Van Gogh: Four Seasons Collection

Today as part of my French cultural unit at school I got to go on a school trip to the National Gallery  of Victoria (NGV) in order to see Van Gogh’s Four Seasons Collection. The whole purpose of this collection was to focus on not only Van Gogh’s famous works which he is known for (Starry Night, Sunflowers), but his earlier works and the works that inspired himself. The theme of the collection were the four seasons of winter, summer, spring, and autumn which together symbolised the circle of life.


I thought it was amazing to see that Van Gogh was inspired not only by other western and European artists but eastern and Japanese artists. Van Gogh based many of his later works off of Japanese woodblock prints which focuses not on depth but on emphasising lines. I further enjoyed the evolution of Van Gogh’s works from the grey and dull drawings and paintings to the then more vibrant and colourful paintings with colours that stand out and contrast each other.


The only downside at visiting his exhibition was that there was a lot of people and that meant a lot of pushing and shoving and being unable to see most of the work. Aside from that it was truly beautiful and I am so lucky to have visited the exhibition. 

Furthermore, what I love about the NGV is that they have some exhibitions on display for FREE! Which is great if you wanna pop by and just have look at some art.

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Being a French Exchange Student

Hello my lovelies,

Today I’m going to be sharing with you my experiences of being a French exchange student. Back in 2014 I was an exchange student in Bordeaux, France for about one month. So, I want to share with you the comparisons between France and Australia and things you should take note of before going there.

School hours

Be prepared for long hours at French school! In Australia, school starts at 9 in the morning and finishes at 3 in the afternoon everyday. This obviously differs in year 12 when students get free periods, and they can leave school earlier.

In France school starts at 8 in the morning and can finish at either 12, 4, or 5 in the afternoon. This really ruined my system when I was there because I had to adjust to a different flow, and I found myself being very fatigued throughout the whole day. However, after a week I did manage to adjust to the flow and new schedule.

Policies

One of the main things that shocked me in French school was the fact that smoking was legal, as long as it was outside of the school gate. It was so strange to see all the French students congregate outside of the school and light up a cigarette. This is because in Australia smoking on or anywhere near school premises is the biggest ‘no, no’.

Lunch time

In Australian schools you get around an hour off for lunch and you can either have a packed lunch from home or you can buy something from the canteen. What I hate about Australian is the fact that we are not allowed to eat inside. It’s frustrating during the winter because no one wants to stand outside in the cold and eat their food.

In France students eat indoors in the cafeteria, and they have a hot lunch. They have a ‘plat principle’ which is a main meal, they then can choose from cheese, fruit, yogurt, and a dessert.

Uniform 

In France students do not need to wear a uniform to school and are allowed to wear free dress. This differs from Australia, as in Australia you have to wear a school uniform. I wasn’t really nervous when it came to wearing free dress in France…in fact I was thankful. Let me rant a little, I hate school uniforms in Australia. They are expensive, not comfortable, and are made of the worst material. Personally, I liked wearing my own clothes which I feel comfortable in.

That’s all the comparisons I can think of, and I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Signing off,

TheMakeupDumpling

Books to read, while travelling

Hello my lovelies,

So, the school holidays are fast approaching and that means travelling!  Thus, I decided to compile a list of book recommendations, that I enjoyed reading while on holiday last year.

Haruki Murakami/ After Dark 

Haruki Murakami, is by far one of my favourite authors. He knows how to captivate an audience with his subtle writing style. This book revolves around a young girl named Mari, who finds herself in the shadow of her ‘perfect’ sister Eri. The book touches on her struggles of breaking away from being just ‘Eri’s sister’. What I personally love about the book is the fact that it is set during the middle of the night, hence the title ‘After Dark’. By setting it during that time it provides a more unique atmosphere, that fully captivates the reader. Furthermore, I like how the book also delves into the point of view of other characters that have intermingled themselves into Mari’s life. This allows Murakami to broaden the plot of the story, but still focusing on Mari.

Alexa Chung/ It

If you follow my blog you may know that I adore this book, considering I have already made a review about it already. This book does not necessarily have a set structure, it is more so like delving into the mind of Alexa herself. The book is a compilation of all of her musings regarding fashion, music, and love. It shows her journey of self discovery into her own sense of fashion and style.

George Orwell/ Down and Out in Paris and London

This is the first ever Orwell book I have read. This book is an biography and revolves around Orwell’s life in Paris and London and how he lived through poverty. Orwell does not keep anything secret and is blatant in telling everything regarding the people he has met and how he tried to make ends meet.

Along with this post I have also uploaded a YouTube video, based on the same topic.