Friday, 17 July 2015

Day 96 - 17th July

Canberra to Bungendore

Distance Travelled - 64.5 km

Awoke early to a crisp and coolish morning, thankfully the temperature has not reached the expected minimums whilst I have been in Canberra. They had forecast up to -3 degrees but I think the lowest it has got is minus 0.5
Having slept undercover for the night the tent was dry and very quick to pack away. Having got up at about 7 am  I had packed away, eaten breakfast and had a coffee by 7.30 am. I headed off towards Maccas to post my blog and then went for a walk around the Dickson area in Canberra. When the shops opened around 9 am I went for a quick squiz in a few before going back to the car.

Decided to go to the National Gallery first so drove there and then read in the car for about half an hour whilst waiting for it to open at 10 am. The gallery was reasonably interesting although a lot of the exhibits were down whilst they are refurbishing the gallery and changing some of the exhibits over. One section that particularly interested me was a section on hand coloured photography. The basic premise is that a photo is taken as a black and white, enlarged to the required size and then hand coloured using the desired medium - paint, pastels, pencil etc. For the majority of the photos I viewed I think the technique, revitalised in the late 70's, detracted from the original photo and hence did not particularly appeal to me.

As I was leaving the gallery I walked past an older lady who was talking to a small group of students about various artworks displayed in the gallery. The one she was explaining was Pollocks 'Blue Poles', which I personally struggle to see as decent art, particularly when you consider it was purchased for a multi-million price tag.  I had to chuckle when the lady asked the kids what they could see on it and one of the kids replied, "A mess'. I said to the nearby security guard that I agreed and wondered how some of the things in the gallery could be considered art  and especially why these were considered of such national importance they had to be bought and displayed in the gallery. Really, a bicycle wheel in a set of bicycle forks sitting on a stool is classed as nationally significant, or a 6x4 foot canvas painted blue (that's all) is classed in the same way?? The guard and I had a good chat on the merits of art and photography, he also is a photographic enthusiast like myself. and thought similarly about some of the artwork displayed. It was pleasing to get some sort of validation form someone actually working at the gallery.

After leaving the gallery I went to the National Australian Archives which was an interesting experience. At the moment it is the anniversary of the date when Queen Victoria signed the papers giving Australia permission to become a Commonwealth Nation. In a light controlled room kept under glass and covered in black cloth were the original documents that were on display for this fortnight as part of the anniversary celebrations. It was interesting to see and read, if only quickly before the covers were replaced. Apparently they have been displayed long term in the past and the documents have started to deteriorate. Now they only come out on special occasions.
The rest of the archives was equally as interesting with a lot of unique stuff to look at. It is surprising to see some of the stuff that has been banned or confiscated because it was considered too racy or inappropriate for public consumption. I wandered through the archives for an hour or so before heading off.

Left the archives and went and did a little bit of food shopping for the next few days and then started out of Canberra. Drove to Bungendore where i visited the antique shop again and also a couple of other shops I hadn't been in when I came through on the way to Canberra. After finishing there went to the local showgrounds where I was able to camp for the night. Set up and read for a while in the afternoon sun, although it wasn't producing much warmth. Eventually cooked and had tea before doing some star photography, sorting photos, writing my blog and getting ready for bed.
Tomorrow I will visit the Wood Gallery again and then head for the coast and Green Cape Lighthouse, near Bateman's Bay. Over the next few days I will finish the NSW lighthouses and move into Victoria.

                                                       Dead tree near Bungendore

                                        Trees and stars at night, Bungendore Show Grounds

                                           Trees and stars at night, Bungendore Show Grounds

                                               Stars and clouds, Bungendore Show Grounds

                                              Stars and clouds, Bungendore Show Grounds

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