Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Northern Exposures

I've just returned from a visit to Queensland.

Primarily it was to visit various friends who now live there, but it also gave me the opportunity to catch up with the latest Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6) at the new(ish) Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)

Like a lot of the Biennales and Triennnales it was a mixed bag. But like mixed bags, you can usually find some things to appreciate. My top three are represented (quite poorly I might add) by the photos below (all from various sources on the web)

The first was a small tree which appeared to sit on a small earth island. The enclosed glass fronted room which encased it was filled with mist/fog and the tree turned very slowly. It gave the impression that one was slowly floating by perhaps on a boat or raft and was extremely calming and peaceful.

Kibong Rhee 'There is no place – Shallow cuts' 2008

The second was a glass beaded reindeer (life-sized) in a stark white room. Mesmerising. It had the quality of an extremely precious object or the dazzling reflections of an overly ornate piece of Baroque or Rococo furniture (such as an elaborate chandelier). As a sculptor, I also was intrigued (as I am by many sculptural works) as to the method of its construction. Fiendishly difficult was one thought that sprang to mind.

Kohei Nawa 'PixCell-Elk#2' 2009

The third piece was an interactive installation. A small room with over 100 000 strands of knotted thread hanging from the ceiling in which one could walk through. It felt as if one was underwater. The combination of tactile and optical sensory perception was remarkable, quite unlike anything I've experienced before.

Shinji Ohmaki 'Liminal Air – descend' 2007

Brisbane was very hot and stiflingly humid. I did however, have the opportunity to walk through one of my favourite public parks/gardens - the Roma Street Parkland, a modest but beautifully laid out garden behind one of Brisbane's main transit stations.

Roma St Parkland location.

From Brisbane I headed North to Noosa to stay with friends and had a few days in miserable weather (Full moon and King Tides coupled with the tail of Cyclone Olga means LOTS of water - both rain and high water marks from the ocean and Noosa River.)
But they needed the rain, and it kept Noosa cool which I was relieved about. So I spent my time with a mixture of Tennis (actual and televised - good on ya Fed), BBQ's, cafe's, swimming (in backyard pools) and cafe's.

AND - a mandatory visit to the ginger factory at Buderim!
I love ginger in all forms (except perhaps rangas...)

part of my hoard

Below are some of the amazing variety of ginger flowers from the Ginger factory plant shop: