Day One: Venice Biennale

With the Venice Biennale in full swing, Vogue Living correspondent Tina Gomes Brand reports from Italy on the highlights of this year’s fair.

Venice is buzzy with excitement as the 2013 Biennale of Art commences. Bumping into familiar faces in transit through Dubai, then in the narrow streets, in vaporettos, and in hotel lobbies, it is confirmation of why we are all here: to see the best of contemporary art from around the world.

Venice Canal

In the immigration line at Marco Polo Airport was Sydney Biennale’s 2014 artistic director Juliana Engberg. Also in the queue was Rupert Myer AM, Chairman of the Australia Council. Los Angeles interior decorator to the stars Wally Fernandez was seen strolling along Calle dei Preti, home to Hermès and Louis Vuitton stores.

Armed with a Biennale guide, we stopped at the utterly charming Hotel Flora at Saint Mark’s Square and sipped prosecco in their verdant courtyard spilling over with jasmine. Plans for the next days unfolded.

cloister of saint apollonia

This evening, VL attended the Australian welcome reception in the enchanted 12th-century cloister of Saint Apollonia. In the crush were former NSW premier Nick Greiner, Biennale commissioner Simon Mordant, architect Penelope Seidler, as well as artists Charles Green and Lyndell Brown. After speeches, bellinis and canapés, guests were treated to a concert of organ music in the 900 year old Saint Mark’s Basilica.linebreak


Word amongst experts is that Australia’s representing artist Simryn Gill’s work is powerful, and masterfully makes use of the Australian Pavilion. When this 55th exhibition closes, the Philip Cox-designed pavilion is to be pulled down. In its place, a sleek new building designed by Melbourne darlings Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) is going up in its place.linebreak


The forecast for tomorrow is for cooler weather and some rain. Venice is a street parade of eye candy — from the quirky to the classic chic. Whatever the range, there are bound to be more sweaters and jackets, and sensible shoes for the wet cobblestones.

Words: Tina Gomes Brand
Photography: M. Brand

One Response to “Day One: Venice Biennale”
  1. Isabel says:

    I love the Venice Biennale, and was impressed that Vogue Living had a representative blogging about it live from Venice this year. I posted the link to my facebook page, and it so far 26 people have “liked” the link (so therefore, “liked” the blog posts, really). The article is full of all the right facts and tid-bits that we want to hear! I think it is safe to say that anyone reading the blog posts will feel like they have been at the fair with Vogue Living. Very personable style of conveying the exciting environment to us, and great photos too! Thanks Vogue Living and Tina Gomes Brand.

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