Saturday, January 21, 2017

Heidi Sculpture Walk & Banksia Park - January 2017

This Saturday I had some big plans. I'd kept an eye on the weather all week and it looked like Saturday afternoon was going to be perfect for walking, so with that in mind I had a big walk planned. Then on Friday some dickhead went crazy in Melbourne in a car killing people and devastating peoples lives, fuck. With my my mojo now severely dented I woke up Saturday morning switched on the morning telly to find wall to wall Trump, now we all knew it was happening but to know that this buffoon has got his finger on the nuclear button and will be making decisions that will effect our planet for hundreds of years finished me off. To be honest my first reaction was that I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep, I just felt extremely tired. I read somewhere that Ben Quilty said that he is always being accused of being a bleeding heart, Ben went on to say something along these lines, well if being a bleeding heart means that he has compassion and a social conscious then there are worse things that he could be accused of. While I've butchered Ben's words a bit probably, I totally agree with his sentiment, if caring about other people and the environment makes me a bleeding heart then I'm guilty as charged I suppose......just don't mistake having compassion with being a soft touch.

Now while sitting on the couch all day in my dressing gown staring at ABC24 had it own appeal, I decided that I had to get out in the sun light. Sam suggested that we visit the Heidi Museum of Modern Art up in Bulleen, a place that neither of us had been before. After a quick perusal of my library of walking books I discover a walk in Banksia Park that incorporated the sculpture garden at Heidi with a short walk though some native bush along the Yarra River, we had a plan.
Heidi Museum of Modern Art.
The plan today was to check out the museum before taking a bit of a stroll around the gardens, the main gallery room featured art by Georgia O'Keeffe, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington-Smith in an exhibition called Making Modernism. Albert Tucker was another artist who's work was featured in the main gallery. Next door in John and Sunday Reed's old house there was some works on slate by Sidney Nolan, the brutalist style of concrete architecture of the house was also interesting, particularly when viewed from the gardens. Heidi is the former home of the Reed's and over the years they hosted a succession of famous artists in their house. For people who don't live in Melbourne this area was famous in the late 1800's as being the home of the Heidelberg Art School, where a lot of our famous artists of the day passed through. Leaving the galleries for a while we headed through the sculpture garden, checking out the small kitchen gardens on the way, this small garden supplies fresh produce to the on site Café Heide.
The main gallery featured works by Albert Tucker among others.
I'm not actually sure that this type of architecture is really referred to as brutalist but that's what it looks like to me!
The kitchen garden supplies fresh produce to the on-site café.
Now I'll spare you the details of all the sculptures and just mention a couple of my favourites, one of the first works that we came to that I really liked was a piece called Theoretical Matter by Neil Taylor, this amazing work featured a cube of lattice like steel and with a huge high tension power line in the back ground it was a fascinating piece. Straight after that we had to go over a check out the Heidi Cows, a series of corrugated iron cowes by Jeff Thomson. Judging by the children running around I'd say the cows are a hit with the kids as well as the adults.
This piece is called The hill and it's by David Wilson.
My favourite, Theoretical Matter by Neil Taylor.
The Heidi Cows by Jeff Thomson.

We now meandered our way out of Heidi and into Banksia Park, while my map had us walking along beside the Yarra River in reality the river was hard to get a good view of through the trees, and seeing that I was walking in my hiking Havaiana's I wasn't really keen on any off-piste stuff today. This little loop track is called the Cherry Grove Trail and features a few information plaques about the old settlement of Warrigal, a farming settlement that was set up on the flood plain. The paved Cherry Grove Trail is very short and before long we'd looped around and were making our way back into the sculpture gardens.
The walk around the Cherry Grove Track in Banksia Park featured more native scrub.
These old fruit trees mark the site of Sidney Ricardo's old farm, he arrived onto these river flats in 1843. After making a success of his farm he later was elected to parliament.
While being very close to the Yarra River for a lot of today's walk there are no really great viewing points, well without going off-piste anyway!
Heading back up through the sculpture park we climbed up gently until we came to a huge red gum, this tree is thought to be at least 500 years old and features a large scar where the Yingabeal People had carved a canoe from it's trunk. We were now heading to the original house, passing some more great gardens on the way. The original house, or Heidi 1 as it's known now is home to works by Charles Blackman as well as being home to the extensive library of the Reed's, interestingly the library featured shelves of non-fiction books but I didn't notice any fiction, some  of the non-fiction I have in my library (well bookcase anyway;) and plenty that I'd like to read one day when I find the time. Our little excursion was coming to it's end now though as we wandered back through the grounds to the car park checking out the Rings of Saturn on the way to the ute, hmmm maybe a new planet might not be so bad....
Wondering back up through the sculpture garden we checked out Unfurling by Andrew Rogers.
Before coming to Basket and Wave by Dennis Oppenheim, Sam's favourite.
The canoe scar on the old red gum.
The old milking shed.
The Dirt.
I didn't want to look like a complete wanker today so I didn't break out the GPS to walk through the sculpture gardens. My notes suggest that this is a 2 kilometre circuit although we probably added a few hundred metres meandering our way up to Heidi 1, not that it matters much it's all pretty easy. Climbing is negligible, I'd estimate it being around 20 metres for the walk so it won't break you! This is a walk suitable for strollers and wheelchairs as well as young children. Entry to the Heide Museum of Modern Art is $22 for adults, entry to the sculpture park in the grounds is free. We loosely used the notes and map out of Melbourne's Best Bush, Bay & City Walks by Julie Mundy.
Relevant Posts.
Warrandyte Goldmining Trail, 2015
Blue Tongue Bend, Warrandyte State Park, 2016

Headi 1, the Reed's first house on the site.
Headi 1 has more information about famous guests that have stayed there over the years.
The Reed's library was an interesting spot.
Rings of Saturn by Inge King.
I'm thinking that this may be Saturn's Moons?

How about a cheerful photo to finish the post off with.....

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