Watching, guarding, thinking, relaxing; I found this bird -man resting on a bench in the chicken pen at St.Kilda Community Garden in Melbourne. What a wonderful guardian they have. I met him just after Christmas 2013 and totally smitten.
Art was incorporated everywhere in the gardens. Each plot had a unique identity. I was very excited to see the care, love and creativity expressed there. Such an amazing place and a wonderful inspiration. Although located in the the city it was a place that was sacred with its heart beating strongly in exultation encouraging creativity, nature and self sufficiency.
Immediately opposite was the funfair, Melbourne’s historic Luna Park; brash, noisy, manufactured and artificial enclosed by black asphalt and high walls. Trundling and rumbling around on high wooden trestles was an antique roller coaster, accompanied by screams and yells. It was very loud in there compared to the peace across the road. The hard surfaces and flashing lights, advertising and contrived fun were a glaring contrast to the lushness of the garden and individuality of the art and decorations adorning it. The two co-existing side by side seemed totally incongruous, yet both characteristic of the St.Kilda genre.
St.Kilda has a chequered history. Once home to the gentry with gracious and elaborate mansions, it became the fun district for the city at the turn of the Twentieth Century and later better known as a notorious red light district. Since the 1960’s a Bohemian hub has flourished. It is eccentric, interesting and has a lively and vibrant buzz.
Stretched out behind both locations is the bay, also offering a cacophony of sounds, colour and movement as families congregate on the beach relaxing, chattering, playing games. The boardwalks seem to be an intermingling of different motions with skateboarders and bikes as well as walkers. Out on the horizon stretches a line of container ships and closer to shore bobbing sail boats. Such a richness of sights and sounds as well as links to days of yore.
Did the experience enrich? Incredibly so. Many new ideas and a lot of contemplation has resulted, as well as a deepening of love for the city and the diversity of experiences it offers.