Friday, June 10, 2016

A Flood of Scummy Art



If it weren’t for the devastation both in human terms and the loss of possessions, infrastructure, livestock and livelihood, there is something mesmerising about the spectacle of a flood. Finally made it into Launceston today, at the end of an extraordinary week of flooding across the State, but visited Cataract Gorge anyway, as that is THE place to go to witness the sheer power of such an event. Have visited the Gorge on several previous occasions following floods and have been amazed to find the entire First Basin lawns, picnic area, playground and swimming pool nowhere to be seen.

This was just the same, only more so, for barriers were restricting sightseers from venturing anywhere near their usual vantage points to get great photos as the water had risen to unprecedented levels. Walking tracks were closed, as was the suspension bridge, and the café which overlooks the whole Basin had become waterfront property at the height of the drama as floodwaters rose almost to the windows.

Now that the water level has dropped, debris brought down through the Gorge is everywhere, but those with nerve and a few dollars gained the best view as they went back and forth across the churning waters on the chair lift. Passed a group of young guys where one said he’d pay for them all to go on if someone dared to jump midstream. No one took him up on his offer.

Funnily enough, as I wasn’t able to get some decent close-ups, the one thing I found most interesting visually was further down the river. Where the waters from the Gorge join the Tamar River and head past the Homeport and Seaport areas, huge masses of scummy froth were floating past like ice floes in Antarctica. Maybe it’s just me, but I reckon the patterns made in all that frothy mess by the constantly swirling waters was nothing short of artistic genius. Think I’ll get some enlarged, frame them, might make a nice tryptic.