the conservative prescription for Adelaide

As Ari and I wander around the CBD I cannot help but noticing how lively the city of Adelaide is becoming as a result of the state Labor government and the Adelaide City Council’s attempts to make the CBD a more vibrant place to live.

So it is with some dismay that I read the two Liberal candidates for Lord Mayor–Mark Hamilton and Michael Henningsen— are intent on rolling back the gains because we have lost our pride in Adelaide.

Langdon studio
Langdon studio

Between them these two candidates want more cars in the city; they want to do away with bike and bus lanes; they are opposed to high rise apartments; see the attempts to make the CBD a more vibrant place (eg., the upgrade to Victoria Square) as flawed and self-indulgent; and they want to return council to refocus on repairing the streets i.e. to focus on the traditional roads, rates and rubbish.

revisiting Magpie Springs

Ari and I made another visit to Magpie Springs for another photoshoot for their photo competition. The exhibition there was Rita Hall’s Museum bird studies. These were mostly arrange into compositions, singularly rather than in groups.

red bird+tag
red bird+tag

The emphasis of these drawings/water colours/oils is on the bird’s forms, the shadows they created, their colours, textures and shapes. Rita Hall used the South Australian Museum’s collections in her work.

Wirranendi Park

We returned to exploring Wirranender Park in the Adelaide Parklands on Sunday even though it was raining. I wanted to see some of the sculpture in this public spaces; a space that looks as if it is being designed as an urban forest with an environmental trail.

Scattered along the trail are a large number of rock sculptures by Silvio Apponyi and other sculptors, including this piece by Sally Weekes:


An interpretation taken with my 5×4 Linhof Technika IV. This Wirranendi area of the Adelaide Parklands was once covered by Eucalyptus porosa or Mallee Box Woodland. This consisted of widely spaced gums, many acacias, native apricots, quandongs, saltbushes, native herbs, peas and lilies and many types of grasses, providing habitat for many native animals and birds.

the ‘Lie of the Land’

Yesterday we started to explore the west parklands in which the West Terrace Cemetery is situated. The part of the parklands that is next to West Terrace itself consists of soccer fields. Further west, adjacent to the northern side of the cemetery and running down to the railway line is a cultivated wilderness area with a wetlands known as Wirranendi Park.

Wirranendi is from the Kaurna aboriginal language and it means to become transformed into a green-forested area. The park is cultivated in the sense that it is being replanted with natives, and is a site for public sculptures that are far more intriguing than any art in public places in the CBD.

Adelaide, whose self-image is that it is an arts and festival city, has had an ironic shortage of contemporary public art, and what it does have is banal-eg., the brass pigs in Rundle Mall. Adelaide needs to reinvent itself.

Lie of the Land

The work above is a public space installation titled “Lie of the Land”, located in the Adelaide parklands on the “Western Gateway” to Adelaide City and was created by Victorian-based artists Aleks Danko and Jude Walton. The work consists of 25 stone domes stretched along either side of Sir Donald Bradman Drive east of the Hilton bridge. Each dome is made from local bluestone using the dry-walling technique.

“Lie of the Land”, with its closed forms and no opening, refers back to the way the early settlers sheltered in dome shaped structures they had copied from the Aborigines. The beehive shaped shelters were built by the early European settlers (immigrants) and that they used traditional aboriginal materials to construct them.