Tag Archives: National Portrait Gallery

Lighten up your Life!—Enlighten Festival 2018

Canberra’s 16 night spectacular, Enlighten Festival, is now in its seventh year and the 2018 upcoming event will be bigger and better than ever!

Presented by Singapore Airlines, Enlighten 2018 kicks off on Friday 2 March at the National Library of Australia with a Switch On by one very lucky member of the public chosen through an ActewAGL competition. Switch On will be the first chance to see the capital’s major and iconic architectural attractions, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Australian Democracy, Questacon, and Australian Parliament House, transformed into a myriad of colour, shapes and images projected onto the buildings.

Enlighten Parliament House

Enlighten Parliament House

This is the second year ActewAGL has partnered with Enlighten, and the first year the event has spread out from the parliamentary triangle to include events at the Australian National University (ANU) and Braddon. ANU events will include food, drink, entertainment, and spectacular light displays where you can fly through projections of the solar system, and join a walking trail passing all the main displays.

The bustling Braddon Noodle Markets offer an EPICurean journey through Asia with dumplings, Pad Thai, sambals, and noodles, plus gourmet desserts. This is a delight on the senses with free entry, and dog-friendly cafés.

Noodle market 1

Asian delight at the Noodle Markets

But wait … there’s more! Enlighten 2018 also includes music with Symphony in the Park on 11 March, where you can kick back in Commonwealth Park and watch the sun go down to music from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and Killer Queen—get ready to rock Stage 88 with We are the Champions!

Canberra Day on 12 March will offer live bands and heaps of fun for the kids throughout the day, or you can float across the lake with the Canberra Balloon Spectacular when more than 30 hot air balloons will take to the skies between 10 – 18 March, and Enlighten Festival will close on 17 March with the iconic SKYFIRE lighting up the shores of Lake Burley Griffin with fireworks and fun at 8.30pm.

Enlighten Balloons

Balloon Spectacular

The official Enlighten Festival Switch On takes place at 8pm on 2 March on the steps of the National Library, but you can shake your tail feather to Sounds of the Sixties with some 60s music, plus a kids’ disco, and art and crafts from 6.30pm.

Steamed Dumplings at the Noodle Market

Canberra Enlighten Festival will run from 2 – 18 March through the parliamentary triangle, city centre, and ANU. For more information visit www.enlightencanberra.com

Fascinating Rhythm at Melba Fete!

Spent a great day yesterday with some muso friends who were performing at a local fete. Rhythm Syndicate is an auditioned Canberra based vocal group who sing four part harmony, with accompaniment by Canberra composer, songwriter and pianist Mike Dooley, and harmonicist and flautist, Paul Herbert.

RS 2 Melba

Rhythm Syndicate with conductor and musical director, Camilo Gonzalez

Revitalising their jazz roots, the program included many toe-tapping jazz standards such as Miss New Orleans, Java Jive, Fascinating Rhythm, and other classics from Cole Porter, and Gershwin – a great afternoon of cool musical entertainment.

Mike Melba Fete

Composer, songwriter, and pianist Mike Dooley

If you’re a jazz lover don’t miss their upcoming performances over the next couple of months.

5 December: Griffith Baptist Care Concert 11am

9 December: Queanbeyan Carols in the Park (55 Collett St) 7pm

10 December: Canberra High Court 1.30pm

10 December: National Portrait Gallery 3.30pm

17 December: Lerida Winery 12.30pm




You can also catch awesome pianist Mike Dooley, with singer Rachel Thorne, performing as In 2 Deep at Jazz in the House, University House, ANU on Friday 27 October at 8pm. Bookings essential through Uni House at events.unihouse@anu.edu.au or call them on 6125 5270.

Mike Dooley (keyboard) and singer Rachel Thorne – In 2 Deep

Capital Culture—Exclusive Tours!

With more than 70 activities rolling out over nine days, it’s a tad tricky deciding what to do during the upcoming DESIGN Canberra festival (21 to 29 November). My advice is to study the program and map out a plan so you don’t miss anything that tickles your fancy. When I say map out a plan I mean it, remembering that most tours take place on specified days. Some are free and require no bookings, others are free but bookings are essential, and others are ticketed tours. So take an exclusive tour on the Tours of our Beautiful Cultural Capital! By Wendy Johnson.

The festival is divided into five segments, one of which is ‘Capital of Culture Tours’. See Canberra in a new light through eight exclusive guided tours of architectural and cultural landscape around the city, led by designers, architects and artists.

