Sunday, 26 April 2015

A week in Sydney

I have been living in a suburb in the north of Sydney for two weeks now. In those fourteen days, in between job applications, interviews and discovering new running routes, I have adventured into the CBD to witness the glory of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, enjoyed thrills and spills at Luna Park, indulged in my first Australian beach day at Coogee and visited the nearby Blue Mountains. 

As friends, family and regular readers of this blog will know, I take my Pentax MV1 every time I go exploring – I wanted to take this opportunity to share the snaps I took in my first week of living in Australia. Enjoy.

View of Sydney Opera House from Harbour Bridge | © Rosie Pentreath

An emu spotted | © Rosie Pentreath
Kate in Sydney | © Rosie Pentreath

An Australian white ibis, Royal Botanic Gardens | © Rosie Pentreath

State Library of New South Wales | © Rosie Pentreath

Projectile turtle | © Rosie Pentreath

Sydney CBD | © Rosie Pentreath

See more photos on my travel photography blog, The Explorer, and don't forget to sign up for email updates from my new blog about the year-long Australian adventure I'm embarking on.

Rosie Pentreath

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Art: Pulp Confidential, State Library of New South Wales

During periods of hardship in the 20th Century some previously respected publishing houses around the world turned to producing ‘pulp’ publications. Quickly- and cheaply-produced populist publications, often sexed-up comics with very basic story lines and as much cleavage drawn in as possible, pulps were considered to be trashy and of no artistic value. Now they are cultural artefacts revered by fans, collectors, art scholars and cultural historians alike.

A fantastic selection of original drawings, comic book covers, letters and contracts from Frank Johnson Publications (Australia) are currently on display at the State Library of New South Wales. Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s offers a wonderful insight into quick comic book publishing in Sydney during World War II and afterwards, detailing fascinating contract arrangements for freelance artists and writers and explaining the approach to Australian superheroes compared to those coming out of the US industry. 

It was particularly interesting to discover that the heroes of Australian comics were far more ‘modest’ than their American counterparts. While US fans snapped up stories of invisible men and supernatural women, the Australian market was flooded with the adventures of characters like Wanda Dare, girl reporter, and Barty Malone, taxi driver. Also a strong part of FJP’s output was the Famous Detective Series, which turned 2000-3000 words written about real crimes, often readily-available in newspapers, into luridly-illustrated pulp comics.

The papers in the exhibition were brilliantly illustrated with an accompanying documentary explaining the industry and introducing some of the freelance illustrators that produced 'pulp' for Johnson in their teens and twenties. An inspiring and illuminating insight into a niche but prolific part of 20th-century publishing, the exhibition was brilliantly curated and balanced.

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s runs until Sunday 10 May 2015. Visit:

If you like this, why not try:

Rosie Pentreath

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Film: I Origins

Imagine a film with a love story that inspires the protagonist to say "You ever feel like when you met someone, they fill this hole inside of you, and then, when they're gone, you feel that space painfully vacant?" (and another protagonist to say "When I saw you that night, I had the feeling that I had known you. Actually, I felt like you knew me"). And one that at the same time details and questions different types of scientific discovery against a spiritual or religious context. All this with superb performances from the actors, beautiful cinematography, an explosively emotional script and a multi-national setting.

This is what Mike Cahill gives us with I Origins. Released last year, I Origins is the story of  how molecular scientist Ian Gray's (Michael Pitt) life is changed by a 'chance' meeting with Argentinian model Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey). While he conducts epoch-defining research with his brilliant lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), meeting and falling in love with the enigmatic Sofi results in both scientists coming across a theory neither thought they would ever believe in. 

The synopsis I have given doesn't really do the film justice though. It's not just an interesting plot that makes Cahill's feature so incredible – the perfectly balanced way it emotes whilst probing human experience of life on earth, the human brain and the science of evolution is subtle but extraordinary. I came away from it feeling shocked, sad, uplifted and enlightened – it's rare for a film to do that.

I urge anybody with an interest in spirituality and what life and unexpected adventures can offer us to watch I Origins. And I think everybody else should as well – if only to peak their interest in those things. Aside from the more meta aspects of the film, it is just an extraordinarily moving experience of human love (and how enduring it is) and the impact a single person can have on a life. Beautiful stuff.


If you like this, why not try:

Film: La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
A private screening at 20th Century Flicks

Rosie Pentreath

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Follow my year in Australia

Visit my new blog, A Year in Australia (, to keep up with my adventures in Sydney. If you want my updates to land in your inbox, just enter your email address at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, you can return to this blog for occasional posts about new music or any exhibitions I've been to, and go to my photography blog, The Explorer (, to see the pictures I have taken on my travels.

Thanks for reading,

RP x

Rosie Pentreath

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A drive through North Cornwall

While I am spending a few days in Cornwall before I move to Sydney for a year, I decided it was time I visited some parts of the county I haven't been to before. With the purpose of seeing one of Cornwall's most famous tourist attractions, Tintagel Castle, we spent Tuesday driving up the north coast, taking in picturesque harbours, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking beaches.

Our first stop was the tiny coastal settlement of Port Quin. An incredibly charming collection of well kept buildings overlooking a small beach, it was an icy wind trap when we visited so we didn't hang around long!

Just one hop up the coast is the picturesque fishing village of Port Issac, famed for being the filming location of the popular British TV series Doc Martin. There are signs everywhere saying things like 'this is Doc Martin's House' and 'this is where Doc Martin enjoys a pint'...

Next we visited Trebarwith Strand, a village located above a stunning golden beach which was being bombarded by violent white weaves and a terrific wind on the afternoon we visited. We sought refuge in the Port William Inn where we could stay warm and enjoy hot food while looking out at the stunning views.

From Trebarwith, we made the drive up to our intended destination – the much-hyped Tintagel Castle. The location is unquestionably stunning, but as someone who spent their childhood running past the proud old mine buildings at Bottallack (Poldark fans out there will know these) and jumping in and out of ancient stone circles it was incredibly underwhelming. Of course, had the sun been on our side and the wind given us more of a chance, we would have ventured closer to the ruins and experienced their full glory. As it was, we held our scarves in place around our cold ears and looked from afar, marvelling only at the hideousness of the 'Camelot Castle' hotel.

Just a stretch up the coast is the gorgeous village of Bostcastle, famous for the Museum of Witchcraft and, sadly, for flooding disastrously in 2004. There we braced ourselves against the wind one final time to walk along the zig-zagging harbour wall and try a couple of scoops of Heslett Farm ice cream, 'the best ice cream in the world' according to a sign. It came close...

Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath 
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Remembrance at Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath 
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Camelot Castle Hotel, Tintagel | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Tintagel  Castle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath
Ducks fight the stream at Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

The sun on Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo © Rosie Pentreath

If you like this, why not try:

How to make the most of a British summer holiday
Cape Cornwall
So long, farewell, Bristol

Rosie Pentreath