Little Bears Around Sydney

Nothing says Sydney like Sydney Harbour Bridge…

Little Bears Around Sydney

…and Sydney Opera House.

Little Bears Around Sydney

And it looks just like their Lego model!

Little Bears Around Sydney

Before more sightseeing, it’s time for breakfast. At Opera Kitchen. The view is amazing.

Little Bears Around Sydney

To their left is the Opera House…

Little Bears Around Sydney

But little bears are focused on the direction of the kitchen, where the breakfast is coming from 🙂

Little Bears Around Sydney

Yummy!

Breakfast at Opera Kitchen
Breakfast at Opera Kitchen

Mind the seagulls if you are having a meal outside. They are very cheeky! Little bears lost a strip of bacon to a cheeky seagull. How rude! The plus side was that once that seagull took off with the bacon, all the other seagulls took off after it and there was peace and quiet for a few minutes.

Next stop is Herald Square to check out the Tank Stream Fountain.

Herald Square, Tank Stream Fountain, 1981 by Stephen Walker
Herald Square, Tank Stream Fountain, 1981 by Stephen Walker

The Tank Stream Fountain was presented to City of Sydney by John Fairfax & Sons Limited in 1981 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Herald in 1831.

The sculptor’s brief ‘was to create an association of water and bronze’. In doing so, Stephen Walker connected the fountain to the Tank Stream, the European settlement’s first water supply. An inscription on a plaque on the western front of the fountain describes the inspiration Walker drew from the fountain’s historic location. By connecting the fountain to an original outlet of the Tank Stream, the artist sought to highlight a union between the Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney’s European history.

The fountain, which is also known as the ‘Children’s Fountain’, is said to be dedicated to ‘all the children who have played around the Tank Stream’. And now to the little bears who have played around the fountain 🙂 An array of Australian flora and fauna, including frogs, snakes, goannas, echidnas, crabs, birds and tortoises appear to be playing in the pools.

Further up Pitt Street, at the intersection with Spring Street, an interesting column which reminded us of Brâncuși’s Infinite Column.

Dobell Memorial Sculpture, 1979 by Herbert Flugelman
Dobell Memorial Sculpture, 1979 by Herbert Flugelman
Infinite Column, by Constantin Brâncuși, at Târgu Jiu, Romania
Infinite Column, by Constantin Brâncuși, at Târgu Jiu, Romania

And since a nice young lady was attempting to interview people about public art, little bears stopped to help and have a nice chat 🙂 They are all for public art, which looks so much better when they sit or stand on it!

Dobell Memorial Sculpture
Dobell Memorial Sculpture

The Dobell Memorial Sculpture, nicknamed the “silver shish kebab”, was presented to the people of Sydney by the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation on 15th October, 1979. One of Australia’s most celebrated landscape and portrait artists, Sir William Dobell was born in Newcastle, New South Wales. He became an articled architect in 1916 and later moved to Sydney to study at the Julian Ashton Art School. From 1929 he made study tours of Holland, France and Belgium and held several exhibitions in London, including one at the Royal Academy in 1933.

Dobell Memorial Sculpture
Dobell Memorial Sculpture

Dobell returned to Sydney in 1939 and joined the staff of East Sydney Technical College. He won three Archibald prizes between 1943 and 1959.

The Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park is next on the list, but first, a little detour to Queen Victoria Building for some cherry dessert 🙂

Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building

After hopping their way through the building 🙂 little bears found cherry & custard strudel at Lüneburger German Bakery.

Cherry & custard strudel at Lüneburger German Bakery, Queen Victoria Building
Cherry & custard strudel at Lüneburger German Bakery, Queen Victoria Building
Lüneburger German Bakery, Queen Victoria Building
Lüneburger German Bakery, Queen Victoria Building

The seating arrangements at Lüneburger were not to little bears’ liking so they took their strudels and made for Hyde Park for a cherry picnic 🙂

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

The girls picnic-ed while the boys played giant chess!

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

This could take a while…

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

There is a lively debate going on 🙂

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

Sydney’s favourite fountain is the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park. The name Archibald is associated not only with this distinctive Art Deco showpiece but with the popular annual Archibald Prize for portrait painting conducted through the Art Gallery of NSW. Both are the legacy of a private citizen, J.F. Archibald, both are somewhat bizarre and both are quintessentially ‘Sydney’.