GMB05—GMB Architecture Canberra Airport Tour: View of Central Atrium. Image: Rodrigo Vargas

GMB05—GMB Architecture Canberra Airport Tour: View of Central Atrium. Image: Rodrigo Vargas

My bet is that one of the most popular will be the exclusive walking tour of the award-winning Canberra Airport. This free tour includes ‘airside’ facilities and operations not usually available to the general public. Wander through the magnificent central atrium, iconic entrance, landscaped courtyards and hear about the marvellous artwork. The tour is on 21 November and bookings are a must since it’s restricted to 20 people.

The pop-up Public Theatre, inspired by the design of the classic Greek Theatre, will bring life to Civic Square for two weeks as part of DESIGN Canberra. Lots will happen in this unique space, including The Public Talk: Conversations about our city by Cox Architecture (22 November). The future evolution of our city’s spaces and buildings—a topic close to the heart of many Canberrans—will be explored at this free gathering. This is your chance to discuss what will happen as your city grows, reaches towards the lake and undergo significant urban development. Bookings essential by 6 November.

Westside01—Cox Architecture Westside Acton Park Tour: Daytime Opening. Image: Rodrigo Vargas

Westside01—Cox Architecture Westside Acton Park Tour: Daytime Opening. Image: Rodrigo Vargas

Westside Acton Park—Australia’s first pop-up shipping container village—has drawn its share of praise and controversy. Get behind the scenes with Cox Architecture on this free walking tour (28 November) and learn about the development of Westside. After the tour, linger and enjoy market stalls and street food.

Civic from helicopter—Image by Cox Architecture

Civic from helicopter—Image by Cox Architecture

We all know that Canberra is one of the few cities in the world to be designed and built specifically for use as a national political capital. But how much to you know about the key architectural landmarks in the designed landscape, and the work of John Smith Murdoch and his contribution to the early vision? The free Designed Capital tour starts at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and concludes at the historic Hyatt Hotel Canberra (21 November and 22 November). And the National Portrait Gallery will host free 45-minute architectural walking tours throughout its public spaces (various times) during DESIGN Canberra.

Embassy of Sweden—Image courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden

Embassy of Sweden—Image courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden

A free guided tour and architectural lecture will be held at the Embassy of Sweden, which recently re-opened after extensive renovations by Guida Moseley Brown Architects. The restored Embassy (originally completed in 1951) shows the value and importance of heritage buildings. The tour is free and bookings essential.

If you’re fascinated by the world of horticulture you’ll appreciate the free Inside the Archives tour (21 November). Held at the National Archives of Australia, this is a rare change to explore the horticultural aspects of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin’s vision for Canberra. See the original plans drawn up by the Griffins, which show how sensitive they were to the physical features of the national capital site.

Archit-Schools06—Archi-SCHOOLS: Tuggeranong Introductory English Centre at the Wanniassa Hills Primary School by May & Russell Architects. Image: Kiernan May

Archit-Schools06—Archi-SCHOOLS: Tuggeranong Introductory English Centre at the Wanniassa Hills Primary School by May & Russell Architects. Image: Kiernan May

The ArchiSCHOOL tour, run by the Australian Institute of Architects on 28 November, is a rare opportunity to tour some of Canberra’s specialist education facilities. Learn about the design behind each facility and how they support educational outcomes. There’s a full-day bus tour ($45, including lunch) if you’d like to explore all four sites. Tours will be held by May and Russell Architects, Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn and Guida Moseley Brown Architects. You need to book in advance since numbers are limited.

For more information on Capital Culture Tours, including locations and times, explore the full festival program at http://designcanberrafestival.com.au/

Canberra’s Festival of Design—by Wendy Johnson

In just over a month, the most significant design event held in the capital will get you connecting, creating and collaborating with artists and creatives. Wendy Johnson has all the info on the DESIGN Canberra Festival.

Capital of Culture_Cox—Westside; image Rodrigo Vargas

Capital of Culture_Cox—Westside; image Rodrigo Vargas

The annual DESIGN Canberra Festival will roll out its exciting program from 21 to 29 November, with close to 70 activities and involving more than 750 participants. The Festival is massive and there’s something for everyone and all ages, with most events and activities free to the public. And this year, DESIGN Canberra will be bigger and better, rolling out over nine days, including two weekends.

So what is DESIGN Canberra about? It’s about putting you in direct touch with Canberra’s creative excellence. Managed by Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre the 2014 event is divided into five event streams.

