The other highlight of our long weekend in Nantes on the West Coast of France was the day we spent exploring the truely amazing Les Machines de l’île a totally unprecedented artistic project, born from the François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice’s imagination. A crossroads of Jules Verne’s “invented worlds”, of the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and of Nantes’ industrial history, on the exceptional site of the former shipyards. Forget Disneyland Paris – bring your kids here! I think these photos explain it much better than I can – I can’t wait to go back to see what they’ve been up to…
July 2012: On our last day in San Fran we took the ferry over to Sausilito and had a wander around the marina at Galilee Harbour and loved the quirky artwork that was built into the landscape.
July 2012: I was lucky enough to spend a few days exploring San Francisco and was captivated by the charm, art and creativity of this lovely city – can’t wait to go back! I visited San Francisco Museum of Modern Art specifically to see the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings.
July 2012: Another day’s exploring San Francisco this time we headed over to the famous 60’s hippy mecca at Haight-Ashbury and then walked over to the Mission District looking for murals and street art. Our cities and streets are wonderful open air galleries these days with artists reclaiming the urban landscape from corporate advertisers and developers – I love exploring new cities looking for street art as you really get to see the real communities that make a city great.
May 2011: The street art in Lisbon is amazing, but this massive outdoor gallery takes the biscuit! This vast collection of graffiti art is the work of the Crono Project Lisboa, which commissioned some the world’s best street artists to transform neglected buildings in the business district, around Av Fontes Pereira de Melo, instead of abandoning Lisbon’s crumbling heritage to the developers. The project began in June 2010 and is expected to conclude in July 2011. My favourite piece is by Os Gêmeos (The Twins), graffiti artist brothers from Brazil! But other notable pieces are by Sam3 and Blu.
The Crono Project was initiated by the street art artist Alexandre Farto, who is also known by his artist name Vhils, who convinced the city to commission local street art and graffiti artist to transform the neglected buildings into art pieces.
May 2011: One of the many highlights of our trip to Portugal was the few days we’ve just spent exploring magical Sintra. Its spectacular setting, 28km from Lisbon, houses a Royal Palace, used by generations of Portuguese royalty prior to the 1910 revolution. The surrounding hills are surmounted by the remains of the Moorish Castle and by the nineteenth-century Pena Palace. Historic Sintra and the mountains and surrounding area have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site both for their cultural significance and for it’s outstanding natural beauty.