; and pretty French striped deckchairs to lounge in.
Art, a stroll and a leisurely lunch – now that is a perfect Sunday…