Cockatoo Island, an UNESCO World Heritage site situated just minutes away from Sydney Harbour, is an attraction that I've always wanted to visit. I've heard about the island coming alive at night thanks to the pubs but since I'm not exactly a fan of booze, the best time for me to visit was during the Sydney Biennale!
To reach this island, the easiest way is to hop on a ferry. Well, JW did contemplate swimming across the harbour while I take the ferry, but it didn't take him long to realise that he'll drown on the way there.
Anyway, did I mention that I love taking ferries? I may be afraid of water, but my eyes love feasting on the scenic views that ferry rides offer.
I love miners too, especially when they come in the form of cute little robots. This is one of the art installations at the entrance of a dark tunnel on the island. So creative, isn't it?
As we trudged through the cloud of darkness, we suddenly saw a light at the end of the tunnel (pun intended)!
Many flickering lights in fact, not just a light.
Did you know that Cockatoo Island was previously used to house convicts? It then became a shipbuilding and repair hub, which closed down in 1992. The island then underwent major restoration works and was only recently opened to the public in 2007.
In spite of its history, the island is a picture of calm and tranquility. It is such a joy to just wander around nature and bask in the warmth of the sun. The most amazing thing? Cockatoo Island is just a stone's throw from Sydney Harbour but it makes you feel like you're in a completely different city altogether.
JW was especially fascinated with one of the houses on the island, and he just kept snapping! He definitely takes a lot of pictures for someone who has no interest in photography whatsoever. Haha but I'm not complaining!
Instead of taking photos of the art installations, JW was busy trying to perfect the shot of this doorknob. I know right? I was rolling my eyes too until a fellow visitor, who happened to be a builder by profession, complimented JW on his keen eye for details.
I nearly fainted.
Apparently, Cockatoo Island was known for their skilled craftsmen in the past and it's nearly impossible to find such impeccable workmanship today.
Before he decides to take other inconspicuous objects like spiders and cobwebs, I dragged him out for some fresh air.
After all, pretty flowers are certainly more worth taking than doorknobs.
Before I veer too far away from the topic of this post, let me share with you some of my favourite art installations.
The entire room was transformed into what seemed like a children's playground filled with colourful paper cut-outs of all shapes and sizes.
If this isn't pretty, I don't know what is. I can't believe everything is made of paper! The Chinese artist is a genius.
My second favourite installation has got to be the cloud installation. Designed to mimic cloud vapour, the designated area was engulfed in layers of mist which only got thicker with time. I was rather overwhelmed as there were points when I couldn't see at all, and I struggled to move through all the mist with outstretched arms. That made me feel so incredibly small and vulnerable but it was such a fun experience!
Now, I'm going to share with you some of the installations that I disliked. This particular one with floating children's dresses made it to the top of my list because it is so freaky. Can you imagine them coming to life in the dead of the night? I don't know about you, but this sends shivers down my spine for sure.
My second most hated installation is this. What was the artist thinking? To me, it looks just like a pile of rubbish.
Ok, this is most certainly not an installation, but I have a love-hate relationship with the seagulls on Cockatoo Island. They may look cute and all in photos, although they start out being really ugly in their younger days (yes those grey spotted birds are the babies), but they love to swoop down on you unabashedly especially when you're holding on to food.
They even have a sign in one of the cafes warning visitors that seagulls have been known to attack you. So, if you have a bag of fries (some of the best fries I've had!!) on Cockatoo Island, remember to run away from these creatures!!