In Melbourne as a tourist visiting my brother, but travels around have made connections, walking past the Luna Park funfair in St Kilda and then on a later date a trip to the historic art gallery at Heide in the Melbourne suburbs, the home of John and Sunday Reed and the birthplace of Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series.
Albert Tucker’s painting ‘Extinction Express’ from 1988. The painting is from the Heide Collection and the apocalyptic interpretation decribed on the Heide Museum lable is reproduced below. Tucker’s view of the seedy side of Melbourne had been described in his series of paintings called ‘Images of Modern Evil’ painted between 1943 and 1946, influenced by Tucker witnessing and condemning soldiers on leave visiting the prostitutes of St Kilda.
Luna Park still dominates the waterfront at St Kilda. The border of this funfair is described by the scenic railway, not operating at the time of my visit, this looms over the sympathetically updated traditional rides, the white wooden scaffolding ever present in the background, a fence to the real world, demarcating a wild area of uninhibited fun in the now sedate Victorian suburb. The structure of the traditional wooden roller coaster seems to dominate, appearing in every view.
The entrance to Luna Park at night…..