As I’ve mentioned before when I was living near Wellington, one of my projects was to find and hopefully have a look inside some Plischke houses. I never did hunt down Evelyn and Fredrick Page’s Waikanae home. I had a vague idea where it was but I ran out of time to do more investigation although I was encouraged after my Angus breakthrough.
There was also the Giles house, only a few blocks from where I was living on the Kapiti Coast. It was nice to see that externally it was being looked after in the fashion of the original design but because I discivered that the owner was a ‘well know person’ I never got up the nerve to ask to see it. I bumped into him a few times in local shops etc but I was too intimdated to talk – foolish perhaps?
Last year at the time we were likely to be moving to Palmerston North, we found a house for sale in Savage Crescent a few houses down from where I’d lived previously. A gentrified former state housing precinct, Plsichke was on the design team, and it would have been the close to owning a ‘real’ Plischke house.
There are very few Plischke houses in the South Island – in fact I only know of one, Henderson House in Alexandra. I had intended to visit there while Peter Peryer was there on his year long residence but my relocation and the end of his time there didn’t really coincide. I may bug the next artist in residence.
Maybe I should just buy this book and leave it at that. Maybe its just not meant to be and it is indeed ‘Goodbye Mr Plischke’.
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Posted in Art, tagged Angus, Clairmont, Edmond, Hodgkins, Page, Plischke, Richmond, Schoon, Walters on October 22, 2008|
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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 blog “I got as far as page 8 before the first shock of embarrassment and shame. It was this passage… almost 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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Don’t expect to read anything mind expanding here today!
A friend today said they thought my theme here is “what is art?”. I have given up trying to solve that one, but its fun exploring. I don’t actually agree with the following sentiment, but here’s one point of view…
Stencil art – Brisbane 2007 (and I think better than the original Warhol poster)
Today my faith was also restored a little in “the art world”. I had an incredibly productive and enlightening conversation regarding some research information with an art writer. People have been so generous and approachable helping me out. So it led me on a tour to find some artists homes. I don’t know why I thought having the addresses would enable me to drive up and see these houses. (Sub)urban development hasn’t stood still for 40+ years. I guess my excitement in locating a local Plischke house relatively intact over Easter made me think it would be easy. Still I have a lot to go on for the next phase…so thanks again :-)
Its been really hard to get anywhere to see anything lately (still considering that ‘donate’ button) so I also stopped back in to the Mahara Gallery to look over the Hodgkins/Pick exhibition again. Mark Amery wrote a review in today’s DomPost that really summed up the Hodgkins work well – but hardly a mention of Pick. Personally today Summer Joys (1916) struck me. It seemed so vibrant and full of movement and what was really weird was that they way it was painted (post-impressionist?) meant that it could equally be a modern scene. I was thinking about becoming ‘involved’ with the gallery in some way but I can’t really see that I’d be much use.
I was also thinking about doing some ‘real’ art history study. I see Vic offers a graduate diploma which would be good but I haven’t really go the time right now to go in and attend lectures so I guess I’ll stick to my self-education programme and continue to stumble along blindly. The only big advantage right now would be to give my research some ‘legitimacy’.
On that note I am still struggling with finding software to basically keep a catalogue raisonné. I have developed my own little app to do this but I hate the thought of the “perfect” software being out there all ready to go. Mind you mine is cheaper :-)
So lastly a picture relevant to today’s expedition and how I would have ideally liked my day to have been.
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