Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My tribute to Halloween

Halloween isn't big in Australia. Doesn't fit with the climate. Spring blossoms everywhere, we've just switched to daylight saving time and a warm bright sun fills the streets until late: nothing spooky here! But I dedicate this grimacing figure to our American friends. It is located in the gardens of Carisbrook House, a historic house in Lane Cove. There are occasional guided visits but when I discovered it by chance, walking uphill from the water's edge among dense green vegetation, the house was closed and silent. And when I suddenly found myself facing this ugly figure - yes, it was spooky. Amazingly, the gargoyle faces the main gate at eye level so it's the first thing regular visitors see when they arrive - hardly a welcoming figure! More about Carisbrook House here.

On ne fête pas Halloween en Australie. Ca ne colle pas avec le climat: le printemps fleurit partout, nous venons de passer à l'heure d'été et le soleil chaud remplit les rues jusque tard le soir ! Mais à nos amis américains je dédie cette figure grimaçante qui se trouve dans les jardins de Carisbrook House, une maison historique de Lane Cove. La maison se visite mais quand je l'ai découverte par hasard en remontant un petit chemin venant du bord de l'eau, elle était fermée et silencieuse. Je marchais seule dans le jardin ombreux quand je suis tombée sur cet impressionnant personnage... L'étonnant, c'est que cette gargouille se trouve à hauteur d'oeil sur un mur juste en face du portail : c'est la première chose que les visiteurs habituels voient en entrant - pas très accueillant, n'est-ce-pas ? En savoir plus sur Carisbrook House.

11 comments:

Toulouse Photo Day said...

Passer à l'heure d'été quelle chance!!C'est les chaleurs qui arrivent! j'adore, et dire qu'ici on commence à resortir les manteaux.
Je préfairerais être aux antipodes..

Felicia said...

Scary indeed! A great holiday - I'll be showing some ghouls for the day.

Lachezar said...

For me Halloween is an "outlandish" sort of thing, but today NZ radio said that Halloween is here (NZ) to stay...
My little son however, is very excited and we are prepared with sweets for the scary visitors tonight.
I'll post my tribute as soon as I get back home from work...

bv said...

Definitely not Feng Shui, indeed.

Vraiment pas Feng Shui, ça c'est sur!

Olivier said...

cette gargouille est impressionnante, elle a de quoi faire peur.
merci pour le lien, il est tres interessant.

this waste-gas main is impressive, it has what to make fear. thank you for the bond, it is very interesting.

BrianG said...

You should show Carisbrook House your photo. Your photo captures the character of the gargoyle that is missing in their photo.

If asked, I would find it difficult to guess the origin of the style or design of this 'gargoyle'. In some ways it seems Asian. However, I would never have guessed the location as a garden in Sydney, Australia.

Great pic!

Mimmu said...

I have seen a little same kind of figure in Venice, but with the open mouth. Putting hand into the mouth tests your honesty :)
This figure of your photo is very interesting, it makes to think, what did they want to tell with it
and so on...
Thank you very much your kind words on my sites, I am glad, you liked some of my pictures.
(And it`s not so bad this cold weather, if you have a warm home and warm clothes outdoors, everything is fine!)

Passante said...

Very creepy. He's not, however, a gargoyle unless water is directed through his mouth. If that isn't the case, he is a grotesque.

BrianG said...

passante - you have finally got me to get off my 'rear end' and to check out the meaning of the word 'gargoyle'. Procrastination is my middle name! :-)

Both Webster's (Unabridged) and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)agree with you that a gargoyle is a grotesque spout. However, both give a second meaning of "any grotesquely carved figure" (Webster's) or "a projection resembling a gargoyle" (OED).

By the way, Webster's says "a spout OFTEN (my caps) having the form of a grotesque figure"... Fletcher's "History of Architecture" shows typical Early Gargoyles as simple pipes cut in half down their length. However, the word gargoyle, as you say, in architecture, mostly refers to spouts carved as grotesque figures.

It always amazes me how the meaning of a word depends on the sentence (context) in which it is used. I would say Nathalie's usage of the word gargoyle is correct.

Thanks for getting me of my 'rear end' ... I learned something! -Cheers, Brian.

Marie McC said...

Nathalie, thank you for your Halloween offering. It fits right in!

Kala said...

pretty spooky looking face - looks like me when I wake up hahaha - or at least how i feel =)