Well the holidays have brought some amazing TV viewing amongst the usual dross. “Lovely Rita“, the final episode of “The Big Picture” and “Being Billy Apple” were a few and so good to see (yay for The Charter).
Lovely Ritawas a fantastic Gaylene Preston doco about Rita Angus. Preston does great documentary work and there were some wonderful moments. I love the bit where they discussed the portrait of Betty Curnow and being all theoretical about the ovular nature of the work and how it was a pregnancy portrait and then Preston just blew the interviewee away by saying it was Angus who was pregnant not Curnow. I wish I could remember the name of the interviewee/artist who had recreated the fabric of Curnow’s shirt (I want some!). EDIT – It was Anna Miles – See Wyston Curnows comments. Gosh and another major artist who lived in Waikanae (for a short time)
Being Billy Applewas also intriguing. I have seen a few Apple’s (I like NFS and Sold) but I didn’t realise he doesn’t actually paint them himself. See you can tell I have no education in this area. His work is so clever. It was interesting to see his personal evolution as an artist and artwork. You have to love the scrubbed floor installation and I finally clearly understand the meaning of ‘conceptual artist’.
I guess I was a little disappointed in Hamish Keith’s final episode of The Big Picture. Maybe because I’d read the book or seen a critique of his braided river analogy. It left many questions. I wondered if John Walsh was excluded because of his association with Te Papa. Someoneiknow was also disappointed that he didn’t provide more context on the Militant Artists Union. We both disagreed with Keith’s issue with bi-culturalism. Although I agree New Zealand is definitely multi-cultural, the Treaty of Waitangi (our founding document) is between Maori and Tau Iwi (everyone else – or ‘other’).
I am happy to say I recorded all of them but our TV reception is terrible so hopefully they will be out on DVD at some point.