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Archive for January, 2009

Contact!

Woohoo – we have broadband. It only took 19 DAYS!!!!

Anyway – dialup has been keeping me off line and I’ve also been doing a lot of exploring of our new area with the kids and filling in the school holidays. A reader sent me a link to a survey that rates Dunedin as the best city to live in, in NZ – based on some different variables than usual (thanks Giovanni). I have to say I am falling for the city, every time I venture in there is something interesting, surprising and quirky to see. The survey says “The arts made a strong contribution to community strength and identity with Dunedin’s culturally rich and diverse arts scene.” and so far I’d agree.

Mosgiel is a different kettle of fish. However I’m not going to knock it even if the street we are in could well be Kowhai Street from “The Carpathians”, in fact there are a lot of parallels between Mosgiel and Levin. I did choose a house in a 1940s/50s brick and roughcast era and many of the homes have original features such as windmills, wishing wells and house butterflies. I don’t mean in a cool retro chic kind of way either. We are talking older owners with gardens full of roses and dahlias. I actually quite like it though – especially now that I have located good coffee in the town.

What do you think though – do we need a butterfly?

house

And yes it is possibly unwise posting a pic of your house on the net.

EDIT: Please note I did NOT take this photo – its from Google Street View

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What’s On

I have been trying to sort out activities for my birthday on Sunday (the BIG 4-0) so I have been looking about for what’s on art-wise.

Hotere – Featuring a range of material from Hocken Collections, it focuses on art that Hotere produced during his time as the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago in 1969. Unfortunately its not open on Sunday – still something to see for sure.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Angus, Stitchbury, Campbell, Hodgkins (blah) If only you could go and see the stuff you want to from the collection. It would be nice to see AM’s Chair for my birthday (the first Clairmont I ever saw).

And there I stopped although there is a heap of other stuff about, Sunday isn’t a good day for it really. I will be going to the DPAG after a lovely lunch though.

I might be making a trip to Gore on Wednesday though for this. I am not sure how far it is from here, but it would be a good thing to do before Mr Peryer leaves the vicinity.

In other news I have broadband! But have not yet received my modem, so apparently it will be at least Monday before normal service resumes here. *sigh*

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Interview

A reader has sent me an interview meme and as I am still battling with a dialup connection (arrrrgggghhhh!!!) I thought it would be a on-topic but image-lite post to keep things ticking over here.

The Interview

1) Your blog shows that you have an appreciation for diverse forms of art. Besides blogging, in what ways do you bring art into your life?

I have such a busy non-art life that my thing at the moment, is simply to notice art. You don’t have to go to galleries, art is everywhere. For example I noticed that here along the Otago Peninsula and on the road to Brighton the bus shelters are all painted up – some are really good. Also Dunedin is meant to be full of great street art and I keep a look out for that.

2) Are there any creative medium(s) that you personally like to use or explore? What are they, and what have you created?

Ok I admit it, I used to make art. I gave up because I felt I was just copying what I admired. I painted in heavy oils and used grease crayons. More recently I had a go at Oamaru stone sculpture but had trouble with translating my ideas into 3D. Really, I am an observer, not a “doer”.

3) What is your dream job, and why?

Some weird back room gallery job, or in a museum. Restoring stuff maybe. I watched an exhibition being installed at the Dowse a while back and thought I’d like to do that. More realistically, I’d like to write on a serious basis.

4) If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, and cost and practicalities weren’t an issue, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you take with you, if anyone?

Well if travel wasn’t such a huge hassle and I didn’t have the kids in tow (or had a team of nannies), I think Europe. Maybe Prague? There are lots of things in the UK I’d like to see. Also very specific spots in the USA. I also think I am equally interested in people as well as places. More interesting might be a list of people I’d like to meet and really talk to.

5) Besides art, what things are you passionate about?

Sleep!! No seriously, writing and reading, but time is my enemy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So to generate some communication here are the instructions if you wish to be interviewed by Art and My Life:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me” (with a link to your blog or whatever).

2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions (I get to pick the questions)

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (Please include a link to my blog with your answers, so people can follow along.)

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

– This interview came from http://thewaxingmoon.blogspot.com –

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I noticed

I noticed that I have been much more focused on architecture than art so far in the South. There are some awesome buildings here, not the least the old Woolen Mills here in Mosgiel. Also, even though in Dunedin itself there are mainly Victorian examples, the odd mid century modernist building exists. So far a favourite is the Union Steamship Company  Building (1883) which was remodelled and all ornate Victorian features removed giving a more deco look.

union

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I noticed

I noticed how dependant I am on broadband. Due to TelstraClear and Telecom not being able to play nicely together a ‘proper’ internet connection won’t be available until late next week!!! Only got a dialup connection today and cleared 706 emails!!

On an art related front I noticed that Dunedin in now in the grip of Rita Angus fever, as was Wellington last year.

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Planning

We tomorrow the packers/movers come so service here may intermittent for the next while. I have finished organising (I think) and now my evil plans need to fall into place.

One thing we will be doing on our journey South is further exploration of Southern Rock Art sites. Every trip to the South we try and take in one site and this time we’ve picked Frenchman’s Gully because of ease of access (I hope). I had wanted to see Weka Pass but its a bit of a trek with the kids. Any how I am hoping to see the bird men in person rather than on my old Sanitarium glasses.

birdglasses

Looking at that I wonder if there is any peanut butter jar influence on Bill Hammond.

So I’ve got out my reference books and the McDougall Art Gallery publication on the Theo Schoon Interpretations. If any one has other suggestions of easily accessible sites not far from State Highway One – please comment.

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The internet is all about synchronicity, really. I keep coming across connections. Let me point some out.

My entry including a painting of the Mosgiel Woolen Mills (and swamp) and then getting sent this image by Derek Henderson (definitely “a post industrial vibe“):

huntlypower2007
Hunty Power Station 2007 by Derek Henderson

Which sort of relates to my entry regarding power and phone poles. I continue to see them in art. Of course the McCahon “power pole” is the Tau cross.  And then I was pointed at a a sketch of lines at Kilbirnie by Gaylene Preston from a 1977 one-off  Victoria University publication. And today I stumbled upon ‘Generated’  which “indirectly pays homage to the humble power pole and pylon and its significance today for providing the energy to electrify our homes and the transmission of visual imagery to our lives.”

Another connection was made today with photographer James Watkins. I particularly like his images of street art in Melbourne and especially love the creative spirit that made someone put up pics from “Where the Wild Things Are”.

Speaking of Wild Things, I got sent info an age ago about artist Phillipa Bentley and I really liked her insect pictures.

huhu
Art on Weatherboard: Huhu Beetle – Phillipa Bentley

 “The use of weatherboard started as a play on the old, Kiwi 1950s trend of butterflies on a weatherboard house idea and is an integral part of the work. As this is set in a particular time and place, it led me to developing the artwork as museum boxed collections, archived in a social and historical context, and then layered with other personal references with collage and word.”

Personally I like the fact that the beetle is made from the cover of the well known book “Native Animals of New Zealand” by AWB Powell.

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