ACTivate_Lazy Sunday—Image courtesy of designer

ACTivate_Lazy Sunday—Image courtesy of designer

ACTivate—Explore an ACTivated Canberra CBD through pop-up exhibitions, installations, studios and shops featuring the diverse work of some of the capital’s most innovative designers.

Capital of CULTURE—See Canberra in a whole new light through exclusive guided tours of architectural and cultural landscape around the city, led by designers, architects and artists.

DESIGN Buzz— Engage in vibrant discussions on big ideas, creative thinking, design for social change, and Canberra’s urban future through unique conversations and a lecture series.

Living Artists— Gain exclusive insights into the innovative work of some of Canberra’s best local artists and design firms through tours of their inspiring studios and working spaces.

Exhibitions— Experience exciting art, craft and design through exhibitions hosted in Canberra’s premier galleries.

Events will pop-up in every corner of the city, with drop-ins welcome for many. DESIGN Canberra is also teaming up with cultural institutions, arts centres, museums, galleries, universities, design centres, studios and workshops. So what’s on offer? Well, here’s a taste.

Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, one of Australia’s finest comedians, will bring his touring show ‘Man About the House’ to DESIGN Canberra for one night only, to the iconic Shine Dome by Roy Grounds. With musician Kit Warhurst and through storytelling and song, Ross will take you on a journey and leave you cheering.

Living Artist_ANCA—Folded earring by Phoebe Porter; image courtesy designer

Living Artist_ANCA—Folded earring by Phoebe Porter; image courtesy designer

ANCA (Australian National Capital Artists) will have an open day across its two campuses—Leafy Studios at Dickson and Heavy Duty Studios in Mitchell—featuring the work of 35 visual artists, including jewellery designer Phoebe Porter, emerging artist Sui Jackson, who specialises in hot glass, and woodworker Peter Giles. This is your chance to engage with these local artists, watching them work, discussing their creations and perhaps even trying some techniques yourself.

Rolfe Classic BMW and boyandgirlco have teamed up for a unique exhibition that will see spare car parts, sample leather pieces and unwanted wooden pallets transformed into one-off pieces of furniture that will be auctioned off to raise money for a local charity.

A unique exhibition at Craft ACT—Discover define develop deliver—will give you an insight into a creative’s mind. Twenty-nine local artists will display a signature piece of their artwork alongside an item that illustrates the thought process behind design, whether it be a page from a sketchbook, an inspirational image or written notes.

Capital of Culture_GMB—Canberra airport; image Rodrigo Vargas

Capital of Culture_GMB—Canberra airport; image Rodrigo Vargas

Public tours will be held by some of the capital’s best architect firms and experts, such as a walking tour through the public spaces of the National Portrait Gallery (with the gallery’s Krysia Kitch), the pop-up village at Westside Acton Park (with Cox Architecture), and the award-winning Canberra Airport, including some areas not normally accessible by the public (with Guida Moseley Brown Architects and the airport’s Richard Philips).

You can also visit Pavilion X, a site-specific temporary design intervention in Garema Place and have your say on how you like to use public space and what you hope for the future of Civic. Or you can join in the community workshop being held on top of Red Hill Lookout, with Karina Harris and Neil Hobbs. What are your thoughts about safety issues for wildlife, pedestrians, cyclists and traffic on Red Hill? What are your views on how this precious, urban space can be used?

Living Artist_Harris Hobbs—Open Studio; image courtesy designer

Living Artist_Harris Hobbs—Open Studio; image courtesy designer

DESIGN Canberra also gives you a chance to visit open studios of a diverse range of local designers to meet them, chat about their work and see where and how they create their fashion, jewellery, glasswork, homewares and more … like Claudia Owen, Lazy Sunday Home, Alison Jackson, Daniel Hadiwibawa, and many designers who operate from Canberra Glassworks.

ACTivate_Claudia Owen—Alchemy Silk Scarf; image courtesy designer

ACTivate_Claudia Owen—Alchemy Silk Scarf; image courtesy designer

The DESIGN Canberra website is being updated with info on this year’s festival activities in the next week or so. Keep your eye out for the distinctive pink and yellow DESIGN Canberra program that will be distributed for free through Canberra’s best cafes, shops and cultural institutions around the end of the month. You’ll want to study the program carefully and check off everything you want to explore. Some events and activities are open every day of the festival with others open at select times, and some are not-to-be-missed, one-off events.

For more information check Design Canberra website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.