Wet tropical influences

Sculpture by Italo Giardina

Sculpture path at Carmoo

A move from the Dry tropics was a turning point towards a tropical aesthetics. The dry tropics were marked by fragments of greys and browns. Though in contrast the wet tropical influences held an ethereal shimmering set of colour fields blocks.

Wet Tropical influences colour fields and sounds

The twelve years I spent in this tropical wonderland are intertwined with conscious impressions of greens punctuated by purples, yellows and bright reds. The qualitative vibrancy of living in the wet tropics became a platform upon return 25 years later.

Life and times 1969-1981: wet tropical influences

Life set within the wet tropics Hull river region at the Mission beach side were marked by the monsoon season of constant torrential rain. The creaky timber house with the sound of rain drops on the tinny roof had an almost immediate nostalgic effect. The dry winter period allowed me to navigate through dense foliage surrounded by the hypnotic sounds of insects, frogs and bird calls. It gave a sense of intrinsic abundance and belonging to a biodiversity that I came latter to realise philosophically as resembling the sentiments of deep ecology.

A Tropical Aesthetics

The area had itinerant travellers in the 1970’s who set up camp at the beach for the dry half of the year for what might be termed the aesthetics of self in nature. Its a romantic rendering of modernity along with the emerging liberal world order that would surface in full in the 90’s. This lifestyle approach contrasted to sugar cane, banana’s and cattle farmers’ who were a bit rattled by the politics of identity.

Exotic fruit trees appear on the scene.

The introduction of tropical fruit trees for the America’s and South East Asia to the region shifted the agricultural conversation to the left. The exotic fruit tree cohort (my father included) seemed to find their identity in the greater tropical regions of the globe. It opened me up to consider other geographic locales, ethnic identities and tastes. There was a emerging aesthetic towards what might be dubbed, ‘the fascination with diversification of tastes. Fruits such as the Durian from South East Asia was a case in point with what some people though to have a repugnant smell and taste, yet other swore it had properties of a god.