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SYDNEY artist Gabrielle Courtenay has worked as a muralist, art consultant and interior designer but is best known as a painter of the Australian outback. Her latest works were inspired by time spent alone in a remote shed in the ‘‘ desert stone country’’ near Broken Hill, NSW, and are on show at the Charles Hewitt Gallery in Sydney. www.charleshewitt.com.au. MELBOURNE ART FAIR I often take short trips interstate to see specific art shows. This year I plan to go to the Melbourne Art Fair (July 30-August 3), which always offers a fantastic showcase of contemporary art from the Asia-Pacific region as well as from across Australia. www.artfair.com.au. QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY; CHICHU ART MUSEUM, JAPAN South Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery, even before its renovation, has always been a favourite. It has wonderful energy and always offers great shows, especially the Asia-Pacific Triennial. I also dream of going to the underground Chichu Art Museum on Naoshima island in Japan to see the sitespecific installations of James Turrell and Walter de Maria. www.qag.qld.gov.au; www.chichu.jp. DI NUOVO, PADDINGTON, SYDNEY Since I was a teenager I’ve collected vintage clothes from markets or op shops but I also discovered Di Nuovo (92 William St, Paddington), where you can buy all kinds of amazing pieces from local and international designers. www.dinuovo.com.au. OCHRE HOUSE, FOWLERS GAP, NSW I spent an amazing month at Ochre House on the Fowlers Gap property run by the University of NSW near Broken Hill in northwest NSW. The hut is 15km from the closest house, which is the main property; it’s situated at the edge of a line of hills near a small gorge overlooking an endless sunken country plain with no sign of civilisation.
As well as artists staying here on the university’s residency program, walking parties can also rent the house for short stays. www.fowlersgap.unsw.edu.au. CANTINA UNO, DARLINGHURST, SYDNEY I usually can re-create most restaurant dishes at home but Cantina Uno, an Italian restaurant in inner Sydney, makes black squid angel-hair pasta that I can only dream of perfecting. 125 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst; (02) 9361 6442. IAN POTTER MUSEUM, MELBOURNE Art is an addiction and Melbourne has the largest number of quality art galleries in Australia. Beyond the CBD, make time to go to Albert Street, Richmond, as this tiny street is packed with galleries showing great contemporary and indigenous art. Then take a tram to the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Swanston Street. It’s renowned for strong curatorial shows in a building that has a spiritual dimension. I invariably leave here feeling calm and relaxed. www.art-museum.unimelb.edu.au. I ALWAYS PACK A hat and Clear Zinc cream, which is the best blockout when I amworking in the harsh outback sun. Sharon Fowler