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Winthrop Hall was — and still is — my favorite landmark at UWA. I fell in love with this iconic building from the first time I set eyes on it in February 2009 and was sad to have to leave it at the end of my studies, but in the three and a half years that I was at the University of Western Australia I have taken every opportunity that came my way to immortalize this place in my memories and with my camera. There’s just something magical about this place — that imposing clock tower, those beautiful columns and the towering trees reflected in the reflection pool create a most harmonious view of the landscape, particularly when those clear and cloudless blue skies serve as the backdrop.
In March 2012 during the Perth International Arts Festival, Korean pop artist Choi Jeong Hwa displayed a truly unique work of art in front of Winthrop Hall: a bright red giant inflatable lotus that floats in the reflection pool. This red lotus that was there on display for three weeks was very well-received by the public and was a camera magnet; I too was susceptible to its irresistible charm. Digging through my archives, I found several photos I took of the flower that correspond to this week’s ‘One Shot, Two Ways‘ photo challenge, and which I was also eager to share because they remind me of good times.
Upon seeing photos of Winthrop Hall again I could feel Perth calling me and slowly try to pull me back into its open arms, because in truth I do miss this city despite my complicated relationship with it in the recent past. I miss its not-too-cold winter, its clear blue skies in the summer, walking along Matilda Bay just after sunrise to watch the black swans, the call of the kookaburra just before dusk, the smell of eucalyptus trees on my daily walks to Reid Library, brainstorming on my thesis chapters while crossing the ever green James Oval on my way to Reid, the Scholars’ Center where I spent hours upon hours investing for my future… But most of all I miss sitting on one of the stone benches facing the reflection pool after praying at the adjacent musollah (Muslim prayer room), and gazing at the magnificent clock tower before me while the sun slowly set from behind the trees. This is a view that I will never get tired of, even in rain or shine, and that feeling of calmness, peace, and serenity made me forget for a moment all my previous worries of incomplete research, impending assignments, and approaching deadlines.
Winthrop Hall has been like an imaginary friend to me throughout my time at UWA; it’s always been there, without fail, through my times of difficulty and of celebration, for this was also where I held Eid photo shoots with my friends, ate ice-cream with my friends on my birthday, and had two graduation ceremonies in the past two years.
So this post is a toast to you, Winthrop Hall. Thanks for the memories!