Bay bitch: Ablution absolute

Recently at The Art Gallery of NSW I was transfixed with one of the art works displayed as a part of the Wynne prize exhibition called ‘The Solid Mandala’, by Imants Tillers. The lower half of it recognised the calming and sometimes therapeutic affect of water.

You may be thinking I am too multitalented, having both sportster attributes and also being able to interpret esoteric art pieces in an intellectual manner. Alas, the text scribed on the painting made the artists meaning obvious: “Become an unrippled lake; A peaceful lake; A consoling lake”. The words were written over the canals of Venice and juxtaposed against the Western Desert of Central Australia.

This painting immediately drew me to the Bay Run (despite the absence of gondolas) where most of the people circulate for some promise of healing.

However, the effect of the water we follow is rarely recognised for its healing properties. The focus on walking, jogging, running and cycling is pervasive. We forget that the often unrippled water calms our souls despite being tossed up and down by the persistent pounding of our tread on the concrete path.

Looking into the Bay the stillness and beauty consoles us from problems we are struggling with and even global concerns seem to be nullified. Trump becomes a blurred image until the next ripple distorts his face so badly it simply disappears into the depth of the water! The lack of a secure income lays to rest under a rock surrounded by mangroves and can’t get out. The ongoing domestic dispute about household chores is cleansed by the voluminous amount of water.

I am also touched when a close friend reveals that she scattered some of her father’s ashes into Iron Cove although he’d only ever visited it once and resided in London. She explained that he can feel safe forever in this protected Bay and she can gain comfort from her grief by its soothing stillness!

Words by Lianna Taranto,