I made a quick dash up to our national capitol on Thursday, to see my grandchildren before we go overseas …. they will be going away for three months just as we return … so I might not see them for many months. I wanted to visit the National Arboretum where 94 forests of rare or endangered trees from Australia and around the world have been planted. My son wanted to see a relatively new sculpture up close … Wide Brown Land … which consists of letters, perfect for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge.
An overcast sky and subdued light lent a sombre atmosphere to the scene. Deciduous trees had already lost their leaves as winter approaches. People hugged their warm jackets around them as they stood on this hilltop gazing over the arboretum to the south and Black Mountain to the north.
Children played, as they always do, warming themselves with activity! I think there was a very small sign somewhere about not climbing on the sculpture, which I am sure is only for insurance purposes … of course children will climb on something so inviting.
From some angles you cannot distinguish any words or letters at all, just a writhing twist of steel across the landscape.
Dorothea Mackellar’s poem starts “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains … and continues until the final summation ” …a wide brown land for me” We all learnt it at school in the 1950’s, but I never fail to be stirred by the love of our land that shines through every word. Just viewing the sculpture lifted my heart!
Set high on this hill overlooking the city of Canberra, and surrounded by country freshly greened after rich autumn rains, both the sculpture and the love of our land are wonderfully present. The day before had been hot and sunny, but I enjoyed the soft tones of low light and grey skies.
Zooming in from the Chapel for one last look at the Wide Brown Land, sculpture by Marcus Tatton, Chris Viney and Futago.