Sunday, 6 December 2015

Travelling and visual delight

Now home at last from our recent trip, I'm beginning to digest everything I saw and experienced.  It was all so fascinating and there was such a variety of visual delight everywhere we went. I have much to think about and it will take time to work out where the new experiences will lead.

Meanwhile, as I download my photographs, I've been having fun sifting and sorting. As I travel around with my camera, I'm always on the look out for examples of the quirky, the bizarre, the unnerving and the unusual. A few favourites have so far surfaced from the myriad of photos from the holiday.

I start with a pair of quirky animal sculptures seen as we waited to go on a crocodile spotting river cruise down the Daintree River in Northern Queensland. These two were made from recycled metal cans painted in primary colours and were most appealing. I'm afraid I can't attribute them accurately but couldn't resist including them.



My favourite bit of fun was found in a shopping mall in Alice Springs - Santa's sleigh being pulled by six leaping white kangaroos and if you look closely, you will notice that the reindeer on the front left has a red nose (of course, he's called Rudolph!).


Now to things more serious. We really enjoyed the many bronze sculptures placed all around Singapore, some by familiar names such as Henry Moore and others by local artists which often depict the early life of the city. As we explored, we saw several in quiet corners including these two in Telok Ayer. Both were by local artist and sculptor, Lim Leong Seng. The first, Telok Ayer's Beginnings, commemorates the members of the Malay fishing community who lived in kalongs (wooden huts on stilts over water).


... and the second, called Chinese Processions, records the importance of festivals to the Chinese community both now and in the past.


Then from a harbour cruise boat, we spied this, First Generation, Fullerton Hotel 2000, by Chong Fah Cheong, showing how boys in the early days of Singapore used to enjoy jumping naked into the polluted river waters below. More details of all the sculptures can be found here.


Last of all, I include La Famille de Voyageurs, a bronze work by French sculptor Bruno Catalano, which we saw in Gardens By the Bay. It was a gift from Singapore Changi Airport to the Gardens. Although slightly unnerving, I found this work most compelling and spent much time enjoying it and returned to look again before I left the garden.



As the notice beside the work said, 'His works, with their dashed bodies and the deliberate lack of volume, invite you to mentally reconstruct the possibility of the human potential.' This piece explores the universal theme of travel and depicts a family heading for the airport on their way home after a visit to the gardens. They take with them their memories, and leave a part of themselves behind.

Isn't this so true of all successful travel?

2 comments:

  1. Ooo - that last one. Evocative to say the least. I was having a hard time moving on to your explanation of it, my brain not allowing my eyes to stop moving up and down the figure as it bounced between filling in the gap as if none existed and disbelief at the realization that parts were missing. You know how our brains are, working overtime interpreting signals to the eyes as they think they know best what's there. I kept thinking how well this represents the way we often look at people, filtering out unpleasantness to keep ourselves off the hook, but sometimes we can't deny what's before us. The artist's intent for this piece slightly different and one I like - that we leave a bit of ourselves no matter where we've been.

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    1. It was a most thought-provoking piece, not least because of the exquisite technical aspects to the figures. They were beautifully realised and utterly believable. This made the gaps give one even more of a jolt than they otherwise would have.

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