Tag Archive: gallery

Local spotlight: The Infinite Everything

So, at the beginning of this year, I moved from the thriving inner city where I’d been living off and on for six years, to a suburban centre 30kms away. Each location has its advantages and disadvantages, of course, but the thing I really hate about being away from the city is missing out on all the incredible art and cultural events that I used to attend regularly. So, I decided to find out what was available to me in my local area.

My nearest hub is the city of Parramatta. Parramatta is as old as Sydney city, and it’s large enough to be exciting, but small enough to be convenient. It has some beautiful historic houses and gardens, a thriving and diverse ethnic community (best Indian/Chinese food ever) and lovely walkable suburban streets. The council seem to be pretty interested in cultural and arts events, and they’ve given artists the means to start their own pop-up shops. The scheme is in its early days and has a few teething problems, but it has let me meet and make friends with some amazing people and galleries. So, here’s my favourite, with a heavy dash of bias.

The Infinite Everything is the brainchild of two wonderful artists: Delia Puiatti, aka Unknown Quantity, and Nam Nguyen. Delia is a designer who specialises in vintage textiles, and Nam does beautiful paintings in inks. Both of them try to work sustainably, including upcycling, and using recycled and found objects. The gallery is imbued with a deep sense of philosophy, which comes across in the pieces themselves. They also have a very interactive approach – collaboration and participation from everyone is highly encouraged and welcomed. The Infinite Everything runs events and workshops, including a colouring-in club on Thursday nights! What’s not to love?

They were kind enough to let me photograph some pieces in the shop, so here we go!


A skirt upcycled from a vintage jumper.



Here’s the front and back of the tag.


Bracelets and pencil cases, all hand made and embellished.


Handmade scarves on the centrepiece of the gallery – the staircase.


Jewellery made from upcycled computer parts, by Carl Noonan.


Hangings made from wonderful vintage fabrics.




The staircase’s central column is made entirely from old books. Each step going around is labelled with the name of a virtue.




This is Nam’s beautiful series, Day Dream. Nam also runs a monthly raffle on his blog where you can win one of his gorgeous pieces for yourself.


And here’s an original Nam piece on an unusual canvas – me!


It’s not just me paying attention, though. A couple of weeks ago Delia was profiled in the local paper, showcasing her sustainable work and the ideas behind it. Plus, it’s a great photo!

If you want more:

The Infinite Everything

Delia’s website

Nam’s blog

Delia and Nam also have a joint exhibition, Magnitude, at Mars Hill Café, Parramatta, until the 3rd of February. I highly recommend you go to it. Beautiful inks! Space collages! Beer! There’s truly something for everyone.


So, I see you there, whiling away the hours playing Mass Effect 3, reading an article about the latest Impressionist blockbuster exhibition, or watching amazing vids of NASA’s tour of the Moon. All worthy activities, to be sure. But, do you ever say to yourself, ‘I wish I could explore planets for real’? Or, ‘I wish I could see Starry Night up close’? Or even, ‘I’ve always fancied cataloguing specimens for a museum. I wonder how I would go about it’?

Normally, I would encourage you to go to your lovely local cultural institution and enquire about these questions. (Except space. It is a bit chilly.) But, in the wondrous age of the internet, you no longer have to. You can do all these things, for real, right now, from your own computer.

1. The Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia is a collaborative Creative Commons initiative involving the Australian Government and partnering institutions, to digitally collect and archive information relating to Australia’s biodiversity. It’s a fabulous project that needs a lot of digital volunteers to keep it ticking over. This is where you come in.

You can act as a field researcher, posting data and field observations (there are great tools and resources to help you with this if you like). But here’s the cool thing – you can join a virtual expedition!

