Friday, 18 July 2014

Melbourne Museum

On Wednesday I threw off cares about the cold and wet weather, to brave a day in the blustery city, with a visit to the museum principally in mind!

Sitting on the wall of the train station waiting room was a rather wonderful moth.  That was a good start to my day.
This is a bay fig tree growing in the parkland near the Melbourne Museum.  I think it is the most magnificent tree I have ever seen!  It's enormous.  Goodness knows how many people it would take to hug its girth!
Inside the museum I went straight to see the butterflies again.  I remember them from our last visit.  Their iridescence is breathtaking and I am so glad it appears to have translated well into a photograph or two.
I have included a photo of this bivalve fossil because it is 390 million years old!!  It was found by a local miner on Mount Matlock in Victoria.
The photos below show extracts from The Federation Tapestry, a series of ten panels designed and made by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop, to mark the centenary of Australia's birth as a nation.  The themes of the pieces illustrate the Australian story of dispossession, settlement, adaptation, the land, celebration, hope and home.  The panels are colourful, clever and fun.
The next three photographs show part of an exhibition of Keeping Places - things to hold, carry, collect and keep items. 
This a coolamon, dating from 1890, used for thousands of years by Aboriginal women throughout Australia, for holding a baby.  
These are sails which fly above canoes used by Pacific Islanders,
and this is a bark cloth, or tapa, made in the 1880s, by pounding together bark strips from the paper mulberry plant.
There was a big area of exhibition space devoted to the indigenous peoples of Australia, giving them an arena to express their feelings about their position in the past, the present and the future in Australia.  It is poignant stuff.  I particularly liked this quote, because it relates to all of us.

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