Lawrence Hargrave memorial Elaine and Paul and wind Volans moment Mural (detail) in nearby station Queen Victoria dressed up for the Art & About Sydney project Are we amused by The Wildhearts? Captain Cook Prince Albert the Good Penny Farthing made of modern cycles Ditto King Edward VII Ditto
Curses! Perfect day, with a sting in the tail. We took a train this morning to Helensburgh to have lunch with Paul Gilding and his wife Michelle. Having filmed Ian Kiernan the other day, I had decided to do Paul next. After a lovely lunch at The Palms Cafe, Stanwell Park, we arrived at Stanwell Park station, where I set up the camera and began filming. I then stopped the camera to avoid some background distraction, then I seem to have failed to depress the start button properly.
Depressing. Paul did an excellent interview, among other things talking about his impending new book, The Great Disruption, but those seven minutes of the past, present and future have now blown away among the eucalyptus trees. Will have to catch him again, somewhere else where our paths cross. But if I’m going to make a serious project out of this, I’m going to have to create a failsafe process to ensure this doesn’t happen again. It’ll be clapper boards next!
When we first arrived at Helensburgh, Paul and Michelle drove us to the coast in their Prius, where we were going to walk on the beach – but the wind was pretty ferocious. But I did get to visit the memorial to aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave, who experimented with combinations of box-kites in November 1894. A nice Volans moment.
When we got back to Sydney, we went to visit the Australia Museum, only to find it closing within five minutes, so took a leisurely stroll through the parks, loving the statues dressed up for the Art & About festival, and listening to a street band, The Wildhearts, whose guitar/fiddle/drums format reminded me of Fairport Convention (one of my favourite bands in the late 60s and early 70s) and The Dharmas (one of Gaia’s) in their respective early days.
One of the tracks on the Wildhearts CD I bought from a guitar case in front of the band is called Yesterday’s Today. And it struck me that Paul and I are living in a world that we both predicted many years ago, of climate change and gathering threats to our collective security, though we both agree that the coming ‘Great Disruption’ will offer huge opportunities, if we know where to look – and respond.
And, even though cursing my luck (or lack of professionalism with my camera), I found today remarkably uplifting – including the giant, 12-metre high Bike Bike, by Alasdair Nicol, made out of scored of “pre-loved” bicycles. A work of huge genius – and a wonderful symbol of how early experiments and designs can mutate and evolve over time.