from AUSTRALIA

national museum of australia

Australia's newest museum, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, opens on March 11 [http://www.nma.gov.au/]. The museum has been built to house a collection of Australian historical artifacts, from the first ABC outside broadcast van [ABC is the National Broadcaster] to Aboriginal cultural effects.

The building was designed by Ashton Raggatt McDougall <http://www.a-r-m.com.au/> , Melbourne architects, in collaboration with Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan <http://www.rpvht.com.au/> and Room 4.1.3 <http://www.room413.com.au> , the landscape architects. The building has a strong post-modern theoretical basis, drawing on the writings of 19th century German architect Gottfired Semper in The Four Elements of Architecture and popular Australian cultural references.

A strong part of the design idea is the landscape of the area around and within the building. The Garden of Dreams is part of this conceptual work. Waller and Sitta, the landscape architects include a large map; cobalt blue poles and other sculpture in the scheme, all referring to Australian cultural history.



mardi gras makes sydney sparkle
Sydney's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras [http://www.mardigras.com.au] opened with the well known march town Oxford Street. But behind this spectacular is a plethora of exhibitions and events. Object Galleries [http://www.object.com.au/] is hosting one to display the work of two local jewelry designers, Vanessa Buemi and Timothy Horn. Horn, a glass artist takes his cue from Cinderella and the jewelry of the 18th century.

Absolutely Mardi Gras, published by the Powerhouse Museum [http://www.phm.gov.au/scripts/webdbs/pubone.idc?id=70] is a good history of the extravagant gowns, costumes and floats which have appeared in the festival.












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