ghibli inspired saturday art and shopping

spirited by espionage gallery - art railspirited by espionage gallery - totoro's umbrella
Today has been an excellent day... an excellent, art filled, revisiting kind of day.

Today was the day for Spirited, a Studio Ghibli inspired art exhibition masterminded by my friend Josh from Espionage Gallery and hosted with help from the fine people at Splash Adelaide.

And this morning couldn't have been any more perfect for a Ghibli exhibition... when I jumped out of bed I discovered that a thick mist had settled in over everything... I could only see about a block... and the city, which usually dominates the skyline from my bedroom window was completely gone!

spirited by espionage gallery - misty branchesspirited by espionage gallery - zen lines
So in the spirit of the day, I threw on my Lego Castle Forestman logo shirt and my fluffy green scarf and off we went.

We perhaps got a little more overexcited than usual at the supermarket, at least the total came out slightly higher than usual. But because we were working to a timeframe we kept our wandering to the bare minimum and headed straight back here.

Then we took ourselves off to the Himeji Gardens in the Southern Parklands.

spirited by espionage gallery - himeji gardensspirited by espionage gallery - kodama spirits
We arrived literally just before they opened the doors and were amongst the first few inside the gardens after a quick chat with Josh.

It was a fantastic location for an art show... with pieces hidden all around the gardens and hanging from trees. Even if they did have to wrap them in Gladwrap to keep the moisture out.

In addition there were a number of Ghibli characters dotted around the gardens... Totoro, Ponyo, Kiki's cat Jiji, the Kodama forest spirits... and they all looked brilliant, especially the umbrella toting Totoro (the one in the image at the top of the post) welcoming visitors just outside the gates.

spirited by espionage gallery - rock fountainspirited by espionage gallery - truth by nicole tattersall
I've been squirreling away whatever leftover cash I've had at the end of the week since I started working again, and once I knew this exhibition was coming it became my "art fund"... at least in part.

I also had a little mental caveat in place that I was going to specifically looking for anything Porco Rosso related (which is my favourite Ghibli movie) or else anything that I fell completely in love with.

Sadly there was only one Porco piece and to be honest it wasn't that great... however I did see and fall in love with two pieces inspired by Princess Mononoke.

spirited by espionage gallery - forest gods live here by little hawkspirited by espionage gallery - pine bloom
There was less variety than I was perhaps expecting... there were a large number of Mononoke pieces, a fair few Spirited Away pieces, but only two pieces from Howl's Moving Castle (although one of those, the feather piece in the previous set of images was very loosely themed), one from Ponyo and only a couple from some of the other movies.

Ma, who is a much bigger fan of the movies than I am, bought herself a Spirited Away print and the aforementioned feather print, so I'll go and pick them all up from Josh tomorrow.

After we came out I picked up a couple of blindbox vinyl toys left over from the physical gallery days and we bought some Nutella, peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies. They were great cookies, unfortunately it was three for $2.50, and Ma and I had one each... but accidentally left the third one on one of the Splash Adelaide tables. Whoops.

spirited by espionage gallery - red berriesspirited by espionage gallery - ponyo the goldfish princess
From there we headed into the city and after a couple of missed opportunities we happened to find a car park literally outside of the Museum.

Which was great, because we were headed off to see The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize for the eighth year running.

waterhouse natural science art prize - maureen prichard, crystal stubbs, lesley barrett, scott hartshorne, chris stubbs
Every year we swear that we shouldn't go on the opening weekend, and every year we do... but to be honest, as aggravating as it can be I'm not sure it would get any better later in the run.

This year was something of a mid-range showing... there were some very good artworks and some really sub standard ones, but not very much with a major WOW factor.

And once again I really couldn't understand why some of the pieces had gotten "Highly Commended" prizes whereas far superior (at least in my estimations) seemed to be overlooked.

My personal favourite was Thoughts on the Frailty of Life II by Maureen Prichard so that was an easy choice for the People's Choice Award, whereas trying to chose a piece for the other prize, Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize, which needed to "communicated the most significant scientific message", which was a much harder decision.

Actually it makes more sense now that I read the blurb about it on the website, but with only the above phrase to go on it was a tough choice.

And we won't even hear about overhearing some monumentally stupid conversations going on between people wandering around in the exhibition.

spirited by espionage gallery - zen elementsspirited by espionage gallery - teto lantern
Afterwards we had a brief wander over to the Mall, I poked around the Apple store to see how much an iPad Mini would set me back (short answer, more than I'm willing to pay at present), had a brief yet unsuccessful hunt for some colourful yet cheap nail polish for Ma and then decided to head back to the Himeji Gardens to grab some lunch from whatever food trucks had shown up.

The trucks in question turned out to be Hot Mumma's Curries and Chimichurri Grill, so we hit Hot Mumma and I had the Korma Roll, Ma had the chicken wrap and then we split a serve of Chimichurri fries, because to be honest, they make the BEST fries of all the food trucks!

And then we headed back into the Gardens for another look at the exhibition now that the sun had (mostly) come out.

spirited by espionage gallery - umehara flute performancespirited by espionage gallery - kiki's cat jiji
We arrived just in time for the Umehara bamboo flute performance... which was really lovely. And I just wanted to adopt the amazing old Japanese man playing the flute (in that whole, "please be my grandpa and tell me stories about the old country" kind of way).

He was so sweet, especially when he was telling the crowd about the tradition of the performances and being generally adorable.

And he had his (I'm guessing anyway) son playing the drums with him, and while he never did that whole "drumsticks over his head" style of dramatic Japanese drumming, he was also brilliant... not to mention as cute as a button.

spirited by espionage gallery - blue sky branchesspirited by espionage gallery - umehara drumming
Ma, along with a large chunk of the crowd, also got to be part of the performance when they handed out a bunch of cute traditional Japanese instruments, whistles and things to make the "sounds of the forest".

Technically it should have been a total cacophonous disaster since everyone was just playing whatever they felt like, whenever they felt like it, but somehow it all came together.

Then, after helping Josh out with sticking "sold" stickers on a couple of pieces, we called it a day.

spirited by espionage gallery - dj madame dragonflyspirited by espionage gallery - camellia bud
Well, we would have called it a total day, had Ma not turned the car in the direction of Haighs.

Neither of us went especially overboard, but it's hard to resist their "seconds". It was a nice end to the day though, nothing like a good bit of chocolate to round out an excellent day.

So that was our very arty, inspired and all around enjoyable day.

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