Inspiring places: Venice Biennale

Ciao,

How are you? I bet you’ve enjoyed the last summer sun over the weekend.

This post is for all art lovers!

Last week we went to La Biennale di Venezia, which was absolutely fantastic experience and one I’m going to repeat every 2 years from now on, promise made.

Last time I visited was 4 years ago, so I was very much looking forward to this visit. Venice is, for sure, one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
Venice, Italy, view from Guidecca
Unexpectedly, Venice wasn’t crowded, so we enjoyed our stay there, especially that the weather was incredible (30 degrees plus). I must say it was nice to cool down in numerous art pavilions and galleries, admiring many fabulous artists from around the world and their creations and installations.

This year’s art exhibition is called All the World’s Futures and is open to the public from May to November, so you still have time to visit.
Venice Biennale 2015, Arsenale
This year, I much preferred the Arsenale venue than the Giardini one, but if you’ve got time, please don’t hesitate to see both. You probably need 2 days to explore both venues not risking an art-overload haha

My favourite bits from the Arsenale:

Venice Biennale 2015, Arsenale, colourful installations

Bruce Nauman (for neon words)

Sarkis ‘Respiro’ (for neon rainbow)

Katharina Grosse (for colour and texture)

Venice Biennale, repetition theme, Arsenale

Joana Hadjidthomas and Kahil Joreige (for books and geometric abstract)

Pavilion of Georgia ‘Crawling Borders’ (for the use of glass and mirrors)

Kutlug Ataman’s ‘The portrait of Sakip Sabanci’ (great example of video art)

Georg Baselitz (for the inverted paintings)

 

Italian artists did incredible well this year, in my opinion. Just a few examples of the art work I liked:

The below is called ‘Latent combustion’ by Monica Bonvicini.

Monica Bonvicini, Latent Combustion, Arsenale, Venice Biennale

The second one was created by Marzia Migliora. Spot the blogger!

Marzia Migliora, Venice Biennale, Arsenale

 

Also, I thought Indonesia did great this year. The installation is called ‘Voyage Trokomod’ and was created by Heri Dono, one of the leading Indonesian contemporary artists.

The idea is based on fusion of the Trojan horse with the Indonesian Komodo dragon. There’s lots to explore and you can touch some buttons ( I liked that).

Indonesian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015

In terms of the Giardini part of the Biennale, my personal favourites were: the Canadian pavilion (something different, a mini-journey through a half-finished shop);

Canadian pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale

 

The Russian pavilion, especially the below installation by Irina Nakhova.

Irina Nakhova, Russian Pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale

Also, the Swiss pavilion was a bit of a surprise; by Pamela Rosenkranz ‘Our product’.

Swiss pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale

And at last, the most photographed pavilion this year…the Japanese one. Chiharu Shiota ‘The key in the hand’ is eye-catching and mesmerasing regadless which way you look at it.

Chiharu Shota, They key in the hand, Japanese pavillion, Gardini, Venice Biennale

Some useful hints&tips for those wishing to travel to Venice:

Venice at night is absolutely beautiful and empty; very safe to walk around, so put some music on and enjoy!

Venice, Italy, Venice at night, San Marco square at night

Get a Venezia unica city pass – it’s a great value for money and you can get a discount at the Biennale entrance.

If you’ve got time, go to Lido for a day, hire a bike and cycle to the beach (a swim in the Adriatic Sea is a must). Plus, if you like film, you can still catch The Venice Film Festival.

Lido, Venice, Adriatic sea

Food: Cannaregio district is the best. On Friday and Saturday, make a booking. Worth checking: Il Paradiso Perduto and Alle Due Gondolette (ask for a garden area).

Drinks: Dorsoduro district, Campo Santa Margherita, especially if you like Aperol spritz, I do.

Also, we had an amazing antipasti at Osteria Alla Bifaro there.

Have you been to the Venice Biennale before? Are you planning to go? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Signuture1

Garden transformation continues

Hello All,

Hope the weather is not bringing you down. What a horrible rainy day!

To cheer you up, I thought I’ll share with you some pictures of our garden.

secretgardenhome raised beds, recycling, brick, garden

As you know it’s still very much a work in progress, but it seems we are getting there slowly.

We are big fans of recycling and saving money therefore most of the materials we’ve been using are reclaimed.

We needed lots of bricks to build two raised beds as well as a patio at the back of the garden.

Initially, we used a social network called Streetlife to ask people for unwanted bricks and wood. We followed that with a note through neighbours’ doors.

