Tag Archives: Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park

Blogs can connect people purposefully and with pleasure

Some people refer to social media as a force which separates people, however in my experience I see it brings people together. Through my blog I have ‘met’ interesting people with whom I might not otherwise have connected and I have learnt a great deal.  My blog has introduced me to a world of wonderful ideas, beautiful environments, and to people who demonstrate they are vitally alive.  Every day I love to open my laptop and check who has sent me a comment or an email or to discover and read a recent blog posting by someone I am following.

Earlier this year, blogger Denise from upstate New York emailed to tell me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to walk in one of the locations I had previously written up.  This started what has now developed into a strong online relationship.  Eventually we met and walked when she visited Tasmania.

Denise at MONA 2015

The photo above shows Denise heading off towards the car park. It was the end of the day after we had walked from GASP (Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park), lunched at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), checked out the current exhibitions, and realised it was time to travel home.

This November has been a special month for Denise because she decided to highlight special people in her life: she selected 30 people and wrote a daily post throughout November. I was immensely surprised when she added me in. Denise’s post can be read on her blog ‘Dee Scribes’  When you have read this, you may like to read some of her earlier postings.  As a thoughtful, intelligent and articulate advocate for redefining disability, she is second to none.  Denise is a professional with  humour and flair.  I have learnt so much more by reading her blog posts. Thank you Denise.

The euphoria continues

Yesterday a friend An drove me up along the Derwent River where we stopped off at a few dams, power stations and lakes. I was studying the terrain at ground level (our most recent Service Tasmania maps are aged and Google Earth photos are not current either), seeing where forestry and hydro tracks existed and determining where I will need to make my way through bush ‘with walls’. I can see a line of fiction here – turning an almost impassable density of bush into a character (an evil character – even though the bush is sublimely beautiful and bountiful) that has to be overcome.  My strategy will be as always, one slow step at a time and then the bush won’t even know I have come and gone (although my muscles will).

I walked some small sections yesterday, but I won’t write them up until I have walked in the areas westwards from Gretna to those sections.  I know now that it is difficult for some local readers to understand where I have been and therefore, if I change the blog posts from being a chronological record, it may be even more unclear.  Besides, by writing the stories in order and finishing with the last walk to the source it will be clear I have walked the Derwent.

Yesterday explorations and walks were as uplifting as the previous day’s flight; it was as equally wonderful, just different.  I feel gushy with delight when I am in the bush on a blue sky day, with no wind, and with a temp that rises sufficiently but not so that I boil.  Once I am sitting on rocks in the river bed with my lunch, listening to the birds, and sensing the spirit of the place, my life feels so right.  This is the place for me.

Then, despite the day’s experiences already being a treat, life added a new wonderful surprise.  Recently one of my blog followers, Justy, alerted me to the fact she and her partner were engaged in creating a new work of art for GASP beside the Derwent River at Glenorchy, a city in the Greater Hobart Area.  As part of their project, they had already walked along the Derwent River in Cumbria, England and now were planning to walk from the sea to the source of the Derwent early next year.  I hadn’t met them and only communicated a few times by email.  But yesterday, as An drove me towards Cluny Dam, I saw two women step from their car.  I waved and smiled as you do on a country road. As we drove on, I said to An “I bet they’re the two women who are engaged in the GASP project, out conducting a reconnaissance trip”. There was no reason to believe this except I felt I knew it to be the truth (the bush works its miracles). Nevertheless we continued on and had parked near the northern end of Cluny Lagoon when the two women drove past us. Again we waved. On a later road we found ourselves coming towards each other from opposite directions, so An waved them to a stop. The women looked at us queryingly. “Are either of you Justy or Margaret? we asked.” “Yes”, they responded. Instantly I called out, “I’m Helen”.  Their nod of acknowledgement followed. And then we all poured out of our cars, and hugged and had a lively chat standing on a dusty road in strong Spring sunlight. It was a brilliant unexpected meeting and capped off what had been a day of immense discovery and pleasure.

Best wishes for your project Justy and Margaret!

Blue skies and sheep glorious sheep

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It seems so long ago that the Chinese New Year was launched back on the 19th February 2015 and announced as the Year of the Sheep according to the Chinese zodiac.  The ‘year’ continues until 7 February 2016.

As I walked, my mind often wandered to sheep.  The paddocks were dotted with these woolly bundles. The first merinos were sent by Governor King to Hobart in 1805.  More varieties of sheep were brought into Van Diemens Land from the early 19th century as the colony established itself; firstly for meat consumption and then not long after for wool. The establishment of woollen mills followed. These days sheep farmers around Tasmania continue to supply our nation’s butchers and supermarkets, and the fashion industry via fine wool fabrics.

Friends and blog followers know that sheep figure in my list of loves (Refer to an earlier posting).  Therefore, it should not surprise you when this post concludes with photographs I took last year of a very large marble sculpture installed in Stockholm Cathedral, Sweden. Stunningly beautiful!

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How many square miles?

I do not know the area of land over which I have and will walk along the Derwent River.  And I do not care to find a definitive answer. That’s the sort of fact which doesn’t interest me.

However, I am fascinated to learn that there are 196,939,900 square miles of Earth to explore. So I made a slippery calculation – and determined there is less than 30 square miles per person on our planet.  Take out the area of deserts, and the too high mountains, and the number drops lower. The world’s population is growing rapidly so I strongly recommend you get out and walk your local beaches, parks, bushland, or sail the rivers and seas.  Enjoy these outdoor spaces while you can.

