Category Archives: Wall art

The Big Smoke

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.

Brisbane River
The QUT end of town, note bridges and gardens

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.

Wood exhbits QUT
Lavish works in wood, worth the city trip

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.thXA0LMQHQ

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.



Mural entry

Time to catch up with some of the highlights as far as wall art is concerned. They might well be large images from my own resources – scan down if needed, to read the words.

  • We did visit the Mural capital of Australia – Sheffield, Tasmania. Where I took this shot of a waterfall on a building – two categories there, waterfall and wall art in one. (two smaller images above)
  • Encountering the images in Phillip Island was a bonus. Not sure what I will discover on saved on the cloud from there. (larger one on the left above – look closely, Kenny is there too.
Cann River art.


  • On the border, great way to further break the journey, look for a way to put Kenny into the shot. Pity it was so cold, we’d have further explored coastal areas near Cann River
  • Ocean beach wall in Forster – site of the Australian Ironman Triathlon for all those years, truthfully that endurance race’s spiritual home. Kenny again, likes a good bit of wall art he does.
  • WP_20140406_001
    Mural King – Kenny Koala
  • Woolgoolga – at the ocean lookout, art reflecting life; or rather the seascape that sensi-surrounds. This was visible forever, even turning part of the tower into the yellow submarine – well done those mural painters. Featured image .
Burleigh Heads Queensland art
Kenny surfer dude – gets the best wall art positions.
  • Burleigh Heads, themed with local pursuits – Kenny gets into the act again.

Time to put the computer to sleep, new life rule: I only work until the lap-top needs charging.


On the Road again

Leaving Sydney to Woolgoolga – departing early by 5am to avoid the traffic through the Northern suburbs. Being a newcomer to Sydney I couldn’t believe a lack in alternatives to winding through Pymble, Turramurra and even up to Hornsby once you were on the M whatever number. The roads follow ridge tops, loose and gain lanes creating bottlenecks: why is there not a lovely straight, traffic flowing freeway?

Woolgoolga vegetation
What a tree!

We discover the loyalty discounts that can be had by booking somewhere you’ve already stayed. Always a pleasure to take in the bush that surrounds Lakeside cabins, just out of Woolgoolga. We spot a stingray in the waters of Lake Hearn. Kookaburras perched on the trees watching us, watching them. But luckily they do not cackle as this according to Rod, ‘would mean it’s going to rain’. They do become our alarm clock at 5.40am. Wind on the town beach erased the swim-sun-fun factor.

Our visit to this familiar half way between Brisbane and Sydney spot aligns with both Anzac day (right) and the Curry Fest. The latter billed as, ‘the sights, sounds and aromas….a day for the senses…’preparation includes the arrival of banks of porta-loos (left). We’d already been instructed by our neighbour, ‘to get a curry there,’ on a previous business, but the festival gave us a chance to multi-indulge.

This small town has a huge Indian population owing to the presence of major Sikh temples, it’s called …The missing piece of Paradise…a title to which I am inclined to agree. untitled (259)Apparently Punjab immigrants came to work on the local farms in the 1940s. Obviously they liked it and stayed. I note that they own 90% of the banana plantations. Is that the same for the other major crop – blueberries? Pickers accommodation is to be had in town at $120 per week in a shared house, including wifi (jobs found on sites like Gumtree apparently) Bit of a weedy garden, but right on the beach.

All sorts of long overdue upgrades are underway on the Pacific Highway. One of the largest road infrastructure projects in NSW. I search for some figures of what is being spent to by-pass traffic around all those black spots like Urunga, (still sporting the scars of recent trucks crashing into buildings incidents) but seems only sections are aligned to numbers, $820 million for south of Kempsey. There is even a 51 page document about the Woolgoolga to Ballina section at etc etc etc.

Pacific Highway
About time for Pacific highway improvements

Fantastic landmark at the highest ocean lookout, even more elevated as it’s painted on the water tank. Must be visible for miles out to sea. Nice touch with the yellow submarine. (featured image)

Business Travel

Being home in gave us a chance to do a bit of casual work and recoup some cash. But also involved a quick trip to the old Ironman stomping ground Forster. All our involvement with running check in, manual capture of finishers and getting timing equipment to the correct location makes of 100 miles an hour activity for first light till well after the last finisher. Those doing a triathlon don’t realize how much goes on behind the scenes. Especially when a point score to decide state champion club must be calculated. Thank heavens the numbers expert the lovely Vivien was part of our team.

