Ups and downs in Brisbane…

A few weeks ago my blogging buddy Meg from “Snippetandsnaps” mentioned the Australian landscape artist William Robinson. I Looked him up on Google.

“Figurative expressionist painter William Robinson is considered one of Australia’s foremost living artists. He is recognised for his unique interpretation of the Australian landscape as well as his whimsical portraits and narrative scenes. Robinson was born in Queensland in 1936 and began painting in the 1960s. His broad, detailed images of the Australian bushland emphasising the skewed perspective of the beholder are among the most recognisable images of the Australian landscape. His humourous and imaginative self-portraits were awarded the Archibald Prize in 1987 and 1995. A major retrospective of his work was held in 2001 at the Queensland Art Gallery. A monograph of his work was published in the same year. In 2009 the William Robinson Gallery was opened at the QUT campus in Old Government House. “

I decided that we would have a day’s outing to Brisbane  to view his art. We caught the 8-45am commuter train and it was packed. Not only workers on their daily commute to Brisbane, but young children and parents and grandparents going to visit the Ekka, the annual country comes to town show.

Just over an hour later we arrived at South Bank and walked across the “Goodwill Bridge”, a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that goes directly across the Brisbane River to the QUT (Queensland University of Technology).

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Looking over the side of the bridge I could see the River Cat ferry swooping along from side to side picking up passengers, and a more sedate old-timer boat taking tourists sightseeing along the river. A few mellow people were relaxing over on the lawns of South Bank.

I had planned a full day, but top of the list was find the Old Government House to visit the “William Robinson Gallery”

So we entered the campus and the world of students.

As we entered the first thing I saw was this strange-looking sculpture. What ever is it? Can you guess? I thought maybe a pile of nuts, or a pile of poo!!! Jack sat and waited while I read the information plaque.

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Well I would never have guessed that…

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The stately old Government House faces the City Botanic Gardens (I am standing on the steps down to the gardens as I take this photo) and I also plan a wander through there later in the day.

“Old Government House was the hub of colonial life in the early days of Brisbane. Constructed between 1860 and 1862, shortly after Queensland achieved separation from New South Wales, the House was Queensland’s first public building. A rare surviving example of the domestic work of Queensland’s first Colonial Architect Charles Tiffin, the House was both a private residence and official state office for Governor Bowen, the colony’s first governor, and continued to be the home of Queensland’s governors until 1910.

Old Government House successively became the University of Queensland’s inaugural building (1910-1972) and the headquarters of the National Trust of Queensland (1972-2002). As one of Queensland’s most significant historical buildings, it was the first building in the state to be heritage listed in 1978. In 2002, the Queensland University of Technology accepted custodial responsibility for the House and undertook a lengthy restoration project. This included the delivery of an interpretative multimedia centre to highlight the cultural and historical significance of each part of this landmark colonial building.

Old Government House was reopened to the public in June 2009 as an historic house museum, a gallery housing the works of renowned Australian artist William Robinson and an elegant venue available to hire for private functions. Located centrally in Brisbane adjacent to the City Botanic Gardens, the House stands with renewed grandeur within the Gardens Point Campus of QUT.”

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The grand old home is now dwarfed by the newer buildings of the campus, but it still appears to be the heart and on this warm day, students are clustered around in ones and twos and groups doing what students do on a beautiful Queensland day.

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Time to people watch later, now it is time to go inside and immerse myself in the world of art.

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The gallery is on the second floor so first a look around downstairs.

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I can imagine the many grand balls and functions that were held here when this house was the centre of the newly created colony. Now these surroundings are for private hire.

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The library/office is the only room with furniture and it is a museum to the National Park Movement celebrating 100 years of conservation.

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But now it is past the baby grand piano and sweep up the stairs to the gallery…

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The paintings dominate the space, they are breathtaking and have captured the colours and spirit of the native bush.

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 Photographs cannot fully capture the intensity of the layers and build up of texture that flows and ripples across the canvas.

The captions explain the paintings better than I can. So I will let the paintings talk to you.

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I have taken this close-up so you can see the layer up on layer of paint. That corrugated iron could be the real thing. For 10 years in New Zealand I milked Jersey cows and I fell in love with these quirky popeyed ladies…

But this next painting was my favourite and I kept going back to savour the ethereal beauty of the bush.

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Before we left I stepped out on to the balcony. What a magnificent position, this is looking straight into the City Botanic Gardens and over to the river.

But now it is time for lunch.

A rather trendy café is situated in the courtyard at the back of the house in what was the kitchen and servants quarters. But we decide to go over to the students food court and join them for the cheap and cheerful budget fare that students prefer. So armed with kebabs and chips we find a bench under the mature trees and watch the activity and plan the rest of the day.

