Within minutes of collecting my bags off the luggage belt at Brisbane Airport I was whisked away to Eat Street, a collection of disused shipping containers located on the river bank which have been transformed into a food market. The 180 containers provided a lot to choose from, with every food type available from paella to pizza. It was heaving with people clutching candy floss, cups of beer and dishes emitting tasty aromas, there was even a stage with a live music act creating an almost party like atmosphere. Afterwards I looked down at the city sparkling in the darkness from the Mount Coot Tha look out point, as my first evening in Brisbane came to an end.
On my second day I visited the Gold Coast, a long expanse of golden sand and high rise buildings overlooking the vivid blue Pacific Ocean. We drove the whole length and made stops a long the way, visiting the iconic surfers paradise and straddling the state boundary between Queensland and New South Wales.
The city itself is divided by a river, so I decided to explore the Southbank which is where all the galleries and museums are located. It’s a very green and pedestrianised area, with different walkways to take and lots of space to sit with book and enjoy the sunshine (I actually did this at sunset as the air was cooling down). I picked a route to the art gallery which weaved through a mini rainforest and felt a world away from the high rise buildings on the riverbank opposite.
I followed the river to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, where I went to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow. The first installation was entitled Soul Under The Moon (2002) and it was the most immersive piece of art I’ve ever experienced. For 30 seconds (timed due to its popularity) I was stood in a completely dark room shut off from the world, ultraviolet light illuminated hundreds of ping pong balls suspended from the ceiling, with mirrored walls and a pool of water which surrounded the viewing platform creating the illusion of being in an infinite space. There were more immersive artworks throughout the exhibition, and I’ll be writing a full review for Groovier Times Are Ahead soon!
Next stop: New Zealand