Forster - Tuncurry
Old stomping ground – home of Australian Ironman for all those years

We did get a chance to spend time on the beach, thanks to the generosity of the accommodation booked on our behalf. Kenny got to see the murals we were familiar with. These images were looking a tad stale and worn out. We caught up with fellow Engadine club members at the beach café.

The mural – Kenny’s holiday snap – featured image

It was eerie to view the Ebb Tide apartments from street level after so many years of staying there for Ironman races. And knowing that it would be possible to get an apartment, instead of booking a year ahead, or waiting for someone to die and sign over their perpetual reservation to you. We wondered aloud if the week only Saturday to Saturday restriction was still placed on these flats by managing agents.

Ebbtide Apartments Forster
That view for so many years, now we are looking at it form the other direction

We are marking time in Sydney trying to organize logistics like renewal of Rod’s driving license. This can be purchased 6 months in advance, but when he arrives one day before, the counter staff send him away. The car registration needs to be organized, a complicated system of green and pink slip, one from the Road Transport Authority and the other a certificate of roadworthiness from the mechanic. Then a few medical appointments; how do the real, years away gypsies do this?


Augmented Post

Taking a chance to catch up with some of my own images –

Missed some of the major information about the Giant Koala on Phillip Island, apparently he even had a name ‘Bruce’.

Thanks to my Big Things edited by David Clarke …5 metre high monster…welcomes travelers to Koala Park Resort on Phillip Island … local artist and sculptor Jason Monet .. had completed cow, bull and calf outside the dairy center…9 tonnes of imported American Oregon held together by dowelling – not a single nail, piece of wire nor any glue was used. Unveiled in Nov 1985.

Later repairs involved plaster, papier mache and glue, then fiberglass and being painted its current grey colour.  (featured image)

Taking a chance to catch up with some of my own images –

I didn’t know that at dusk his eyes light up too – that’s just creepy.

Phillip sland Chocolate factory
Chocolate balls view.

We also saw those “monet…” (he he he) cattle. See there was chocolate balls. They don’t make the Big Things categories because they are only slightly larger than life. There is a scale involved in being classified as a Big Thing.

These fantastic murals seen at Rhyll missed out too. Kenny loves wall art.

Rhyll murals Phillip Island Victoria
Kenny loves wall art

I am sure that the famous bridge onto PI would have made a bridges entry somewhere, just in case here it is. Must get some trivia details – 640m = 2,100 foot in concrete. Original wooden bridge was built in 1938.


Last Tassie Day

Yesterday was our last full Tasmanian day, so now we must use up that ‘dead time’ before departure. I first heard this concept in relation to the flight day, when you must find activities to occupy that space of time before leaving for the airport. So we have until early evening to keep ourselves entertained.

Steam Fest Sheffield Tasmania
The Steam fest with relevant Tasmanian mountain background

So it’s the promised trip to Sheffield, as we didn’t get that experience while Rod hugged the beach at the tour of Tasmania’s opening. Unbeknown to us this day is the Steamfest! An event just like one we encountered once in Thrilmere, only on steroids. Tasmania seems to have more antique steam roller and tractor enthusiasts per head of population. Shining, puffing, spewing fumes, chugging machines of all type parade up and down the main streets. There is no need to go to the showgrounds and pay an entry fee to get the sensi-surround experience. These monsters plus horse drawn vehicles create some awesome traffic snarls. (featured image) There is so much smoke I wonder what the air quality must have been like in the era when these things were in common usage. Or in the industrial revolution woolen mills – then I realize that some were water powered. The cacophony of noise is not just moving parts but whistles and horns, no wait that’s the emporium owner. Seems every small town must have a village crackpot.

