In late June, Mangawhai artist and teacher Gayle Forster embarked on a long-planned overseas trip-cum-pilgrimmage revisiting some of the far flung artistic centres which made impressions on her during her formative years. Here are a few snippets.
First stop was Dubai to visit museums and enjoy the ‘old city’ though “there is not much left nowadays but modern Dubai has some intriguing architecture” says Gayle.
Next Stop, St Petersburg, Russia and the Hermitage Museum, the centre for art and culture and considered the oldest museum in the world being once the home of Russian Czars.
“So blown away with Anselm Kiefers work,” reports Gayle. “Large works using oil acrylic emulsion lead clay silver leaf. Highly tactile and representing the spirit of Russian poet Vysotsky.”
Gayle and her friend also walked the fabulous rococo-style staircase.
“The opulence was incredible. This was such an experience. Each room so over-the-top in style and the best of the best.”
Next came Budva and Kotor on the Adriatic Sea, coastal Montenegro then to the famed Riviera where Gayle rekindled her fascination with old Venetian walls and churches while marvelling at the eclectic mixture of faiths.
July 10 found the friends at the Venice Biennale Giardini Art Festival. The Venice Giardini is an area of parkland in the historic city of Venice which hosts the Venice Biennale Art Festival, a major part of the city's cultural history and which runs for six months.
Amidst the 29 national pavilions in the city’s public gardens there are three standouts, each of which make unforgettable – albeit sometimes uncomfortable – viewing. Lisa Reihana is representing New Zealand with a dramatic high-tech video panorama which uses a piece of 19th Century Pacific Savages wallpaper as the starting point to depict true and imagined scenarios, including the first meeting of the Polynesian peoples with Europeans and the death of Captain Cook.
A lot to take in and digest and certainly enough memories to last a lifetime.
Montenegro, on the Adriatic coast, is a Top 10 tourist destination.
Hermitage Museum, and it’s decorative rococo staircases.
Gael (right) and friend – Hermitage Museum is also the biggest and oldest in the world.
A display at the Venice Biennale