Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Town Called Alice

Now for a break! We headed back to Alice Springs to rest. Having been up and on tour buses very early every morning and finishing with a late dinner, we needed a chance to unwind and rest the body. Two nights at a nice resort would do wonders for us!

It was Easter Weekend and not much was open. So what did we do? We went on another hike through a nature park! I am beginning to feel great pain in my right hip. Not sure it is the sciatic issue. Unfortunately all of the walking and treking hasn't resulted in any weight loss because we are eating out three times a day! I was actually longing for my little galley and my style of cooking.

As a very pleasant surprise, the Alice Springs Nature Park was a well laid out stroll through the different types of environmental areas with living displays of birds, animals and flora. Even the soil charged with each environment.

They had a bird program in the amphitheater with the birds flying right into the audience. I am not a bird lover! I like them from a distance, but don't get too close to me, thank you very much. A couple of birds came a little too close for my comfort. I thought of how Daphne, our future daughter-in-law would have enjoyed the show as she works with birds in Oregon.

The best part of the day was finally seeing a kangaroo! I have been in Australia five months and had not seen a kangaroo. I still haven't seen one in the wild, but at least I have seen some now. Actually, you walk into their pen and take photos while they look at you as if to say, “Smile, here comes another tourist."

These are termite mounds. They are everywhere!
Unfortunately, these Commonwealth countries all celebrate the day after a holiday, so nothing was open on Easter Monday. We went into town for lunch and to wander, but there was not much to see in the sleepy place. We had had an overnight there before flying out to Yalara, so we had visited the shops and Aboriginal art galleries then. We had planned to return to one gallery to buy a painting, but it was closed.

Our good fortune was that several of the Aboriginal artists were selling their artwork on the street. We bought two pieces - one each from two different artists. They were a fraction of the gallery prices which was nice for us.  But even better for the artists as the got all of the money.

One told us that she only gets $10-15 from the gallery, but we saw nothing for less than $250 and some up in the thousands. We were happy to pay her the asking price and a little more.
Of course, like art everywhere there is different qualities and artist have different status standings. We enjoyed buying direct and telling them to keep the change. They both lit up! Unfortunately, we didn't remember to ask for a photo of the artist with her work! Delta, Alpha, Mike, November! Now I will have find a way to decorate around these two paintings. But first I will need to find a place to live! It's complicated.

We learned about the Aboriginal art - both historical and contemporary. Historically, they painted on the cave walls to pass information from one generation to another. Since the indigenous people are now being educated and live in houses instead of caves, the concept of painting their stories on canvas or other objects has been encouraged.

Each of our artists told us the story in the paintings we purchased. There are a number of symbols used by all to tell the stories. These are the symbols representing the creatures and events they believe created the world. After a while one can begin to "read" the story by understanding the meaning of the various symbols.

A little too close for my comfort!

One of our paintings.

I will have to work these colors in somewhere!
Maybe a powder room?
The technique used to paint in the Red Center area is basically Pointillism. They use acrylic paints and dab dots in pattern to create a picture. They have been taught this technique as a replacement for the cave paintings that were etched into stone in three basic colors: ochre, yellow and white. Sometimes charcoal was used, but it does not weather well. I loved the work of one artist and would have paid his hefty price if I had had a place for it. Right now I have too much art and no walls!

Anyway, I have learned over the years that art that looks great in its original environment often doesn't work well in a different residential setting. It often looks out of place with the rest of the decor. So I left the big one behind. Will I regret it? Maybe.

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