October 08, 2005

Blue Mountains, Wildlife, Art

Every night, when the sky is still darkening, just before it is completely black, thousands of fruit bats fly directly above our rooftop from the Botanical Gardens to someplace South of us. The large soaring mass lasts about 5 minutes and is a hynotic display.

The Blue Mountains were not as blue as I had thought but there was still a blueness filling the valley. An hour and 20 minute trek led us down steep stairs that took us into the gorge. We passed 3 rock formations called the 3 Sisters that stood out as layered piles of different colours of rock sticking out from the other cliffs. Wentworth Falls (300 meters!) was built the same way. Also a couple of red parrots with brilliant blue wings. And fortunately, none of the poisonous snakes or spiders we read about on the drive up. Most exciting was the ride back up, claiming to be the steepest train in the world. Like a Wonderland ride, we shot up the mountain with the rock wall cut close on either side of us. Going up, the walls gradually came in closer, the light becoming narrower, until we were in complete darkness... and then it was over. Fun!

And then were the hopping kangaroos and white feathered cocatoos! The hind leg and foot on Roo was so big, quite amazing to see in real life. And the birds with a green tuft waving on top of it's head. They looked like angels when they flew away.

Today was great too, saw some young talent in the Museum of Contemporary Art and a display of clothing, the designers being as young as 16. One girl silkscreens and uses a paintbrush directly onto suit jackets, describing "I use garments as my canvas". The Ken Done Gallery was so playful... bright bold colours with objects just splashed on the page, but still great compositions. He had actually started as an art director, and at 40 gave up the advertising world to use his marketing skills to produce tshirts. They were so successful with the tourists, he got rich (this is the key!) and was able to paint. Still living in Sydney, he has an entire gallery of his own work that changes with new paintings every couple of months. So I scrapped my patient detailed sketching habits and quickly scribbled a representation of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, Done-style. P


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