I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s books – especially the Bromeliad series.
But the quote in the title above comes from A Hat Full of Sky, from Discworld .
As I sit here in Adelaide, preparing to go home to Sydney, I reflect on my 2017 travels yet again. Last week, it was thoughts of Virginia. Today, it is thoughts of Adelaide.
I used to live in Adelaide. Twice, in different parts of my history. In the last year or so, I have visited it frequently. Family, you know.
Adelaide, however, is at its best in autumn and winter. Now, I am not a winter person, but the grey clouds interspersed with blue wash the city with watercolours. The starkness of the war memorial is edged against the wintry light. The brick detail of the older bluestone buildings and homes (especially those California bungalows) hints at some of the early city, with its need to promote itself economically and its wise use of both natural resources and inexpensive labour.
People come to South Australia for its wineries. Who am I to question that?
I hold, however, that a trip to Adelaide should encompass a visit to both the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the South Australian Museum.
The art gallery has an extensive collection, occasionally categorised by themes, so that you can immerse yourself in works from ancient Rome to the current day. Works from Australia and indigenous Australia, from Asia, and from Europe. All housed in an historic building, along the path of Adelaide’s cultural boulevard on North Terrace.
My recent trip had me enveloped in the Ramsay Art Prize, so that I took home with me images of political commentary, of social and personal angst.
We have a common home but what is our social imagination, that relationship between self and the wider society? How do we imagine our collective social life?
In part, these questions are why we travel.
For our souls and hearts and minds to be smashed with beauty.