The Archibald Fountain was erected in Hyde Park in 1932, a gift to the City of Sydney bequeathed in the will of J.F. Archibald. It is the work of French sculptor Francois Sicard and it depicts a bronze Apollo surrounded by other mythical figures. Horses’ heads, dolphins and tortoises exuberantly spray jets of water.

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

As the fountain is flamboyant, so was the man. In the 1880s, A.F. Archibald founded the Bulletin newspaper, famous for encouraging an Australian idiom in Australian writing. But in his own life Archibald was fascinated by all things Parisian. He changed his name from John Feltham to Jules Francois and wore a little French style beard when no one else was wearing them. In donating the Archibald Fountain to the City he imagined its civic design and ornamentation developing to rival the city of his dreaming.

Archibald specified that the fountain must be designed by a French artist, both because of his great love of French culture and to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War I. He wished Sydney to aspire to Parisian civic design and ornamentation. The artist chosen was François-Léon Sicard, who completed it in Paris in 1926 but never saw the sculpture in situ in Sydney, where it was unveiled on 14 March 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Samuel Walder.

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

Sicard was one of the foremost sculptors of his day, a classically educated artist, whose inspiration was derived, at least in part, from his study of classical Greek and Roman art and literature. In submitting his proposal for the design of the sculptural groups, Sicard wrote:

Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light). Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection, and spreads his benefits over all Nature, whilst he holds the Lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warmth which vivifies, giving life to all Nature. At the touch of his rays, men awake, trees and fields become green, the animals go out into the fields, and men go to work at dawn.

The ancient Pliny adored the sun, symbol of Life. It is on this account that I wished this figure to be the chief one in the memorial.

At Apollo’s feet the star of day is indicated by a semicircle, of which the rays spread out in jets of light (the rising sun). The horses’ heads represent the horses of Apollo’s chariot. Out of their nostrils the water will fall into the first basin, to fall from there into the second, and run away into the large basin.

The large basin is divided into three groups. One represents Diana, goddess of purity, of peaceful nights, symbol of charity; the ideal which watches over mortals – all that stands for poetry and harmony. The second group symbolises the good things of the earth – it is the young god of the fields and pastures, of the pleasure of the countryside. The third group represents sacrifice for the public good. Theseus, vanquisher of the Minotaur. The spirit triumphs over bestiality. Theseus delivers his country from the ransom which it had to pay to this monster. It is the sacrifice of himself for the good of humanity. Between these groups tortoises throw jets of water.

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

In 1936 the sculptor’s son, Pierre Sicard, who had made the architectural drawings for the fountain, paid a visit to Sydney and pronounced it ‘one of the most beautiful groups of modern sculpture’. He was less enamoured of the methods used by the City Council to light it with a festoon of neon lights.

Pierre Sicard at Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
Pierre Sicard at Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

Located at the northern end of Hyde Park, between Elizabeth street and Archibald Fountain, and close to the giant chess set, are the Nagoya Gardens. They are quite small, so if you blink, you might miss them!

Nagoya Gardens, Hyde Park
Nagoya Gardens, Hyde Park

The gardens were established to celebrate the sister city relationship between Sydney and Nagoya in Japan. Some of the interesting features in the garden include a set of magnificent stone lanterns presented to City of Sydney by Nagoya (we couldn’t get to them because the area was surrounded by a fence to allow new grass to become established). It also incorporates various plants in the garden which have cultural significance to Japanese people.

From the giant maneki-neko at the OzAsia festival in Adelaide, to lots of golden shiny ones at the Good Food Month and Noodle Markets in Sydney’s Hyde Park…

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

We managed to visit the City of Churches (Adelaide) without taking a single photo of one, but in Sydney little bears stopped to say hello to the children at St Mary’s 🙂

St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral

On the way back to the hotel, Isabelle tried out a moon rocket 🙂 at Kidstuff, at 345 George St.

Kidstuff
Kidstuff

She liked, a lot!, but I distracted her with a rainbow windmill wind spinner so she wouldn’t ask to take the rocket home! She did get the rainbow wind spinner. It’s shiny!

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