Yes, Fernando is still working away here, in week 10. He is sanding and painting, and that means everything is yet again covered in dust, and why I try incessantly to clean it all up I do not know - it is scarcely the act of a rational human being. Tomorrow he will paint another coat, and perhaps do the outside doors and windows. I will be on the road, as I am to mind my grandchildren while their mother sets off again for the delights of photographing racehorses. What I really want to do is stay home and attend to my own pursuits, and perhaps rest a wee while, but, as we all know, the maternal instinct burns strongly within our breasts. Petrol prices have suddenly escalated hugely, doubtless due to a filthy capitalist plot, and naturally I have to pay these prices for both trips. I might nick down to the knitting group before setting off, just to get my fix of female companionship and collective good will and endeavour.
Brisbane and the Prado. Well, we had a very good time. The Art Gallery is an attractive building and the exhibition was great. We listened to a guide, and then went hither and thither as our fancies took us, coming out for lunch, and then returning.
I visited Spain in 2010, and went to the Prado, which was a wonderful day. This visiting exhibition has a relatively small selection of its collection, and it ranged quite widely, from portraits of the royal family, to still life paintings, Goya paintings and etchings, and other artists such as Ribera and Zurbaran. There is an intensity to Spanish art which connects with my own emotions and sensibilities, and I have had a long-standing interest in Spanish history, despite not having an extensive knowledge of it. Velazquez is one of my favourite painters.
At the entrance to the exhibition there is a digital photographic montage (??) of the room in the Prado which exhibits the most famous of Velazquez's many royal portraits, culminating, at the far end ,in that most famous painting Las Meninas. As you stand and gaze towards the end of the room, you become quite dizzy, as the effect of the montage is to distort the spacial properties of the room. There is a bench upon which you can sit and have your photo taken so that it appears that you are actually in the Prado. I am not sure I approve of such ploys, but it is very effective and cleverly done, and so we each have our photos of it.
We browsed afterwards in the bookshops, but managed not to buy anything much - paying Fernando each week must have imbued me with some sense of financial prudence - but I must blushingly admit that I did pick up a couple of bargains.
After a Spanish style afternoon tea we walked across to the Contemporary Art Gallery, where we saw such artistic wonders as an immense collection of tyres roped together, which can be seen from below and above, and another masterpiece, - a collection of large rotating brushes, such as you can find in car-wash places, but three times as large. I am rather depressed to realise that the perpetrators think a) that this is art, and that b) we the taxpayers have coughed up too much money to buy it and inflict it upon lots of innocent art-loving taxpayers.
The next day we walked through the Botanic Gardens and admired all the trees, ducks, water features and greenery, and then proceeded to Parliament House House, where we were given a little personal tour by an enthusiastic and very knowledgable man who has worked there for 25 years and who was absolutely the full quid on everything to do with Queensland politics. My own background fitted in nicely with his, and so we had much to discuss. He was most impressed when I succeeded in identifying the anomaly in the 1862 stained glass window of Queen Victoria. Everything has its uses, it seems.
Then we took the Airtrain to the airport, parted company and set off on our respective return trips. we saw each other again today at our own Art Gallery, and glowed again in our recollections.