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Posts Tagged ‘Mitchell’

Landing…

I am as excited as a 5-year old – actually probably more so. When I picked my daughter up from school today there was a RNZAF Iroquois helicopter there and we all waited to see/hear it take off. It was awesome. I just love that sound and it was a total reprise of one of the best and most original artworks I have seen/heard this year, Michael Tuffery’s sound installation at the Wellington Railway station for the New Artland programme. You can hear about it here and see the whole episode here (#4). Who knows if it was “good art” but I liked it.

It makes me wonder about evocative sounds. This week I’ve been reading about perfumes and how scent can be so evocative. Seeing and hearing the Iroquois today made me realise we associate sounds in similar ways. Many would think of Vietnam hearing that distinctive thwok-thwok-thwok of the Huey – or am I just showing my age? If you are a freak like me you might appreciate this short sound file too. I was also talking with someone this week about how living within hearing of a train whistle (or horn these days) can be a reminder that there is a larger world out there.

So normally I think of visual art as being…well…visual and (thankfully?) there’s not that much scratch and sniff work about. I know nothing about audio art although braying donkeys spring to mind for very wrong reasons. Dane Mitchell’s recordings at the Rita Angus Cottage are another, but go on – educate me – point me at artworks with an audio component and/or with a scent :-)

And so to some completely different Iroquois art

highsteel
I-BEAMS AND IROQUOIS IRONWORKERS”, (1992)
Carson R. Waterman, Seneca Iroquois

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A curse is come upon me

A while back I had a not so great day. I quoted Tennyson in regard to broken glass and curses. Well I am beginning to think that either me or my house or both should be part of a Dane Mitchell exhibition

“In past works he has collaborated with mediums and psychics to explore the phantom inhabitants of art galleries and museums. In his meddling with the unknown, Mitchell has commissioned witches to curse Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland; created a portal to the spirit world in the Auckland Art Gallery; and summoned the spirit of famous New Zealand painter Rita Angus, interviewing her via a medium.”

Its actually quite disturbing and I don’t even want to think about what will happen next. On the bright side there don’t appear to be any roaming spirits. I think I need a holiday.

EDIT: If anyone knows Dane and he wants an actual cursed person for artistic purposes – get in touch. Having some purpose for all of this might help :-)

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With all the news about the government buying back the trains it has brought back a lot of memories of my train hopping days including middle of the night awakenings on a freezing train at National Park as passengers boarded. But its made me think how quickly things have changed. Its within my memory that long journeys were undertaken by train rather than plane or car.  I am all for the government buy-back, except the food on the ferries did improve with the company in private hands.

So it brought me to two paintings of train stations. I have no doubt there is more and probably quite well known rail associated art but these two leap to mind. Firstly, of course Angus’ Cass. There are several interesting points about this, one being that it has been reinterpreted or re-viewed by several other NZ artists including Dane Mitchell (a rubbing of the sign?) and in photography by Peter Peryer. Here is another example.

Cass8/10 (1986) Julian Dashper

Also some time back it was voted New Zealand’s Greatest Painting. I don’t agree, however I wouldn’t know even where to start with what is the greatest.

The other painting is very similar in that it depicts a small rural station. It also brings to mind my Grandfathers’ Tokanui run and the Frames at Glenham. The railway is obviously entwined with our literature as well. In fact last year I visited the lonely little station at Seacliff so poignantly described in many books by Janet Frame. Anyway back to the painting – Wedderburn by Grahame Sydney. This is a photo of the building which has been put back (re-relocated?) where it used to be on the (now) Central Otago rail trail.

All the political angst (including the trains) because its election year is getting to me. I am watching the Charles Bukowski documentary just now “Born Into This” and I found this from “Dinosauria, We”. Kinda says it all… (Bukowski was a postman for a while too by the way)

“We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes”

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A small life

Today a friend came round and we watched some of the Lovely Rita ‘extras’ – Betty’s Blouse and the piece on the Angus House and Dane Mitchell’s ‘Thresholds’ work. Mitchell’s work was not really ‘up our alley’ even though the subject matter held potential. I looked up some of his other stuff and found “In past works he has collaborated with mediums and psychics to explore the phantom inhabitants of art galleries and museums. In his meddling with the unknown, Mitchell has commissioned witches to curse Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland; created a portal to the spirit world in the Auckland Art Gallery; and summoned the spirit of famous New Zealand painter Rita Angus, interviewing her via a medium.” Hmmmmm – while the idea of cursing Starkwhite has promise, is it really art?? :-) I guess it is, as I read Mitchell has just been awarded a one-year residency at the international DAAD artists-in-Berlin programme.

My friend and I were saying that we felt our interest in Bette’s Blouse is female reaction though, as perhaps was that lovely huge curtain of Anna Miles’ installation The style of address, (1994). Wystan Curnow says “My mother fashioned this jacket out of two identical aprons she bought at Woolworths.” Maybe because we are both have an interest in ‘homely arts’? It just intrigues me that someone like Rita Angus, a woman but not other/homemaker/50s housewife blah blah blah – in fact possibly the antithesis – painted in such detail and with such care this wonderful portrait of Betty with the centre piece being this rather flamboyant homemade blouse. Such a dichotomy (maybe not the correct word?)


Portrait of Betty Curnow (1942) Rita Angus

It got me thinking about the maleness and femaleness of some art and how we identify with some things/images (more on this in another post methinks).

I was reading a blog recently which said the author was living a small life just now and I think that’s a very good description of mine too. The internet (and this blog) is a window to the world for me and some days there just isn’t much ‘art in my life’. And so I was thinking how it might be nice to join one of those ‘blogger get-togethers’ in Wellington sometime, but none of them are really ‘a fit’ for me (you know – too old, too young, too hip, etc etc) Well I guess I might bump into people at the City Gallery this weekend – must organise that T-shirt….

Lastly – how do NZ Blog ratings actually work and why do they only rate political and news sites? Not that I care too much about ratings, as I note that some of the highest ratings site can be rather tiresome rather than informative and that’s not what this blog is about anyway. Mind you, I’ve apparently stepped on few toes already – not intentionally but probably via ignorance and clumsiness.

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