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MEETING AN OLDIE IS NOT SO PAINFUL. LINGER AND GIVE IT A GO
I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.
Brisbane has certainly come of age since I first came north from Sydney early in the 1980s.
The capital of Queensland was a big country town then, in the grip of Joh Bjelke-Pedersen, the controversial long time Premier of that state.
I still live in New South Wales - and at the time I was only half serious when I said that I wouldn't ever live in Queensland.
Truth was I lived in a house right on the border and Queensland was just across the road.
However, my memories are of a brash State that seemed very under confident, always needing to push itself forward as though to bolster its own ego.
These days however things have changed a lot, and no area is more proof of this than the very impressive cultural precinct that these days has grown to include the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), alongside the more traditional Art Gallery of Queensland.
The cluster of buildings, also including the Queensland Museum, State Library and Performing Arts Centre, is always abuzz with Queensland locals and visitors.
GoMA was running a Picasso exhibition when I caught a train north last Sunday to meet there with a couple of friends visiting from Sydney.
'Picasso and His Collection' included 100 of his works plus 80 others from such luminaries as Matisse, Cezanne, Rousseau, Miro, Modigliani and Vuillard which had been in the master's personal collection.
Many of these were placed in the exhibition alongside Picasso works which had been obviously sources of inspiration for the Spanish master.
Also impactful for me were the African and Oceania works sprinkled through the gallery, again from the personal collection and again placed alongside the master's own works.
The effect was startling, underlining the profound effect these ancient artisans had upon Picasso.
Look at these:
First, an African mask in Picasso's personal collection, and second, a fragment of Les Demoiselles d' Avignon, a painting that was to become a watershed in the history of art.
Among stars in the exhibition (so far as I was concerned) were Matisse's Marguerite and Mogliani's Dark-Haired Girl, seated. Source GoMA
There were many other wonderful pieces in the exhibition, and Brisbane was lucky to have them. But then Brisbane has established the type of environment where such riches can exist happily. This is the foyer outside the new State Library, next door to GoMA where there are many facilities for students of life et al in this beautiful building. There is a sense of whimsy too, and plenty of space for fun.
These are giant sculptures of beetles playing happily on the ceiling of the library foyer. Of course, children love the place. Coffee and food are everywhere ... Gardens and architecture mingle to create great eye candy.
The complex sits on the southern side of the Brisbane River and there are long boardwalks that lead to many parks and places of historical interest. We're walking alongside the Art Gallery of Queensland. And the CBD is on the other side of the water.
These days, Brisbane is a city that's well worth a visit. I've Been Tagged By Kate of Shambles Manor
Apparently that means Kate will put her foot on my chest and hold me down until I answer the following questions:
1) Where was I 10 years ago? Let me see - I was pretty well where I am today except that my house was 1km away, in the same suburb. Boring eh? I did travel to Europe et al in between.
2) What's on my 'to do' list for today ? My 'to do' list today included a trip to the EcoVillage at Currumbin to help my daughter and other volunteers, answering questions for visitors at a World Sustainable Day. As you will have read in my previous post the village won the World's Best Real Estate Development earlier this year and with the honour comes the responsibility to spread the word about how to lead an environmentally friendly existence - although that's really what the village is all about anyway.
Hundreds of people closed in on the village to walk through three of the houses which had been thrown open for the day. It's great to see that many Australians seem to be developing a serious interest in sustainable living.
Also on the 'to do' - a visit to the Swell Sculpture Exhibition, again at Currumbin. Each year many very clever sculptors spend weeks and months to produce works that are mounted along the beach, drawing crowds for the ten days or so during which the exhibition continues. I had some problems with my camera so I'm going back in the next few days to take some pictures for 70 Plus and Still Kicking, and have a look all over again. Watch for the next blog!
3) What if I were a Billionaire ? I'd buy myself a house in the EcoVillage and live a sustainable life in a great community. I'd also do something towards the provision of low cost housing for the mentally ill.
4) Places I have lived ? Always in New South Wales in Australia. Born in Sydney, off to the beach 100km away at The Entrance when I was one, back to Sydney at 17, off to the Tweed Valley in Northern New South Wales at 43. Still there.
5) Bad Habits ? I'm a bit deaf and my daughter tells me I yell in a crowd.
Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I'm past my 70th birthday and undaunted.
So far I can look back on probably a dozen different phases in my life, all producing deeply felt experience:
- A barefoot carefree childhood in an Australian seaside town
- Work as a young journalist in the days of hot metal and male chauvinism
- Dipping my toe into real life in Sydney the big city
- Marriage and precious motherhood
- A second career in corporate public relations management
- Another marriage and disillusion
- Battles for financial justice in the law courts
- Re-jigging a career
- At 60 my first university degree (Creative Writing and Australian History majors)
- Fighting sometimes lost causes
- Sneaky aches and pains of the approach of age
- Living on a pension.
All fodder for writing and a valuable background for the development of what could become one day an incisive point of view.
My blogs may become a way of answering the question: 'What's next?'