It's strange how news from Estonia rarely gets published outside of Estonia. But, just in case you're somehow in the loop and are worried about me because you've heard about this, do not fear. I am in Rome.
Big catch up next week on my return.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I thought you might be interested in some things from the bench. Here's a bit of a sneak peek.
cool joining mechanism suggested by my bench mate Antje Stolz
Matryoshka links, unfinished, It'll be as long as it's long
There's more but I'll save it for a later post.
Yesterday I discovered Stockmann. It's a huge (by Tallinn standards) department store. It's kind of like Target but better quality. Or perhaps more like Myer but cheaper.
Right now they have a big sale on and so there's stuff everywhere and lots of yellow plastic sheeting!
And of course there are lots of people too
which leads me to the point of this post.
I don't seem to be able to negotiate being a pedestrian in Tallinn. I am always conscious of walking on the right side of the footpath (which still feels alien) but I seem to have to dodge people all the time. I don't seem to be able to 'weave' smoothly and I'm constantly being bumped by people . Maybe this is how things happen here? Anyway, it's bad on the footpath so it's even worse in shops, particularly department stores and more particularly department stores with sales.
You can see from the above photos that there aren't that many people there, no more than Myer on a Friday night or Flinders Lane at lunchtime, and the aisles are of a reasonable size but at each step I was thwarted from a smooth passage by people just standing, people walking 4 abreast or people walking and suddenly stopping or turning. The thing is that this happens in Myer too but I can't seem to avoid it here like I can there.
It also seems that pedestrians have very few rights here. When crossing a side road at the entrance to a main road, it seems that cars will not stop for you, even if you've already started to cross before they appear. Parking on footpaths is mandatory and when a car is driving along the footpath (as happened to me yesterday) they don't have to drive slowly and pedestrians have to give way to them!
I just needed to get that off my chest.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Here's some old work as an excuse to post to let you know that I've updated my links list to the right. Go and check some things out!
These are 'mozzie tanks'. They're little tanks with wings and they are sprouting earrings. The tallest stands about 5cm high and the lids come off and the earrings (18ct gold and pearl) are held in the lid using their butterflies.
They were exhibited in 'Beaut' at Craft Victoria.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I spent the day walking around areas that I hadn't yet visited. I started off by doing the Lonely Planet's "beauty in decay" walking tour which took me past this Soviet apartment block
with concrete cancer!
A lot of the old palaces which according to the guidebook should have been rotting away were covered in scaffolding, probably being turned into fancy apartments for the new wealthy. But here are some of the views I came across...
view of St Isaac's cathedral from a canal
New Holland island, the public have never been allowed there except for one 'art event' a few years ago. They apparently used to conduct secret naval experiments there but it's completely desolate now.
So it's back to the studio for the next two weeks and then I'm off to visit mum and dad Davernator in Rome. I'll also pop into Alternatives gallery and try and get to Le Arti Orofe in Lucca. And possibly also Marijke Studio in Padova (although it's a long train journey from Rome to Padova).
'til next time, Anna
I'm back in Tallinn now and feeling refreshed after sleeping most of yesterday afternoon! So I'm ready to back-blog (is that a term? did I just make that up? copyright davernator)
Day two at the Hermitage: I arrived early as I knew there was a lot to see and that it closed earlier on a Sunday. I ended up spending 13 hours there over 2 days and even then I didn't manage to see everything.
I started off in the neolithic and early bronze age section and what did I spy?
early coil rings!
and the inspiration for matryoshka onion rings!
I'd booked to go on a tour of the Treasury so I hurried off there but unfortunately it was quite disappointing. Not the collection, the collection is amazing! But one of the 2 treasury galleries (the Gold Room) was closed and you could only enter the other (the Diamond Room) on a tour and the tour rushed around pointing out some of the highlights and then it was over and we had to leave. No lingering allowed. No photographs allowed. Although I managed to sneak 2 before being nearly kicked out by the guard!
