Tag Archives: Galleries

Profile: Rev. Petros Kipouros

You never know who you might meet in Canberra, despite the city having a reputation as the most ‘boring’ capital city in Australia. In an earlier post Canberra Doesn’t Suck, I mentioned that this is a very creative city, drawing highly skilled and diverse people from around the world to work and live here. What makes this place even more interesting, is that many people have multiple lives or histories before they come to settle in Canberra. Rev. Petros Kipouros is one such person. I came to know of Rev. Kipouros through his daughter, a student of mine at university. Most people in Canberra would know him as the priest at the Greek Orthadox Church, but he has another fascinating story to tell – of his work as a travel photographer, photographing people from all over the world.

© Father Petros Kipouros
© Rev. Petros Kipouros

His images have been reproduced in National Geographic and he has published a number of books. There are also a number of articles published online that discuss the fascinating connections between his role as a minister and that of an artist and traveller. For example,  Elina Kourempana’s 2013 article titled The Sensitive Eye  in NeosCosmos discusses the connections between seeing light as a photographer and seeing the light in a spiritual context. In many ways his photographic work has been influenced by the Impressionists because of his love of light as an element in his work. In the interview for NeosCosmos Rev. Kipourus said “The word photography means ‘writing with light’. It is great to ‘write’, record the light during all the times of the day and the year.” Another article by Richard Carter in the Times Record News titled Globe Trotting Greek comments that:

Kipouros has won prizes for his photography from National Geographic competitions and has had several photographic exhibitions, three in his hometown and one nearby…While he enjoys taking pictures with his Canon EOS camera of nature and landscapes, he tends to focus more on people. “People and their lives are very interesting,” he said.

You can buy his coffee table book Colourful Facebook: Father Petros on Blurb. On the Blurb website you can also see a preview of this beautiful book. Rev. Kipouros has also allowed us to publish some of these wonderful images on Geokult Travel and we very much appreciate being able to share these gorgeous pictures with you. We would also like to thank his daughter Chrysa for all her help.


365 Places: Maleny

Day 41: Maleny, Queensland, Australia

Today I will talk about a place that is somewhere I visit irregularly, when we travel to Queensland to catch up with family. Maleny, is a great place to visit if you are spending some time on the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane as it is not far from either.

Image Credit: http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/qld/sunshine-coast/maleny/19761
Image Credit: http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/qld/sunshine-coast/maleny/19761

Melany is tucked up in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, on the Blackall Range. Because it is well above sea level and a little bit away from the coast, the weather on the hinterland is milder than that of the coast, which can get very hot and humid, especially in summer.

The Maleny Queensland website says:

The unique rural community of Maleny is perched high above the Sunshine Coast beaches on the Blackall Range between Brisbane and Noosa and also overlooks South-East Queensland’s amazing Glasshouse Mountains.

It is an area of spectacular views and stands of lush rain forest. Maleny was initially a timber region with virtually all of the Cedar, Beech & Hoop Pine being felled to provide furniture and construction timber for SE Queensland and the UK. Once clearing had been achieved it quickly became a dairy farming area and supported the surrounding areas for many years with all their milk-based products.

The entire region, including the nearby townships of Montville and Mapleton are teeming with artists and craftspeople, as well as people working with holistic medicine and natural therapies, making the area attractive to tourists, especially eco-tourists.

Image Credit: http://www.ruralworld.com.au/properties/conondale01/
Image Credit: http://www.ruralworld.com.au/properties/conondale01/

There is also a rich Indigenous history connected to Maleny. The Hinterland Tourism website says:

Originally populated by the Nalbo and Dallambara peoples of the Gubbi gubbi nation, the area was known for its Bunya feasts which happened every third year when the giant Bunya trees of the area were in fruit. According to legend, Aboriginal peoples from far and wide would gather in the area to feast for several weeks on the nuts before journeying down to Brisbane where they would meet for a big Corroborree.

Maleny is also not far from the Glasshouse Mountains, a place I have already written about for 365 Places.

The Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny, Sunshine Coast. Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/greataussieroadtrips/875783/the-great-sunshine-way
The Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny, Sunshine Coast. Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/greataussieroadtrips/875783/the-great-sunshine-way

The last time we visited it was the day of our son’s 21st birthday. As his birthday is on Christmas Eve, we had the official party a couple of weeks earlier, so everyone could come before heading off during the Christmas break. For us it was a perfect way to spend a lovely family day, enjoying a leisurely lunch in one of the many cafes and then strolling around town checking out all the brilliant little shops full of craft, art and vintage wares.

Watching the Night Watch in Amsterdam

Text: © Garry Benson 2013
Images: © Garry Benson 2013
Editor: Tracey Benson

Amsterdam, Image Credit: © Garry Benson 2013
Amsterdam, Image Credit: © Garry Benson 2013

I’ve always admired Rembrandt’s wonderful mastery of colour and the shine on metal, and  The Night Watch is perhaps his most famous painting.

The Night Watch is a group portrait of a militia company led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburgh, surrounded by sixteen of their men. Eighteen of the people in the portrait paid to be included, the others were added by Rembrandt to enhance the composition. It is no coincidence that Rembrandt bought an expensive house at precisely this time.