We got an amazing response, which we are very grateful for! Definitely worth a try if you are looking for reclaimed building materials.

S and his dad have done an excellent job, don’t you think? We’ve started planting, so hopefully, with time, our garden will look like a typical English cottage garden.

Raised bed, flowers, grape, herbs, reclaimed brick, secretgardenhome

Raised beds, secretgardenhome, garden transformation, cottage garden, recycled brick

The patio at the back is half-finished. We are planning to built a storage unit/barbecue area there.
Recycled brick patio, secretgardenhome

Apart from creating a new green fence, we also sorted out a pathway leading to the garden. Very happy with the results!

ecretgardenhome garden entrance, pebbles, green fence

Let me know what you think. Any advice about plants and creating a cottage garden is always welcome.

As some of you might know, I’ve been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015. It would be great if you could support me, so I can at least make a shortlist. Please vote for secretgardenhome. Thanks a million!

Have a good week!

Signuture1

Inspiring places: Carsten Höller at Hayward Gallery

Hello All,

Last weekend I visited an amazing exhibition at the Hayward Gallery called Decision by Carsten Höller.

It was a fantastic sensory experience exploring people’s perception and decision making. Visitors are faced with many choices like choosing an entrance (oh, it was dark) and an exit (the slide was so much fun) or taking an unknown pill.

Carsten Holler, Decision, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, modern art

Also, the artist is giving the public an opportunity to see the world upside-down (this freaked me out).

The exhibition is fully immersive and will certainly leave you inspired.

When you there, make sure you’ll check out Phlegm’s Southbank mural.

Phlegm new South bank mural

I love the area. There are so many places to eat and have a drink. Check what else is happening at the Southbank Centre.

London Eye, London Wonderground, Southbank, London

Let me know your thoughts about the exhibition. I’d love to know.

It closes on the 6th of September, so you still have time to visit.

Signuture1

Inspiring places: Polish Lake district Mazury

Hello hello,

As promised even more about my recent trip to Poland.

Did you know that Poland has got absolutely beautiful lake district? It’s located in the North-East side of the country and it’s called Mazury by locals.

Jezioro Ukiel, Lake Ukiel, Olsztyn, Mazury, Poland
I always loved Polish lakes, so was really excited to go there again with my partner as we both love nature and prefer to spend our holiday cycling, walking and kayaking. Mazury is a perfect location to do any type of sport.

Polish Mazury district, lake district, lakes, active holidays, cycling, kayaking

This time we went to Olsztyn and stayed next to Lake Ukiel. It’s gorgeous there, and there’s so much to do. Perfect for families too.

Polish Lake district, Mazury, kayaking

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the lakes and the surrounding. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you do recognise some of the images.

ake Ukiel, old boats, lake, Polish lake district

I love water, even more so at night. Having a drink by the water whilst watching the sun going down…priceless!

Lake Ukiel, Swans, beautiful lake, Poland, Mazury

Mazury, Ukiel lake, Polish lake district at night

We stayed at Hotel Przystan, which is pretty luxurious and very modern with a fantastic spa centre.

Przystan hotel&spa, Olsztyn, Zeglarska street

Our room faced the lake, so every day we were waking up to this view.

Hotel Przystan&Spa, Olsztyn

Przystan hotel&spa by night

Food-wise, the hotel’s restaurant is worth eating at if you like thai.

During the day, I would recommend walking to the nearby beach and grab locally sourced food at Plankton restaurant. One of the best tomato soups I ever had; almost as good as my mum’s.

Plankton restaurant, Olsztyn, food

Hope you’ll visit one day. Let me know if you’ve got any questions.

Signuture1

Inspiring places: Soho Factory and Neon Muzeum in Warsaw Praga District

Hello Monday,

After exceptionally hot weekend in London, a bit more about my recent trip to Warsaw.

After Warsaw Powisle, let’s move to the right side of the Vistula River, to look closer at ever-changing Warsaw Praga.

I’m familiar with this part of Warsaw as my grandma used to live there and my highschool was located very close to Warszawa Wilenska railway station (now also a metro station, hurray).

Open Zabkowska, W Oparach absurdu, Warszawska Praga, Warsaw Prage

 

I wrote before about 11 Listopada and Zabkowska streets. We were lucky enough to attend an Open Zabkowska event this year with live jazz music in an eclectic bar W Oparach Absurdu. Highly recommend popping there for a beer.

