Monday 31 December 2012


Jan Senbergs was born in Latvia in 1939, and arrived in Australia in 1950. He completed an apprenticeship in silk-screen printing and began exhibiting in the early 1960s. In 1966 he held his first exhibition at Rudy Komon Gallery in Sydney and later that year was awarded the Helena Rubinstein Travelling Art Scholarship. In 1973 he represented Australia at the Sao Paulo Biennale in Brazil, the first of many honours in an illustrious career including a special commission for a large-scale relief-mural for the High Court of Australia in Canberra in 1980, holding the position of member of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council from 1984-1987, Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria from 1984-1989 and in 1989 he was appointed the Visiting Professor – Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University, Boston, USA.

In 1993 a major survey exhibition, Imagined Sites - Imagined Realities was held at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, and he was awarded the William Dobell Drawing Prize by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney the same year. In 2006, a major exhibition surveying his drawing practice was curated by Elizabeth Cross for the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. This exhibition, Jan Senbergs Drawing, toured regional Australia in 2007. In 2008, the Art Gallery of New South Wales hosted the survey exhibition Jan Senbergs: From Screenprinter to Painter to document Jan's development as an artist over the past 25 years.

Jan Senbergs' work is represented at the National Gallery of Australia and in all state galleries in Australia. Internationally his work is included in the collections of  the National Gallery, Washington D.C; Wadsworth-Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas among others. The book Voyage and Landfall by Patrick McCaughey was published by Melbourne University Press under the Miegunyah imprint.

The large scale, mounted, acrylic on canvas painting is displayed in the central foyer area of the State Library of Victoria and is called "Melbourne 1998-1999". It was presented as a gift to the Library by the Gualtiero-Vaccari Foundation in recognition of the services provided by the State Library of Victoria to the Italian Community of Melbourne.

This post is part of the Monday Mural meme,
and also part of the Mellow Yellow Monday meme.

Sunday 30 December 2012


Queen Victoria Market is much more than just Melbourne's shopping mecca – it’s a historic landmark, a tourist attraction and a Melburnian institution. Spread over some seven hectares with more than 600 retailers, it’s a true reflection of Melbourne's cosmopolitan makeup. Shoppers can find everything from fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet foods, fashion and general merchandise. The market is open 5 days per week, with Sunday taking on a carnival atmosphere as a variety of entertainers delight the crowds. This flower stall always offers bunches of fresh flowers for sale.

This post is part of the Scenic Sunday meme.

Saturday 29 December 2012


The Mill Park Library is a highly visible landmark, right in the heart of the Plenty growth corridor, about 25 km to the North fo Melbourne City. The library was designed by prominent Melbourne architects Oaten Stanistreet, and built at a cost of $8 million. The design is visually stunning, and 10 years later it is still eye-catching.  The building’s tinted glass, curved roof, columns and unique shape certainly attract attention, and compel people to look closer. Its cement-clad iron pillars angle towards the sky, and support an overhang at the western entrance, to shade the building from the afternoon sun.  Inside, the ducts are concealed in internal columns.  The columns bounce light off the ceiling onto the open expanses below, and panes of tinted glass filter sunlight coming into the building.

It was the first library in Victoria to take a realistic look into a digital future, as it was built on the concept of a hybrid digital/print library. The library opened in 2002, as one of Victoria’s largest public libraries, and it still is one of the largest in the state.  Among its many excellent features are a spacious children’s library, a fully equipped training room with 12 PCs and a quiet reading area.   Its many programs include Italian bilingual storytimes and regular creative writing classes.   In addition, the J W Payne Local History Collection has considerable historic significance. It contains a comprehensive range of primary and secondary sources, reflecting major themes in the history of the City of Whittlesea.  The themes include records of nineteenth century settlement and rural life, local community institutions, government health and mental institutions, urban development and immigration, art and local government.  The collection also tells the story of Yan Yean, Melbourne’s first permanent water supply system.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot Meme.

Friday 28 December 2012


Leonotis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. It comprises 9 species. One of these, Leonotis nepetifolia, is native to tropical Africa and southern India. It is naturalized throughout most of the tropics. The other 8 species are endemic to southern Africa. Leonotis was named by Robert Brown in 1810 in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen. The generic name means "lion's ear".

A popular garden hybrid is illustrated here. It is the rather magnificent Leonotis menthifolia - 'Savannah Sunset'. Depending on the climate of your region, this is an annual/perennial plant with an erect growth habit. In mid-Summer, Leonotis menthifolia repeatedly produces showy whorls of round, furry, orange blossoms around the tall erect stems followed later by seeds. Butterflies and bees are magnetised by the nectar-rich blossoms. The plant is easily propagated from seeds and thrives best in well-drained neutral soil in a sunny location. Lion's Ear is low maintenance and tolerates drought well. Mass plant in the back of the border for a striking effect.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday 27 December 2012


Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum) has a massive inflorescence (flowering structure) consisting of a spathe (collar-like structure) wrapped around a spadix (flower-bearing spike). The spathe is the shape of an upturned bell. It is green speckled with cream on the outside, and rich crimson on the inside. It has ribbed sides and a frilled edge, and can be up to three metres in circumference. The flowers are carried on the lower end of the greyish-yellow spadix. At the base of the spadix, within the protective chamber formed by the spathe, is a band of cream male flowers above a ring of the larger pink female flowers.

When the flowers are ready for pollination, the spadix heats up and emits a nauseating smell. This stench is so bad that the Indonesians call the plant ‘the corpse flower’. The inflorescence rises from a tuber, a swollen underground stem modified to store food for the plant. This tuber, more or less spherical in shape and weighing 70 kg or more, is the largest such structure known in the plant kingdom.

The titan arum of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens flowered at Christmas this year and attracted thousands of people who queued for hours in order to see this amazing flower. Amorphophallus titanum is restricted to Sumatra in the Indonesian archipelago. Such is the unpredictable nature of the plant that we cannot tell whether it will be months, years or even decades before we next see a titan arum flower in the Gardens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 26 December 2012


Frankston is a major activity centre within the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area located at the northernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. It is located 40 km southeast of the Melbourne City Centre. It is often referred to as the "Gateway to the Mornington Peninsula" or the "Bay City".

Statistically, Frankston is part of the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area - which is reflected in its primarily suburban and residential nature. It became part of the Melbourne urban agglomeration during the 1980s. While Geelong is at the direct opposite end of Port Phillip bay, Frankston is 35 kilometres closer and the Melbourne skyline is clearly visible.
At the 2006 Australian Census, Frankston had a population of 34,457. It is the seat of government and administrative centre for the local government area, the City of Frankston which had an estimated population of 130,462 at 30 June 2010.

Localities within Frankston, which share the same postcode (3199), include Karingal, Olivers Hill, Frankston Heights, Frankston East, Mount Erin and Long Island; as well as the suburb of Frankston South. Frankston is a major node in the Melbourne metropolitan transport system. The demonym for a person from Frankston is a "Frankstonian".

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 25 December 2012


After the usual things one does at Christmas, we decided today to go for a late stroll in the City, to see how it had been decorated for the festive season. There were many people milling about and even though the night was cool, that certainly did not deter the merrymakers from visiting the City and having a good time.

Wherever you are in the world and whatever you did today, I hope it was happy and peaceful. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was a wonderful one for you!

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.