Tag Archives: New South Wales

New art down the street.

Some new pieces being created in Katoomba’s street art alley. Interesting how street art appears to be moving away from the style we associate with hip hop and moving in the direction of greater realism. Not sure if this is a step forward or one backward. The other thing I find surprising is that street artists appear to be risk adverse in subject matter but then again, what we have here is art approved and probably paid for by the local authorities and as such and as I’ve said before, it’s more art in the street than art of the street.

OK – better than nothing but, and I know this is an unfair comparison given these are most likely commissioned murals and probably with restrictions on subject matter, where Banksy’s works are often insightful social comment these works do little other than display the artist’s skill in creating large-scale illustrations with spray cans.

Banksy’s work is often insightful social comment.

Below are  a few snap shots I took this afternoon in Katoomba’s ‘street art alley’. Some good works but pretty much same / same as everyone and everywhere else.

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Could be a good photograph to be had after the artists have gone and the sun sets.

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Flowers are aliens waiting to invade or maybe warn us about climate change. Who knows?

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Katoomba’s ‘street art alley’

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Another portrait of a young Indigenous female.

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Mural on the left reminds me of the psychedelic art of the sixties and early seventies.

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Go Pro camera on the van door capturing all the action.

Street mural in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

And another portrait of a young female person. The next guy decided to do a portrait of a bird.

 

MTB out to Hanging Rock. A few pics

Nothing much to say here other than spent the afternoon riding out to a place known as ‘Hanging Rock’. There used to be a ‘hanging rock’ going on photos dating back to mid last century but I’d say the rock itself has long fallen into the Grouse valley below.

 

Bike and=camp fire by the side of the track to Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Bike and someone’s campfire. Good idea to camp a bit back from the cliff edge especially if you’re a sleep walker…

MTB bike by the side of track . Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Stop on the way to Hanging Rock.

Parks and Wildlife sign listing all that is allowed and all that is forbidden. Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

All new and fun things are forbidden.

Track to Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains, new South Wales, Australia, Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Made for MTB riders, the track to Hanging Rock lookout.

MTB at leaning against tree growing at the very edge of the cliff face. Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, Picture by Paul Nyssen.

If the tree fell – all would be at the bottom of the Grouse valley, a long, long way dawn.

Cliff edge overlooking the Grouse valley, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Great place to slack line but that’s verboten in the Blue Mountains National Park. Like most things fun.

View east of Hanging rock, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

At the distant horizon you can see the Sydney skyline. Over 100 kilometres away. Not visible at the resolution of this photograph but just goes to show how good the air is up here. Unlike say, Beijing or London where you breath crap and can’t see the building across the street. No use giving up smoking if you live in such horrible places.

Pictures. Storm clouds on the MTB trail.

Was out yesterday afternoon riding my mountain bike – usual itinerary which is about 20 kilometres of highway followed by 30 of dirt track. Pretty good ride and happy to say that each time I do it I’m walking less of the steep uphills.  Stopping at Bruce’s Cafe in Woodford for a coffee, Bruce is a MTB freak himself, before taking on the dirt part of the ride, I noticed the western horizon had turned  near Prussian blue but the oncoming storm appeared to be moving slowly so thought I could outrun it down to Glenbrook and that if not, it would swing around the top of the mountains and follow the deep valley south of the ridge along which stretches the ‘Oaks’ fire trail.

MTB at Bruce's Cafe on the Great Western Highway, Woodford. new South Wales, Australia.

Bruce’s Cafe in Woodford – if you looked the other way the sky was turning Prussian Blue.

For the first few kilometres of trail the storm was hot on my heels but as I climbed higher it appeared to dissipate indicating that it had gone for the valley route rather than climb above the ridge from where I got a few pictures with the point and shoot I always have in my backpack.

Storm clouds over The Oaks fire trail, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen. Storm clouds over The Oaks fire trail, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen. Storm clouds over The Oaks fire trail, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

 

Neutered gays.

Result of the gay marriage plebiscite will be known tomorrow. Sad thing is I can’t think of any guy I’d want to marry and that I know for sure to be alive. Anyway, all this social engineering bullshit distracts from what we should be most worried about and that is of course avoiding the sixth great extinction, if that is still possible.

