Monthly Archives: March 2014

The second large scale installation in the Falling Back to Earth exhibition by Cai Guo-Qiang is Head On.

Yes it is.  It’s 99 wolves with their pack mentality, flinging themselves into a glass wall in a blind leap of faith. Their resilience and repetitive behaviour in coming back for more seem not to serve them well. Unseen consequences. Yet still the rush towards the unknown. The artist comments that invisible barriers are “the hardest walls to destroy”.

This is an installation that you can get close to, walk in and around and under the life size animals, and feel the fierce intent in the eyes of the wolves.

wolves panorama

Head On 1Head On 3Head On 2

This work is called Heritage and is part of the Falling Back to Earth exhibition currently at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Cai Guo-Qiang is the artist with an impressive body of work involving fire, explosives and large-scale installations. He was the Director of Visual and Special Effects for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

There are 99 animals replicated here. All of them, predators and prey alike, are drinking together at the one waterhole. One single drop of water breaks the surface and the quiet every once in a while.

It’s a pristine scene, almost utopian. If you are fortunate enough to be in the space with just the gallery staff for human company, this peaceful, reflective space holds almost restorative power.
Heritage 5Heritage 6Heritage 3

Heritage 7Heritage 4

Heritage panorama 3

It’s always fun to see how much light your camera can pick up at night time without a flash.

Cafe Newtown at the junction of King Street and Enmore RoadCafe Newtown

South Bank, Brisbane with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the backgroundSouth Bank at night - Queensland Performing Arts Centre in backgroundKing Street Station, SeattleSeattle - King Street StationB B King’s Blues Club, MemphisB B King's Blues Club - Memphis

Photographs held by family members hold a great deal of social history information especially if accompanied by stories passed down the generations.

These shots may never have been taken had the photographer not had tuberculosis around 60 years ago. While a resident in a sanitorium, a variety of occupational therapies were made available to him and other patients. I never saw the results of his basket weaving skills but these photographs warrant due attention and much respect.

I love their composition, candidness and captures of the moment, especially as they were more than likely taken with a Box Brownie, the most popular available camera in the early 1950s.

family group - Balls Head, Sydney c 1951

grandfather and grandson c 1951

on the beach - Gritty 19

cakesTen days ago we were heading back from Stradbroke Island with the knowledge that I was more than likely going to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer on the following day.  I don’t imagine that the topic of my health is going to feature highly on this blog over coming months. However, the occasional poem may emerge midst all of the ‘usual’ fare.

Here’s my attempt to make sense of the last fortnight. With gratitude to Patti Digh for the last line.

figs and sugar plums



a soak in the bath

liquid surrounds

random self-examination

an anomaly

that’s what we’ll call it for now

a rescheduled appointment

a confirmation

the anomaly has a new label

the biopsies

the waiting

two days on the island

beach camping

nature offers welcome distractions

wind, rain, birds, sea, sand

the GP visit

another confirmation

sleeping tablets suggested

red wine substitutes

liquid sleeping draft

the alcohol free zone can start tomorrow

calls made

commitments cancelled

the surgeon

a date

admission forms

gratitude for insurance

the airport

the family rallying

afternoon tea cakes

totem selfies

shopping for sleepwear

fresh vegetables and fruit for juicing

liquid green

a photo walk to the point on dusk

the hospital

gift packs, flowers

a cushion for afterwards

compression stockings

information pack overload

making blue people from surgical gloves

the glare of theatre lights

an anaesthetist with a Scottish accent


liquid sleep


eyes open

clock on the wall

rating the pain

liquid comfort

ice chips

sandwiches and rice pudding for dinner

half-hourly observations

normal sleep position unattainable

late night television

black and white reruns

a hungry plea before the breakfast run

honey toast and coffee delivered

liquid sweetness

morning shower

surveying the battle ground scattered with blue dye

more of a skirmish really

two incision scars, new shapes to learn


social groups on offer

introvert wants to run for the hills at the very suggestion

new phrases join the soon-to-be common lexicon


well wishes from all quarters

temporary restrictions dawning

new routines necessary

the vegetable garden is getting an extension

as loved ones focus on the ordinary

maintain a piece of the normal

the waiting

in between the surgery and tomorrow’s conversation

and now, just today

liquid salt

hello moment, I’m here

Lynn Buckler Walsh

mangroves 1

Stradbroke FerryNorth Stradbroke Island is so close to where we now live, it’s a shame that our trip this past weekend is only the second time we’ve crossed the bay since we moved here.

It’s a magical place to find some space to clear your head and soul.

There is no bridge to the island. That is a good thing. It means you need to make an effort for the journey and book a space on the ferry. So when an invitation arises from friends to spend time with them at their beach camp site, there is no other answer but yes.

Stradbroke Island - Google Maps - FX Hue YellowStradbroke - Flinders Beach Instagram

Stradbroke - camp site 2 - Grunge 01.

The site on Flinders Beach was nestled in behind the dunes where we communed with local wildlife including curlews, goannas, magpies and willy wagtails. Closer to the beach, it was the territory of gulls, terns, pelicans, oyster-catchers and sea-hawks.

Stradbroke - panorama - campsiteStradbroke CurlewStradbroke - goanna - Gritty 13

Stradbroke - Flinders Beach pelicans - Grunge

On Sunday afternoon, we took the North Gorge walk near Point Lookout where we had stunning coastline views and watched turtles and manta rays swimming below. During the season, this is a top spot for whale watching.  Any season, it’s a top spot for gelato after the walk.

Stradbroke - Main Beach 2 - FX

Stradbroke - Gorge walk waveStradbroke - gelati - Grunge

It rained through our second night. Nothing sends you to sleep better than that sound.

If all of the above wasn’t enough, fishing, freshly-caught fish dinners, scrabble, walks on the beach, drives up the beach, crosswords, books, wine and good companions were in the very enjoyable mix.

Friends who don’t live locally beware. When you come to visit us, a trip to the island is at the top of the list.


Stradbroke - twilight beach reflections

Here are three Bush Stone-Curlews we met on Stradbroke Island. Also known as the Bush Thick-Knee, they are remarkable for being able to stand, sit and kneel. Here are a few individual and family portraits. The fourth photo in this series shows one of the curlews demonstrating the reverse kneel.

Stradbroke - Curlew 6 - Tilt shift - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 9 - Grunge

Stradbroke - Curlews 5 - tilt shift - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 4 - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 7 - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 1