June July: travel, reflection & good work

Beginning with June in Berlin and an adventurous travel experience. Daily finds, enhanced by the fact that we did very little planning or research for this visit.  Here is a shortened list of the highlights.

  • Tiergarten Biergarten near the embassies for a social spot on the lake. Lovely at sunset.
  • Kreuzberg Markethall Neun for dinner OMG and Alpine beers after a sudden sun shower. (Thursday evenings)
  • KaDeWe 5th floor for the most amazing ($$) posh food hall. It’s not the only one like this, but it’s the original.
  • Neue Museum for archaeology Roman and Etruscan; Fayum Portraits (and the great café cakes and fresh mint tea).
  • Dinner at Freeswimmer restaurant by the river / canal Schlesischen Tor.
  • Köpenick Dinner at Asteria Greek Restaurant – great food during a tropical down pour
  • Sunday Flea market, Kollwitzplatz. So interesting.
  • Potsdam – walk from one end of the landscape to the other, through fields and forests, visit the green houses, and the crumbling (although currently being restored) steps up to the palaces, (we didn’t bother with going in on the day, as it looks rather similar to Versailles), had a rain shower and then the sky cleared. Late luxurious Sunday lunch in the Dutch quarter of Potsdam. Time your trains well, and leave time to purchase your tickets back. Trains can be crowded – lots of bikes, esp. on Sundays. Travelling anywhere in Germany – wind turbines are ubiquitous, a symbol of a forward thinking society.
  • Berggruen collection – Picasso and Giacometti – wow, gorgeous. Surrealist gallery ScharfGertstenberg collection which had an Egyptian gate in the building too (across the road).
  • DDR Museum East Germany while the wall was up;
    Neues Museum – Nefertiti and gold hat (truly curious).
  • Hamburger Bhf Contemporary Installation spaces (300m long converted station sheds).
  • Helmut Newton Trust Foto Museum – saw lots of June, his wife’s work. Total flashback. Bauhaus Museum also very interesting for design and politics.

Part of our trip to Germany involved as number of families – friends, colleagues and family. It was really delightful to see the teens were growing up and moving out, heading to uni, etc; the youngsters were all playing sport and getting on with school, etc, and it was wonderful to meet a couple of new infants, a couple in new homes… so great to see folks and spend time catching up.

Straight to work
I arrived home from Berlin mid-June and three days later, began a six-month contract with QUT Science and Engineering Communications, a new team for that faculty. I’m thoroughly enjoying the daily exploration, using my imagination, skills both new and older, and meeting and helping a bunch of talented thinkers and inventors. Not much different from the arts except for the size of the client base and the budget. I’m there at Gardens Point, full time until December.

Film launch – 20 years on – still relevant
Instant Cafe – No boundaries on Boundary was a Street Arts film training project. It was 20 years ago. I co-produced the six-minute piece with Sonia Twigg and with the support of arts worker Jules Lawson, who is still working in film. Kim Senior, my friend and collaborator on Yogurt ‘Zine back then, digitised, sub scripted and uploaded the film to YouTube for all to see. We seem to have invented the flash mob and the pop-up cafe in the process of peacefully protesting the wave of gentrification in West End at the time. Back then the issues were cottages being bought up and renovated, rents going up and fast food outlets were being proposed. Now the the issue is the construction of hundreds of apartments, with no consideration for the traffic issues it causes in this corner of river-side, inner Brisbane.

Progress with projects including AM:PM business

  • Progressing with celebrancy training, excelling despite the reduced attention.
  • Garden project is evolving in planning stage, as we seek quotes and meet potential contractors for a replacement wall. Fence finished.
  • Working on an Art of Ageing Festival for Brisbane – for / by folks over 60.
  • Still trying to find time for Women in Theatre policy work.

The Wider Earth transfixed me. QTC – well done for this one.
Enjoyed Sing Street, a little Irish movie that took me back to my adolescence.

A week of July was also given over to posting photos of the 70s, 80s and 90s. It was not as simple a task as I had imagined, to curate and caption images from the past.


Axel’s family June 2016

Axels family June 2016.jpg

My father Steve and me – late 80s

steve and me

Fayum Portrait 3rd C AD. Duscovered in 1887, Egypt.


Nefertiti collection 1350s – 1330s BC Neue Museum Berlin

olive hand


By Ann McLean


1 comment

  1. Thanks for the glimpse. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope the next few months are similarly rewarding.


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