Saturday, October 29, 2011

Art and about in Cairns

We visited Cairns through the week for work-work. Mostly we went from airport to taxi to hotel to work in hotel all day to taxi and to airport.  But, each morning we went for a walk. The sun gets up very early in the North and so we were out and about with loads of folk enjoying the sunshine and the Esplanade.

Wherever we travel Barry and I love looking at the public art, the work that people place in our public spaces to tell a story about the place, to celebrate it or just to make the space a nice place to be.

We saw lots of lovely things in Cairns - here are few of them...

Cairns thinks about itself in terms of the Rainforest to the Reef - with majestic rainforested mountains looming above it and the great Barrier Reef a boat ride out to sea. These are just some tiles, in a plain grey wall that speak of the rainforest and the reef.

Don't you love the way the sun is peaking out from behind that cloud and the way it shadows the water. And the beautiful heron!

Community art perhaps?  I loved this tree that had been strewn with people's sandshoes (sneakers) and the odd bicycle tyre.  It was very reminiscent of the mango trees in town covered in fruit bats...

And this big beautiful mosaiced shell by Dominic Johns called "Telescopus". I'm not usually a huge fan of mosaics but this piece was jewel-like and shimmered; and really made you want to touch it.

Along the boardwalk there were 8 of these copper panels, each engraved with a particular animal that lived in and around the shoes and amongst themangroves. This is of Australian pelicans, and the artist is Brian Robinson. Barry has some close ups of the panels on this post here.

Brian Robinson again, "The Fish", are in the swimming pool by the beach. I've always admired them - the simplicity of those folded, woven paper fish - upscaled into these fabulous sculptures and formed out of steel.

The 5 colourful Jelly Babies by Sophie Cadman were out the front of KickArts ready to welcome folk and generally make you smile. At night they were lit up and looked great!

All in all we did pretty well for folk who weren't out and about when shops or galleries were open - we did no shopping and didn't get to wander through any galleries but we saw some great art!


  1. great stuff (I like that tree of sneakers.... but then I would!)

  2. I can't imagine walking along and finding a tree full of fruit bats... let alone sneakers. I,m going over to Barry's blog to see more pictures of the sculpture by Brian Robinson as I'm very taken with it. Do you keep a track of how many miles you both travel each year Fiona? You must rack up a huge figure travelling across a continent but I love your travels and your travel photos so don't stop!

  3. Thanks Ronnie - my face burst into this wide open smile when I saw that tree - just above a skate park.

    Hi Lesley - Our Australian fauna are weird! They makes so much noise and just go all day - hanging upside down chatting to each other - hundreds if not thousands.
    I haven't stopped to add up the miles this year - but have jotted down a diagram of where we've been since January and it's a busy little picture. It's a BIG country and we are privileged to see so much of it, and from the air.

  4. For me, the public art in the far north seems to have a character not found in that further south. It's far more playful. Lovely photos.

  5. It's nice to enjoy your holiday treats with you Fiona. I just love the sandshoe tree, reminds me of my younger days doing similar but for different reasons, teehee! And my next favorite, the Jelly Babies - what a classic, I just love them.

  6. Hi Jo - its very vibrant and expressive and reflects its home I think - a bit irreverent perhaps?

    Kim - glad you enjoy watching the world we visit with work. The sandshoe tree was brilliant - and so well supported; and the jellybaby people were just gorgeous.

  7. Thanks for letting me stroll by the sea on the other side of the world. I love the shoe tree. Here, such shoes seem to grow on cables high across the street.


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