Sunday, 9 December 2018

Colour Abundance in Adelaide

Every time I travel, I remember all over again how few belongings and little planning I actually need in life!  While I'm still a little way off backpacking, I am well on my way to exchanging consummate planning for the simple joys of following my nose.  And so it was on my first morning recce in Glenelg South Australia, when meandering along I found a fabulous flowering Feijoa tree full of colourful Lorikeets.

This first impromptu colour fix set a pace of colour in abundance on my visit to Adelaide this November.  This was added to in spades on my visit the next day to Adelaide Botanical Gardens.  A 40 acre garden crammed with exotic plants and birds, my first photo stop just in from the main gate was this stunning Agave Gypsophia being ravished by noisy miner birds.

The flora and fauna I went on to find in my three visits to the gardens was a photographers paradise.  I could only hope that each time I clicked the shutter that I had done justice to the view before me - some like this Citris Swallow Tail butterfly on Phlomis Italica were fleeting.

Studying flowers I had never set eyes on before was just thrilling my knowledge of exotic plants developed at speed.  I loved these blousy blooms fluttering in the light summer breeze and thought how fabulous it would be to replicate in textile.

Callistermon is one of my long standing exotic favourites and looked as stunning as I have ever seen against azure blue skies.

I quickly learnt that colourful plants were a sure place to find Lorikeets supping nectar by the beak full.  The jade blooms of this Puya Alpestris, like many other blooms, were quickly ravaged by the bird population and it became clear why Lorikeets and other nectar loving birds were less than popular with the locals.

A favourite tree for Lorikeets was Weeping Boerboon - also known as the Drunk Parrot Tree - and I can confirm from standing beneath this tree full of Lorikeets that this sounded very much the case!

The Yellow Tin Cockatoos in the gardens were more partial to the fruits of pine trees and what fun it was to study them chomping at close quarters.

It was equally delightful to find that coruscating colour continued out with of the garden gates.  Vibrant and skilful street art like this find in Eliza Street adorned building walls all around the city and I often in the most unexpected places.

Visual vibrancy was similarly the focus of galleries and shops in Adelaide.  I particularly enjoyed visiting Tarts Gallery in Gays Arcade.  An artists' cooperative with 35 members, more than half of the gallery was given over to hugely talented textile artists.  The friendly artists in the shop the day I visited very much added to the pleasure.

I was also delighted by the Better World Arts shop a short walk away in Adelaide Market.  Awash with tantalising art and textiles designed by Aboriginal artists, textiles chained stitched in Kashmir in hand dyed wool made for a heartfelt collaboration.

Textiles are readily recognised as an art form in Adelaide and spending time with textile artist Barbara Reinfeld of Studio Stitches gave me lots of insight.  Barbara designs vibrant and eye catching wool needlepoint projects for all levels of experience.  I am very much looking forward to making up my colourful needlepoint kit over my Christmas down time in Somerset.

I learnt that the hills outwith of the city plains has long inspired creativity and my in year passion for wool inevitably drew me towards Adelaide Hills fibre artists by Wren & Ollie and Finch Yarns  Oh how to choose just a few colours in Yarn Trader in Port Adelaide to take back home!

The everyday sights on my daily outings in Adelaide this November gave a huge lift to my spirits and the powerful images will continue to brighten my days through the darkness of a UK winter.

It was fascinating visiting Adelaide in the run up to their Christmas and to see very different traditional sights.  Jacaranda trees were in bloom in the streets across Adelaide and walking miles each day, the number I saw must have reached three figures.

There were also more familiar Christmas experiences, like the heartfelt morning I spent at St Peter's Church, Glenelg, for their annual Christmas Tree Festival.

I will forever remember too my daily visits to delightful Carusos in Jetty Road in Gleneg and feasting my eyes on colourful fruit and veg stands to choose my daily purchases.

The current season and nature aside, I found much common ground between Adelaide and Somerset.  The contrast of flat lands and hills similarly instils a strong sense of place and inspires artists and makers alike.  The familiarity of place names too was charming - oh that this stunning beach in Somerton South Australia with its natural beach art could be replicated in Somerset!

My creative time in Adelaide was a welcome and uplifting distraction at a very intensive personal time and more images of my journey can be found on this link.

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