An early coil bangle...
and a gorgeous sheep ornament made from a baroque pearl and other gems.
So unfortunately I can't show you the beautiful diplomatic gifts of diamond encrusted saddle cloths and swords and Empress Elizabeth's incredible collection of snuff boxes, not to mention the enormous collection of ancient scythian and greek gold. Not only can I not show you photos, I didn't even get to have a good look! And the only book in the Hermitage shop to focus on the treasury is 50 pages paperback! Very unsatisfying.
After that I headed up to the rooms of 19th and 20th Century European art and on the way I walked through the rooms of culture and art of the Byzantium. Byzantium art is now my new love. I've always loved Russian icons and of course they have the best of them in the Hermitage. Some of my favourites...(sorry for the poor photos, I hate flash photos and the room was quite dark)
carved image of Christ
this was quite small and it is a mosaic. Each of the tiles was less than 1mm square!
So, then to things more contemporary...
lots of this and most of it can be viewed at the Hermitage website. And while I was up on the top floor, there was a snow storm taking place outside...
which I, of course, got caught up in on my way to the toy museum
no photos of the toy museum as I had stupidly left my camera in my bag in the cloak room.
One more post and St. Petersburg is done!
Monday, April 09, 2007
Where do I start?
How about with: 'my feet hurt'! And so does my back (bad hotel bed), my shoulders (carrying heavy bag for 20kms a day) and my legs (going up and down stairs trying to find rooms that end up being closed off).
Peter the Great was fascinated by all things new and particularly scientific. He even self-trained in dentistry, anatomy, carpentry and metalurgy. Here are some interesting tools from his collection...
a lathe or mill
and a close up
Being a jeweller, I was fascinated by the details of the palace that other people probably don't even notice, like...
The interiors of the palace are amazing. Apparently Catherine the Great redecorated and got rid of most of the baroque decor but a lot of it remains...
yes, those walls are gold.
And, of course, there's the art and artefacts. The well known highlights of the collection can be seen at the Hermitage website but here's just a taste of a few things that caught my eye...
for some reason, I was intrigued by these earrings, perhaps because they look like maggots and then I started thinking about a whole range of maggot jewellery...
They say about the Hermitage "There are art museums, and then there's the Hermitage" so when I saw this, I thought. "There are folding chairs and then there's this folding chair..."
a child's sleigh
pierced and carved ivory.
And, I'm not sure but, are these pineapples...?
So, I saw more today but I'll have to post about that tomorrow. The Hermitage reminded me of my experiences in Ireland; there are so many site of archeological significance there that most of them haven't been examined or documented. You'll be walking around the countryside and stumble upon a cairn or standing stone or burial mound. It won't be signposted and it won't be on your map. The same thing happens at the Hermitage. You'll be wandering around and spot something really interesting in a corner, there won't be a sign, it won't be behind glass and the babooshka (see definition 2 at the link) will just grunt when you try and sign language your interest in it.
One last thing...
I found a bride in the dunny
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I have just enough batteries to write a quick post. I'm in a restaurant and there's nary a powerpoint to be seen.
Today was day one at The Hermitage...
And low and behold there was a contemporary jewellery exhibition on! It was the collection from the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and here are some of the highlights.
A Ted Noton! I've always wanted to see one in real life. I've admired his work in books for ages and here was the real thing. And I just stumbled upon it! It's called "I Love Modern Rings But I Hate Wearing Them Handbag"
Daniel Harmon Jocz's "Candy Wear Bracelet" - it's flocked! I thought Liana might like it.
And... Is that?...Why yes, it is!...
Our very own Pierre Cavalan
Ramon Puig Cuyas
Blanka Markova Cepkova (fabric, gold-thread, gold-plated metal
Peter de Wit (from 1999, for some reason I thought it was much older than that)
And Calder and Gerd Rothmann
I saw much much more today but it will have to wait until tomorrow (when I'll have seen even more!!)
until then, anna