1 Jul 2018

Winter in Canberra

I've just come back from four days in the Australian Capital Territory-Canberra-the Australian capital-visiting the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery and taking in a few other cultural sights as well. I used to visit Canberra a few times a year on business but have not been back for 11 years. It has changed dramatically. So many new apartment blocks and office towers. A light rail system is being constructed and not before time as what used to be an easy city to find parking is now a parking nightmare. Despite all the talk of the LNP government standing for small government it does not show in Canberra with many huge new government office buldings as well as new glass towers housing all the consultants,lobbyists and contractors who are now unfortunately an integral part of government.
Architect Burley Griffin's original plans for Canberra were inspired and the city made a good start with some very attractive buildings but it lost its way about 30 years ago and almost all the recent buildings are very uninspired-glass cereal box meets concrete bunker.
I used to think that the inhabitants of Canberra live in a bubble - isolated and insulated from the rest of the country and I came away from there today feeling that this is still the case.
Purpose built capitals are not good idea particularly when they are distant from the major cities.
Photo above -wintery twilight looking over suburbia-Kingston, Canberra, June 26th 2018. Leica X1 photo

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