Posts Tagged ‘Gentry’

In the teeth of a gale

As promised I visited the Regan Gentry teeth. It was a gorgeous day on Saturday (my camera didn’t cope too well with the sun) I’d dropped someoneiknow off at his rugby game in town and had the car loaded with the kids so off we went.

There are 2 sets of 3 teeth (molars) carved from blocks of Oamaru stone  and set into pinkish gravel. Not set in very far which could indicate severe gum problems.

The teeth are supposedly set at the head/mouth of the harbour although I’d say that is arguable (I am such a nit-picker).

Now I have to say I think the whole idea is dumb. Intellectually, I feel that I shouldn’t like these and yet I do. So do my kids.

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Speak to me

I managed to get into Dunedin Art Gallery today, although I was “on the clock” so to speak, so it was a rushed trip.

I revisited ‘Beloved’ and apart from still really disliking the New Sensations room, I was again amazed at the depth of the collection. Spiritualized – the ramp with Michael Parekowhai’s The Bosom of Abraham work leading you down to McCahon’s Veronica is inspired.

I wanted to see Wayne Barrar’s ‘An Expanding Subterra‘ exhibition of photographs. It was good, but for me, raised the issue of whether this kind of photography is documentary or art or perhaps both?

Heather Straka’s The Asian was the treat. This was an exhibition that needed no interpretation for me (although there is an excellent one here by David Eggleton). The 50 (51 including the original?) paintings say it all. To what end though?

I did a drive by of the infamous Regan Gentry teeth (at the mouth of the harbour). There were HEAPS of people parked and looking at them which I guess must be good for public art. I will go back and look closer, but on first glance I wondered “where are the gums?” and felt maybe they would have been better set into the ground a bit.

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The plan

The sport uniforms are all dry and in their bags, but Wittgenstein remains read only in comic book form. My HUGE piles of research books is buried under paper dolls and what seems like 500 felt tip pens.

I recall this thing called art, which takes a back seat when family life calls (which I guess it should). Projects and research and writing all put aside while sick kids are nursed, meals are prepared, floors are vacuumed and mopped. 

However, this Sunday is Mother’s Day and rather ironically, I am hoping to get out of the house and to see a few things on about town. The giant molars  need to be checked out (I hope they aren’t as tragic as they sound) as well as some interesting things at DPAG and “Long Live the Modern” is on at the Otago Museum.

So that’s the plan.

I do have Francis Pound’s “The Invention of New Zealand: Art and National Identity” to read which will occupy some of tomorrow. Although it’s quite large and a little conspicuous for the side-line.

NOTE: I said I’d blog every day – I didn’t say it would be quality blogging

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Finally I get around to blogging this! Its been, as they say, a week of it!

First I should thank my sponsors. Flying around the place to look at art is not something I do routinely. In fact I realised the last time I was away from home over night without my kids was 3 year ago and that was work related. I had been saving up Flybuys points so I could get to Christchurch to see their big three winter exhibitions and ended up with only enough for a one way flight. I had considered an overnight bus option for return but I was incredibly lucky to win my return airfare via the AirpointsFairy on Twitter. Then I decided that I would splash out on my overnight trip and stay at a hotel rather than someones couch. The plan was quiet, non-kid interrupted sleep, writing and reading time. An e-friend had recommended HotelSo and I got a great deal on a  room there.

I have to say this is a VERY cool little Hotel. It’s very central and was also a bit of colour in what I found to be a very grey Christchurch. The rooms are small (not quite a pod concept) but have more than everything you need. I was particularly interested in the design aspects – all created in house for this hotel. The bathroom modules are a great execution of the idea of form and function (I want one!). I was a bit worried that I might be too old and boring for this reportedly ‘funky’ hotel but not at all. The kind of place that had a young farmers event and a punk band staying at the same time – and you’d never know.  Hotel SO is excellent value – I’d stay again in an instant. Oh and a shout out to the lovely service manager Chris who was a great help!

The pretty colours of my hotel – note the contrast with the GREY

Christchurch itself was a bit of a shock. I haven’t spent much time there for maybe 10 years but I’d forgotten the conformity, the grey, the little walls and everything in the central city so contained. Even the public art blended in. Thank heavens for the tiny bit of colour on Neil Dawson’s Chalice sculpture in the square. Regan Gentry’s Flour Power also seemed to flat and conservative and yet again – GREY.  Nucleus by Phil Price which was near my hotel, was at least a bit brighter but what is it with all the pointy sculpture? I can only think it is in response to the taller buildings and lack of horizon? The current Kiosk was a disappointment

Anyway – very quickly I headed down to the ‘Cultural Precinct’ and Christchurch Art Gallery. I love this area of Christchurch (fond memories and all that). The Arts Centre is a favourite place and of course I had to check in with a former Clairmont residence near-by in Hereford street. I will talk about the shows in my next post but one exhibition made the entire trip worthwhile!

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