Rollin' on and on

Update #02: The Grand Section's National Exhibition, 'Girthy; with Slim Edges'

 

The car has only a small oil leak and smells a bit but otherwise all is fabulous!

We have just finished at Theodore which was stop #3 on the Grand Section Journey. We thought now would be a great time to reflect on the past few months, 2 states and a territory! It certainly has been a whirlwind, far more intense than a bike but none the less fantastic to see the country through a new perspective and as always meet and re-meet some incredible people.

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Rollin' on...

Update: The Grand Section's National Exhibition, 'Girthy; with Slim Edges'

 

That's right... we are 'On Tour'; our mighty steed, the beaten up Kelly family subaru with 360,000kms is riding low but getting us around the country.... groupie applications open. 

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You are Invited! - 'Girthy; with Slim Edges'

Presenting The Grand Section National Exhibition, Girthy; with Slim Edges.......

“Girthy; with Slim Edges” is an exhibition showcasing the work from The Grand Section, a year-long study of Australia’s architecture, east to west. Broadening the conversation about architecture and Australia, the exhibition delivers Australia’s innards to its outer fringes. Giving insight into the reality of the regional and remote areas of this country and the connection between environments, people and buildings.

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The Talkin' Circuit

We're somewhat settling back in, but it is strange to be back.....in a room with a bed and the windows so far away. Hustle bustle, slowness seems to be about as forgotten as the inland. 

HOWEVER...

We've got lots of bits and bobs to share, and we promise it's more than just 'Blah'.

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The Grand Section Guardian #020 - Stop 20 Wooramel Roadhouse

The ferocious southerly October to February trade winds that wrecked countless ships off the Western Australian coast gave us an easy ride into our penultimate stop, Wooramel Roadhouse. Subject to the whim of the tourist seasons…both of them….on and off, the roadhouse is typical of many road side stops across the continent, dictated by the car. However, as the nature of transport evolves so too must the architecture of the road.

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THE GRAND SECTION FINAL LEG - LIVE TRACKER UPDATE!

We've just finished our week at Stop #20: Wooramel Roadhouse and so NOW are on our final cycling leg into Carnarvon, the Western Australian fruit bowl. We only have 124 kms to go before we have officially crossed the continent and a great attempt at following Latitude 25. If you can't get to the finish line we understand, so instead you can virtually cheer us on as we have set up a live tracker for you to follow along!!

Click through to the blog post and press the big "LIVE TRACKER" button or go to https://www.thegrandsection.com/ and use the button on the Homepage to follow along online!

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The Grand Section Guardian #018 - Stop 18 Wooleen

Towering Palms and Gums, like so many other sites throughout the trip are the markers of (white fella) inhabitation both past and present. Pushing through days of 40 degree heat, and a persistent hot headwind, the ‘markers’ gave us a goal to pedal for. What we would come to find is brave, bold, a bit stupid and completely inspiring. A cattle property without any cattle.

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The Grand Section Guardian #017 - Stop 17 Meekatharra

Surrounded by open cut mines, with the protective ring of ‘rehabilitated’ earth and small signs urging caution, Meekatharra still has significant deposits of gold, copper and ore to be dug. Meanwhile decade old gaping pits leave locals scratching their heads as to how to utilize these monumental sized constructions to leverage tourism, the scale of modern ruins. The administrative centre of the region, Meekatharra is certainly not for the meek.

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The Grand Section Guardian #016 - Stop 16 Laverton

Littered in history and holes, it almost feels as if no piece of ground has been left untouched. Rusty cans, glass and broken prospector dreams litter the landscape. Manmade mesas and hills rise high above the Mulgas. Behind a clump of Acacias is a century old brick cricket pitch, overgrown. To the unknowing eye, simply, a landscape of ‘nothing’.

One thing to consider: Gold exists in greater abundance in Australia than any other place in the world

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The Grand Section Guardian #015 - Stop 015 Warburton

Ride in, dusty and lunch hungry. Time turns back 1.5 hours so the pre-prepared lunches don’t come out for another hour, delayed further by a drop in internet and EFTPOS services. Camp dogs and dust clouds from ever cycling windowless cars. Lunch when it does come is a surprisingly tasty burger, the only hot and filling option. It’s the off week for fresh food, a couple of sad carrots for dinner. Nothing unusual. 

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The Grand Section Guardian #014 - Stop 014 Uluru

Well shit, the arbiter of the whole Grand Section, the heart of the nation, the spiritual center, the symbol of Aus-bloody-straya,…we made it! This epic place is inhabited mostly in the “township” of Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort), a 1983 purpose built town as a comfortable base for viewing Ayers Rock (Uluru) and The Olga’s (Kata Tjuta) as they were known. Uluru’s massive scale, isolation and abruptness does make this place truly powerful. Light changes on the faces of the rock constantly, revealing hidden cracks, colours and forms day by day. “No day is the same” the rangers tell us and we begin to understand.

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The Grand Section Guardian #013 - Stop 013 Wallace Rockhole

PERMIT REQUIRED, PERMIT REQUIRED says the map at the CLC (Central Land Council). In reality permits are not required and the ongoing battle between community and Policy is fought somewhere in the tangle of red tape. The small indigenous community is only 117km from Alice Springs, down a ‘dead-end’ road, at the edge of the sand hill country and nestled into the red face of the James range. A once strong town caught metaphorically and literally in-between a rock and a hard place.

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The Grand Section Guardian #012 - Stop 012 Alice Springs (Mparntwe)

The landscape is more powerful than most. We cycled through vast horizontality; undulating ancient sea beds and were profoundly moved by the contrasting verticality which meets us in the Alice Springs surrounds. The MacDonnell ranges has a demanding presence, passing through the gap we’re left speechless. Layers of eroded angled strata saying all.

There is an intensity to this place that makes you sit up and take notice. The scale of Alice is graspable by one mind, tantalizingly tangible, you can hold all the complexities and contradictions by their threads and understand how one action reverberates through the web of repercussions.

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The Grand Section Guardian #011 - Non Stops 009-011 -In-between - Marree to Alice Springs

The in-between, just as crucial as the destinations or stops. Through slowness we are fully emersed in the place, people and stuff (architecture). It is through engaging with the broader Australian condition and all it comprises that we are learning the most and blowing many preconceptions to smithereens. Having an in-depth understanding of the value of how place influences in-habitation is crucial to 'good' architecture for people and place.

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The Grand Section Guardian #009 - Stop 07 Birdsville

Birdsville, population 115 (+/- 7000), a place of dynamic flux existing for tourism. Long affiliated locals manage the role of local, tour guide, advocate and pastoralist with apparent ease and have a significant place in the community and surrounds. Stone and masonry buildings were prolific and notably novel compared to the other towns we have been. Our first glimpse of the Sturt’s desert pea, was a graceful sight in contrast to the red blushing earth. 

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