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Archive for December, 2008

Ok Ok – I am a slack blogger but it’s the holidays and in a week my entire household will be packed into a truck – did I mention I am stressed?

I was thinking how slack I’ve been in regard to local arts – some might say ‘dismissive’  (actually they have). The Mahara Gallery is my local and I could have been more supportive. For a tiny underfunded gallery they do some pretty good shows. I was an idiot and missed the 2nd version of “the Real Art Road Show” there recently too. I see Matt Couper has a piece in it too which I would have liked to see. He was also the recent (very polite) recipient of an odd email from me (meant for another Matt) regarding a comparison of Star Wars to the Bible.

This is just indicative of the odd conversations I’ve been having lately

Topics include:
What is punk? Was Patti Smith punk ?(after seeing “The Blank Generation“)
Is the ukulele “deeply uncool”? Even after seeing this ? (hat tip Tony)
Star Wars, Tolkein, The Bible – contrast and compare
Best rock band of each decade from 1960’s to 2000’s
Why are Dunedin rental agents so awful?

Stemming from this I give you these gems

[The  rock band] debate could be like best religion or best pasta shape. Do you count non-theistic belief systems and gluten-free pasta? John Keys – saviour or admission of failure? Longboards, shortboards, bodyboards, body surfing or crowd surfing?…Rolling Stones or Beatles? Ginger or Mary Ann? Frida or Agnetha? Toss or Colin? ” – TC

“I heard those comparisons, too, but I don’t think they are so obvious. Plus, I don’t think people would accept a Hobbit as their Lord and Saviour! “- MB

India put the problems of suburban Palmy in perspective”. – TC

“I for one would welcome our Hobbit overlords”- Eusa

I’ve also come across a blog recently that is like hearing one side of a very personal conversation. Why?

I actually have many regrets about things I have not been able to do before leaving Wellington  – oh well. I’ll just put on Mr Vicious and Co and their version of My Way instead.

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Dee Dee Ramone’s portrait of Sid

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The ukulele blog

Today we went to a Anything Vintage day at QEII Park. Ok – not much art but I kept thinking of the video I’d just seen of Gaylene Preston’s “War Stories” and Aunty Jean talking about the Marine camp at what is now QEII park and the tragic loss of life during a beach landing practice.

And that got me thinking of this ukulele song as performed by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

Ok – maybe this blog should be “ukulele music in my life”…

I’ve been trying to play this today as I’ve just restrung my uke but my finger is 1/2 a cm shorter than it used to be and still quite tender so I have to work out a whole new way of playing. Slowgoing. For now I just like listening to Iz because its such a great song.

A friend was out on the waves today and this is for him too, because “facing the ocean” is a great concept for all of us, even those not braving the aquatic food chain.

NB: Item 2 of “4 things to do before I am 40″ – Try surfing

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Christmas

I guess I am more of a Solstice person than a Christmas one…still there’s plenty of Christmasy art around (and much less of the Solstice variety).

I found this interesting list when looking for a particular image. I couldn’t find what I was thinking of – a vague memory of the perfect Madonna and child but I did like this one:

cowper
The Small Cowper Madonna, c. 1505 Raphael

I like Mary’s expression, tiredness, sadness maybe. Although she isn’t looking at the child, its seems to me to be a mother’s face. They are both very blonde though…

All in all I guess you can’t go wrong on this subject matter when done by any of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

My 5-year-old daughter asked me today why there were no pictures of Jesus around even though its Christmas – good point actually. Too many Santas if you ask me. I wonder if there is a collective noun for Santas? A sleigh? A flurry?

Whatever tomorrow means to you and yours, try to relax and enjoy it.

I leave you with Dylan Thomas – A Child’s Christmas in Wales and “the close and holy darkness”

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I noticed*

I have given up hope of my books ever being shelved in order again and interesting permutations continue to arise. Yesterday I noticed that “All Visitor’s Ashore” was sitting right beside “Lauris Edmond: An Autobiography“.

 * I give up on numbering

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It’s a Heartache

I’ve really been off my (art blogging) game of late and still suffering from probably unnecessary stress. However we now have a house to go to. It will all be OK.

In my frantic internet hunts I have come across some fun architectural things (which I include in the broader sense of art). As you may know Dunedin is full of fine neo-gothic architecture such as this , but closer to where I am going to be you could invest in an old power station or the former Mosgiel Woolen Mills, the latter even used to be next to a pretty swamp.

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Arthur Burns Mosgiel Woolen Millsby John Toomer

A post today from Over The Net reminded me that say what you like about “our” Mary, she is a whole lot more classy (and more reassuring) than this:

mosgiel

But I don’t want to be too negative because one of the things I am most looking forward to about moving south is this:

cheeserolls1
(although these examples may be a little over-done)

And just going along with the madness theme – and in celebration of the fact that I may soon be able to play Uke again, I bring you the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra:

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I noticed (3)

When I first moved to Wellington (nearly 20 years ago) I noticed that most houses were made from wood. It seemed very odd and ‘transitory’. Now I return South and have secured a brick and roughcast home – it feels practical and solid.

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Ok – actually I can’t see art because of stress. Surgery, Christmas, major inter-island move – whoopee the stress hormones are racing in my house!! One interesting side effect is that I haven’t been seeing/finding art in my usual way – its like being blinkered. Maybe if I could organise a conglomerate cleaner/gardener/window washer/carpet cleaner/glazier to do all the work that I need to do it might come back to me…? *sigh*

However I have come across some amusing ‘net stuff:

Awesome article on art merch at C-Monster (where the pic came from) Santa – please take note – although really I am waiting for a Clairmont beach towel ;-)

artmerch
Cool Bananas

Art cakes – so if using all my domestic skills, I made a cake reproduction of say “Victory Over Death II” – would that be a copyright infringement? Cass, of course, has been done.

I have been listening to a lot of music and stuff of late. The arrival of William Burroughs “Spare Ass Annie” CD is timely with “The Junky’s Christmas” on it. Burroughs was a legend and I am still haunted by those Dante-like photos. Also Tom Waits’ “Christmas card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” is on high rotation. You may note I have a slightly dark view of the season. “Fairy Tale of New York” is another favourite and I like what Helen L wrote about it

“…the lyrics capture so much of the mixed feelings Christmas can bring – you’re happy, but you’re also remembering people who are no longer with you, you are enjoying your family…but you are also often pushed up against your family in ways that can be challenging…aah, Christmas – you gotta love it.”

Oh and super-congratulations to Helen H on being accepted into Hogwarts. We must have bubbles soon.

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