Sunday 6 May 2012

Day 401: Canberra Bonsais and Sculpture Park

Art Gallery of Australia
We wandered to the other side of Canberra's artificial lake, across a traffic roundabout that was hard of access, but contained a number of benches for the brave pioneers who did get there.  We passed a hobo pushing his supermarket trolley, then called in at the Bonsai collection (since Mike loves Bonsai). I spent my time thinking that after all, if it's possible to design a tree artificially, it should be possible to design a city, but you would have to understand how to do it.  Canberra's designer did not. Canberra is to cities what those ridiculous camouflaged phone masts are to trees.  I'm not saying it's unpleasant to visit, but if I had to live here, I would be on drugs within a month.  Mike on the other hand is having a massive nostalgia crisis for Washington DC because everything here seems to him to be based on his own capital city.  This tells you everything about Washington DC you need to know.

Bonsai 'forest' with real tree
Fog sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya

We spent the afternoon at the Art Gallery of Australia.  It's up there with the world's more impressive art museums, obviously with a very strong collection of Aborignal art. but also good Colonial art, some Asian and a bit of European and American thrown in.  The highlight for me was Sidney Nolan's series on the life of Ned Kelly, but that's because I'm developing an interest in Australia's folk hero.  We were only allowed to take photos in the sculpture garden and around the outside of the building but we got some nice ones.

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