A pitstop whilst shopping in Hanoi took us to uber cool cafe, Cong Caphe. You enter through a green door into a simple, yet perfect interior. Wooden floors & tables of soft mid tone browns, surrounded by antique wooden & found chairs, padded with chinese cotton print cushions. Lounge chairs are also in the mix, both upstairs & downstairs, & the light throughout is gorgeous.
The kitchen is teeny tiny with no cooked food on the menu, but plenty of yoghurt drinks, crossiants & other delicious things.
Check out the menu, beautifully handwritten in hardcovered old books. The tables are adorned with stenciled enamelware, fully blown roses against a backdrop of army green walls & exposed brick.
There are 2 locations in Hanoi (&rumour of opening in London)
152Đ-Triệu Việt Vương, Hai Bà Trưng
32-Điện Biên Phủ, Ba Đình
US-based company, One Kings Lane had asked me to go anywhere in the world on a shopping trip to fill a container to sell online, coinciding with the release of my 5th book Gypsy in October 2013, and Vietnam was the destination!
I had been told about the basket fishing boats of Hoi An by my friends Morrison & Robert as an idea to put on my shopping list!
And on my early beach walk this morning, they were revealed in all their fascinating sculptural beauty. The beach up from super fancy hotel , The Nam Hai was scattered with them. Looking like beached whales, they are woven, then tarred for water resistance with a single loop rope on their perimeter to hold a carved wooden paddle. I watched as a fisherman rode a wave into shore maneuvering with circular motions of the paddle. He was as wirey & thin as a whippet!
They will definitely be appearing in the sale, I just have to convince a couple of fisherman to part with their baskets!
Just North of Byron Bay is Brunswick Heads. An old fashioned coastal town that has a great excuse for visiting – Fabulous Mrs Fox. A store full of super cool stuff, owned by the fabulous Jo & Will White.
Jo & Will have lived all over & are now settled back in Australia, however their store is a showcase of globetrotting finds, lighting, new artist’s pieces, fabric by the yard, books, as well as their own tinkerings & makings.
I was lucky enough to be invited into their fabulous upstairs abode which they built with Argentinian salvage & a whole lot of genius. Beautiful proportions, finishes, fixtures & a great sense of humour. Check it out!!!!
The idea of camping in Sydney Harbour in summertime has a magic & romance. I thought I would make the most of the opportunity to do just that whilst photographing for my latest book, Gypsy on Cockatoo Island. Read more
Cockatoo Island is an old defunct shipping yard on an island in Sydney Harbour. The first buildings on the island served as a convict gaol and it’s had many reincarnations since 1839, including workshops and service for the Navy, a Girls industrial school, and the building of Australia’s first steel warships in the dockyard to name a few. The spaces are high and wide to make way for all the industrial work and a dream for shooting.
The island has so many layers of history. Like so many other historical locations, these layers stop in time at one point – but here they continue. It is now used as a location for art fairs, dirt bike tracks, film festivals, movies, residential rentals, camping, parties and so much more. Remnants are left of their presence to be embraced, celebrated & added to its appeal.
After last year’s bienniale I thought this would be a perfect location for part of my new book Gypsy, the companion to Nomad. After travelling to 5 new countries, I use the inspiration to concept interiors that draw on what I have seen, experienced & loved from patterns, colours, shapes, activities, people, architecture, markets, seasons and rituals.
We borrowed & looted from The Society inc. & fav shops out & about in Sydney, all the props, furniture, flowers, rigging & the rest, loaded it into a ute, then into a 4 tonne truck & hired a barge to deposit us on the island for the week.
An old warehouse was our holding space & we shot in over 15 locations throughout the island (with the kind use of golf carts & smaller trucks). I always shoot a large portion of my books in January, and this year the temperature reached new heights, an all time 100 year heat record! I worked with a core team of my brother/photographer Chris, right hand Hannah, truckdriver/rigger extraordinaire Jim & the hardworking assistants, Georgie & Nicky and here are some sneak peak behind the scene pics from our time there.
Ah it feels so good to start a new year! New projects, new people, new discoveries (I just got back from India & Sri Lanka!). The Society inc. is saying goodbye to its festive Gypsy Caravan and theme and starting fresh as well. Read more