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Posts Tagged ‘Edmond’

Struggle

I’ve really been struggling lately and my blog is just one thing that is suffering. I seem to be at a loss for words. A few days ago some fellow twitterers were saying their blogs had suffered with them joining twitter, but for me I have also been writing flat-out for course deadlines and toying with ideas for submission to various journals and competitions.

On other levels I have been struggling with big ideas, concepts and ethical dilemmas. I also find myself incredibly homesick. Often when I feel like this, the arts definitely help. I have to say I have read a few good books including Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family and a re-read of Martin Edmond’s Chronicle of the Unsung.I also acquired a new ukulele last week which was exciting, but since that instrument is banned in our house I have had little chance of playing.

The visual arts have NOT been comforting in the least. I continue to admire “real” arts writers and bloggers who have relevant and enlightening things to say and there continue to be interesting and thought provoking reads, eg another installment from  Reading the Maps. Two reviews of Fiona Connor’s installation Something transparent (please go round the back) at Over the net and eyeContact have been inspiring and it looks definitely worth a look if you are in the area. This is the sort of thing I like.

I guess if you look too hard at things you could end up saying “what’s the point in anything?” so best to just move along. Its seems apparent that for me at times of stress art drops way down my priority list.

As Stimpy (of Ren and Stimpy) would say “Happy Happy, Joy Joy”

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The Answers

From the last post

a) Lauris Edmond

b) Rita Angus

c) Janet Frame

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Small Wonders

My health seems to be on the improve and my week as a single mum has ended (phew!) so I have the time and energy to review some small wonders of the week.

I read a new book by Martin Edmond “The Supply Party“. I may do a proper review in future but for now I will saythis book about Ludwig Becker’s journey with the Burke and Wills expedition was delightful. Although on the surface a straightforward story, it made me think and question many things. Like Mollie the elephant buried in Ohakune, the Australian outback seems an unlikely resting place for Becker.

I have also started reading “A Question of Balance: Artists and Writers on Motherhood“. So far there are some excellent insights.

I went past the Dunedin Art Gallery today, as I didn’t feel up to the Di Ffrench: Activating Ideas exhibition. Maybe I will…I went to the public Library instead which has some pretty amazing art. I really liked a large Nigel Brown Baxter painting and a funny picture “Baxter as a Postie Dreaming of Brighton” by Lindsay Crooks. I see they are doing a tour of the art on Friday 20th March. One work really struck me though. McCahon’s Otago Peninsula (the Kennedy one).

peninsula
Otago Peninsula[Kennedy] (1946 – 1949) Colin McCahon

It hadn’t really registered there are two of these paintings, another being at Te Papa. In fact it seems there are three as the library website says “This painting is the third in a series of Otago Peninsula painted by McCahon during the period 1946-48. McCahon painted it for his friend, Rodney Kennedy.”

otagopeninsula
Otago Peninsula(1946) Colin McCahon – The one at Te Papa

My search skills have failed me as I can’t find the 3rd on the McCahon Database  (help me out people)

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When I am blogging I don’t often think of ‘the audience’ and  so it surprises me when I get comments like this expanding on the Mangamahu Possum story or this invitation!

Just goes to show again what a small arts and lit (and blogging) world there is in New Zealand. It makes me sheepish for a while, put some proposed posts on hold and basically get a little paranoid.

However I have to update you on the “Days of Our Lives My Bookshelves”. My books are even more mixed up now after our move, (so much so that they DO need to be sorted out), but I noticed that somehow Edmond and Stead remain side-by-side. It is therefore fortuitous that The Bone People has washed up on the other side of Karl as I feel it may keep things more seemly.

More proof that its a small world is that I noticed the Festival of Writers in Hastings (March 2009) lists both CK Stead and Martin Edmond in their event A Night of Pleasure in Association with Te Mata Estate … An interesting prospect.

Of more interest to me would be the audience with Martin Edmond, Peter Wells and Roger McDonald on “The Importance of Place” a topic I find myself returning to frequently in regard to New Zealand ‘Arts and Letters’. Of course as the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival appears to be off the agenda (unless this blog suddenly becomes self-funding), Hawkes Bay is an even more remote possibility.

And finally, I felt this post needed a picture and this made me laugh. It has nothing to do with a recent review I read in Landfall.

grumpydog

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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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If you can’t use your blog for personal gain – what’s it good for???? OK I am not really serious, but boy, am I unhappy right now. We thought we had the perfect rural home in a wonderful location (which dear Merc said it looked like a film set) near my partner’s new job (Mosgiel) and zip – taken from under our offer by some Aucklanders (no offense intended to Aucklanders generally) – just well – sheesh. Of course it’s a lesson – you know something about coveting your neighbour’s house. But still if anyone out there that may be able to suggest something – you know – contact me!

On a more literary note, I want to point you at two pieces of amazing and transporting writing. Martin Edmond continues his Samsara story, which I have been so caught up in that I am almost feeling a little envious, and the Blackwattle Boy reminds me that we are most likely surrounded by great writers every day and so when one takes time to put out public work – in the case in blog form – you need to stop and listen.

In other interesting finds in the past week or so:

The Art Party we all would have liked to be at
The Fabric of Resistance – Awesome presentation on craftism
The Relevance of Nationalism in today’s New Zealand literature (I’d like to see this discussion about ‘iconic’ art)

and for your viewing pleasure, as seen on the streets of Buenos Aires (via The Wooster Collective)

squidman
Artist: cabaio/stencilsystem

Actually I could do with this many arms right now…

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One of the things I was looking into when I started writing this blog was artists houses and the little artistic cluster at Waikanae which is virtually on my doorstep. Walters, Schoon, Hodgkins, Angus, Page, Clairmont and now I discover Richmond all made significant work there.

Any way a while back I write that I’d located the Angus home and had taken this photo. I must now admit to a “mollie moment”. From Martin Edmond’s Luca Antara blogI got as far as page 8 before the first shock of embarrassment and shame. It was this passagealmost every ‘fact’ in the last two of those four sentences is wrong.”  Since writing the book he refers to, the full story of Mollie, the elephant that died at Ohakune had come to light. 

Yesterday I spent some time with the local council historian, Ron Prockter* who furnished me with lots of information regarding the Angus home. The great news is, that although subdivided, the gardens are largely intact and it appears the home may be too , although greatly altered. The embarrassing news was the address I had previously was completely wrong and so the photo referred to above, although vaguely interesting, has no artistic association at all. 


Rita Angus (c1942) by Theo Schoon (photo from Art New Zealand Issue 107)

Angus had the use of a beach house at Waikanae owned by her father who moved there in 1943. Schoon appears to have visited her there at least once with Gordon Walters who was his protege.” Michael Dunn – Art NZ Issue 107

Why am I so interested in this anyway? Well I like Angus’s garden paintings, as to me they have a different ‘feel’ about them. And although the Angus cottage is saved for posterity in Thorndon, I was intrigued by this little local mystery. Mr Prockter also told me that this land has a long and interesting history being a large part of the ‘Rau o te Rangi’ block named after a maori woman Te Rauoterangi, the daughter of a Ngati Toa chief. Te Rauoterangi also was known as Kahe, the name she used to sign the Treaty of Waitangi.

Now that we are definitely off South in a few months, its nice to have this story complete and I am continuing my hunt for the Page home (designed by Plischke).

*Over the Net and their “On the Road” series may be interested to know that Mr Prockter is in charge of street name approval here and there is a Hodgkins Road and Goldie Place at Waikanae.

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