Posts Tagged ‘Peryer’

Well I finally got to a an event that I’d planned to. The drive from Mosgiel to Gore (yes I know, I know..) was fun. It was an incredibly worthwhile evening at the Eastern Southland Gallery, seeing work by Peter Peryer and Helen Badcock and meeting some e-friends in person.


I’ve been tardy writing about it today because the evening provided blog material that could last a week and just how to phrase it all? There were small points that I was taken with, the building of course is gorgeous and it was nice to have a small crowd in a small venue where the director hands around the refreshments (would you see that happening at the City Gallery?)

Let me start with Helen Badcock’s “Works on Paper”. These were a selection of wonderfully intimate life studies, ‘ first solo showing. Although Helen said she normally preferred the female form, it was her charcoal on paper drawings of Daniel that drew me in. Maybe it was the beard – very ‘late Baxter’ or as I’d been listening to Scroobius Pip on the drive to Gore and “…Pip has got a great beard. It’s the kind of beard that mice peep out of in Quentin Blake illustrations, that Edward Lear nests larks in. ” I digress – it was great work and I look forward to seeing more lithographs when she resumes working in that medium.

The evening was also the closing of Peter Peryer’s “Studio Show” with works from his time in based in southern New Zealand in 2007  and 2008. ‘The gallery space in this instance has become his temporary studio, and the photographer has utilised the walls to randomly pin up ‘digital proofs’ or images for further consideration’ .  Although I’d seen many of the photos before on his blog, as usual it was great to see them in person and on the wall. I was very pleased to see a personal favourite of mine, the whitebait, on the wall too.

One thing that struck me is how different Peryer’s newer photos are from his older work. These pictures are mostly fun, quirky and light, vastly different from the dark, intense pictures you can see here. Obviously artists and their art change over time and actually I would presume that maintaining that kind of initial intensity would be…tiring?

It was a pleasure meeting Peryer and chatting about his art and time in Central Otago particularly (having lived there myself for some time). Also great to meet fellow blogger the Paradoxical Cat (a generous and ‘knowing’ guide to the Money Collection).

And the theme for the drive home – the great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – what a wonderful world indeed.

* One of the Scroobius Pip vs Dan Le Sac songs I been listening to heavily “This is the beat that my heart skipped when we first met” absolutely wonderful lyrics from start to finish here, or the video here. Read into this what you will, but it’s all good when art makes your heart skip.

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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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Sometimes its really odd what you think about – or maybe its just me. Today while hanging out the washing (which I find very meditative) I got to thinking how photography is like the “creative non-fiction” (or non-non-fiction as Greg O’Brien puts it) of the visual art world. Having just read “The Evolution of Mirrors” I was thinking how Martin Edmond’s writing and Peter Peryer’s photography are comparable and how its possible to create such strong images with words. Then I was thinking that other art forms possibly have literary equivalents.

Following on, recently I had a discussion with a friend about “outsider artists” and “outsider poets” whom we both had encountered. And last night I was thinking how many artists and writers might feel “outsiders” at times. Yet again, connections are everywhere.

Ratana Temple, Ratana

Connections also presented themselves (while weeding the veggie garden) when I was musing over someone’s mention of the Ratana church. I went to Ratana a while back (on the way to the MAU show at the Sarjeant Gallery) but I felt weird staring at the temple and left quickly. So today I was thinking “Why didn’t I feel weird staring at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch?”. And you can easily see why I connected the two. I still can’t specifically explain why, as I am an outsider to any christian faith.


I love Ratana temples – the lines are so beautifully simple, yet eloquent. In my small view of architecture these are strong points.

Kotare over Ratana Church, Te Kau(1964) by Don Binney

Ratana Church near Raetihi

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Obsession – over

I have been very remiss in posting lately due to the illness and a mild obsession with a stressful situation at home. However things are on the improve all round. YAY!

This week I read something I wish I’d written – this very funny post by Tom Cardy

“I’ve always enjoyed Rita Angus’ art, not the least because several of her portraits and drawings eerily seem to be the precursor to a lot of high quality artwork in comics and graphic novels of the past 20 years… But what had never crossed my mind about Angus’ art is that some of it now on show at Te Papa could be stupid, socially irresponsible and health-endangering.”

Meanwhile the Barrs see Allen Maddox in – is that Marion Street?

And more new stuff from little people. I am loving the wildlife. For more see here.

Kind of reminds me of Peter Peryer’s playfulness with scale.