Almost two years ago I visited Hong Kong and walked the city streets with millions of locals in what was claimed to be the most densely populated suburb on earth. But even Hong Kong has thousands of acres of amazing parks, beaches and nature reserves all of which have walking trails in or around them.  All you have to do is to find your special natural places whether they are located in rural or urban areas.

More natural beauties stages 11 -14

As some followers remarked on earlier postings, my selection of past photos on different walk stages has given me a chance to ‘relive’ the experiences. Here are some favourites from the last 4 stages of my walk along the Derwent River.

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I love the Hobart wharf area with its crab and other fishing vessels.

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I love the pretty 19th century buildings lining Hunter St, one of the first settled areas in Hobart.

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I love the drama of the Federation Concert Hall where the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra presents great performances.

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No water is spared. The Parliamentary gardens are always lush and green.

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I love the juxtaposition of the old and new: at Wrest Point Casino; at Lower Sandy Bay’s Blinking Billy against new modern houses.

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Fresh beaches. Serenity.

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Public sculpture.

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Coastal walking tracks.

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Great signage

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The heritage listed Shot Tower near Taroona

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A rough bark and branch ‘hut’ near a track. Shelter from any rain?

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Natural rock caves

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Dramatic viewpoints

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The sun. The reflections.

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Looking at, listening to, smelling the bush.

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And I appreciate the glories of introduced trees and man-made vistas.

Collectively these images provide a reminder of what sits beside the Derwent River as it flows from New Norfolk to its mouth.

Reliving GASP and MONA with a new walk along the Derwent River

On Stages 9 and 10 of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP).  Yesterday I had the opportunity to introduce two international visitors to these important arts structures.

Mid-morning I met with a follower of my blog, De from upstate New York and her Arizona cousin Ke as we were chauffeured thanks to Ma, from the centre of Hobart to our starting point near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Our excursion started from the Pavilion at the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.  Do you remember my photos of that surprise pink glass wall?

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From a distance and approaching this structure, it looks dull, industrial and disused. But just as I had felt during my walk, my two new international co-walkers were amazed once we arrived at the site. Quite delightful and I have no doubt De will be displaying her own photos on https://deescribesblog.wordpress.com/ when she has time.

Then we started strolling and rolling along the bike/pedestrian path towards the slatted walkways with their colourful striped edges.  Many photos were clicked every time we reached a new striped walkway with a different set of colours.

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De gets around in a motorised wheelchair so when she spotted a scooter with its dinghy trailer (see photo below) waiting for its owner to return from their boat out on the Derwent River, she stopped in amazement. We talked about how good security seemed to be locally.  The scooter owner had left his/her shoes, helmet and other personal items, and despite a security strap set up to prevent movement, we all knew that enterprising thieves seem to carry bolt cutters with them these days.  But all was well yesterday.

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Gradually clouds disappeared, the mountain looked sharp and much of the sky was blue.

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Glorious.  After a very cold North American winter, De soaked up the sunshine as the day warmed and we did everything to stay outdoors that we could.

We continued along the foreshore and turned towards the highway when we reached the Montrose High School. Then we were onto the bike/pedestrian track past Rosetta and into Berriedale before advancing up the entrance incline to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  Along the way we admired the new autumnal colours of the Moorilla grape vines beside the road.

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A visit to the exhibitions at MONA requires descent into cavernous spaces below ground so we decided to enjoy a lunch break first.  Despite the busyiness of the café directly above the museum, De motored through gaps in the visitors and took us outside into the open air where tables and chairs are set on the lawn. We admired great views up, down and across the Derwent River.

Our sparkling Moorilla wines were crisp and delicious, and the food choices were expansive.  De and I settled on a soba noodle with spring peas and pickled ginger salad, and Ke tucked into an Italian summer salad which included a great variety of ingredients dressed with the best local olive oil. Ducks and peacocks were out and about, seemingly comfortable with the thousands of visitors that come to MONA each week.

Satisfied by lunch we returned inside and took the lift to the bottom floor of MONA. Over the next couple of hours we wandered through the three levels of exhibits before De and Ke found the upstairs bookshop. The wonderful conclusion to our visit came when De spotted a spectacle outside.  They left the building and, along with a throng of tourists, took photographs of a huge unblemished and bright rainbow crossing over the entire River.

It was a great pleasure to show non-Tasmanians a small part of where I have been along the Derwent River, and De and Ke’s enjoyment enhanced mine. Thanks for your company and best wishes De for your conference presentation in Burnie tomorrow encouraging people to understand there are few limits other than those we set ourselves.

Denise leaving MONA

Both De and Ke gave me permission to include their photos in this blog.

International traveller may join me for a walk

A few months ago I was excited when a blog follower from upstate New York, told me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to take a walk with me to see some of the sites I have shown in my postings.  With increasing anticipation we have corresponded and now I expect her arrival this week. Sometime around midweek we expect to undertake a comparatively short ‘stroll’ from the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) over the wonderful striped edged walkways over the edge of the Derwent River.   Do you remember them? For example,

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and

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Then we will head northwards into Berridale and on to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) with all its fascinations.  Perhaps we won’t be able to get away but if we do, there is always the possibility we might continue on to Cadburys chocolate factory. This doesn’t seem too shabby an itinerary.  What do you think?

Of course we will exercise our right to choose somewhere else to walk if we wish.

If anyone else is visiting and wants to relive a section of the edge of the Derwent River over which I have passed, please email me on walkingthederwent@gmail.com.