I was recently asked by Friends of the Australian Ballet to put my own spin on the classic pointe ballet shoe. I have always been amazed with the beauty of ballet and ballerinas, however, the behind the scenes of the art has fascinated me even more. My ballet shoe is somewhat of a celebration and depiction of behind the scenes of dancers studios, rehearsal halls, backstage dressing rooms and set and costume makers.
The private moments of those involved in the art, the parts of the ballet world that we don’t see, is the inspiration of which I have drawn from to create my shoe. The materials I have used include linen, lead and leather. I prefer to represent the trades and materials of days gone by, to a time where expertise and skill was created by hand, not machine, and to pay homage to honest and functional materials. I wanted to purvey the real and gritty life behind the beauty. By utilising honest materials in my shoe, I have represented the building of sets, the pulling of ropes to lift curtains, the needle and thread to sew the ribbons and all the elements behind the scenes that eventually create the beauty onstage.
Below are a few snaps of the final product.
To celebrate Rainford Street Social’s 1st birthday, Executive Chef Benjamin Orpwood and I teamed up to create a special adjunct menu. I worked closely alongside Ben to create this special offering which evokes some of my favourite winter food memories.
Each dish will be available throughout the month of August, and a percentage of proceeds from each of the dishes will be donated to Rainford Street Social’s charity partner, Oz Harvest.
My menu consists of:
Chicken broth, garden vegetables & homemade cornbread
Shepherd’s pie with braised lamb shoulder, tomato & polenta
Chocolate & chestnut torte & burnt buttermilk ice cream
Drop into Rainford Street Social, 500 Crown Street, Surry Hills and warm up with my delicious winter menu.
I jumped off the boat at Hamilton Island Marina to spend a luxurious night at the famed Qualia. I was so looking forward to chilling out, but was not expecting the fabulous-ness in store for me. All rooms booked but the Beach House!
The Beach House is beautifully spanned over a rocky foreshore looking out to the Whitsunday Islands, layered in front with an infinity pool with its very own guest house that sits in the garden, that could house a great party of its own!
I checked into the spa for some downtime and then whiled the days away exploring in my golf buggy, swimming, lounging around, and eating delicious snacks that were generously delivered to my house.
Thanks for having me Qualia!
I was recently invited on a sailing escape to the Whitsunday Islands, (the large gathering of heritage listed and mostly uninhabited islands all named after Captain Cook’s cronies!), by Tourism Queensland and Lucid Media, where we cruised around on a chartered yacht for three days. On day one, we set off from Airlie Beach on Cumberland Cruises in 25 knot winds and looming, stormy skies. We sailed north towards Butterfly Bay into clearer waters for snorkelling and to anchor down. We were greeted with a dramatic and unexpected scape of hoop pine and black rocks which would be more at home in New Zealand or in the Loch’s of Scotland than the tropics!
The waters were smokey emerald in colour, with giant coral reefs teaming with brightly coloured fish. If you get the chance to sail around the islands, cook your own meals and sail your own boat (we cheated with our very capable captain, Geoff). In the couple of days sailing, I saw incredible sunsets, coral sands, flotsam & jetsam and bobbed around, snorkelled, read, and rested in my super comfortable cabin with a double bed and mini en suite.
Next stop, Qualia.
I had admired Michele Quan and her work from afar for some time. Her pieces were housed in some of my favourite New York stores, such as Love Adorned and The Future Perfect, so I was delighted to meet at her studio in Brooklyn. I always love going to the studios of artists. It gives a real sense of the method and emotion that goes into the process. It was lovely to be able to see Michele in her creative space, and how true she is to taking her time with her creations.
Michele’s designs of worry beads, giant diamonds and bells are naïve, yet refined. She designs and sculpts handmade ceramic pieces and is best known for her work with bells, skulls and garlands. Her pieces are oversized and over scaled, coated with a glaze in colours that have wonderful depth, cast in organic shapes that are both soft and hard, making you want to reach out and touch them.
The bespoke ceramic pieces then become a canvas for Michele to paint, draw and write on. The imagery denotes and symbolises Eastern influences and iconography, steeping them in layers of meaning and stories.
Michele’s bells and worry beads are my personal favourites, however it is near impossible to not fall in love with her whole collection. Her pieces are made from mixtures of natural and honest materials such as ceramics, flowers, bones, needles, shells, keys, reclaimed wood and hemp, all made by hand in NYC.
I was lucky enough to work and travel extensively with Hugh Stewart for many years, and saw first hand what a beautiful and inspirational photographer he is.
Hugh is one of the most incredible portrait photographers in the world, working on huge advertising campaigns as well as photographing Leonardo Dicaprio, Johnny Cash, Jude Law, Naomi Watts and Barry Otto amongst others.
Tomorrow from 2pm-6pm, Hugh will be taking portraits which can then be purchased as a beautiful print, in the prop haven that is Ici Et La in Surry Hills, who has banded together with Mick Gallery to host Hugh. This is an amazing opportunity that should not be missed.