Thursday, 14 July 2011

A fine balance


They say there is a thin line at times between creativity and madness. It is ironic, then, that the old Callan Park Hospital for the Insane, now houses the School of Creative Arts of the University of Sydney. The wider Callan Park also houses the NSW-Writers' Centre, of which I am a member.


Originally established in 1878, the hospital for the insane went through a number of name changes, depending upon the political climate of the day. In 1994 the state government pursued a policy of moving as many inmates into the commmunity as possible, in what were termed 'safe houses'. I think that simply moved fragile people out onto the streets. Needless to say, scattered throughout Callan Park today there are numerous buildings that are simply boarded up. Certainly, a majority look under-used. The park itself is glorious, and next month I will arrive even earlier and wander the grounds more extensively.

14 comments:

J Bar said...

It's beautiful. I've never been that close to it. I like seeing taht lacework against teh blue sky.

Winsome said...

Great observation Julie, and lovely photos of a beautiful place. I especially like the top one.

Ann said...

So that's the Sydney Uni site at Rozelle, Didn't realise it was Callan Park. They do a Street Photography Course that looks really interesting. Still don't know how to get there, looks a fair way from Victoria Road.

brattcat said...

ghosts with stories must be in attendance with the writers to tell them...perfectly inspiring.

Kay L. Davies said...

They did the same thing in BC, turned sick people out on the street to fend for themselves. I'm not sure why. I think they should have improved the quality of care for the ones incapable of managing, instead of making them homeless.
Beautiful building, though, Julie. And I wonder if "brattcat" is right.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

PerthDailyPhoto said...

It's a lovely old building with touches of what it was originally used for in the barred windows, great brickwork and ornate touches, would love to see what it looks like inside Julie, maybe when you're at a writer's group.

Peter said...

Callan Park on the Harbour/River. A treasure - surprised it is not Meriton Apartments.

DeeBee L. said...

Beautiful building, i always like to look at details as they make the difference!

Joan Elizabeth said...

I think you are right about the fine line and the poor souls doomed to life on the streets.

Julie said...

The Richmond Report was a shocker and we are still bearing the brunt of it today all over the city. There must be an alternative somewhere between the two extremes.

quality said...

wow
this pictures of sydney looking so amazing


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Leif Hagen said...

Hop on the bus, Gus!
Some fancy building details, too, Julie!

Gunn said...

Great place and a great posting.

Julie said...

Thank you, Leith & Gunn. Your visits are appreciated.