Best laid plans really are worth the half-written blog posts the server crashes on. On Saturday morning I rose bright and early, planning to go into Newcastle and take photos of the Bathers Way, newly re-opened after the removal of the Rather Large Rock, which crashed onto the roadway in 2002, and which it took Newcastle City Council three years to remove. Actually, it didn't take that long; they spent three years talking about removing it, finally decided on a plan to demolish it and remove the pieces, only to have it fall to bits when first grazed by a bulldozer when the engineers finally showed up. But I digress. Full of enthusiasm, I flung open the curtians on Saturday, looking forward to taking the joycam, getting some beautiful pictures of the Bogey Hole and the cliff above the ocean, and posting them here (of course!)...only to discover that it was raining.
This was not good. It certainly didn't make me happy. As I've said, I've been feeling shallow and work-obsessed lately, so I wanted to do something a little more creative. With a palpable sigh, I resigned myself to visiting the art gallery instead, hoping I would find some inspiration there.
Whilst Newcastle has undergone an amazing transformation over the last few years, many parts of the city remain in "eyesore" status. However, what is referred to as the city's "cultural precinct" is small, but really quite lovely, surrounded by mature fig-trees. (Here's a Newcastle history trivia aside for you: When Queen Elizabeth II visited Newcastle in 1974 to open the Cultural centre, the branches from the trees were lopped, so that when her motorcade went through, the birds nesting above wouldn't leave any "souvenirs" in her hair!)
At the art gallery, I visited all the exhibitions on offer. As usual, there was some short films I didn't get, some glass etchings I have to admit I wasn't interested in, and some wonderful Australian paintings by artists such as Rupert Bunny which I lingered over for some time. However, the treat of the day (for me) was yet to come.
The Lovett gallery, in the cultural centre next door, had an exhibition of the 2005 Walkley Award Press Photographer of the Year winners. Unfortuantley, none of the photos are available on line so I can't share them here, but if you have a chance before 18th February, do try to get along to see them (or wherever they may be displayed in your hometown!). I found it incredibly moving.
Thus inspired, I actually created several pages in my art journal over the weekend; especially remarkable since I hadn't touched it so far this year. But that's what happens in life. I've been so bogged down in my routine of office, supermarket, home - it's as though my mind is like a stuffy room, and it takes a shot of culture to let some fresh air in, and clear the creative cobwebs! Unfortunatley I've got another week of work now (and I left my chai tea at home - torture!) but if the weather is fine next weekend I will make my trip to the Bather's Way...so check back for some half-assed (not literally) photos...