Destinations: Sydney has a multitude of options

The Life: Snapshot of Sydney for business traveller with time to kill

With its picturesque setting, downtown Sydney, Australia, offers a multitude of options for any business traveller looking for a few hours to kill.

For thrills there is the observation deck 260 metres atop Sydney Tower, where tourists regularly make their "Sky Walk" across an open-air, glass-floored platform, or the even more popular Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. This is a 90-minute ascent to the venerable bridge's top arch at 134 metres high, with stunning views of the cityscape and harbour.

An active diversion would include a jog through the Royal Botanic Gardens, located alongside the famous Sydney Opera House.

But those seeking cultural enlightenment would do well to visit an exhibition of portraits from legendary American photographer Annie Leibovitz at the Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore between the Opera House and the bridge.

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Liebovitz is perhaps most famous for her December 1980 work in capturing the singer John Lennon curling up to his girlfriend Yoko Ono, although her reputation has only continued to grow until the present day.

On display until April 26, Liebovitz's collection includes powerful images of both the famous and the familiar. Interspersed between stunning photographs of celebrities and politicians, from Mick Jagger to Nicole Kidman and George W Bush, are two decades of images that document the lives and times of her friends and family.

Leibovitz has been documenting American popular culture since the early 1970s, a time when she placed her photographs in Rolling Stonemagazine. A decade later, she began working with Vanity Fair and Vogue to build up a rich and diverse body of work.

This collection, entitled Annie Liebovitz: A Photographer's Life 1990-2005, was exhibited in the US and Europe before becoming a fixture on the Sydney International Art Series.

The celebrity shots are eye-catching, but the exhibit's other half, of her friends and family, has a grounding effect.

In it she shares the personal moments from her life, including births, deaths, reunions and vacations: her parents, and the families of her siblings, and of her long-time partner, the writer Susan Sontag who died in 2004.

Published: February 28, 2011 04:00 AM


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