The Art Museum is behind Old Government House and then a highly anticipated visit to the “Cube”. Before a look around the Botanic Gardens then catch the train back home.

“The Cube is one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces dedicated to providing an inspiring, explorative and participatory experience of QUT’s Science and Engineering research.

The Cube consists of 48 multi-touch screens soaring across two storeys. Housed in QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre, The Cube is your hub for scientific and digital exploration.”

That sounds exciting.

But first the Art Museum…


Now comes the downs…

Jack misses a step and goes hurtling down the steps landing heavily on his right shoulder. Three students rush over to help and as Jack is unable to get up straight away I ask one of them to phone for an ambulance. A tutor arrives and phones for a security guard and then rushes off to find a glass of water. Slowly we help Jack to his feet and he sits on a bench cradling his right arm and in pain.

Everyone is very concerned.

Eventually the ambulance arrives. The campus is like a rabbit warren and they had difficulty finding us.

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The Ambos are very efficient and after taking his heart rate and finding the source of the pain in his right shoulder it is onto the stretcher and as heads turn and follow our progress, Jack is trundled through campus to where the ambulance is parked.

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The hospital staff are amazing and efficient. A couple of hours later an x-ray had established that nothing was broken, but the shoulder was very bruised and sore. So  having been given pain killers and the arm put in a sling we could head home.

So it will be another trip to Brisbane, when we can fit it in, to finish the sight-seeing around QUT.


This walk was not quite as far as I had planned Jo, so now I will have to come back again to finish it off…

Check out all the other intrepid walkers from around the world

Categories: Brisbane, Jo's Monday walks, Old Government House, photos, QUT | Tags: , , , , , , | 72 Comments

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72 thoughts on “Ups and downs in Brisbane…

  1. I enjoy reading all your on online friends comments- the world can be a sweet place, good and bad in every race. So let all love and comments flow with compassion, always, best luv Di. in Tassie.


  2. Magnificent pics. Gee they took some time to take all of these. thanks…


  3. ps i only just this morning found the page of replies to me…ho hum! luv Di


  4. Phew! Yeh all’s well, my message is through. ha ha..luv Di.


  5. just sent litle message, hope it gets through to you, luv Di.


  6. g’day pommepal, just read all the unfortunate news re; Jack although I am new i wish him very well. Thank you for reading my blog too. Lovely to see your friends here, I am in Tassie My, Daughter working in Brissie at present. will return later to you, luv Di.


    • Thank you Di, Jack is fully recovered now. I would like to see more of Tassie. I loved it when we house sat in Hobart.


      • sometimes it really is a small world hey what..I have been around a lot of Oz but i am here to stay now luv Di hava nice evenin g in B rissie


        • Thanks Di Australia is a great place to live.


          • yes it is really…all the best. will find you later on again..i am trying to see if people have any interest in their Kilvey Hill blog as I don’t want to get back om facebook, because it took to much time re;answering them all before…I prefer a small amount of people to keep in touch with really. I love you’r blog, wish mine wil grow a little bit. Maybe i need to add some info[interests] hobbies..without just the names of historic interest etc…luv Di.


  7. wonderfull pictures, wonderfull reads..but I need to get some time to read them all.What a lovelyblog, I am new to all of this, please take a look at my little history site when you find the time? I would really enjoy seeing at least one feedback at present..i will keep reading this beaut write here. regards Diane swansea historicfamily stories is my blog on wordpress/and google hava a happy day.


  8. Pingback: Final few hours in Brisbane… | gypsy life

  9. I left my comment till now because I now can say I have fully recovered.
    Ok a few more scars that will not show, I heal well and have no noticeable scars.
    This time I did not even need stitches because I did not hit my head and the concrete was smooth.
    This was just one small step into space for mankind but a bit big for me.
    I have enjoyed being the star in Pauline’s post and getting all those caring comments.


    • The students thought it was hilarious me rushing around taking photos… That is what an intrepid blogger does!!!!


      • Is that how you spell intrepid or have you got the ‘i’s and ‘e’s the wrong way round and left out a ‘p’.
        Like in tripped.
        Had you done a video of old hilarious (is that is how you spell it) stepping into space you could have put it on TV bloopers to give the viewers a laugh. 😉


  10. Oh no Pauline not the day you had planned at all! Hope Jack is recovering well now and you can go back before long to complete your tour, best wishes Rosemary 🙂


    • Thanks for your best wishes Rosemary. Jack has now had cortisone injections and is feeling much better. We’ll definitely be going back… Watch this space!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. Oh poor Jack, I wasn’t prepared for that Pauline. I’m so sorry 😦 Such a lovely day you were having and this is a great post. Love the old building, the painting on the landing and even the green leafed carpet. Take care and send my best wishes to Jack.


  13. Jackie

    So glad nothing is broken. Give him hugs from Canada.


