This break we took a day trip to Lake Manchester, a favorite haunt and not an ugly desolate dam like most in our area but one surrounded by bushclad hills. It is one of the quieter places around, built before WWI and it retains the industrial ornamentation and solid dignity of engineering from that time - built to last by craftsmen with quality materials. The nearby picnic ground has been abandoned by family picnickers (they are all at the airconditioned shopping malls) with barbeque areas morphing back into cow paddocks and picnic tables being reclaimed by strangler figs. I once went to a Robert Moore show of paintings in the local hall, the lake being subject matter for some of his works on canvas and fibreglass so I remembered what a great venue it was with it's french doors and wide verandahs.
We had to negotiate a council worker spraying poison on weeds through a firehose but we made it to the dam wall without respiratory failure. The tide had gone out nearly 20metres straight down, exposing the dam floor and bits and pieces of wrecker treasure. Mr Accordian was able to take the photos above and some audio files of the soundscape while I foraged and watched the turtles. We also found an abandoned walking path with overgrown stairs and stone path edges leading up a nearby conical hill with views out to Ivory Rock. The only other people around apart from poison man were a couple of old boys reminiscing about their glory days abseiling down the dam wall, a carload of bogans tearing up the dusty carpark and a surveyor. The surveyor (never a welcome sight in my books) was taking measurements for the dam wall to be raised 5 meters. We wondered if council was also planning to increase the rainfall. It does not seem to have occured to them that we might have hit population capacity for our water supply.Anyway, this means that another piece of our industrial heritage gets the chop along with half a hill and the decayed ambience that makes this place to special.
I once did a series of brooches and necklaces about the disappearance of grand old industrial machinery inspired by a Glen Willard photo of a locomotive engine. The brooches use elements of the machinery which I copied in silver and fragmented with a similarly fragments printed sprig of rosemary on patinated copper. Perhaps the enduring work of artists and craftspeople can help to document what is vanishing and to sooth souls weary of a modern built environment built shonkily with cheap materials and torn down every 20years or so to be rebuilt in the even crappier style of the day!