Monday, 15 April 2013

The knack of being inconspicuous ...


In 2007 I took a 4WD tour from Adelaide to Uluru for 10 days. There were 10 of us in the long-wheel base vehicle, including the driver. I was the only Australian on the tour, the other 8 were mostly European backpackers, with a couple of tourists thrown in. In general, Australians do not value, nor respect, their environment. They use it, for their recreation, but don't put a value on it.


Walter Burley Griffin [1876 - 1937] and Marion Mahoney Griffin [1871 - 1961] were Americans from the mid-west, who having won the design competition, lobbed in Australia in 1912 to bring their vision for our National Capital to fruition. Anyone who knows Canberra today, will acknowledge that Canberra is perfectly sited within its landscape. The design - drawn by Marion - uses the natural landscape to perfection. Each hillock has its special purpose and the river running through it echoes that same narrative.


The Griffins attempted to do the same with the Castlecrag peninsula, which was and is, a landscape of a totally different ilk. And the era was different. The Greater Sydney Development Association [GSDA], purchased an interest in the Castlecrag estate in 1921, and the Great Depression began to bite in 1928/9. However, the Griffin's love of the harbour landscape, its hilly precipices, its mossy gullies, and its water glimpses saw them develop designs that endeavoured to squat their domestic buildings into that landscape.

6 comments:

Jo said...

I am really enjoying learning about this area, especially as we are loving spending time on Middle harbour.

Julie Storry said...

Yes, Jo, from the water this area could be similar even now to how it was in 1788.

Joe said...

Beautiful landscape shots Julie. The light on the cliffs in that middle shot magnifies the beauty of the place wonderfully.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I read this post this morning and have been thinking about your statement that most Australian's don't value or respect the environment and wondering if its true and if so why.

Perhaps having evergreen forests that all look the same to the casual observer, that the really different stuff is miles and miles away, that the vast majority of people live in cities, that people really like the sea better than the bush. But there is the other side of us that identifies ourselves with the rural bloke when so few of us really are.

Logan U3A Camera Club said...

Whoops I should have read this post first.

Kay L. Davies said...

Is it still true Australians don't put a value on their landscape, or have they learned?
You, of course, are not the average Australian or the average anything, which is why we love you.
K