THE LADY AND THE UNICORN FRENCH TAPESTRIES

February 12, 2018

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One of the most famous masterpieces of medieval art, “The Lady and the Unicorn”, is now on exclusive display in Australia at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, through a loan from the collection of the Musée de Cluny- Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. Revered as a French national treasure, this 15th century ‘Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages’ will be in Sydney until 24 June 2018.

Prior to their Sydney exhibition, the six large scale tapestries, together measuring more than 20 metres in length, have only left Paris on two occasions, firstly being displayed New York in 1973-74 then Tokyo and Osaka in 2013.

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The six tapestries, which are woven in wool and silk, are amongst the greatest surviving artworks of their kind. Showing a richly costumed lady flanked by a lion and a unicorn, surrounded by animals, trees and a millefleur (thousand flowers) background, five of the tapestries depict the senses with the sixth representing the heart or understanding. The sense of touch has the lady holding the unicorn’s horn while taste shows her feeding a bird and smell has her holding flowers. Hearing depicts her playing music and in sight she is showing the unicorn his reflection in a mirror. The sixth tapestry with the text ‘Mon seul desir’ (My only desire) depicts the lady emerging from a tent, held open by the lion and the unicorn.

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Maud Page, The Art Gallery of New South Wales Deputy Director and Director of Collections, said “The tapestries are universally revered and are a portal to the past, but the lasting beauty of “The Lady and the Unicorn” is that it retains its mystique and its freshness after centuries, still inspiring awe in viewers today.”

I would recommend that it is well worth making a special visit to Sydney to view this beautiful exhibition              Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond

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TRAVELLING NORTH

February 12, 2018

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Australian playwright, David Williamson’s “Travelling North” is a wonderful start to the Genesian Theatre’s 2018 list of exciting plays.

Directed by Sahn Millington, this delightful play that is both funny and sad, is based on the true story of David Williamson’s own mother-in-law, who found new love in later life. The play also brings up issues faced by many of today’s seniors.

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The two main characters, Frank and Frances, which are believably portrayed by Dave Kirkham and Jane Thorpe, decide to leave their lives and responsibilities in Melbourne behind and head north to tropical Queensland. Their love story encompasses all their family dramas plus highlights the downside of ageing.

Peter Irving Smith is excellent as next door neighbour Freddy, as are Megan Shooter and Lauren Birdsall who play Frances’ selfish daughters, Sophie and Helen.

Although the play is set in the late 1960s, it is very relevant to life today. If certain historical events such as references to the Vietnam War and Gough Whitlam were updated, the play could very easily be set in current time.Genesian Theatre Co - Traveling North 2018 -  Homepix Photography 0136_preview.jpeg

One of the many charms that David Williamson brings to his plays is his ability to make his characters relateable to the audience. One can always recognise some of his characters’ traits as those belonging to someone they know.

“Travelling North” is currently playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until 24 March 2018. Friday & Saturday nights at 7.30pm with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, with a 20 minute interval.

Sandra Tiltman


UPDATING YOUR WILL

February 12, 2018

Marriage equality is now law, so with the prospect of increasing numbers of those in love rushing off to the altar, the NSW Trustee & Guardian has issued some timely words of advice about making sure a person’s Will is up to date if their relationship status changes.

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Updating an existing Will is essential when a relationship status changes and should be one of the first things couples consider. Natalie Darcy from NSW Trustee & Guardian said “Legal documents aren’t romantic but updating your Will can be one of the most practical ways to demonstrate how much you care. When you get married, separated or divorced, if you don’t update an existing Will or have one written, it can affect the people you care about. People spend time updating their Facebook relationship status, why not something as important as your Will. Talk to NSW Trustee & Guardian about updating your Will so you can ensure that your affairs are managed according to your wishes.”

It is important that people seek expert advice when updating or creating a Will to ensure that it is legally valid. www.tag.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 364 103.

Sandra Tiltman