Cheryl also discusses art displayed in real estate ads and home magazines which amused me as I’d just put away the Clairmonts (so as not to scare the horses) and another friend had put his artwork in storage while his house goes on the market. Why are we hiding? And who from? It did make me think that a savvy art thief might go through these online real estate tours or house and garden type mags picking out goodies for future ‘pickup’.

Ah well – have a good weekend..

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One of the nicest things about blogging is that there appears to be a real sense of community. I have met the coolest people here (sorry for sounding dated) and have had supportive of communications from the most unexpected places when I have delved into the trials of life here. Thanks guys!!

It also makes me concerned when my favourites bloggers disappear (like Poneke did briefly earlier this year) and when you read things like this on Peter Peryer’s blog. I just hope they cruel grey of an Alexandra winter hasn’t got to him. And if you want to know about that – read this from Brian Turner(for a limited time) – a lovely piece of writing. And I was there living in Central in the winter of 1991!

“A spectacular frost occurred in Otago in early July 1991 when overnight air temperatures dropped below -15°C – for days in some places. The effect was chaos. Beer froze in pubs, water pipes burst, diesel turned to sludge, and rabbits with frostbitten ears were accused of cannibalism on national television. Exposed metal (such as gates) became so cold that skin froze to it on contact.” Personally we were able to ice skate down our gravel road.

Hoar frost on pruned fruit tree

But I digress (and am getting all nostalgic again).

One thing that I found today that made me feel not so old was this great interviewwith the photographer Martha Cooper (now in her 60s) about her work photographing graffiti and street art. The interview is 12 minutes long but worth the watch.

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An odd Saturday, one played out to the theme of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life“, (although I much prefer “Passenger“). Still it prompted me to think of the quote from Trainspotting, “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career…” Click here for the rest of this excellent rant.

Oddly I don’t remember choosing or signing up for the suburbs, yet here I am with 3 kids in a street of beige 1970’s split levels. :-)

Choose Life by Marie Oudkerk

So to cheer myself up I splashed out and bought another older Landfall (207) from a great, yet somewhat expensive, second hand book store a few blocks away. I am behind the times as this copy is from 2004, but it contains some amazing items.

For example, James Brown writes Communities are made up of stories and literary communities are no exception. In New Zealand everybody has a James K. Baxter story or a Denis Glover story or an Alan Brunton story, just as everybody in Montreal has a Leonard Cohen story. This then is my Allen Curnow story.”

Which is funny because recently I heard two more Allen Curnow stories and while I’ve been doing this blog I have had very generous correspondences with several artists and writers (correspondence being the subject of Brown’s piece).

Peter Wells also writes of when the Listener stood for something and the arts and books editor held reputations in his hands as “a power broker, a gatekeeper, and in a very important position in the New Zealand arts“. I do wonder that this magazine carries any such weight these days – actually I doubt it (but I am happy to be corrected).

In other news Dave Cauchi says the NZ art scene is too cosy – “a nice comfy chair and cup of milky milo.” which has got me thinking…

And Peter Peryer’s wonderful blog is just making me too homesick for Central Otago – even with the -10 C frosts.

Oh – and just as a random piece of information, I actually can hypnotise chickens you know.

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The first real job I had was as a Radio Technician at the Post Office (later Telecom). In my training I learned a lot about resonance in a technical sense mainly to do with LC tuned circuits. What fascinated me though was the resonant properties of quartz crystals as in the old crystal radio sets (if you’ve never made one, I’d recommend trying it). If you’ve seen resonance physically in action, in a crystal oscillating for example, I think it makes so much more sense of the phrase “that resonates for me” when speaking of art or writing etc.

So when an artwork or grouping of words resonates, it is a physical response for me. Like the sensation when you stand very close to a concert speaker system. This week (and this year) has been one of resonances. I am constantly finding writing and art that truly resonates. And extending this further, people that I resonate with, brought fully home when chatting to an old friend from radio days this week. Ah yes the old resonance is still there too.

So what art resonates for me? Well read this blog long enough and it becomes pretty clear. But as an example, photography often goes straight to my heart. This photo for many, many reasons.

Trinity– Peter Peryer

To end another quote sent to me from Lis (thanks again) from Drusilla Modjeska’s ‘Stravinsky’s Lunch’. In it Modjeska quotes the artist, Grace Cossington Smith. 

‘ “A continual try”, she [Cossington Smith] said. It’s true of painting, it’s true of writing and it’s true of life. The process of staying with that continual try can produce long low loops and sudden illuminations, which we see in retrospect as springing open and banging closed. But in the tug and pull of time it is another day lived, another piece of board on the easel, another squeeze from the tube.’

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