Posts Tagged ‘Plischke’

I am currently looking at the possibility of returning to the provinces. OK, I am already halfway there but being only 45 mins from the Capital with good public transport makes it not quite feel so isolated.

Its not all bad of course. It is quite possible that I can even return to a Plischke suburb [.pdf file] which the nearest I’ll probably ever get to living in one of his houses, its a University town, has a reasonable gallery, many friends live there and just how often do I get into Wellington anyway? Also as a friend said, they do have the Internet there.

But, I also quite like my current seaside existence even if one geographical feature heavily dominates the landscape and the artwork.

Waikanae (1951) Rita Angus

Of course nothing is definite yet so I shall just keep “deaccessioning” and packing.

There is a lot of debate about how surroundings and domicle impact on people psychologically and I guess this is often reflected in art as well. For example McCahon’s Titirangi, Muriwai etc. Woolaston’s Nelson, Ronnie van Hout’s Christchurch house(s). There should be a travel guide to artistic NZ like the defunct literary one. Now there’s a project, in two volumes (art and literature), entertainingly written, hansomely photographed – anyone in?

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I was at my favourite cafe today when I noticed that a painting I really liked that had been there for an age (and I was quietly thinking of saving up for) had gone. I didn’t think so much of the replacement. Anyway the painting I liked was called “Motu Motu” and by the artist Jon Stevenson
Jon in front of Motu Motu

The thing that is good about a regular cafe is that they almost have your long black waiting as you walk in the door – or a Romano in the weekends! Casa Java also serves fair trade coffee which totally blew my cutting down plan by drinking only fair trade. Now if only they had fair trade Ethiopian Yirgacheffe my life would be complete.

I’ve been reading some design books this week. Firstly “Crown Lynn: New Zealand Icon” by Valerie Ringer Monk. I just keep thinking that I grew up with this stuff and some of it is gross. My mother would be amazed that it is now so collectible. She got a set of ‘Autumn Splendour’ as wedding gift I believe or maybe a little later – anyway it was slowing disappearing when I came on the scene and replaced with Fleurette.


The other book is 40 Legends of New Zealand Design by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and its a bit of a revelation. Again its very familiar territory but the significance of some of these people had been a bit lost on me. Another book to add to the “must buy one day” list. I might have to start another page here for that – or at least a link to an Amazon wishlist. Actually forget Amazon – I’m trying to buy books via Goodbooks if possible now but to be honest, I don’t buy very many books at all. Thankfully my library has accepted another list of recommendations from me recently (including the new Angus one).

Speaking of books I picked up two good 2nd hand ones today Below the Surface: words and images in protest at French testing on Moruroa  and Landfall 208. Both have inscriptions, which is something I love. I suppose unless its from the author they devalue a book, but don’t you ever wonder who “Ethel, Christmas 1947” was? Anyway the copy of Landfall had an inscription on the cover from Fiona Kidman which is funny considering the contents.

My recent obsession with Plischke houses (still haven’t located Eve Page’s) led someone to point out to me the latest “Home New Zealand” magazine which features two quite amazing mid century houses – worth a look!


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Art Transformation Zone

You may have seen this advert

Well I’ve been thinking that this may also apply to some more ‘conceptual’ artworks. If I was very clever I would make my own video version…but for now picture this. Find this object within a few hundred metres of a gallery or public artspace and its ART…

Peter Robinson (title unknown – anyone?)

Further away than that and it becomes…a big lump of polystyrene.

art, art, art, art…polystyrene    OR

Kah Bee Chow & Finn Ferrier For F & F, 2008

art, art, art, art…sand

NOTE: I have nothing against these artworks. I was just thinking about what would happen if you encountered them in a space not ‘designated’ for art.

In other news I am ridiculously excited to find a Plischke house just down the road from where I live.

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What I know about architecture could fit on the head of a pin, well maybe a thumb tack, but current threads of research keep bringing me to this name “Ernst Plischke“.

  • Peter Preyer is in Alexandra on a residency at Henderson House designed by Plischke in 1950.
  • In 1951 Evelyn Page and her husband, Frederick, bought some land at Waikanae. There they built a holiday house designed by the noted architect Ernst Plischke, who was also a friend.
  • As in my last post, I noted Plischke was on the design team of the historic state housing precinct of Savage Crescent in Palmerston North where I once lived.

These are just a few that have cropped up this week! There was an exhibition about Plischke’s work at the City Gallery in 2004 (which I missed) and I see there was a monograph put out then too and I’m trying to get hold of a copy.

Massey House, Lambton Quay, Wellington (couldn’t find any nice pictures of his houses)

I like modernist architecture but it is odd how it is often overlooked. Douglas Lloyd Jenkins wrote in 2003 “Recently, a 1950s house designed by Graeme Smith and home for most of its life to prominent designer Frank Carpay sold under the banner “The Ultimate Do Up.” (It was full of his built-in furniture – perhaps the ultimate box for a Crown Lynn collector.) ” Its frightening to think of them ripping out the guts of that home. Someoneiknow thinks I just like 1950s architecture because my Carltonware Lobster plates would look good in it. EDIT: Actually there is debate whether my lobster plates would good anywhere.


I feel DLJ (described by Wallpaper magazine as one of the most influential design writers in the Southern Hemisphere) has also gone “under the radar” a bit since his appointment as Director at the Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery. I used to enjoy is column in “The Listener” and I confess to enjoying the first series of “The Big Art Trip” with Nick Ward but Fiona McDonald just put me off in the second series (I see its being re-run on Freeview).

I do have a small problem with “design” though. I understand the idea of form and functionality but sometimes I wonder how well that really works. Take the Juicy Salif Fruit Juicer by Phillip Stark, touted as “simple, practical yet strikingly attractive at the same time”. I have never used one but I bet it doesn’t keep the pips out of the juice. Can anyone confirm/deny this??


Oh and if you want some real architectural commentary, check out Eye of the Fish.

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