April 13, 2013
Simon Mercer, Co-Director of Name This Bar with Heat Winner

Simon Mercer, Co-Director of Name This Bar with Heat Winner

Darlinghurst’s Name This Bar on Oxford Street at Taylors Square, is the venue again for the return of Art Battles Australia, which commenced at the end of March, with the launch of The Quay Series.

DSC_0746Art Battles Australia provides an innovative series of events for artists to showcase their talents to the general public and patrons of the bar, along with live entertainment, DJs, and celebrity MCs and judges.

An all new artist line up, selected from a pool of both established Sydney visual artists and up and coming artists, takes part in six heats, held weekly each Thursday at Name This Bar.

Each week, up to four artists per heat will battle it out on canvases in a 100 minute showdown.  Artists create their works using a number of different styles and techniques on canvas from street art to fine art, using tools such as brush, marker pens and for the first time spray paint provided by Art Battles partner Liquitex.  Each heat will see artists judged on artistic ability, creativity and crowd response.

The six heats will culminate in the Grand Final, which will take place on 4 & 5 May at Sydney’s Circular Quay.  With the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop, this two day finale will run in conjunction with Tiger Beer’s Translate initiative, a collaboration of music and art. The winner of the Art Battles Quay Series grand final will be flown to Vietnam to represent Australia at Tiger Translate Vietnam as a guest of Tiger Beer Australia.  Sandra Tiltman     Photos:  John Pond



April 13, 2013

Cameo_head_of_Alexander_in_helmet_thumbTime is running out to see the largest exhibition of treasures ever to come to Australia from the world famous State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.  Exclusive to Sydney, Alexander the Great: 2000 Years of Treasures, is now on display at The Australian Museum in College Street, Sydney.  The exhibition has over 400 objects including fine gold earrings, necklaces, rings, coins, cameos, metal helmets and shields, urns, marble statues and much more.

If your name is Alex, either as first or last name, or you happen to live in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria, from 22 to 26 April you will be able to purchase discounted tickets to view the Exhibition, proof of identity is required.

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia who founded the State Hermitage was fascinated by Alexander the Great, which led to a collection at the State Hermitage, which holds one of the finest antiquities collections in the world.

There is still time to attend some of the special lectures and presentations.  Be quick as this fabulous exhibition closes on 28 April 2013.  I saw the exhibition last week and was fascinated by many of the artifacts.  Sandra Tiltman            




April 13, 2013


The Addams Family has now moved into Sydney’s beautiful Capitol Theatre after the Australian premiere of this Broadway hit musical was held on Saturday, 23 March 2013.  It certainly looks like this kooky and wonderfully weird family has settled in and made themselves completely at home.

Based on the characters created by Charles Addams, whose unique style combined the twisted, macabre and just plain weird with charm and wit to create The Addams Family.  Many of Addams’ cartoons and drawings were published in The New Yorker and his drawings have entertained millions and served as the inspiration for television series and motion pictures.

The wonderful Australian cast is superb with John Waters as Gomez, Chloe Dallimore as Morticia, Russell Dykstra as Uncle Fester, Teagan Wouters as Wednesday, Ben Hudson as Lurch, Meredith O’ Reilly as Grandma and Liam Faulkner-Dimond as Pugsley.

The kooky and weird family has moved on a few years and Wednesday is now a young woman who has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, a young man from a conservative family, and played by Tim Maddren.  A dinner has been organized so Wednesday can bring the two families together, that’s when the fun really starts. Katrina Retallick and Tony Harvey star as Wednesday’s future in-laws, Alice and Mal.

Directed in Australia by Jerry Zaks, the acclaimed Broadway director and recipient of four Tony Awards, The Addams Family is sure to be a crowd pleaser and should entertain audiences of all ages and appeal to the whole family.  Extra matinees have been added for the April school holidays.

After seeing the show, I’d love to have this fun family move in next door as my neighbours.  Sandra Tiltman  Photos:  John Pond




April 13, 2013

Duchess of Cambridge Godmother Royal PrincessPrincess Cruises, one of the best known names in cruising, with a fleet of 17 modern ships, will hold a ceremony in Southampton on 13 June 2013 where Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, will name the newest addition to the Princess Cruise Line’s fleet, “Royal Princess”.

Royal Princess will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on 7 June, where a series of events will take place, including a special naming gala.

The naming of Royal Princess by The Duchess will be the highlight of the week long inaugural celebrations to welcome the vessel into service.

The spectacular ceremony will uphold British ship naming traditions including the blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards.

Alan Buckelew, the Line’s President and CEO said “It is a great honour for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the Godmother to Royal Princess. We are delighted that the Duchess will launch our new ship and can think of no better way to celebrate our company’s British heritage and our commitment to the country.”

Some of the special features to be found on board the new 3,600 passenger Royal Princess will be a greatly expanded atrium, which is always the social hub of the ship and the plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water. Another feature is that all outside cabins will have balconies.  The largest pastry shop at sea and the new Princess Live! television studio will enhance life on board, along with a special Chef’s Table Lumiere,  that will offer passengers a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light.  For the adventurous, an over-water SeaWalk with a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship, that should get the adrenalin flowing.

The inaugural period will also include two short preview cruises prior to and following the naming.  The celebrations will conclude with Royal Princess’ maiden voyage on 16 June.  Following the maiden voyage Royal Princess will be cruising the Mediterranean throughout the European summer, after which she will sail to the Eastern Caribbean for Northern Hemisphere Autumn cruising.



April 13, 2013

Environment Minister Robyn Parker recently unveiled “Barrel Roll” by American artist Peter Lundberg, the winning entrant in the famous Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2012 exhibition, currently on display at the Domain in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.


NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker with Neil Balnaves of the Balnaves Foundation. Photo J..Plaza

NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker with Neil Balnaves of the Balnaves Foundation. Photo J..Plaza

With Barrel Roll now an integral part of the Domain and Royal Botanic Garden’s already impressive sculpture collection, Ms Parker paid tribute to the modern piece, which adds to the historic collection dating back to the 1870s.

“The famous Bondi exhibition attracted American artist Peter Lundberg to Australia and it is our local surrounds, people, environment and his personal experience gained here that inspired this striking piece,” Ms Parker said.

Barrell Roll will be the fourth Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi winner on display at the Domain and Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney:

2012 – Barrel Roll by Peter Lundberg

2011 – Paradiegma metaphysic by Paul Selwood

2010 – Mirroring 1995 by Keld Moseholm

2009 – Time and Tide Granite Monolith II by May Barrie

Locals and tourists will enjoy visiting the Domain and Royal Botanic Garden to view the existing 57 piece sculpture collection that has been enhanced by the Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi winners.

In December 2010, the Balnaves Foundation that funds the prize for the winner of the Bondi exhibition, agreed with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to donate each year’s winning sculpture to the Trust, commencing with the 2009 work by May Barrie.

Each winning sculpture from Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi will be appropriately placed within the Garden or Domain.  After a 10 year residency beside the harbour, some works will be moved to the sculpture collections at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah.

Chairman of the Balnaves Foundation, Neil Balnaves, said “Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi has become one of the most popular events on Sydney’s art calendar.  Over a two week period each year nearly 500,000 people walk the cliffs between Bondi and Tamarama to enjoy the sculptures.  We were excited by the idea of taking the winners from each exhibition and placing them in one location where the public could enjoy them all year round.  The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is the perfect location”.

The Balnaves Foundation is a private philanthropic fund that supports organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.