A few recent pictures including one below I took at the ‘yes’ march in Sydney. If you read the Paglia interview you may remember how – back in 1995 – she described the mainstream, gay activist “ACT UP” style, “When I look around and I see the kind of ACT UP style, with the short shorts and the combat boots and a kind of skinhead look, I think, first of all, how childish, and secondly, how desexualized, no matter what people say, how utterly neutered.” Well, nothing appears to have ‘changed’ much in over twenty years. Reading Paglia’s comments I remembered a picture I took at the ‘vote yes’ march parade in September. See below…

Photograph of adult male dressed in cut-off jeans shorts, tShirt and boots at gay marriage protest march in September in Sydney.

So what’s different from Paglia’s description of twenty years ago?

OK, not a great comparison but let’s compare the above to Caravaggio’s ‘Amor’ painted circa 1600 (below) and which Robert Hughes described in his “Shock of the New” art documentary as “the victory of sex over culture”. I don’t agree with Hughes but it has to be said he was Australian and the product of a sex-adverse Australian culture particularly at the time when he made that documentary. Sex is front and centre of course in Caravagggio’s painting but the painter would have acknowledged his painting of Amor is in agreement with Mann’s “Death in Venice”. The beautiful Tadzio (below Amor) is Amor and Aschenbach, like Caravaggio, is the artist who bows before divine beauty as made visible to us by the gods in the form of the boy beautiful. This was gay culture at its highest and how it existed up until I’d say the immediate post-Stonewall period when and as the ‘yes’ march photograph clearly shows it became a sad, childish and neutered parody of what it had been.

Caravaggio's 'Amor Victorious" circa 1600

Love’s victory over all other human achievements.

The beautiful boy 'Tadzio'. Still from Visconti's film adaptation of Mann's novel 'Death in Venice'.

‘Tadzio’ the boy beautiful as represented in Visconti’s screen adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novel “Death in Venice”.

And a few recent pictures of mine and such as they are…

Man with baby daughter.

A friend with his baby daughter.

Black and white night photograph of back of buildings and graffiti in Katoomba, New South wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Many of these pictures are taken with a small point-and-shoot whilst out walking to the shops in Katoomba.

Night black and white picture of light cast on wall and that gives the impression of church windows.

Felt a bit mystical. lol

More MTB and a picture.

Out again riding my mountain bike – down the highway and then the dirt highway to near the bottom of the ‘mountains’. Inverted commas because they were much, much higher a few hundred million years ago and before that? A flood plain and before that the sea bed.A friend found a rock with smooth, regular corrugations whilst bush walking in the area and that a geologist would know was at the bottom of the sea a few billion years ago. Australia is a very old continent. Anyway, cranking along through an ancient landscape whilst thinking philosophical things and remembering past loves is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Not much improvement in performance other than I was less wasted than last time by the time I got to the end of the track. Could have something to do with the extra water I took this time and which I remembered to mix with the green stuff that is supposed to replace the stuff you loose through sweating. Must actually work.

Mountain bikke minus the backwheel abandoned by the side of the Oaks trail in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

Someone kindly left an emergency bike but some bastard has already taken the back wheel.

The Oaks track with sign that says you have another twenty kilometres to go before getting to the happy township of Glenbrook.

Twenty kilometres of track to go and give way to walkers? LOL

The Oaks MTB track and iron wheel near swallowed by tree.

Why would someone fix an iron wheel to a tree? Maybe it marks the spot where there be gold? Who knows.

Mountain bike near the top of the Oaks trail west of Sydney.

I’ll told there are Aboriginal rock carvings somewhere on these flat rocks but never found them.

End of The Oaks trail at Glenbrook creek.

End of the ‘Oaks’ trail at Glenbrook creek. If it rains a lot you could find it’s too high to cross and you would then have to ride back up to Woodford. Not recommended for anyone other than those known to be long term health and fitness freaks.

Heat discoulored front disc of mountain bike.

Discouloration of the bike’s disc brakes. Must have got near red hot on the final downhills. Good brakes are important…

Steep road to Glenbrook station.

Think it’s over when you get to the creek? Steep, long and zig zagging climb up the cliff to Glenbrook station. Granny gear stuff for the fit but a long hard walk pushing the bike for most normal people. It gets worse around the bend at the top of the picture.

