Thursday, January 28, 2016

The last post from Tasmania

We visited the world famous Museum of Old and New Art ( yesterday, and it was provocative to say the least. We had been warned. There are plenty of signs saying that patrons may find certain exhibits offensive. Well, I can't say I was offended...just mightily uncomfortable in many of the spaces. Physically uncomfortable in the Cloaca exhibit...a massive machine that is fed twice a day and poops once a day so the smell is atrocious...worse than a badly maintained outhouse! Mentally uncomfortable in others! One fascinating installation was a waterfall of random words, depicting bombardment of information and how ephemeral it is. Ironically one artist statement was about how accessible his art was..."the cleaning lady likes it!"  And I struggled to understand it. So, art is meant to evoke feelings, and this sure did. We were happy to have gone, and happy to leave! Saw this car outside the museum entrance...

One fabulous display in Tasmania is "The Wall" in Derwent Bridge, a very small community about halfway between Queenstown and Hobart. A wood sculptor is creating many panels in bas relief using salvaged  Huon pine. His work reminded us of the lifelike marbles in Rome where the textiles and skin appear to be alive.

We've enjoyed the wildlife here, but what is dismaying is seeing the carnage on the roads. Wallabies, pademelons, wombats and others. We have tried to travel in daylight so as not to add to the roadkill. We have seen the echidna a couple of times...

...and the elusive platypus!
(You have to use your imagination to see the duckbill in the centre, but know that we were very excited!)
Both of these are "monotremes", creatures that lay soft shelled eggs and express a milk-like substance onto their fur for the young to lap up. (Handy travelling with a biologist who says this is another environmental experiment.)

A white parrot--these are very noisy!

And the more colourful variety!

We are off back to the mainland tomorrow, Saturday, and will be picking up yet another rental car to drive between Melbourne and Adelaide and eventually Sydney by February 24. My next post will be from the Great Ocean Road in a few days.

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