trekking Japan

The most other-wordly trip I have ever embarked upon is a self-guided hike through the ancient pilgrimage routes of Japan. These paths exist in the mountains and you come across ancient Buddhist shrines as well as more modern but distinctly memorable holy places, such as this cemetery. Thank you Japan for keeping something special in the post-modern world where everywhere seems the same.    Read more

Haunted by the Dreaming

Even though I have travelled to most of the places in the world that I wanted to, my recent trip to the great North of my country has stayed with me like no other. The paintings that have come from this trip are reminiscent of the lines and linkages in traditional Aboriginal art. I am very conscious that these paintings are “through the eyes of the white man”. I hope my Aboriginal friends understand that these paintings come from aRead more

All Travel Rolls into One

    Travel? Once you’ve done enough, it all merges into one long journey in your memory. I like this because you have photographs that aren’t immediately self-revealing about the where. Weirdly enough or amazingly enough, this experience of travel remembered coincides with all that strange quantum physics stuff that trickles down to most of us through translaters of science. In particular, there is the idea that our minds impose Time onto our experience to make it intellectually manageable. ThisRead more

Haunted by the North

I am haunted by seeing the northern edge of my country, particularly the Kimberley region and Kakadu. You can travel the world and see the great centres of human culture and that’s fine but the Deep North is something else. There was no road access to the lodge we stayed at in the Kimberley…so we sat crammed in a light plane and watched the miles and miles of plains and rivers pass by below. Once there, we spent days exploringRead more

Youth

Normandy Coastline still studded with German guns From seventy years ago Where the Allies came ashore As you read about in books Normandy a country of farms And stone fences Now museums to DDay In the midst of croissants And ice cream sellers Pointe du Hoc Amazed me The clifftop above the sea Huge German guns in bunkers Still present just back from the cliff I don’t see how the soldiers could have climbed these cliffs Under fire and tideRead more

paintings after seeing Dachau and the Berghof bunker system near Munich

Seeing Dachau in near 40 degree heat was a hard day and very depressing. All one can do is to bear witness to the events, and so a few paintings emerged from that experience. Seeing the place where Hitler lived in the German Alps, including his bunker system around the Berghof and the Eagle’s Nest….this just illustrates the tragic misuse of technical skill that underpinned the Third Reich.Read more

Europe….the cracks are visible

On this trip to Europe, there have been a few things I’ve noticed that seem different to previous trips. All those reports we have all seen about African and Middle Eastern migrants appearing on the shores of southern Italy….well, its not just southern Italy. Our hotel is near the central station of Milan ….our cabbie confirmed that around 100 migrants rejected by France appear here everyday. They sleep rough in the environs of the monolithic Milan train station. These displacedRead more

painting in Milan, Italy

On this trip, every city seems so different. Coming from Nice, Milan has a certain grunginess. I walk into the best bookshop I have ever been in, four levels of every kind of book…a kind of temple of peace. And in that shop was the latest bio of Kurt Cobain…..wasn’t it in Italy where he had his first overdose? Anyway, spent the rest of the afternoon in a Leonardo show…..what can you say? I am obsessed with his landscape backgrounds….theRead more

German bunkers at clifftop, Omaha Beach

This visit helps you understand the scale of the battle that books and films cannot do. Strangely enough, the whole cliff top including the views and even the bunkers was incredibly beautiful. The way the 70 years has created delicate patterns on the walls of the bunkers was unexpected and exquisite. There was a juxtaposition of death with beauty.Read more