The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.

SOME REASONS WHY ORIGINAL ART IN THE HOME IS AS IMPORTANT AS A BED

1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!

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1. Art Gallery NSW
One of Australia’s foremost cultural institutions houses a significant collection of Australian, European, Asian and Aboriginal Art. Located next to the Royal Botanic Gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour, only 15 minutes -walk from the city centre. 10 minute in a taxi from the Four Seasons Sydney.

Opening Hours:
Every day from 10am until 5pm
Open late on Wednesdays only until 10pm
Admission is Free.





2. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is located on the city side of Darling Harbour, in the heart of Sydney. This is one of the top attractions for families visiting Sydney. Sea Life Aquarium houses over 12,000 animals from 650 species including sharks, dugongs, turtles, stingrays, penguins, platypuses, tropical fish and much more.

Sydney Ferries to Darling Harbour depart from Circular Quay Wharf 5 approximately every 30 minutes. Click here for Ferry Information – link to Getting around in Sydney page. If taking a taxi, ask to be dropped off at King Street Wharf on Lime Street or Wheat Road. If taking the train Sea Life is located only a short walk from Town Hall or Wynyard Stations.

Opening Hours:
9.00am – 8.00pm, 365 days a year
Last entries strictly 7.00pm





3. Sydney Observatory
The observatory today is a museum and public observatory with an important role in astronomy education and public telescope viewing. There is also a virtual reality 3-D space theatre, exhibitions about astronomy, meteorology and the history of Sydney Observatory, cosy planetarium, souvenir shop and beautiful gardens.

Sydney Observatory is located near the historic Rocks District and the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.






4. Royal Botanic Gardens
At the edge of Sydney’s downtown is the Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis of green at the harbours edge. It includes a distinctive array of native Australian plants and examples of English, European and American-introduced species, laid out in the manner of a formal English garden. The Botanic Gardens’ tropical plant collection is housed in a temperature-controlled glass pyramid inspired by I.M. Pei

Gardens are 20-minute walk from the Four Seasons Sydney.

Opening Hours:
July & August – 7.00am to 5.00pm
Admission is Free





5. Museum of Contemporary Art
Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists.

On 29th March 2012, a bold, new and significantly expanded Museum of Contemporary Art was unveiled to the public. The redevelopment transformed the Museum, with spacious new galleries including an entire floor dedicated to the MCA Collection; the National Centre for Creative Learning with state-of-the-art technology; public spaces that embrace one of the world’s most famous locations, and a series of site-specific artists’ commissions.

Located on George Street the MCA is a short stroll from the Four Seasons Sydney.

Daily Free guided tours of exhibitions:
Weekdays: 11.00am and 1.00pm
Thursdays: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 7.00pm
Weekends: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 10.00am-5.00pm
Thur: 10.00am-9.00pm
Fri-Sun: 10.00am-5.00pm

Admission to the MCA is free
Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney






6. Taronga Zoo
Home to more than 3,000 animals from around the world, including Koalas, kangaroos, platypus and Tasmanian devils. Its elevated location offers outstanding views of Sydney Harbour. The zoo is a short ferry ride from Circular Quay.

Visit the Getting Around in Sydney for ferry information.

Opening Hours:
9.30am – 4.30pm (May–Aug)






7. Shopping
The Four Seasons Sydney is located on George Street, beside Circular Quay. George Street is excellent for shopping and is home to the Strand Arcade and the Queen Victoria Building. Pitt Street is parallel to George Street and is the home to the Westfield Sydney shopping mall.






8. Hunter Valley
A special Hunter Valley day tour is being organised privately for the World Harp Congress which can be booked via the registration site. You can select from the following days: Saturday 19th July 2014, Saturday 26th July 2014 and Sunday 27th July 2014 or alternatively book your own day trip for a different day.

Distance from Sydney: Approx. 2 hours






9. Sydney Bridge Climb
This is a fabulous experience and a wonderful way to take in the views of Sydney, either by day or night. You can book a climb via the registration site where the World Harp Congress guests can avail of discounted rates.






10. Sydney Opera House
The Four Seasons Sydney is located on Circular Quay which boasts spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House. The walk from Circular Quay to the Opera House is buzzy and beautiful. A ferry ride to Manly or Taronga Zoo for example is a really great way to view the exterior of the Opera House. We do hope you can attend and that you enjoy the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performance on Friday 25th July 2014.

Lots of cool places to soak up the atmosphere around the Opera House, these will be more costly but worth a treat considering the surroundings.


How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, Art.com director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."

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