OK pretty boring post I know. Best is you jump on a bike and get out there yourself. Anyway – took the picture below walking to the shops earlier this evening. With some post work as in really going to town on its poor pixels, I think it turned out pretty well.

Black and white photograph of the shadow of a man at night on the wall of a modest habitation.

Called it ‘Outcast Man’.

Blessings to all.

 

 

An ungovernable world, a bike ride and a few pictures.

Been reading up on the climate change latest and “Go party like there’s no tomorrow”, would be considered advise for today’s young people. Basically the young of today have two choices, party and wait for death and disaster or find a way to scrub copious amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and not forgetting they will also have to find a way to pay for the scrubbing the cost of which is estimated to be in the hundreds of trillions of dollars.

Not good news and the trouble with all these predictions is that they are made by scientists. People who are fenced into their area of expertise which do not necessarily include big picture views of the implications of their predictions. They are most often told to butt out of questions related to policy. An exception to this rule is professor James Hansen who is vocal on policy but unfortunately most of what he says falls on the death ears of politicians despite his well-founded warnings of economic collapse and the world becoming ungovernable. I would recommend everyone, especially if under middle-aged, read his papers, watch his videos and get angry.

Hansen’s website.

Other than imagining battles for survival, life in a cave and a world-wide shortage of sun lotion, I’ve not done much recently, brain not clicking into gear for some reason, and so went the other day for a mountain bike ride. Katoomba down to Woodford which is about twenty kilometres on the highway and then thirty kilometres off-road on “The Oaks” fire trail to Glenbrook. Not bad for someone whose license was canceled last month on the grounds of allegedly being too ill to drive a motorcar. No one worry though – I’m not dying yet – just doctors who misdiagnose, prescribe the wrong medication which did make me feel seriously ill and then are incapable of admitting they made a mistake when I recovered as a result of taking control of my own health. In any case I’m seriously thinking of cutting up my license so I can look my grandkids in the eye and say I did all I could to save them from starvation and world war three.

My mountain bike by the side of The Oaks firetrail in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

‘The Oaks’ fire trail – near thirty kilometres of sand, rocks and some awesome downhills. I’ve hit 68 kilometres per hour on this trail. Not bad for an old fella! LOL

Not doing as much as I’d like but have been taking pictures and experimenting with ways to get the effects I want – pretty dark I admit but that probably is just a reflection of my mental state. Below are two that are proving to be popular on photography websites.

Black and white photograph of graffiti and baby pram in back alley in Katoomba, New South wales, Australia.

 

Black and white photograph of paste up stuck on door in a back alley in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Blessings to all.

Lucky country and a few pics of a homeless friend.

We hear that a lot – that Australia is ‘the lucky country’. What’s lost is that Donald Horne who wrote the book of that name meant Australia is lucky in that it’s success is more due to good luck than good management. As he said, a first rate country run by second rate people and a recent example of that is the domestic supply of gas. Previous governments sold near all known reserves to Asia, amongst the world’s largest, and at a price so low that it would now be cheaper to buy Australian gas back from Japan than frack for more. New South Wales and Victoria have heaps of gas but the resistance of their rural communities to fracking is such that in the end the federal government had to ask the energy companies to please, please put a little aside for domestic consumption and not export the lot. I wonder how much that will add to local energy bills which are already ridiculously high and when combined with the equally ridiculous cost of housing will result in even more average families heading bills in hand to their local Salvation Army office.

Anyways… thought I’d share a few pictures I took a few years ago when and as some who have been accessing this blog would know, I was homeless and living in a tent in the bush. ‘Harmonica Mike’ was well known to backpackers who camped in the woods. Actually and given the tendency of the younger generation to post all and everything on social media, Michael had become a bit of an international celebrity with many wondering how in a country like Australia a man with a plethora of health issues could be left to live in a tent.

'Harmonica Mike' outside his tent in the Megalong Valley, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

I said ‘don’t smile’ – Mike thought that was a crack up.

'Harmonica Mike' outside his tent in the Megalong Valley, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen. 'Harmonica Mike' outside his tent in the Megalong Valley, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.