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  • Barnacle trees and Guide Dog statues

    6th June, 2013


    Today I visited the Turner from the Tate exhibition (National Gallery of Australia) at lunch, seeing the beautiful, sometimes stormy vistas was recompense for our cold weather. The children’s room was fantastic, it was like walking into a seascape barnacled with iPads on easels. I decided to come back another time so I could devote more time to drawing on the electronic and physical watercolour paper and contemplate the different rooms.


    Statue of a Guide Dog at Tuggeranong Hyperdome

    Guide Dog statue


    My favourite story of the sea is that migrating wild geese (Branta bernicla) grew on goose-trees (barnacle-trees) north of Scotland. Ripe barnacle fruit would fall into the sea and transform into barnacle geese (the theory came about because barnacles looked like embryonic geese) (The barnacle tree in Lehner, 1960, p. 86). It makes sense that people saw such a world of possibility in a mysterious and powerful place like the sea. While I saw iPad barnacles at the Turner exhibition, there were no barnacle geese.


    There were no frilly knickers in the shop, but there were plenty of boxers for men and badger shoes for children. The tea-sets were lovely but unfortunately made of bone china, the paper plates decorated with roses were more geared towards my level of household upkeep.



    Outside, there were lots of camera-shy green rosellas playing and feeding in the yellow gum blossom (Eucalyptus stricklandii, Yellow-flowered blackbutt?) between the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery. An Indian Myna was burrowing through the discarded blossoms on the tiles.


    Later in the day, I saw a lady at the shops bump into the Guide Dog statue and then apologise to him. I’m fairly certain the Guide Dog statue didn’t mind as he was thinking about marking his territory on barnacle trees. Then she was embarrassed and looked around furtively to see if anyone noticed. I pretended to be contemplating the mesh design of the trolley.



    …see more of the Barnacle tree in Lehner, Ernst. & Lehner, Johanna.  (1960).  Folklore and symbolism of flowers, plants and trees,.  New York :  Tudor Pub. Co.



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