However, we wanted to venture out this time and we have discovered absolutely amazing and unique place: Soho Factory in Warsaw Kamionek (Minska street).

Entrance to Soho Factory, Warsaw, Kamionek, Old and new, Factories, architecture

 

It’s a cultural, design, art and fashion hub spread over a large, post-industrial area transformed into an appealing living, working and entertaining space.

Soho Factory, Warsaw, old and new architecture

 

The previous home of many manufactories such as Wedel (delicious chocolates) or WFM Osa (super cool motorbikes) has been adapted and developed by the new creative occupants drawn to incredible architecture and an abundance of green space.

Soho factory outside sculpture, Warsaw, Kamionek

 

There’s a theatre (Studio Kolo), an award winning restaurant (Warszawa Wschodnia by Mateusz Gessler), a design shop (Magazyn Praga) and the best coffee shop in Warsaw (Kofi brand).

Even an alternative travel company can be found there: Adventure Warsaw offering a trip in one of these colourful Nysa vans.

Guided city tours Warsaw, Adventure Warsaw, Nysa van

Not a big surprise that this fantastic space is becoming a desirable place to live. WWAA architectural practice has designed two incredible apartment blocks: Rebel One and Kamion Cross, with the third one on the way. I’d love to move there one day.

Soho Factory, Warsaw, flats, architecture

The most exciting place in Soho Factory is The Neon Muzeum. It’s an independent museum dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the Poland’s cold war era neon signs founded by David Hill and Ilona Karwinska.

Neon museum, Muzeum neonow, Warszawa, Kamionek, Soho Factory

Spolem neon, Neon museum, Soho Factory

We had a pleasure to chat to David, and his passion for the project was evident.

Muzeum neonow, Neon museum, Warsaw, Soho factory, neons, restoring neons

It was an absolutely amazing experience to see all the old neon signs brought to life by these two neon enthusiasts and their team. It’s a must see in Warsaw!

Neon Warszawa, Neon museum, Muzeum neonow, Soho Factory, Kamionek, Warsaw

A few more pictures to give you a flavour.

Neon museum, Muzeum neonow, Warsaw, Kamionek, Soho Factory, neons

All in all, definitely recommend visiting this area.

Look around and you might also spot a cool mural. The below is a creation of Phelgm.

Phelgm mural, Minska, castle mural, Warsaw mural

Hope you’ve enjoyed this Warsaw tour? Any questions, let me know.

Have a good week.

Signuture1

Inspiring places: Warszawa Powisle

Hello or shall I say cześć,

I had a great week off, so expect lots of posts telling you more about Warsaw/Warszawa and Mazury (Polish Lake District).

Let’s start with my new discovery in the capital of Poland: Warszawa Powisle.

Warszawa Powisle like Berlin

 

The area is situated in the centre of Warsaw but also very close to the Vistula river, hence the name (Vistula=Wisla in Polish).

IMG_3096

 

This place is buzzing day and night. The old train station has been transformed into a hipstery bar.

Warszawa Powisle, Warsaw Powisle

The plethora of bars is overwhelming…great!

I arranged to meet my friends at Stacja Mercedes. Such a great pop-up restaurant and bar, with a simplistic wooden decor and an outside space where you can relax in the sun. It’s a Mercedes showroom too, so you can admire old and new cars at the same time.

Stacja Mercedes outside, Warszawa Powisle

Stacja Mercedes inside decor

Their cocktails (yes, they do Aperol spritz) and cider were delicious. Look, everyone is smiling!
Stacja Mercedes outside area

Great place for a group of friends and families. They even have an in-house childminder.

Before heading towards the river, we decided to have some pancakes. Great place for sweet and sour crepes’ lovers: Cafe Rue de Paris at Dobra street. Their interior design increased my satisfaction with the food.

Cafe Rue de Paris at Dobra street, Warsaw, Powisle

Cafe Rue de Paris, industrial and eclectic decor, Warszawa Powisle

So the river bank is an exciting meeting place for those who like to party, listen to music (jazz, funk, soul etc.) or just have a beer by the water. Nearest metro station: Centrum Nauki Kopernik.

Warszawa Powisle, by the river, Metro Centrul Nauki Kopernik

Warszawa Powisle, by the river, Metro Centrul Nauki Kopernik, river boat

Personally, I think Warsaw is a fantastic choice for the summer. Did I tell you it was 30+ degrees?

Do you fancy visitng Warsaw Powisle?

Signuture1