Amsterdam is so proud of this work that it has spawned a number of tribute artworks, including a wonderful large-scale flashmob recreation of Rembrandt’s famous painting. The stunt was organised to coincide with the return of the painting, to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum on April 13, 2013 after a decade-long renovation project.

At Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein, beneath a statue of the artist, there is a bronze-cast of ‘The Night Watch’, that was created in 2006 as part of the celebration of the artist’s 400th birthday.

For three years, this bronze-cast representation of the famous painting was on display before traveling to New York City, Moscow and Oranienbaum, Russia. The bronze Nightwatch sculptures returned to the redesigned square in 2012, where they are a magnet for visitors. The Rembrandtplein Entrepreneurs Foundation began a fundraiser in 2013 to keep the sculptures in the square throughout the year.

You can also read more about Amsterdam on Tracey’s post 365 Places: Amsterdam.

365 Places: Souvenirs, Travel and Memory

Day 26: Nostalgia is another country

Today, I had an interesting enquiry via my @bytetime account on Twitter. Someone asked me if they could quote my Masters of Arts (by Research) Thesis – Museum of the Personal: Souvenirs and Nostalgia from 2001. This request was quite a blast from the past, as my dissertation was completed 13 years ago and I had sort of forgotten about this work.

Suddenly I had a realisation – that my love of travel and journeying isn’t a recent phenonomen, it has been part of my identity since I was a small child. One of my earliest memories is of our road trip from Brisbane to Cairns where we saw many beautiful parts of the Great Barrier Reef along the way – I was six years old. I was fortunate in that my parents loved taking us on road trips and camping when we were young, embedding in me a love of travel and of nature.

My Masters thesis was the theoretical side of a project I had worked on through the mid to late 1990s – Big Banana Time Inc.  To summarise, BBT Inc, explored tourism and souvenirs in terms of consumption, the creation of personal identity, place and cultural identity. It was a playful project, where I experimented with digital photographic collage to create souvenir objects, video/projections and installation works.

Display from BBT Inc 1997
Display from BBT Inc 1997

One of the books I read during this time was titled The Past is a Foreign Country by David Lowenthal, which seems to be fitting when considering some aspects of 365 Places. It is also interesting to note that Lowethal will be releasing a revised edition of The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited in October 2014

Check out our new section of the site: Destinations

Good morning lovelies!

To make it easier to find articles and photos of some of our favourite locations, we have created a new section of the site: Destinations. Under the tab, located on the main menu, you can find information grouped under the place-name.

We hope this new feature will be useful and help you navigate our site.

Tracey and Marty in Istanbul
Tracey and Marty in Istanbul


Centre for Op Art: Vasarely Foundation

Photos: Garry Benson (unless otherwise noted)

Foundation Vasarely
Foundation Vasarely
Image Credit: Garry Benson
Image Credit: Garry Benson

Aix-en-Provence is the site of the Vasarely Foundation – it’s a huge gallery and research centre devoted to education and the arts, particularly optical illusion and the psychology of perception. Lots of the artwork has been blown up from the original size of about 1 metre square and the gallery is thronged with kids doing art.

When I first visited Aix (pronounced ‘Ex’ though for years I said ‘Aches’) in 1976 there was a small gallery off Cours Mirabelle (the main drag) that had a few paintings by optic artist Victor Vasarely. I wasn’t in Aix for that, I wanted to see a weaving exhibition of work by Sheila Hicks and Daniel Graffin using indigo dyes.

Time travel to 2013 and voila! there’s this huge exhibition space & research centre just on the edge of town on acres of land…

Image credit: © Garry Benson 2014
Image credit: © Garry Benson 2014

The art of tomorrow will be a collective treasure or it will not be art at all. – Victor Vasarely

Image Credit: Unknown
Image Credit: Unknown

Victor Vasarely was born in Hungary on April 9, 1906, and spent his childhood in many different countries in Eastern Europe. In 1925, he enrolled at the University of Budapest in 1925 to study medicine, transferring to study traditional academic painting two years later.

Image credit: © Garry Benson 2014
Image credit: © Garry Benson 2014

He studied at the private Podolini-Volkmann Academy and Sándor Bortnyik’s műhely, later entering the Bauhaus art institute in 1929, the same year he married fellow student and artist Claire Spinner. He worked as a graphic designer for a ball bearing company where he started using the organic shapes and geometric themes that would feature in his creative work to follow.

Image Credit: © Garry Benson 2013
Image Credit: © Garry Benson 2013

By the late 1940s:

Vasarely began to understand his role as an artist, concluding that “internal geometry” was the pinnacle of his inspiration. Over the next 20 years, Vasarely developed what would be informally dubbed as the Black & White period, a style that marked a groundbreaking shift in the artist’s career…

In 1964, Time Magazine coined the term “Op art”, thirty years after Victor Vasarely began creating in the 1930s. Between 1960 and 1980, the artist pioneered his version of the Alphabet Plastique, which is considered as Vasarely’s greatest contribution to 20th century art. Vasarely died in Paris at the age of 90 on March 15, 1997.

