Saturday, 1 January 2011

Exploring the Solar System in comfortable shoes

 These articles are reprints from and the BBCN community paper that i'm showcasing over the Christmas / Summer break  First published March 2 2008
On Sunday I decided to take the new missus and check out what all the hoo-ha was about concerning this Solar system thingy that Ed the very heavy shadow guy had been blabbing on about here.
After a few false starts like forgetting the map to show where it was and not realizing it was actually part of a larger festival we managed to stumble on it by chance when we found a garbage bag wrapped monolith on one of the walk ways.
Now we he discovered we were early.
It hadn’t been unveiled yet.
Obviously others before us were curious about its function and had conveniently tore a hole in the bag, this led us to deduce that we were somewhere about Jupiter (due to the lovely colouring of the very small sphere attached to monolith wrapped in garbage bags)

The hidden Solar system
It was at this point that an older couple sidled up to us brandishing a photocopied booklet titled “The Melbourne Solar System Self Guided Tour” and together we read the cover spiel and realized that if we had of headed towards the City we would have had a long hike back to the car so we decided to head to towards the Sun (Sculpturally speaking that is).

The discovery of Jupiter
Now according to the pamphlet we had a 750 metre trek back to the Sun (if we had of gone to Pluto we had a 5+ KM marathon) So after dodging people way too old to be using rollerblades and families on bikes strung out like an army of ants we eventually came across another garbage bag wrapped plinth with a not so neat hole ripped in the top to expose it’s secret. This one was red and resembled a chewed Smartie (or M&M for those of other cultures other than Oz) things were getting closer now and the next exposed planet was Earth (it was BLUE) complete with little moon.

By now The Sun was in view so we rushed pass the other two planets Venus and Mercury giving them only a polite nod as we passed.

It started as a wart on my arse
The Sun was not wrapped obviously the budget didn’t cover two rolls of garbage bags because this would have been a big bugger to wrap.
I now had a good idea of the scale of what man in his future travels will have to endure in time and distance if we ever got the urge to see why anybody would want to call a barren piece of icy rock after a Disney dog. Me, I wasn’t even up to traveling back to Jupiter by footpath.
Sadly time constraints meant I missed the unveiling and the copy of the little book with Ed’s name in it caught fire after I got home (happens a lot ‘round here) but I’m glad I saw a brilliant concept and idea brought to fruition and not only stand as a valid piece of public art but also as an interesting one and a great teaching tool.
Well done guys.

I found this little chickybabe when we passed Venus

This for some unknown reason was next to the Sun sculpture, since we didn’t know what it represented we called it the “SunTurd”

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