Just a few bits and pieces from my recent Canberra trip.
The War Memorial is an iconic part of Canberra. This Honour Roll stretches along this wall and the colonnade on the other side. Way too many deaths. The red poppies are a symbol of remembrance. You can see some on the statue of Simpson and his donkey.
And how could we not eat an ANZAC biscuit (or 2!) there?
There was an exhibition at Old Parliament of some paintings from one of my favourite Australian artists, Arthur Boyd. I fell in love with his works when I saw the series of paintings in the Arts Centre, Melbourne. They are of Pulpit rock in different lights. Gorgeous. Check them out if you are in Melbourne.
Boyd had a social conscious, which he put into his paintings. He was passionate about the environment, Indigenous issues, nuclear power and human rights. This exhibition in Canberra helped me to understand some of the symbolism that he used to express his ideas. I am only posting 2 photos, but may do another post on Boyd at a later date.
Large skate on grey background (1979) is a very large painting of, no surprises here, a skate on a grey background! Sounds like an odd subject, but it was a beautiful painting.
Picture on the wall, Shoalhaven, (1979 – 80) a clever painting, showing Boyd’s concerns with nuclear weapons.
A little snippet that I found interesting…When Bob Hawke was Prime Minister he chose a very similar painting to this one to hang on the wall in front of his desk. He had a wide choice of art work, and could have had more than one. But the Boyd painting was the one he wanted to look at each day.
I travelled up to Canberra recently, to see the Turner exhibition. More of that in a later post.
For those of you out of Australia, you may not know that Canberra is our capital city. Our federal government is here, along with many public offices and building like the High Court. Unlike most cities, it is deliberately planned. The Australian states federated in 1901. There was debate about whether the capital should be Melbourne or Sydney, with a third option to build a city half way between the two. (Actually it is not half way — Melbourne is 660 kms and Sydney is only 280 kms. The rivalry continues!) So we have Canberra.
Following an international contest for the city’s design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins’ plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory. (From Wikipedia)
For those of you in Australia, no, I didn’t hear any knives being sharpened or deals being done! But I am sure that some of that was going on.
It is a good city to be a tourist in. Its design is lovely. Lake Burley Griffin in a feature that can be seen from many places. Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain are nature parks, with native animals and many other spaces are beautifully treed. Design continues to be a feature. Many of the new buildings, such as the National Museum, are are interesting.
And there is lots to see. Here is my list of the things we visited