Explore It – Out For A Day In Brisbane

TL;DR – Today I got out of the house and just went for a walk for the first time since March

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Since March, life has been a state of being at home twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, unless you had some specific event to go to. After a while, that starts to put a drain on your mental fortitude. Also, the lack of exercise plus stress eating has not helped either. Well, yesterday I had the day off and given the good situation that Queensland was in (when I left my door that morning, but we will get into that later) I thought it was time to get out of the house and go for a wander. So I packed my bag with hand sanitiser and a mask, left after peak hour, as recommended, and started my walk.    

French Film Festival. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

My first stop on this day out was to the Palace Cinemas #NotASponsor, as the French Film Festival was playing and I wanted to catch at least one of them in the cinema. I picked The Translators, a who-done-it full of fraud and fire and all that jazz. It was … fine, but not great but hey it was a film in a cinema, so I’ll take it.    

Brisbane Skyline. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

From there it was a short trip by bus to the Queensland Cultural Centre. A place right on the river full of brutalist architecture, museums, galleries, and views of the brown snake as far as the eye can see. I was interested to see how COVID would change access to them all. GOMA was still closed, The Science Museum was by booking only, which didn’t work with the times I was there, but the Queensland Art Gallery access via QR code, so I went in for an explore.    

Lunch. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

Of course, the first thing I noticed when walking in was that their café was open, and that was the moment my stomach used to announce quite loudly that I had not eaten so far that day. So I went with a light lunch of a sandwich and a Bundaberg Lemon, Lime & Bitters #NotASponsor (but like 100% I would be #ActuallyASponsor if it meant you sent me free Bundaberg beverages). It must have been a good lunch because I completely left my book behind on the table, but a lovely old lady hunted me down inside the Gallery to give it back to me.

A Bin Chicken. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

Heck, even having to protect my lunch from a Bin Chicken (Ibis) was a moment of joy because it was a harkening back to the normality of what used to be.   

Ai Weiwei’s Boomerang.
Ai Weiwei’s Boomerang

The Gallery itself is subdivided into many smaller rooms and the first one you see it their large atrium that is often filled with only one work but on a grand scale. Walking around Ai Weiwei’s Boomerang, I was taken back with how the reflections merged between the artwork and the watermall underneath. A waterfall of light.

Mavis Ngallametta’s Bush Fire at Kutchendoopen
Mavis Ngallametta’s Bush Fire at Kutchendoopen

From there it was on to the main item I wanted to see, the works of Indigenous painter Mavis Ngallametta an elder of the Putch clan, and a cultural leader of Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu people [1]. I have seen a lot of photos of this exhibition, but they are usually taken from a distance getting a lot of works in the same picture. This may give you scale, but you lose detail, and detail is where Mavis shines. Up close, you see the interplay of colours, the ochres taken from the ground. The reds, oranges, browns, whites, yellows, blacks, and blues all seamlessly work together. They create moments of high contrast and moments of flow. This work is Bush Fire at Kutchendoopen, you see those flames rushing towards the water, and you feel the heat of the fire, something that both kills but fosters new life. Each of her artworks is genuinely stunning, and if you can, I would recommend seeing them in person.        

Claude Monet’s 'Nymphéas [Waterlilies]'
Claude Monet’s ‘Nymphéas [Waterlilies]’

From there, I wandered around the rest of the Gallery, exploring the many paintings when my eye caught something from across the room. “Wait … is that a Monet?” I thought “No, no, it can’t be, they just have it out in the open, and this is Brisbane”. But as I approached, I was right. I have seen Monet’s in pictures and art books before, but they do not compare with seeing it in person. Seeing the play with colours, the hallmark of the Impressionist movement, on both a small and big scale is breathtaking. But the closer you got to the painting, the more you could see the strokes of the brush, the trowel, and even I think fingers. It is a moment of time caught in the oils.    

Southbank's Arbour Walk. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

From there, it was a walk across the overpass and down to the river. I thought I would end my day doing the Arbor Walk through the grounds of Southbank. The bougainvillea were not in bloom, but it was still a nice walk, well up until I had a tier 4 blowout in my shoe that did take a bit of the fun out of the occasion.    

Harajuku Gyoza. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara.

At the end of my walk, I realised I was a little early for my trip home. I wanted to catch a bus in between the peak highs of the school rush and evening peak hour. So what were you meant to do to kill twenty minutes on Grey Street? Wait … is that a Gyoza shop … well if you pull my leg. It was an excellent way to end the day, well it was a lovely day up until I pulled out my phone and read the news discovering that we had the first community transmission of COVID19 in Queensland since May. That did bring the joy to a crashing halt. But at least everything up to that point was good, and I can’t say that about a lot of days in 2020.                  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

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Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day. 


Credits – All images are by the author

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