So if you get a chance visit this fantastic centre for Op Art in Aix. It’s just out of the centre of town and very easy to get to by bus or by a short taxi ride from the city centre.

Contact Information:

Foundation Vasarely
1 avenue Marcel Pagnol
13090 Aix-en-Provence


Original Creators: The Father of Op Art Victor Vasarely http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/en_au/blog/original-creators-the-father-of-op-art-victor-vasarely (accessed 1 May 2014)

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Yesterday we hit 500 likes on our travel site www.geokult-travel.com .

We are really excited to share that we almost have 200 followers. We would love to make this milestone this weekend,  so if you haven’t already checked out the site, drop by and say hi. We would really appreciate it 🙂

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365 Places: View Street

Day 14: View Street, Bendigo, Victoria Australia

Today we had a great day discovering a little of Bendigo. We loved visiting this elegant regional city and hope to drop in again one day soon.

My post is about a wonderful street in the middle of town – View Street. What I loved discovering about this place was the many interesting shops and galleries. A lot of the shops have vintage and antique wares, which I adore fossicking through – to discover treasure. In particular, I loved the incredible amount and diversity of vintage jewellery and furniture that we saw. For me these ‘precious’ objects tell a story of a town that was very wealthy, steeped in culture and opulence.  Many of the older buildings also tell this story, with their beautiful stained glass windows and an abundance of copper and wrought iron work.

Back to View Street. We also discovered a great art exhibition in a gallery close to the Bendigo Arts Centre. The exhibition was titled The Beauty in Decay and put together by the A7+ Artists’ Collective. The gallery is located on 60 View Street. Here is a Facebook page with more details. The artist in the exhibition are: Belinda Fraser, Lisa Guzzardi, Sandra Hosking, Jodie Louise Knight, Pat Thwaites, Sarah Wallac-Smith and Judith Warnest.

Here are some pictures of the work in the gallery, including one of Sandra Hosking working in the gallery.

Après l’incendie

Text: Garry Benson
Images: © Brunos Art

Hidden in a small village in Marysville Victoria, southeastern Australia, was a magical world where sculptor Bruno Torfs for over 25 years had combined the beauty of his magnificent ceramic sculptures with the beauty of nature around him.

Unfortunately on the 7th of February 2009, a bushfire raged through the township, decimating everything in its path without mercy and claimed the lives of his friends and neighbours indiscriminately. Bruno was extremely lucky to survive and the rest of the family are safe and well. Bruno’s home and art gallery were unfortunately completely destroyed in the blaze.

Before I tell the result of that tragic fire, let’s look at Bruno’s art as it was…

As Bruno writes on his website: ‘after the fires swept through the town of Marysville…’

In February 2009, Bruno and the rest of the townsfolk were shut out of the town by authorities for two months whilst the police conducted an investigation and attempted to identify the remains of the victims.

This was a testing time for all Marysvillians, with most of the townsfolk (Bruno included) unable to know how much of their homes and businesses there were left to return to.

Fortunately for Bruno and the family they received overwhelming support from family, friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers from all over the globe during this difficult period. This was a truly inspiring experience that helped them to find the strength to face the challenge of rebuilding their lives.

Bruno already knew at this point that his home and gallery were completely destroyed, but the extent of the damage to his sculpture garden was yet to been discerned and it was the thing most on his mind.

Since returning to Marysville, progress has been steady. Plans and permits needed be obtained to even begin rebuilding Bruno’s Home and gallery so whilst all of that was developing in the background, the focus has been solely on cleaning up the garden and re-landscaping property. This has been no small feat. The mess left over by the fires was atrocious. Literally tons of debris had to be removed from the forested area. With the help of friends and volunteers this process took two months.

After that is was time to start replanting. The native ferns rebounded very well and the green is slowly returning to the area. It will be many years though before the forest resembles the lush wonderland that it used to be.

Garry Benson

To read the whole story of Bruno’s Art and this tragic fire:


Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden; A Colourful Story . . .
is a luxurious, full colour coffee table book that tells the intriguing tale of Bruno’s life so far and displays his collection of artworks in stunning detail. Containing hundreds of beautiful Hi-resolution photographs, A Colourful Story is the definitive collection of Bruno’s work.

The special “Phoenix edition” of this book is a new edition of the original, A Colourful Story, that was released in 2005 and contains additional content. Artworks made in the time since the release of first edition has been added and the story of the February 2009 Fires has also been explored in the new edition. At 230 pages long, the Phoenix edition is the most comprehensive collection of Bruno’s art available in the world today.

To contact Bruno:
or (03) 5963 3513

Hours of operation:
7 days a week – 10am – 5pm

The address is:

Brunos Art & Sculpture Garden
51 Falls Rd
VIC 3779

How to find Brunos . . .
Approximately 95 kilometres from Melbourne.


365 Places: Paris

Day 4: Paris, France

Today’s lovely place is none other than Paris, one of my favourite European cities. Rather than writing a story about this magical place, I will let the images speak for themselves. These photographs were taken in September 2013, when we spent a wonderful week traipsing around the city, eating gorgeous food, visiting many galleries and walking along many avenues.