An Unexpected Road Trip

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We have taken an unexpected trip interstate to our nation’s capital city – Canberra – over the last few days to meet with a client – hence not much art happening.  It’s a while since I have been there & I had forgotten just how lovely it is. Canberra was designed by a Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin & his wife Marion Mahony Griffin is a beautiful city that has wide roads & a combination of native & European trees.  Marion was the first registered female architect in the world.  They were both from the ‘Praire School’ of architecture & Img_0256_resizebelieved that it was 606pxcanberra_planwbgimportant to integrate the natural environment with the built environment in a seamless way.  It is a configuration of circular boulevards & connecting sightlines that are incredibly beautiful. It being Autumn (Fall) in Oz means that we saw magnificent vistas of amazing colour, framed with our evergreen natives.  IImg_0266_resize also Img_0183_resize had the opportunity to visit a current exhibition at the Australian National Gallery called Turner to Monet, a collection of 103 landscape paintings that were just magnificent.  The depth that Turner achieves just with tonal change in colour is a wonder to behold…….other artists, whose work I was not familiar with were impressive as well. This one was my fav.  The colour & tones of the sea were just indescribable.  Tiny nuances of change in tone that created a whole shape of itself.  VERY beautiful. 

I discovered the work of Ivan Shishkin (a Dutch Russian painter) from 1880’s – hauntingly beautiful work on treescapes.  The ones that I saw in the exhibition are not pictured in the link, they were deep moonlit night tones & hauntingly beautiful trees in beach scenes with deep paynes grey skies.

Coincidentally we visited at the time that our natiImg_0051_resizeon commemorates the service of our armed forces – called ANZAC DAY  It has been quite a few years since I visited our National War Memorial & I was amazed at how much money & work had been applied to create appropriate representations of Australian service in the various conflicts we have been involved in.  There is a big wide boulevard with intermittent reflection points, each of which have a monument to either a particular war, or to one of the branches of our armed services.  At the top of the boulevard is the War Memorial building which houses artifacts, interpretive info & original multi media that you can view.

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The

memorials were huge edifices……it fascinated me that we always choose art to soften the blow of the terrible reality.  Their forms were all hard surfaces with primarily angled & harsh shapes, there is nothing kind about war, other than the mateship & friendships formed that for some, last a lifetime.

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