Melbourne Zoo

My holidays took me to Melbourne and Hobart in the last few weeks and on Good Friday I enjoyed a ramble around the Melbourne Zoo, a place I first visited as a rather small child. It has changed for the better in many ways since then but the layout is still a labyrinth which rewards aimless wandering but can frustrate the targeted search for a particular exhibit. Never mind – we enjoyed all we did see and ran out of time before we ran out of things we wanted to see. The selection of photos above is almost as haphazard as our route: out of the creatures we saw, these let me get reasonable portraits without waiting too long. As usual, clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a bigger image.

The biggest improvement during my lifetime must be in the conditions the animals are kept in, but it is good to see the emphasis on conservation:

How the zoo proclaims its primary role
How the zoo proclaims its primary role


Strand Ephemera

The city council runs a biennial art show on our beachfront, the Strand, and it is always worth visiting. I mentioned it here a week ago but it deserves more notice than that so here are some of my photos of it. As usual, clicking on a small image will take you to a bigger one.

Anemone on rock face
Erica Gray: Rock Anemone

If you started at the Rockpool end of the Strand, this giant fabric anemone is one of the first artworks you would have seen.

Around the other side of the Rockpool, there was a series of playful reo-rod and wire sculptures, a little more than life-size. From there on, it was a matter of looking on the beach, up in the trees and on the lawns all the way down to the park behind Tobruk Pool.

Wire sculptures
Aden MacLeod: People Watching People in the Spirit
Giant crayons
Bogdanis and Hynes: Colours of the Strand
Red and white ceramic mushrooms
Jean Downes: Mushrooming
Fabric figure of child on a swing
Fibres and Fabrics Association: I Remember When















The Fibres and Fabrics group had several groups of figures in trees along the Strand, taking their theme and title from the days when children were encouraged to get outdoors and risk a few bumps and scrapes. I first saw them just on dusk …

Fabric figues on tree branch
Fibres and Fabrics: I Remember When

Artists’ responses to the word ‘Ephemera’ and the location varied widely, from taking little notice of either, through to the use of fragile and/or recycled materials and taking the environment as subject matter. One of the most ephemeral works in the show was one which also appealed to me because of my interest in meditation, the zen garden created by Helena Rador-Gibson and a team of helpers. A new pattern was raked into the sand each afternoon; it was gone again before long, of course.

Raked sand and Magnetic Island
Helena Rador-Gibson: Zen Ephemera

There were 36 artworks in the show, so there are many yet to see. Perc Tucker Gallery ran a photographic competition in association with the event and they have put entries to it on Flickr, here. Bon appetit!