Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2009/07/17 GoMA, Queen Street Mall, South Bank — Brisbane

Having completed a week at the conference, our family took the Friday afternoon at leisure to look around central Brisbane.  We started our visit at GOMA — the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

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The exhibits began before we even entered the building, with The High/Perpetual Xmas, No Abstractions 2008, by Scott Redford to the south of the walk.

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On the north side of the walk was a patch of Maiwar Green, and the view across the river.

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We happened on The China Project exhibition, including a larger-than-life sculpture of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong by Wang Wenhai.

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Down one side of this hall was a series of bronze sculptures titled Metaphysica 2007, by Ah Xian.

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Filling the entire facing wall was China Red 2008/2009 by Wang Qingsong.

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The posters of China Red continued up the atrium wall into the second floor.

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Each of the Metaphysica busts has unique features.

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In a side room was an installation of rocks titled Writing with Water 2002, by Song Dong.

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As part of the China Project for Kids, participation was encouraged.  Our sons dipped brushes in water, to leave temporary writings.

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On the second floor of the gallery, we found a hyper-realistic larger-than-life In Bed 2005 by Ron Mueck.

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I was struck by the bright oil painting, Blood on the Wattle, Blood on the Palm 2009 by Gordon Hookey.

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A strange combination of found objects and construction parts make up A stronger spring for David: toas for a modern age 2004, by Lin Onus.

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In the landing of the second floor, was a series of Utopia Panels 1996 by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, facing the China Red posters reaching up from the atrium below.  Just outside the gallery entry stood a statue — mimicking street performers — titled Tim 2006 by Christian Devietri.

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Looking down, the Metaphysica series and China Red stretched across the atrium.

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With a call of closing time at the gallery, we left to make our way to the city centre, walking east and north.  This took us by the covered plaza of the State Library of Queensland cafe.

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With the mild weather of Brisbane, the stairs of the library are open to the building exterior.

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The bank south of the Brisbane River is the site of the Queensland Cultural Centre.  We followed the stairs up to an elevated walk.

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Looking west, the sun was beginning to set in the Australian winter.

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The central business district is on the north bank of the river.

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We asked a person passing by — herself a visitor to the city — to capture our visit as a family.

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We had paused by the Approaching Equilibrium 1985 installation by Anthony Pryor.

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We reached the Goodwill Bridge, and crossed the river north into the city.

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On the Friday evening, we happened onto one of the free concerts for the 2009 Queensland Music Festival.  We decided to sit for a few minutes to wait to hear some local talent.

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The folk-rock band, Autumn Sun, had won the prize of the ABC Brisbane “Make Yourself Heard” competition.

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On the other side of Brisbane Square, the Treasury Casino lit up with nightlights is faced by 15 Spheres of Steam 2006 by Donna Marcus.

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We continued to the Queen Street Mall, starting from the (south)west side end.  The roadway has been closed, for a centre lane of stalls and restaurants.

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Musicians were stationed periodically along the mall.  We stopped for a moment to listen to a vibraphone player.

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At dinnertime, the outdoor cafes were busy.

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We found dinner in one of the food courts in the major buildings.  On the way back, we heard a singer-guitarist, performing between bursts of music from other louder musicians positioned nearby.

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Crossing back southward over the Goodwill Bridge, the Wheel of Brisbane was fully illuminated.

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Along the south bank arbour walk, we walked through the tendril sculptures guiding us eastward.

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We marvelled at the Wheel of Brisbane overhead, but weren’t motivated to become riders.

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The Rainforest Green of the Grand Arbour was too dark to explore at night.

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At the Suncorp Piazza, an open amphitheatre, we found some breakdancers practicising.  Noah joined them for a few minutes to compare moves.

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We continued east to the Stanley Street Plaza, a night market where people were congregating.

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One lifestyle market stall hawked merchandise such as bags and purses.

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Clothes are a likely find at a night market.

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Posters might have made good souvenirs, if we didn’t have to carry them onto an airplane.

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A local mascot — with handlers — had been following a route similar to ours along the south bank.

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Tired from our long week in Brisbane, we walked back towards the minivan that we had parked near the art gallery.

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Our family had spent the better part of two weeks in Australia.  The next morning, we started our return from Brisbane back to Sydney, where we would catch a flight back to Canada.

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