Category Archives: Design

Cartier: The Exhibition

Cartier The Exhibition National Gallery of Australia Canberra

Just a little bit too much?!

Australia’s National Gallery, which is here in Canberra, has had some pretty amazing “blockbusters” recently (however I’m worried about the new director coming in soon).

The last big one I went to see was the Versailles exhibition, where So Much stuff from the Palace of Versailles, and so many historically significant pieces, were brought out from France for a few months.

Now, we have the Cartier exhibition – which is ending in a few days. We went to see it on Saturday.

And – wow. For starters I can’t believe that there was no security of any sort when there were billions of dollars of diamonds and other precious jewels on display.

They weren’t just any diamonds either; these were pieces from Britain’s royal collection, things the Queen wears, tiaras from royal weddings (e.g. the one Kate Middleton wore for hers), and crowns worn by Queen Victoria’s daughters. And these were pieces from Hollywood: jewels that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly etc. There was even a clock belonging to a US President.

These heiresses were seriously rich!

It was also fascinating to see how much money was coming from Gilded Age New York. So many obscenely enormous sets of jewels belonged to the American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy – just like in shows like Downton Abbey, and in all those books I read.

There were also other things, like costumes from the Ballet Russes (the NGA bought most of the world-famous company’s costumes many years ago, before anybody else thought to), and pieces belonging to Victorian/Edwardian opera star Dame Nellie Melba.

I was told that two hours wasn’t long enough to see everything, and I thought that was ridiculous: after all how many diamonds could there possibly be?

It turns out two hours was nowhere near long enough.

DIamond Tiara Cartier The Exhibition National Gallery of Australia Canberra

I’ve seen crown jewel collections in a number of countries in Europe. I’ve been whisked past a handful of crowns at the Tower of London on a travellator a few times. Nothing I’ve seen anywhere else is close to what is on display in Canberra at the moment.

This is how close we got to things – even with a weekend crowd. This is Kate Middleton’s wedding tiara:

I’m really hoping the new director realises what an amazing gallery we have here. His “vision” for the gallery’s future sounds, frankly, like garbage. I want more Versailles and Cartier and Impressionists exhibitions, please. Not “homegrown modern art”!

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Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Just a couple of shots off the phone from the spectacular building decorated with Tintoretto’s paintings.

It was SO cold when we were there yesterday, and those gorgeous marble floors didn’t make us any warmer!

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Infiorata

For Corpus Domini, Spello hosts a major flower art event in the streets. The town goes from being almost empty to having 100 000 visitors in one go. We went out in the middle of the night to watch the families at work, and then braved the crush this morning to see the finished products before the priests etc. destroyed them in their procession.

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Happy Easter!

Being Ukrainian Catholic, we don’t have our proper Easter until the first of May this year, but here are some pysanky – hand-painted Ukrainian Easter eggs.

Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs Sonya Heaney March 2016

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Thursday in Canberra

Random shot from the car park(!) near Hotel Hotel in Canberra this afternoon.

Hotel Hotel Offices Canberra City Nishi 28th January 2016 Sonya Oksana Heaney Summer

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Hotel Hotel Canberra

The award-winning entrance of Hotel Hotel in Canberra on Saturday afternoon.

Hotel Hotel Canberra Australia Entrance Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 25th July 2015

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Décor, Design, Photography, Travel

Happy Ukrainian (not just Orthodox!) Easter!

Ukrainian Easter Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 11th April 2015 2

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12/04/2015 · 8:30 am