Sydney Balmain and The Rocks

Museum of Contemporary Art Annette Messager Exhibition

Welcome to part three of my Sydney mini trip post. Part one focused on Sydney Gardens – The Royal Botanic Gardens and The Chinese Garden of Friendship. Part two focused on Sydney markets – The Rocks Friday Foodie Market, Paddington Market, and The Rocks Weekend Market.

This part focuses on Balmain and The Museum of Contemporary Art, two places I haven’t visited before.


Balmain views

Balmain Darling Street

Balmain lunch

I really wanted to take a ferry somewhere that I hadn’t been before. After doing some research and learning that Balmain had some great little boutiques I decided to go.

My journey started in true Lisa style with a ticket debacle.  I thought that I was at the wrong ferry so exited and in doing so lost my ticket.  I had to get it fished out of the ticket machine by the ticket attendant. After the false start I was on the ferry and on my way.

Upon arrival I was surrounded by a large park and houses. I was disappointed and felt like I had picked a location that appeared to have nothing to offer.

I walked away from the park hoping to stumble upon civilisation, and just as I was about to turn around and leave I reached the location my research described – Darling Street.

Darling Street is full of cafés, boutique shops, and nice looking buildings. My first stop was Mad Hatter café, which turned out to be expensive and didn’t have great service, but the guy I sat next to was friendly and we talked about the latest news stories.  After lunch I checked out the the shops.  A few days later I read that Dawn Fraser was in Balmain the same time as me, but I didn’t see her.

This is a great little street that I recommend if you need to fill in some time or are ready for lunch. Oh, and if you like Adriano Zumbo, he has a shop here.

Balmain Adriano Zumbo 1

Balmain Adriano Zumbo 2

Museum of Contemporary Art

Located at 140 George St The Rocks this museum is free to enter and has a lot of great exhibitions to look at.

The day I was there there were two fantastic artists on display Tabaimo Mekurumeku and Annette Messager.

I started with Tabaimo Mekurumeku, a Japanese artist who uses videos to tell stories about human emotions, stories which signify happiness, anxiety, and even murder.

The nature of the works made you sometimes feel as though you were part of the story, especially when you were surrounded by screens or asked to wear headphones.

Museum of Contemporary Art Tabaimo Mekurumeku Exhibition 1

Museum of Contemporary Art Tabaimo Mekurumeku Exhibition 2

Museum of Contemporary Art Tabaimo Mekurumeku Exhibition 3

Museum of Contemporary Art Tabaimo Mekurumeku Exhibition 4

The second exhibition was Annette Messager, a French artist whose works left a lot up to your imagination and interpretation.

I happened to stumble into the free walking tour of Annette’s works just as it started.  It was a fantastic tour, the leader was highly intelligent and probed us to talk out loud about what we thought the works were about. Annette’s exhibition combined drawings, photos, sculptures, and large scale installations. It was extremely memorable and worth the visit alone.

Visiting this museum is a great way to start your visit to The Rocks, as when you’re finished there are heaps of places you can have lunch or dinner, and you can even catch a ferry from Circular Quay to a location of your choice.

That’s it for my Sydney mini trip. It was a great combination of food, sites, gardens, shopping, and art.

If you’d like to see my other Sydney posts, here’s the links:

Sydney Gardens

Sydney Markets

Please also feel free to visit my Sydney Pinterest board.

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