This work involves looking at a photograph of a museum specimen with a card that usually notes the date, species name, finder, and location. You then type all this information in, and map its location. It’s as easy as that. You get to look at cool specimens, and, take it from me – this is exactly the kind of work you’d be doing if you worked in a museum. A lot of these specimens are from the Australian Museum in Sydney, my favourite place in the world, and I spent a couple of months doing the same thing for the palaeontology department. I am now an expert on kangaroo dentistry.

2. Planet Hunters

Planet Hunters is part of a larger site called the Zooniverse, which is a huge ‘citizen science’ project. Computers make mistakes, and science projects are underfunded. So, this is where amateur scientists like you step in. You can even wear a lab coat if you want.

We’re huntin’ exoplanets. The NASA Kepler space mission takes brightness measurements, or light curves, from more than 150,000 stars. Some light curves have ‘dips’ in brightness, which is a possible indicator of a transit, i.e. a planet passing in front of that star. So, where do you come in?

Computers have great difficulty accurately recognising the light curve variations which could indicate a transit. The human brain is much, much better at analysing patterns, and therefore any deviations from these patterns. Your job is to look carefully at these light curves, and mark any possible transit activity. It’s awesome, takes no time at all, and hey – if you find one, they might name it after you!

3. Ze Frank

So, you may have seen Ze Frank’s many online interactive collaborative projects and TED talks, and you may think, ‘Yeah, what’s new?’ but I still think his projects are worth visiting (or re-visiting).

For example, Earth Sandwich involves finding two people who are on the exact antipodes of each other, then both of them placing a piece of bread on the ground at exactly the same time – making an Earth sandwich. People remix songs, or submit vocal samples to be made into one giant song.

It’s lovely and fun and pure, jolly whimsy. I’m actually intending to do a photo for the Young Me, Old Me project, which involves you recreating a childhood photo taken of yourself. I’m not sure how the nearly 26-year-old me will hold up to the rather cute three year old sitting on an ottoman clutching her beloved ALF talking plush doll, but we’ll see. At least, I’ll still have ALF (although he no longer talks. This works best for both of us).

4. Google Art Project

The Google Art Project is an amazing collaborative effort by some of the most famous galleries and museums in history to bring their collections to the world. There are currently 51 institutions, with 32,470 pieces on display and rapidly climbing.

I have been privileged enough to travel to some of these places, and see some of my favourite works in person. But a lot of people haven’t had that experience, so Google brings it to them. I can see works by Titian, Van Gogh, Dali, and any number of Ninja Turtles you can care to mention in a few clicks of a mouse. I can go to the National Gallery in London, skip over to the Acropolis Museum for lunch, pop into MoMA for afternoon tea and be back home at my own Art Gallery of New South Wales in time for dinner. This collection is immense, and growing by the day.

And you know what the best part is? Sign in with your Google account and you get to play curator and make your own gallery! When you’re done, you can share your proud creation with everyone you know and love over various forms of social media. What’s not to love?


Whoa, what? Isn’t CAPTCHA that annoying bloody thing that makes me type in nonsensical (and sometimes slightly suspect) combinations of words to make me ‘prove I’m human’?

Well, yes. And no. You see, CAPTCHA, or more specifically, reCAPTCHA, now serves a more noble purpose.

CAPTCHA was originally created just to weed out robots from humans in online sign-up forms, yes. Early forms were just strings of random numbers and letters, little puzzles if you like. Then, they started digitising early books using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which, for old books with faded, blotchy and bleeding print, is like trying to transcribe a tape at the bottom of a pool. There are a few brave stabs in the right direction, but otherwise it’s an unintelligble mess.

Then some bright soul decided to put to use the millions of humans slavishly typing in nonsense, and made them type real words instead. We stop the robots and read books at the same time. Oh yeah.

And the best part? You don’t even have to sign up or anything – we’ve all been doing this for years automatically. Maybe I’ll have done a whole novel by now. Go team!

Where do I find more?

The internet is truly full of wonderful things, and this time I’m not talking about cat macros. (Although I love cat macros. Any macros, actually. GIFs too for that matter. Ahem.)