Sheffield Tasmania
Each year they vary street art around the Visitor’s Information Centre

A local attraction Tazmazia matches the guy who runs the used gear, book, and junk shop. He is balding but with waist length dreadlocks, leaning over a young girl who is either his daughter or staff member. She tries to do something on an Ipad, ‘If I touch it there,’ he pesters. ‘Doownt,’ she whines. All while he sings “24 hours to Tulsar…” very loudly. Injecting comments about what type of person the central character in the song must have been. ‘So it only took a day, for him to forget…’

Sheffiled Wall Art Tasmania
Top left – Kenny

Sheffield walls are covered with all sorts of images. The town is billed as Tasmania’s outdoor art gallery, and it also seems a history lesson. Ironically one mural depicts a postcard shot of two girls smiling and eating apples, one is aboriginal – how can that be when European settlers managed to eradicate the Island’s first people? Tasmanian Tigers feature heavily too, when they suffered the same extinction. ‘Cat’, Rod shouts and I think he means a real one.

Kenny’s photos are difficult – I need to find a perch. It would be nice if I could get him into a tree, as he is missing that badly. I locate a post box that used to be red, and is now incorporated into a stump. A waterfall – Forth Falls, special category – being that it is on a wall.

sheffield Tasmania
Typical of Sheffield wall art – a waterfall to add to the collection

Curiously the RSL walls are blank. If ever there was a place for a commemorative mural surely the returned services club would be one? I ask at the visitor’s center, apparently there is one planned but they have to get it right. Something recalling what has been lost by wars, the League wanted to get the message behind a mural right.

I spend time exploring the Honey shop, even though we have enough supplies to last several months after my Smith of Smithton purchase. This container got dropped while we unloaded the car, but luckily it was not broken, cracked or disgorged its contents. On the shelves in Sheffield were a range of flavored honey including many with liqueurs added. Plus a designer range at $10 small container, (instead of 1kg from the roadside stall) even $20 for Manka honey.

Taking our leave of Mural-ville we head back to Spryton – and the Cidery. I take the ‘fruit loop’ walk and read information about fresh water crayfish. There is so much fruit on the ground, which I find annoying. I could never own an orchard, this wind-fall would frustrate me. I pick one from a heavily laden tree, which tastes fantastic. Didn’t steal it, just lightened the tree’s load.

Next we head for the Cherry Shed where our bubble is burst by confirmation that the season is over. They still have frozen fruit but we have no way to keep it from thawing. Even though we have seen the scale model before now we look for minute details like tigers, Tasmanian ones, of course. But we can’t find the snakes. Apparently rain affects growers as immature fruit drops off the trees.

The rest of our afternoon is spent using the internet at Maccas – that seriously is dead pre-departure time.

Sheffield Tasmania
Wondering where the signs point – Sheffield Tasmania

Weather not to your liking – wait a while

This day began in sun and with gentle breezes. Clouds then grey again, breeze strengthened as the day wore on. Now grey dominates and the chill bites making us seek shelter.

Wellington NZ storms
The extremes. Not quite our experience, but Wellington does have changeable weather

Blue rain from a clear sky

Our world a cube of sunlight

But to the South

the violet admonition of thunder.

Poetry quoted from walls of Wellington buildings.

Such turbulence even in early summer leaves me with the regurgitated thoughts about the end of the director’s life. All around us the mountain seem to hover, we are comfortable and secure in our car when the worst storms have hit. But any storm is bitter. What of someone walking the trails in winter. They must have believed themselves invincible, or have a death wish (of some of both)? To avoid even summer’s minor discrepancies we hear locals tell us they best time for holidays is February or even March. Such are the thoughts about Dr Seddon Bennington and his tramp into the hills in July. I can’t really judge, being that Ironman Triathlon has been my sport of choice.

Poetry Wellington
Poetry on walls, Google Image proof

Random words seem a trait of the kiwis, they daub quotes on walls and buildings in all sized cities and towns, but few are acknowledged.

Then with the coming of darkness the bay opened up beneath us like shells splashed with beads of light. D. Vikareh – novelist. Such a pity that even though I have searched extensively I cannot find any further information about this novelist.

I have seen such public art now in Auckland, Nelson and now Wellington. As we head again into smaller towns there will perhaps be less poetry writ large?

Wall peotry Wellington
See they do poetry on walls