I find a tiny write up about an exhibition at the QUT. Wood: Art Design Architecture. In our price range too – free. All we have to do is find the location.
What’s different in Brisbane city? So long ago 1977-78 I worked on Eagle Street, adjacent the river, but back then I had no idea about the surroundings. Even though I know back then I used to alternate which train station to alight, and walked various roads to the office, all those years which have passed, all those different cities in which I have lived make me more aware to take a good look around.
From Kari Gislason’s The Promise of Iceland…the ‘left bank’ of Brisbane, and it was actually rather lovely. The Story Bridge was lit up on our right, right, and the sky rises of the city stood close to heater on the other side. It was warm and hazy, as it always was in this town, even in winter. Only later would we really appreciate gaining warmth would be. I enjoy the turn of phrase about the sky rises, and take on board the description of this city, refreshingly brazen in the sun.
Still more – Brisbane is all about liquid aroma- the heady comforts of the Pacific…I welcomed the heavy fragrances of the coming summer…I asked if we could stop by the river and take in the air…recall just how enveloping the atmosphere was. It picked you up ad carried you away with the pollen. There is no doubting Gislason captures the aroma, would we pay as much attention to the details?
Brisbane: Our first impressions included – crowded, traffic, lights on intersections and more expensive petrol. The latter we put down to a new Cosco supermarket and garage close-ish to Bribie with some extreme cost cutting. Locals might have reason to be nearby and can fill up, or take advantage of reasonable prices on Bribie Island Road – the one road from the Bruce Highway to the Island.
Back to Brisbane: They are opinionated, especially about Rugby League and the State of Origin tests.
Finding QUT confirms my thoughts that no matter where they are universities have a particular insular ambience. There are always people milling about with purpose, non-threatening, personal space intact, totally engrossed in their own tasks. Universities always have interesting books shops and cheap cafes.
I see Bay of Fires in the QUT bookshop, with a label ‘brilliant Australian Debut” – takes me back to our Tassie adventure.
But a challenge to being a visitor on a university campus is to find a particular building, thank heavens for signs to point out the directions to our target exhibition.
The exhibition title was about art and architecture, very apt as some pieced are whole buildings, even an entire concert hall. The Tree of Knowledge (featured image) which is a memorial to the beginnings of the Australian Labour movement, in a place called Barcaldine. Apparently this is also the site of a shearers strike, the original tree was poisoned so they build an Architectural tree. These pieces are wonderfully detailed, thinnest plywood cut into lace, great recycling efforts to minimalize wastage.
Outside the surrounding botanical gardens have random deck chairs under giant fig tree.