Sydney travel blog day 5

Thursday 19 January 2023

More Randwick Art Deco

It was a gloomy overcast morning after the overnight rain. I decided to go out to find the last building from the Randwick Art Deco walk, the one I’d misidentified yesterday as having been demolished.

This was 132 Alison Road, which was number 17 on the map, and which I had misread as 117 Alison Road, which was gone.

A red brick two-story residential building in the art deco style
132 Alison Road. Not demolished.

Just up the street from here was something I’d found yesterday morning.

On the corner of Belmore Road and Alison Street, well-hidden behind some bushes, is a sign that states this site was the terminus of the first electric tram in NSW, which ran between Randwick and Waverley and commenced in November 1890.

A sign commemorating the site of the first electric train in NSW running between Randwick and Waverley in November 1890
Randwick electric train terminus memorial. Possibly should have moved the leaves away from it.

Very cool that they now have the new tram terminus a few blocks away.

A red light rail tram in front of a large glass-fronted building
The Randwick light rail terminus in High Street

Royal Randwick

Once I’d ticked the house off the list (and made sure I hadn’t missed any more buildings), I continued back along Alison Road past the side of Randwick race course.

I’d seen the side of the complex where the stables were every day walking down High Street but never seen any horses. I’d been wondering if I’d get through the entire week without seeing any actual horses, but they were out this morning doing trackwork.

A wide shot of a racecourse with horses doing track work
Morning trackwork

Van Gogh Alive

After taking Kramstable to NIDA, I wanted to go to the Van Gogh Alive installation, which I’d seen advertised on a tram earlier in the week. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but it sounded cool.

This is one of several similar exhibitions around the world, a multi-sensory representation of Van Gogh’s work.

It was held at Moore Park, where the Sydney cricket and football stadiums are, and is on the light rail line from NIDA so it was very easy to get to. We couldn’t make the online booking work, so we turned up in time for the first admission, bought tickets and went in.

It was amazing!

You enter through the Starry Night room.

A kaleidoscope room of Van Gogh's Starry Night
Starry Night Room

That by itself was pretty cool, but then you enter a gallery full of giant screens that immerse you in Vincent’s ten-year artistic journey set to a classical music soundtrack.

It starts with a series of self-portraits and then showcases the different stylistic periods of his life and career beginning in The Netherlands, where his work was dark and subdued, moving to Paris, where his palette begins to brighten as he’s inspired by the city’s energy and other impressionist painters. It also shows his love of Japanese art.

There are quotes interspersed with the artworks.

"I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it"
Something I need to keep in mind

We move by train to the south of France, where he painted the sunflowers and the landscapes and people of that region.

A screen depicting Van Gogh's sunflowers

He commits himself to the asylum at Saint Rémy, and the final movement explores his final weeks.

A screen showing a portion of Van Gogh's Starry Night
Starry Night

It was a wonderful experience, which will stay with me for a long time.

Coogee Beach

Once we were back in Randwick, we took a walk to Coogee Beach for lunch. I didn’t know at the time but there’s companion to the Randwick Art Deco Walk for Coogee. Even without that, we saw a lot of examples along the way.

Overcast and cool is my favourite type of beach day.

semi-circle-shaped steps at Coogee Beach painted as a 50-metre-long rainbow curve
The rainbow walkway at Coogee Beach

Fish and chips is the only correct beach lunch.

A beach and a small cliff with a small wave, on an overcast day
Coogee Beach

Tonight we had dinner with some of Slabs’ family, some of whom some of us hadn’t seen for a long time. Possibly 14 years. Maybe longer! So it was nice to catch up with them, find out what they’ve been up to and fill them in on our lives.

Share this