Saturday, June 25, 2011

Monash Prato

All those people who post about their wonderful overseas jaunts - now it's my turn!  I am taking part in a postgraduate art program at Monash University's outpost in Prato, near Florence.  Prato is a town with an attractive mediaeval core and a historic cathedral with frescoes by Fra Filippo Lippi, Uccello, Gaddi and others.  We're staying a stone's throw away from the cathedral, and the sounds of bells of the cathedral and other churches are quite prominent.

The cloister behind the cathedral in Prato.

Prato is a short train ride away from Florence, and we have made several visits there, including a rather strenuous tour of the Uffizi gallery yesterday, which was fairly astonishing: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli....  Perhaps the highlight for me so far was our trip to Siena, but shortly we're off to Venice for several days to visit the Venice Biennale.  All this is very exciting, and will take a long time to assimilate.

I've been looking out for things relating to Renaissance science, and was interested to discover that in Florence both the Duomo and Santa Maria Novella have inbuilt astronomical instruments in the form of a small hole high up in the structure to let in a ray of sunlight, and markings on the floor of the church.  Among other things they were used to determine the length of the year precisely.  I bought a small book explaining all this, but unfortunately it's in Italian.

The circle of sunlight on the floor of the Duomo in Florence.  It is supposed to coincide with the marble circle at noon on the summer solstice - this photograph was taken a week before the solstice. 

"Odyssey" at Space 22, Ballarat

The artist-run gallery Space 22 in Ballarat is having its last exhibition for a while. The lease is ending and the landlord wants to do something else with the space. So Space 22 is having a final group exhibition with all the people who have been associated with the gallery (which includes me).

Where: Space 22, 22 Main Road, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

When: 16th June to 3rd July, 2011.

Gallery hours: Thursday to Sunday inclusive, 12 noon - 5pm.

More information here.

Let's hope Space 22 is able to re-emerge in some form, as it has been a great thing for the artistic community in Ballarat. The committee have put in a huge amount of hard work, and deserve our heartfelt thanks for what they have achieved for us all.