Urban Jungle Bloggers: Plants & art

Happy Sunday,

Not a bad weather for mid-September.

After 2 months of holiday, Urban Jungle Bloggers are back. Hurray!

A quick reminder, Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series created by Igor and Judith who wanted to share their passion for green urban spaces with the fellow bloggers.

This month’s theme is Plants&art. Perfect combo for a modern art enthusiast, and plants’ carer. I was really busy recently (new job etc.), but finally got a chance to take part.

Hope you’ll like my interpretation of this month’s theme.

Urban jungle bloggers, plants&art, big plant

Urban jungle bloggers, plants&art, big plant, street art

Urban Jungle bloggers, plants&art 1
Feel free to join the fun with Urban Jungle Bloggers. The next one is in October.

Have a lovely day!



Inspiring places: Venice Biennale


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.


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.


Inspiring places: Barbican Centre, Constructing Worlds exhibition

Hi All,

Apologies for a little break in blogging. I’m back and determine to write more often and hopefully provide you with more inspirations.

I wrote about Barbican Centre before. It’s one of these places in London, I’m naturally drawn to and love coming back.

Barbican centre, Constructing worlds

They currently have an excellent exhibition called Contructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age. The showcase presents eighteen talented photographers from the 1930s to the present day who have changed the way we view architecture. My favourite photographs were taken by Julius Shulman who popularised Californian mid-century houses. I would love to live in one of them one day, don’t you?

Bunhill Fields, London

If you are in the area, go for a walk through a charming Bunhill Fields. It has a long history as a burial ground (no ghosts spotted) and looks exceptionally beautiful at this time of the year.

Have you been to the Barbican Centre recently? Have you seen the exhibition?

Have a lovely week Everyone!


Inspiring places: Tate Modern

Since my new job is 2 minutes away from Tate Modern, this stupendous, modern art gallery needs to feature in Inspiring places.

Tate Modern, LondonSince I came to London for good, over 12 years ago, it’s been a major inspiration to me. What I love about this enormous art centre is not only architecture, but the fact you can wonder in at any time and admire free collections of art, sculptures and visual installations.

That’s what caught my eye last time when I went there at lunchtime with my friend Foz.

Modern art, Tate Modern

I would encourage everyone who comes to London to put Tate Modern on their list of places to visit.

If the weather is nice, you can have lunch outside with pretty amazing view of St Paul’s Cathedral and the River Thames.

Lunch at Tate Modern

There’s plenty to see in the next few months or so. Check the website for more detail.

What’s your view of Tate Modern?


Inspiring places: Italian roadtrip

Hi All,

Hope you had a great summer, and making the best of this last Bank holiday. The weather is not the best (rain, rain…), so I thought I’ll cheer you up by showing you the pictures from our Italian roadtrip.

We went from Verona to Lake Garda through to Tuscany, then by train to Naples and Pompei. Next we headed to Sicily, climbed Etna (highly recommend), chilled in Tusa (check my post about Atelier sul Mare), and partied in Palermo.

Verona, Italy, Italian roadtrip

Lake Garda, Italy, Italian roadtrip

Tuscany, Pisa, Luca, Florence, Italian roadtrip

Naples, Italy, Italian roadtrip

Pompei, Italy, Italian roadtrip

Highlights of Sicily, Italy, Italian roadtrip
All in all it was a holiday to remember, packed with architectural marvells, art, adventures, fun and relexation.

From September, I’m planning to post more regularly. I’ve got lots to tell you about the house and garden…watch this space!

Have you been to Italy before? What is your favourite part?




Photography: secretgardenhome and Tomek Sawko.