Here are a few favourite sites that round up science, art, culture or anything else that takes my fancy:

1. Open Culture

This will blow your mind. It has everything. Free books, movies, courses – everything you could ever need to be enriched and educated. Updated daily with amazing articles and videos.

2. Letters of Note

Awesome people in history writing letters to fans, lovers, editors, parents, countries and people who’ve pissed them off. I hope this will revive the art of letter writing – ‘Emails of Note’ doesn’t quite have the same ring.

3. Cracked

Three reasons why you should definitely know about Cracked:

1. Cracked will tell you every morsel of information or terrifying secret you need to know about things you love.

2. Cracked is generally populated with extremely knowledgable, funny, and erudite writers who will improve your life.

3. Cracked will drain years and years from your life once you fall down into the rabbit hole that is their articles. ‘Just one more… whoa, gotta read that! *click* Just one more… whoa, gotta read that!’ (ad infinitum).

4: I Heart Chaos (edited to add)

I Heart Chaos is awesome. It’s a bit like Open Culture except it covers multimedia, updates more frequently and has significantly more boobs. I love it.


I’m one of those people who believe in the internet as a force for good, and as an all-purpose geek I want this to reach and involve as many people as possible. I love learning, and I’m always on the lookout for new projects to get involved in. Are there any great ones that I’ve missed? Or, alternatively, how have you gotten involved?

Art vs Science (not the band)

When I was studying Museum Practice last year, I was baffled that the line was very firmly drawn down the middle of gallery vs museum. Art vs Science. I was the only one who liked both areas equally. I heard various words being tossed about like ‘boring’, ‘old’, ‘stuffy’, and my favourite was ‘arty shit’. (This student was a bit special. We still share war stories.)

To this end, I actually completed two internships – one in a small, funky, artist-run gallery (hiya Monstrosity!) and one at the very old and hallowed State-run natural history museum. Both were equally enriching, challenging and fulfilling and I was incredibly privileged to be able to share in two very different but amazing environments. I learned a huge amount from both – from the gallery, I learned how to use a Mac, design rubbish flyers and then watch them become beautiful, and how to throw a great opening. From the museum, I learned a ton of megafauna taxonomy, specifically the Macropodidae family, and how exciting it really is to find a holotype specimen that had been missing for over a decade, which was a feat I achieved inadvertently.

What causes this divide? Is it art’s intangible nature? Its subjective, illogical and boundless freedom? Is it science’s hard logic and staid, definite structure? Is it the charts, tables and the endless methodical reporting of men in white coats?

Modern galleries and museums are no fools. Art and science have been entwined for many years. Indeed, any design and technology institution, it could be argued, has already married the two. Science museums are filled with natural history artwork and photographs, schoolchild animal design and naming competitions, and you can buy the Periodic Table as a shower curtain these days. Galleries can display the most beautiful examples of the understanding (or distortion) of anatomy, artists of old sketching and painting new species in watercolours, today’s artists rendering 3D models of buried dinosaur footprints, or there’s always pickled sharks (although I admit that calling Damien Hurst an artist is a bit of a stretch).

In my mind, the two are inextricably linked. From the chemical composition and knowledge needed to make art materials, and make them work together, to the pure creativity using scientific knowledge Dimitri Mendelev displayed when he put together the Periodic Table, it’s a natural coupling, even though in some circles they are completely disparate, or even opposite.

Art and science are not mutually exclusive, nor should they be. Schoolchildren should not be taught it’s one way or the other. You can (and should) have both. They are mutually inclusive. When artists and scientists work together, they both have much to learn and teach (as do gallery and museum students!). I don’t pretend to know everything about art (like how the Renaissance masters capture light) or science (I will never understand particle physics for as long as I live) but I’ll continue to learn, love and try to understand more about both. And I’ll share this with everyone I can.

So, how about you guys? Are you art, science or both?

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