Dali at d’Arenberg

Nobility of Time - Dali Version 2

Whenever we are on holiday we like to check out the local wineries. On our recent trip to Adelaide we called in at the d’Arenberg winery in the McClaren Vale wine district, south of Adelaide. South Australia has a long history of winemaking. Some of the McClaren Vale vines were planted back in the 1850s, making them some of the oldest vines in Australia. I prefer the small family run wineries where you get to talk to the people who actually make the wine. I am always fascinated by the way that a particular wine will vary from year to year depending on the conditions – wet or dry, hot or cold – it all  makes a difference to the taste. And the same wine will taste different depending on where the grapes have been grown.

This was our first visit to d’Arenberg and I expect it will not be our one and only. It is not just for the wine lover but also for the art lover too. D’Arenberg was established in 1912 by the Osborn family and is still in the family today. One of the most unusual things about d’Arenberg though, is The Cube – a five story surrealist cube surrounded by vineyards. It was apparently inspired by the “complexities and puzzles of winemaking” and was opened in Dec 2017. Each of the five levels have been designed to arouse and tempt the senses. There is a wine sensory room, a 360° video room and a contemporary art gallery.

The Cube Version 2

The Cube is also hosting a Salvador Dali exhibition as part of the Australian exhibition that marks the 30th anniversary of Dali’s death.  I don’t know a lot about art but I do know the name Salvador Dali. He is considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century and his work encompassed a wide range of art forms including paintings and sculpture of course, but also film, fashion and architecture. 23 authentic Salvador Dali sculptures and artworks are on display at d’Arenberg. The exhibition was due to end at the end of May, however it has been so popular that it has been extended to May next year.

Unfortunately we arrived a little late in the day to be able to enjoy the full Salvador Dali experience at The Cube, however we were able to see the sculptures on display in the grounds and the gallery that exhibits work by local artists. I really loved the clocks. I think they reflect the reality of time, passing quickly when you are having fun and slowly when you are not. There is no sense to it at all.

Dance of Time II - Dali Version 2

I think it is a wonderful venture to see work of this calibre exhibited outside of the usual art gallery setting, especially in a rural setting, “out in the sticks!” I also really appreciate the relationship between art and wine – there is an art to winemaking too. Besides, we have all seen those images of exhibition openings where patrons wander around the artworks with a glass of wine in hand. Art and wine go together.

If you are planning a trip to South Australia before May 2020, put Dali at d’Arenberg on your list. There is a small fee to see the exhibition so make sure you allow plenty of time and not arrive too late in the day as we did. As an extra incentive, there is to be a special arrival at d’Arenberg in October – a seven metre tall monumental “Triumphant Elephant”. Now that would be a sight to see! 

Oh, and the wines were quite nice too. 

 

 

Family Time

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In our hectic modern lifestyles, it can be hard to carve out spaces for quality family time. It often becomes a matter of minutes snatched here and there, in between ferrying children all over the place, never-ending domestic chores, and work or study related activity. Until one of those significant life events occur that draws the family together in a big way. 

We’ve just recently returned from a trip down to Adelaide for my uncle’s funeral. Funerals are a bitter-sweet time. There is sadness because we miss the one that we loved and we cannot imagine our family without them. But sometimes there is also happiness and relief that a long and painful journey has come to an end. And so it was with my uncle. After a long fight with cancer, he is at peace. 

Adelaide is my home town. Although most of my family grew up in South Australia, in Adelaide and in small farming towns to the north of Adelaide, most of us now live in other states. We sometimes joke that we get along better that way. It is difficult for us to be together in the one place, at the one time, and so, when we are together, the time is very precious. Despite the reason for our gathering, it was a beautiful time with my parents, my brother and his family who flew in from Western Australia, and my aunty from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

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My uncle was a farmer, a traveller, a glider. He married late in life, gaining not just a loving wife and companion, but three young adult children, who held him in great esteem, love and admiration They gave such beautiful tributes about the role he played in their lives, showing that family isn’t always about blood, but about love. He was their hero. 

My uncle will be missed but the time we spent sharing stories, laughing and remembering, deepens the memory of him in our hearts and minds. My mum and aunty reminisced about growing up on the farm with their brother, riding to school in the horse and cart, and family holidays at Victor Harbor. These are the stories that become part of our family folklore to be passed down through the generations. And the telling of these stories, over and over again, strengthens the relationship between all of us. Sharing our grief and our joy brings us closer, even though we live many miles apart.

We also added a new story to the family folklore. One evening we went out for dinner at one of the local hotels. Paul has a sweet tooth and so he ordered some dessert – strawberries and cream. When the dish arrived, there was great amusement as we embarked on a strawberry hunt. Apparently “strawberries” means one strawberry cut into four pieces, spread across a rectangle plate with small blobs of cream. Photos were taken, of course, and the story has already been repeated and will no doubt be embellished as time goes on.

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Paul’s Strawberries and Cream

Some stories become traditions imbued with special meaning. When my mum, aunty and uncle were growing up, they went on an annual holiday to the beach. Initially this was to an Adelaide beach called Glenelg, and then to Victor Harbor, as mentioned before. The tradition didn’t stop there. When our cousins came down from Queensland to visit, our grandparents would take our whole family for a holiday to Victor Harbor. Interestingly, the holidays to Victor Harbor started well before my grandmother was even married. Victor Harbor was a special place to her and so it has remained for our family, so of course, any trip down to Adelaide must include a visit to … Victor Harbor. My brother even took his family down there for a few days holiday continuing the family tradition.

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Looking Across to Victor Harbor from Granite Island

 All family gatherings eventually come to an end. We all have normal lives to which we must return, accompanied by a collection of new memories and a story or two. As the years pass, and more and more family members pass away, it can often feel that we only see each other at funerals. And this where we can see the true blessing of technology – for keeping us in touch with those who live so very far away and the recording of stories for future generations.