Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30. Day 121. Hanging on by a thread

Just another manic Monday.
The type of Monday where half the school uniform and the homework can't be found. The type of Monday where there doesn't seem to be anything to eat despite the fact that the fridge and the pantry are full.
The type on Monday where men in harnesses are hanging off the side of your building gluing rolls of paper to your workplace.
Frankly, while I know there is a better than even chance there will be some crisis in the getting out to door routine I am never really sure what I will find when I get to work *.
It's a bit hard to miss the building I work in given that the wall facing the busy Kelvin Grove Road is home to Australia's largest billboard, all 45 metres by 9 metres. Every three months the image is changed and this requires abseilers jumping from the roof and gluing a new piece of artwork in strips to the side of the building.
Then they unhook themselves and take the lift back up to the roof and do it again, 50 times in all to complete the installation of the giant piece of public art.
Today was poster change day. Canadian artist Joachim Froese's Tell Him it is All a Transition was scraped off and replaced by Daniel McKewen's Faces of Vanity Fair..
 About a third of the new work was in place when I snapped this mid morning.
While the billboard is the most visible example of public art around my workplace, it is not the only one.
The creators of the  Kelvin Grove Urban Village had a vision or a new type of community and public art was part of it. In fact, it was mandated that a significant percentage of the development cost went to public art.
There are giant illuminated balls on the side of buildings and stone carved seats, giant rock like sculptures and multi-media projections. Never a dull moment where I work. Most of this artwork you can't miss but some you could stomp on and not even notice.
The footpaths around the Urban Village are home to a quite bizarre collection of inlaid plaques with a fascinating, albeit unconventional, selection of local historical facts.
Did you know that
  • During the Second World War every signpost within 50 km of the South East Coast was taken down in case of invasion
  • The L'Estrange family amongst other feathered pets kept an emu
  • During World War Two a student had his drawing confiscated after his art class wandered too close to the Military Camp in Victoria Park Golf Course 
  • At one time during the Second World War Brisbane was home to more soldiers than civilians
or my favourite
  • During the Second World War the American Troops introduced local women to chewing gum which they told them was a contraceptive
Now that's sometime to chew over on a manic Monday.

* Here I am using work in  the sense of paid employment, not in the sense of labour because as we all know most of that is unpaid and done at home.

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