Dark and Dangerous…

Dark Mofo – Tasmania’s winter solstice festival that lasts ten days. Filled with on-the-edge art installations, a beautiful winter feast, astonishing creative thinking far outside the square and setting a buzz in our town when we could all slump in a heap with a dose of S.A.D’s…

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Thousands of visitors pile into the state from the mainland and overseas and take advantage of everything we have to offer in winter. Not the least of which, after a dry month, has been rain…

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Who would be silly enough to brave the cold, the wet and line up to enter the Feasting Hall. Us of course! We love the buzz even though we hate crowds normally. It’s dark, filled with woodsmoke, fires…

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great jazz and funky strange music too.

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The Feast Hall was decorated with vine prunings – masses of them forming twisted nests and the lighting shone

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through old crayfishing pots whilst between music performances the sounds of strange bird calls was piped through the vast space.

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The food is spectacular. We shared tasters…

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  • Rabbit, speck, honey and cider pie.
  • English fishcakes with pickled cabbage
  • Vietnamese chicken spring rolls with rice vinegar and honey dipping sauce
  • Ethiopian potato ‘wat’ (curry)

… but had our own desserts. He chose a chocolate and rhubarb stuffed donut which was apparently to die for, and I chose old-fashioned lemon delicious pudding.

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Drinks for the night were mostly ales, ciders, beers, mulled meads and whiskies.

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I, however, with my nose for wine, set off exploring and managed to find a stall with a light and delicate chardonnay that came from a little vineyard at Gardeners’ Bay.

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Outside, in between showers of rain, we got lost in a bamboo tunnel with little woven pods and marvellous artist-created hot stoves.

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With fire-dancers and great jets of flame shooting up around the place.

On the river we could hear the maudlin tones of the Night Ship and in the sky we could see the light beam where members of the public can press a button and one’s heartbeat pulses into the heavens.

Tomorrow night we’ll go the Botanical Gardens and watch indigenous sculptures come to life at dusk and then wander to Dark Park where the fire organ plays with fierce intensity and where if one is brave one can enter a hall of freaks and have cocktails and food and maybe even sign a waiver, wear two sets of ear protection and be bombarded with bass woofers that vibrate our town from one end to the other.

I want to see the fire organ and the Ogoh-Ogoh. And I want to write down my fears at Dark Park, knowing that they will be destroyed with the Ogoh-Ogoh on the last night of Dark Mofo.

After it’s all over, summer’s on the way. That’s what really matters! What a way to celebrate it’s approach!