This afternoon I had a few hours to kill since my car was at the mechanics. So my daughter and I went with my parents to visit first the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture's garden by the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, and then to the National Gallery of Australia. It is nice to be able to enjoy my home town, Canberra, the capital city of Australia. I might make a post another day about the ACCC garden, since it featured a great collection of plants from the Bible with plaques to explain each one.
But today I am going to write about our trip to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA).
The NGA has recently been refurbished so that visitors enter through a grand entrance way. It is a big improvement.
You used to enter the gallery via the bridge on the first floor. Please note the groovy shadow on the wall cast by the hanging sphere. This sculpture is one of my favourites. The bridge joins the NGA to the High Court of Australia, over to the left of this photo.
Outside the gallery are a group of pears. The Pickle asked if she might climb on them. All three adults answered "No!".
Whenever I see this sculpture I sing a song in my head "Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round" by Queen
Here's the new front door to the NGA. It feels more personal and "human" being able to walk straight in off the street rather than having to ascend to a higher level like an ancient ziggurat. Admission is free, and 98% of the time there is no queue to get in, only a problem when a major exhibition is on and the crowds all flock to see Monet or Picasso or whatever. In that case, an admission fee is charged, just to see that particular exhibition.
Some tourist posing by this ball give some scale. The ball is carved with Aboriginal symbols.
We went on a walk to a new exhibit, outside in the grounds of the gallery. See that mound covered with grass with a door cut into it? Well that building and the surrounding gardens is known as the "James Turrell Skyspace". Here's a link to a webpage about it which includes a clip from an ABC TV program about it.
There is a nice path to walk along to get to the exhibit. The gardens feature plants which are native to Australia.
Here is a waterfall, providing the tranquil sound of running water.
Beside the pond with the waterfall are some really wide grassy steps.
Remember how I said sometimes you have to queue to get into the gallery? Well there were thousands of visitors to the "Masterpieces from Paris" exhibition, it was a true blockbuster. It would appear their admission fees have funded this new garden.
Here are my mum and dad approaching the entrance to the building. It is like entering a barrow tomb. Please note the tacky yellow "danger floor is slippery when wet" sign. Nice one OH&S!
Inside the building...a waist high pool, crystal clear water and a dead worm making the letter S.
We kept walking around the Stupa which is inside the pool and came to a bridge. The bridge led to a door in the stone structure. Inside it is like a house from Tatuin on Star Wars. The walls are smooth and white. There is a round stone set in the floor. A bench seat runs around the wall. When you sit on it, your bottom feels warm. Dad thought the seat may be heated, but I thought it might have been from the sunny day.
Of course, our natural inclination was to look up. There is a perfectly round hole set into the roof. And a wonky shaped spot from the sunlight beside it. I stared for a while, waiting to see a bird fly past.
Nothing happened. The Pickle did a few turns on the stone in the middle.
Then she put her head on my lap for a little rest on the warm concrete bench.
We walked back out.
One last look back at the mound.
In shop news, I have been featured modelling clothes on the front page of Etsy two days in a row now!
And I made a cute size 1 winter pinafore from corduroy and quilter's cotton from the op-shop. It also features an applique heart made from a D9P block leftover from SIL's quilt. Two palm tree buttons, also from the op-shop, complete the look. The dress is actually a bright, Robin Hood sort of green. It is hard to photograph because of the lines in the cord. In the background, you can see the top section of our worm farm, I will tell you more about that later maybe.
Thanks for reading about my blog post, and if you are ever in Australia, make sure you pay a visit to our national institutions here in Canberra. Always well worth a visit.