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Seeing Red – The Red Balloon Exhibition 2009

See The Red Balloon (website).

See the man behind The Red Balloon. Ok, technically he’s in front of the red balloon…

Before I lose anyone, there is food below! Please read on…

Meet Billy. He’s the photographer behind this thought-provoking photography exhibition known as The Red Balloon – an exhibition highlighting the tragedy of the Victorian Bush fires whilst conveying a sense of hope and optimism through the medium of a single red balloon.

For those of you who don’t know, Billy is also the writer/photographer of the food blog A Table for Two.

The opening night crowd.

To me, the red balloon symbolises the positive spirit of the local people affected by this tragic moment in our recent history, as well as the kind nature of the people who had volunteers their time or offered financial assistance through charitable donations.

However, is the symbolism of the red balloon really as I’ve stated? Is there more to it, or were there other intentions for this symbolism? What were Billy’s motivations for going down to Victoria to take these photos in the first place? You can find out the answer to this and more.

There will be a Q&A session with Billy held on Sunday 21st June, at 1pm at the exhibition. Apologies for the short notice but for those of you who are able to make it, please spare a moment to drop by the exhibition, ask a few questions and get to meet with the man himself. There is also the Danks St Depot restaurant right next door, or Fratelli Fresh Italian produce store just up the road if you’re looking for other things to do while you’re in the area.

Now, I did mention that there would be some food, so here it is.

Due to what seemed to be a spontaneous arrangement, Richard, Yas and I met up with Billy during the week at the exhibition to have lunch. Not just any old lunch but the legendary kastu sando that you may have heard about recently if you’ve been following the chatter on twitter (if not, follow here).

For those not in the know, it’s simply a tonkatsu sandwich – a piece Japanese styled crumbed pork, with grain mustard slabbed between two fluffy white pieces of bread.

Well, at least they should have been fluffy. Since they’ve been steaming away in a box for around an hour, they ended up more soggy. However that did little to affect the overall taste, which was pretty good.

You can find more info on the katsu sando, where to find it and cost at hungry.digital.elf.

For dessert, both Yas and Richard provided a little treat.

Funwari Meijin, which loosely translates to “fluffy expert”, was Yas’ contribution. There’s something lost in translation as it isn’t exactly “fluffy”.

Put one of these savoury treats into your mouth and it disintegrates almost immediately. It’s similar to the sensation you get with fairy floss but ends with the mouth feel akin to a real crumbly short bread.

Richard’s contribution is a loquat jelly brought back from a trip to Japan. Having never tasted loquat, this too was interesting in its own way. The taste is something similar to a combination of apricot and peach.

What the…


For your convenience, there are toilet facilities at the gallery. Just don’t get caught taking a photo of a person leaving the toilet like I almost did!

See The Red Balloon.

As indicated above, the exhibition will be open until 27th June. Please note that the gallery will not be open on Monday 22nd June.

If you’re unable to make it to the gallery for whatever reason (or excuse), at least tune in to 2SCR 89.1FM this Monday 22 June from 11am. Billy will be on the radio talking about his exhibition.

The Red Balloon (website)
The Depot Gallery II, 2 Danks St Waterloo
Tues to Sat: 11am – 6pm, Sun: 10:30am – 3pm

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • billy@atablefortwo June 20, 2009, 10:46 pm

    oh those Depth of Field from the new camera is killing me! Who is the pro now huh? :) Thanks for the plug :)

  • Kat June 21, 2009, 1:37 am

    Great post on the red balloon … Wish we could have made it to check out Billy's work. Also reminded me of the wonder that is the katsu sando.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/katnkim/3464936462/
    One of our favorites we enjoyed just outside of Sapporo.
    The addition of the mustard sound delicious! ;p

  • Karen June 21, 2009, 3:27 am

    Ok you do realise you have to give me camera lessons now right?

  • Forager June 21, 2009, 5:21 am

    Very nice photos with the new camera. Matter of time my friend before I finally get one too :) (can't wait).

    Loquat jelly? Interesting. My parents have a productive loquat tree. Wonder if I could make that jelly myself..

  • Yas June 21, 2009, 5:49 am

    hehehe it was a fun quick lunch!

  • FFichiban June 22, 2009, 3:27 pm

    Yeah mann! That photo of the opening night looks fake haha!

    I was also :S at the toilet signs haha

  • Leona June 25, 2009, 12:18 pm

    Hey Simon
    did u get a new lens? or camera? or is this the 5D? Digging the new DoF!!!

    You put all of us to shame! with ur lens!

  • Simon June 27, 2009, 11:34 pm

    hi billy! Like all bad craftsmen, I'm going to blame the tool on this one :P

    hi Kat! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    Nice photo of the katsu sando. Looks real yum!

    hi Karen! Do you realise that you have to give me baking lessons, right? :)

    hi Forager! No doubt, when you get your camera, you'll be as overjoyed as I was :)

    If you do decide to make the loquat jelly, would love to hear about how it went.

    hi Yas! Wasn't it? Arrived a little late to my meeting but it was worth it all the same :)

    hi FFichiban! Dude, thanks for pointing out my hack job… :)

    hi Leona! The first few photos and the bathroom door were taken with the loaner 5d mk II. The katsu sando onces afterwards were all on my 500D.

    Yes, it's the lens, not me that's doing it! :)

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