by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com
This morning I changed my regular morning-walk route which takes me past massive fig trees and under bursting poincianas in my tiny plateau village to an amble through the quiet back lanes of my area's major regional town of Lismore.
It's been a while since I popped into the 'Wok' as downtown Lismore is (un)affectionally named but I wanted to get in some last minute xmas shopping before both the temperature and the pressie buying stress heated up, and as such it had also been quite some time since I last viewed the murals of Lismore's very muched loved (but still a little unknown) "Back Alley Gallery" in Eggins Lane.
It never ceases to amaze me the talent, vibrancy, passion and the very weird thoughts that swirl through the veins of artists and burst out from them to dazzle, delight and perplex our minds as we take in their creations and swim through the emotions they evoke in us.
When I look at some of the murals I have absolutely no idea what the artist is saying or what the piece represents, but I love them all, the colour and vitality that oozes from each piece sends my thoughts into a frenzy, be it confusion or joy.... or both.
A year or so ago, one of the biggest and a very well loved murals was vandalised when someone threw white paint over it.
The mural by Brisbane based (and internationally renowned) street artist - Guido van Helten - was painted back in 2012. When this piece was defaced, many in Lismore and the surrounding area were horrified that such a beautiful art work had been wontonly destroyed.
However this year, Guido created another stunning mural to replace it; featuring a young local Lismore girl whose name is Willow. It's a stunning almost ethereal piece and for me reminds me of my own gorgeous granddaughters and the innocence and wonderment I see in their eyes.
There was a lot of wonderment also in mine (and Mal's) eyes as we went from mural to mural picking out hidden gems, in both the paintings and the surrounding walls / fixtures - delightful little pieces that popped out when least expected.
Like many small regional towns, Lismore is filled to the brim with creative people and it is fabulous that this creativity is embraced and expressed. Lismore has some quirky, at times surreal, artworks dotting its streets and lanes and although sometimes, there is great debate as to if it should even be called art, I'm sure most people love that all these pieces are there to not only be talked about but raises the profile of the city.
And that brings me to Lismore's Christmas Tree.
Oh my, what a talking point the Christmas Tree is nearly every year. No trussed up standard run-of-the-mill green-triangle tree for this town. No, the brief for the tree must be innovative, eco-friendly, practice the 3 R's (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce....) and above all gorgeously fugly!
For a long time, Lismore has had the Wonky Tree - a crooked pine that grows in a round-a-bout and gets a couple of 'xmas pressie boxes' and tinsel thrown at it each year. . . and heaven help anyone who picks on it. Like when the newspaper The Daily Telegraph back in 2014 declared it the 'worst xmas tree in the state' and called it the 'Leaning Tree of Lismore' - WHOA! when that article came out it was a resounding 'hands off our bent fir' !
Lismorites (and the populous of the surrounding area) LOVES their wonky, bent, crooked, I'll-grow-however-I-want tree to the max.
This year it's used tyres all painted in glorious neon fluro with plastic bottle star and crushed cans tied up with a big bow pressie skirt.
There's nothing 'tyred' about this tree and it's sure to keep em 'rolling' in for the festive season...
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book.
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