  14. That Was a bit of an action-packed day – very glad Jack is OK, he’s clearly a fit man! Give him a hug from me, hope he’s soon feeling less sore


    • It was going to be even more action packed but the best laid plans etc… Jack says thank you for the hug, he loves being hugged… 🙂


  15. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Clifton Suspension Bridge and Observatory | restlessjo

  16. Wow Pauline – that’s QUITE a story. First, good for you for following the lead and going to check out the paintings, which are amazing. Here in the states it’s unusual to be able to take photos of art in most places. Second – I cannot believe your husband was letting you take photos of him post-fall, or that you’d think of it in the first place!!! My husband would kill me 😊 😊 He’s obviously a really patient guy! Hope he’s feeling much better by now.


    • I was surprised they allowed photos I asked the security guard and he said ok as long as the flash isn’t used. Jack actually said “did you get any photos?” and like a true “blogger” of course I had to have the pics for the story. The lengths we go to for our “obsession” Tina…lol…


  17. Jack is 83!?!?!!! I’m astonished. I’m also very glad no big damage was done: he was off to the gym and FAVOURING the arm for goodness sake. As always, you found far more than Robinson. A magnificent post. I’m glad I got a vicarious look at paintings, but also their surroundings.


    • I’m so pleased I found these magnificent paintings. Thank you Meg for the previous information. another thing to put on your list when you are next in Brisbane. Jack goes for an ultrasound today to see if the tendons and ligaments are ok. He still feels sore.


  18. Oh no! I was so shocked when Jack fell – the poor thing (I just love the way you’re there with the camera to get the action shots of the ambulance) 😉 Tell Jack I hope he’s feeling better soon – he looks very fit and healthy and I’m sure that goes very much in his favour. xxxx


    • I think the fact that he goes to the gym and is fit was a big factor. The students thought I was hilarious taking the photos. I didn’t catch the main action though. Should ask for a replay!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I was really enjoying your post, and marvelling at the beautiful buildings and gorgeous artwork. I think I got as much of a shock as you did when Jack fell. Hope the shoulder is better very soon. It’s so traumatic when something like this happens out of the blue. Gentle *hugs* to Jack.


    • It was a terrible shock. Jack is still sore, but it could’ve been so much worse. He says thank you for the gentle hugs, he loves the ladies hugging him.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. So glad that Jack is okay after that tumble!!You were having such a great art tour too but one that you can finish on another sunny day. While the art was intriguing the building itself is a gem – from such a glamorous era.


    • It certainly was a gorgeous building and inside the foyer area they had all displays showing the Governors and their guests in all their finery at the official balls and functions. Yes I’ll certainly be going back


  21. So sorry to read about Jack’s fall – hope the shoulder feels better soon.


  22. Oh, I was having such a good time and so looking forward to the Botanic Garden and then… poor Jack! I am so glad he was not worse injured. My mother tripped once and broke her shoulder, her arm was never the same again, so it was good that Jack didn’t break anything. Give him my love and tell him to rest that arm 🙂


  23. 🎈🎈🎈 So glad Jack’s up & about !🎈🎈🎈


  24. I was unfortunately accurate in my guess, Pauline, and so I hesitated to ‘like’ this. I was having such a good time, too! As was Jack! Hope he’s on the mend and you won’t dare take your eye off him when you make your return trip 🙂 Thanks for the lovely art lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed the steps Jo and was just about to say “be careful” but it was too late and down he went. He was lucky he has strong bones, must be all the exercise he does. (and the food I feed him!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I was really enjoying the trip until the, well, trip. Hope Jack’s doing much better. I really enjoy seeing a bit of Australia with you.



  26. First Pauline.. Please give Jack my love and well wishes.. I hope his shoulder has eased up and not as painful.. I am thankful no bones were broken.. A fall shakes us up to our core… So I hope he is taking things a bit easier and allowing you to pamper him LOL.. 🙂

    The Campus is a wonderful place and the artwork is amazing.. Loved those Cows eyes.. Jersey cattle have the softest eyes with the longest of lashes..
    I so enjoyed this ‘Trip’ with you even if Jack went one ‘step’ further LOL.. just happy to know he is ok.

    Please take care both of you..
    Love and Hugs Sue _/\_

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind thoughts Sue. I think it was because Jack keeps himself so fit that he didn’t have a worse injury. For an 83 yo his bones are very strong and he had a thickish jacket on so no abrasions. He went off to the gym this morning but was favouring his right arm…

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree with you Pauline.. and Jack keeps himself very fit and because of it he bounced LOL and is soon bouncing back 🙂 I took a fall in January on my chin lol.. and it really shook me up.. two sprained wrists.. You both take care…you both have become like family here in WP.. Sending warm hugs to you both ❤


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