Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back In Town

by Elizabeth Barsham

I took several photographs of the mountains above Queenstown, but photographers Claire Krouzecky and Raef Sawford spent a full day up on Philosophers Ridge taking turns at set intervals to photograph a 360 degree panorama of the hills. They used old-fashioned 35mm slide film and the hundreds of slides resulting from this day’s work had to be sorted into twelve different sequences of landscape transformed by the changing light as the hours passed.

Over the Hill

by Elizabeth Barsham

Early in the last century Linda, terminus of the railway line from Kelly's Basin to Mt Lyell, was a major town and Gaffney's Royal Hotel was but one of several serving its inhabitants, the majority of whom were employed at the North Lyell Mine at the time of the 1912 tragedy. Last drinks were finally called in 1952, and the burnt-out concrete shell of the old hotel has been a landmark for travellers on the Lyell Highway ever since. This weekend it is enhanced by Peter Waller’s installation, The Drink.

The Disaster

by Elizabeth Barsham

The hospital entrance hall is dimly lit. The only lights are on a television screen in the corner, and they are elsewhere; rescue teams work around the clock. The sound is off and all is silence. Square black steel and plastic chairs line the walls of a large vacant room. Not the usual waiting room – there is a hand basin half way along one wall. Offices are empty, but for another soundless television set showing flames flickering red, reflecting an eerie glow in an unlit room.
I venture down a passage to the first ward but no nurse rushes to protest my presence. The ward is empty. Stripped empty, leaving only the curved curtain tracks and a single curtain offering no privacy. In the middle of the floor is a child’s picnic, a cloth and a picnic basket, pretty little china cups and saucers, plates, bowls and teapot scattered as their youthful owner fled. Some contain dark liquid – not coffee. Others are buried under piles of sugar or flour, domestic echo of the mullock heaps outside. By now I am feeling decidedly uneasy. The incongruity of discovering several lumps of ore, not large, but significant, resting on the carpet behind me does not help.
Backing out, I make my way towards the other end of the building, confused and alone in the dark passage. Everything is wrong. Emergency lights flash red and blue in a darkened room; elsewhere windows glow with light that provides no reassurance for the curtains are drawn. Doors marked “staff only” gape open on empty spaces. Flour is piled in corners.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Go West as Artentwine 2012 Begins!

by Patrick Sutczak

After a generous invitation to the opening of the fabulous community celebration of the arts within the West Tamar Valley, I drove confidently along (ahead of time I might add) to my destination. As I crossed the sister bridge to the west, I could see the older and iconic King’s Bridge set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cataract Gorge out of the corner of my eye. This always pleasing scene was gone within a flash and I was on my way into Riverside for the official opening of Artentwine 2012 at the Windsor Community Precinct.