From Lake Douglas we headed off back through Kalgoorlie and started on the road out to Menzies to fuel up at their self serve 24 hour fuel stop at the abandoned road house with all the number plates stapled up on the walls! Cute.
It was a gravel road (but a nice gravel road!) out to Lake Ballard to see Inside Australia – a sculpture installation by Antony Gormley that was commissioned for the International Arts Festival in Perth in 2003. It comprises of 51 metal figures scattered across the salt encrusted dried up lake bed. The scale of the project was incredible and the minute we got there I knew that this was something really different. It was amazing, haunting, interesting, unique and absorbing, at all the same time.
The lake is so expansive and so isolated, but the presence of the figures spread out across the horizon was sort of comforting, and they pulled you in to go walk out and see them up close. We walked up the steep hill at the start of the lake to get an overview of the whole place – and the colours of the lake’s surface from above looked amazing!
Then we scrambled back to the surface to walk out as far as we could and see as many of the sculptures as we could manage. The mirage on the horizon was beautiful and it made it so hard to spot the figures, but they were all over the place. Women, men, and children, slightly smaller than actual size, and interestingly abstracted but still distinct from one another and with loads of personality.
They were also really tactile – you had this desire to touch them and the metal was so weathered and rough, covered in rust and salt. It was well worth the effort to get out there and I’m really glad we checked it out – it definitely left an impression. After we’d walked out as far as we could given the mud, we wandered back to the car and had some snacks before driving back to Menzies.
Unfortunately when we stopped we realised that a piece of glass had punctured our brand new rear tyre and given us a flat, which sucked! So frustrated. And on we went back to Kalgoorlie to try get it repaired, but nothing was open on a Sunday, so settled for a trip to the pub to cool off. Camp tonight was a rest stop out of town to wait it out until morning when the tyre places opened. Bummer. However, Smash cooked some really good lamb chops from the butcher in town (which was open on a sunday, go figure) and they kicked ass. And the colours of the sunset were unreal!