The Australian National University Sculpture Walk

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I had lived in Canberra for some 14 years and the last place I would have thought of going for a walk, let alone a walk to see modern sculptures, would have been the grounds of the Australian National University. Continue reading “The Australian National University Sculpture Walk”

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New Acton Arts Precinct

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I am not a big fan of new “precincts” preferring the old and distinguished – or as friends tell me the decaying and dead. I like a place with soul and atmosphere so will return here in a few years to reassess New Acton as a whole. In the meantime I will pop in if individual events take my fancy (art / music and the like) or if I want to see a movie in the excellent Palace Cinema housed in the Nishi building. Continue reading “New Acton Arts Precinct”

Bellona – The Offensive Goddess

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Dear Reader – let me tell you a story – a story of Canberra’s first statue and war memorial.

In 1916 sculptor Bertram Mackennal, unable to sell this sculpture – entitled War or Bellona – Goddess of War – decided to offer it as a gift to Australia as a tribute to Australian solders in WWI (especially the ANZACs). It was accepted but it took five years before Prime Minister Hughes sent a thank-you letter – five years during which Bellona lay hidden in a Melbourne celler. Continue reading “Bellona – The Offensive Goddess”

Bastion Hill and Memorial Stones

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This small hill within what is now called Bastion Hill Park (Bastejkalns) is an artificial hill created between 1857 to 1863 when the city ramparts were dismantled after the Crimea War. By that stage, due to advances in warfare and weaponry, the ramparts no longer served any useful military purpose. Material from the ramparts was used to build up the banks of the former moat, now the winding Pilsētas kanāls, and create the 15m high Bastion Hill. The whole area was planted and developed and became Bastion Hill Park (Bastejkalns), now a delightful park between the Old City and the more modern city. Continue reading “Bastion Hill and Memorial Stones”