Sunday, June 28, 2020


We had some welcome rain today -
 the flowers will be happy but it was quite a bleak Sunday for us...

Ai Weiwei (China 1957-) Boomerang 2006 

This week I visited the Queensland Art Gallery, where I have worked as a guide for the last ten years.  Of course, it has been in lock down for months and it was wonderful to see it open a few days ago.

Joyous and imposing, this oversized, intensely lit, waterfall-style chandelier is suspended over the Water Mall.
It is an example of internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei's playful strategy of working across cultural contexts.  

For China's increasingly affluent middle class, bigger is better.
There are approximately 267,000 crystal drops on 5,085 strands.  The artwork is 10 metres high and at the widest point 8.6 metres wide.
There are 802 LED lights.
A spectacular monument to consumerism, it is shaped into the motif of a Boomerang, an object associated with exotic conceptions of Australia.

'Boomerang' was the centrepiece in the Fifth Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2006-07, and Ai Weiwei gifted the work to the gallery's collection.
I loved it then, and I love it now on its reappearance - especially in a time of tension and difficulty in our community.

I felt very safe walking around the Gallery.
There is ticketed (free) entry, so numbers can be controlled.
A system of one directional visiting is designed to reduce clusters of people meeting up in small doorways or spaces.  Within a room, however, you can walk back and forth between art works as you wish.  Social distancing is mandatory, which I find very reassuring.

I do not know yet when guided tours will recommence.

Our snow peas are having flowers!

Life is quiet and we have been exercising and walking a lot.  
Once again, we spent Saturday walking pathways beside the Brisbane River in the morning sunshine.

I liked these bird feeders, something you don't usually see in a public park.
Perhaps the neighbours put them there...

Pansies are beginning to bloom..

A few more thoughts on the pandemic:
All my life I have attended church on Sundays, except during serious ill health, and for most of those years I have participated in church music.
From the age of about 12 I was playing an old pump organ to accompany the school choir, and in later life spent several decades playing a contemporary electronic piano in church.  As well as this I have sung in church choirs my entire life.  

Therefore the imposed sanctions on meeting for church services has been quite a shock to my system!  I have been watching online services but it is hardly the same.  The sense of community and making music is very strong for some of us, and many choristers are feeling saddened to be unable to sing - whether in church or anywhere else.

Apparently when we sing, we expel far more tiny droplets than when we speak, and right now, singing near others is dangerous.

Churches here are reopening in the next few weeks, with ticketed entry and social distancing.  For this I am grateful.  Despite our State now being 22 days without a new Covid19 case, I feel better if I can keep my distance.  

More is being learned about this virus all the time.  It seems so long ago, but back in March it was all about hand-washing - important, but not the whole story.
I am watching with alarm as the state of Victoria is suffering a new wave of infections, stats going higher every day.  It can happen anywhere.

I hope everyone is keeping safe, wherever you are...

With love from the Red Cardinal



  1. Hi Patricia oh my I love that chandelier it is amazing and how wonderful that you got to see it. Yes it's very worrying with Victoria's numbers increasing with the virus ,when will it all end,I don't think life will ever go back to normal as we knew it before the virus. Your pansies are lovely hope you stay safe my friend,take care xx

    1. Hi from the pansies! You are right, we have to get used to a new normal - when we figure out what it is :) That chandelier is so cheerful... xx

  2. That chandelier, such an uplifting way to present light! I love it.
    I find myself humming hymns! You must be like me and have them all stored in your memory. Just this week at work, I found myself thinking of the hymn, "Praise My Soul The King of Heaven". I looked up all the words and just found myself amazed at the beauty of them. The tune is wonderful but the words! How I wish I could write a hymn such as that! I hope you will be able to be in your church again and can sing with the choir. TAke care. xx

    1. I know Praise My Soul too Kay. Yesterday I heard a few bars of the hymn Gentle as Silence, and like you had the words going in my head, beautiful thoughts. Maybe it will take a vaccine before we get to sing again! Be safe xx

  3. I miss singing in church too. We will get there eventually.

  4. I'm very much a sparkle gal, Trish. Love all that glitters and shimmers, so I can appreciate your museum's waterfall-style chandelier. It's smoothing like a waterfall!

    I never imagined we have to fear another's droplets. Singing, talking and face masks, oh my! Chain stores here in Manhattan such TJ Maxx and GAP remain closed. Large department stores Macy's and Bloomingdales opened back up this week. Churches are still closed. But hair salons and Nail are open — the latter two, personally, I'd still avoid for the rest of the year.

    Not quite back to normal year, yet little by little.

    1. Ah yes, I know you like sparkle. You must come to Australia one day and see the chandelier!!
      So difficult in NY, all those famous stores closed, as well as the magnificent churches. I too am avoiding the nail and hair salons, and am finding it quite liberating. Long grey hair anyone? :)

  5. At first I didn't realise just how large that chandelier was until I noticed the background. It is spectacular and beautiful but it really does represent over-the-top consumerism, something that we do not need in our world today.
    My granddaughter number two is a Soprano and graduated last year after 4 years at a Royal Conservatoire with a first. She got into the final interview round with a top international group of eight, but the last auditions had to be cancelled due to the virus. She has now been waiting on tender-hooks since March until they can take place. As you mention because of the droplets, I suspect, that she has a long wait still ahead of her.

  6. Glad knowing you have been able to get out and about dear Patricia - the art gallery chandelier is spectacular - and walking by a river is always relaxing.
    We've been (for years) walking around the running track at a nearby school when the students aren't in session - but now it's off limits and the city has security guards checking so we have to find another place! The neighborhood streets are OK but too many people want to stop and talk, that means putting on masks which in 90F are making walking and breathing at the same time so uncomfortable!!!!
    Be safe and stay well dear friend.
    Mary x

  7. Must be reassuring to know all will be as it should when you return to the gallery! Pansies are always such cheery blooms. I imagine lots of folks are missing their regular routines and enjoyment. Such a strange time....I'm like you....not that keen on being out and about....I fear I am turning into a hermit xx

  8. The waterfall-style chandelier is fantastic! There is comfort in art in these bleak days.

  9. Hello my friend. I'm happy to hear that you were able to visit the museum again. Attending church will help as well. My GS is the Youth Pastor at church and has been feeling the loss of being their in person quite strongly. We still stay home and only go out for groceries occasionally. Not seeing the family is the hardest part. Stay well.

  10. Patricia, I’m so glad you can get out and about more now. That artwork is amazing! Your flowers are beautiful too. What a kind winter you have. I’m very sorry to hear there is a new wave in Victoria. That’s bad news indeed. Take care there!