Posts Tagged ‘Tuwhare’

I noticed

I noticed a story about another residency (and another place by the sea).

The family of poet Hone Tuwhare, is worried their father’s Kaka Point home may be lost to future generations of artists and writers as its mortgage comes due. Since Tuwhare died in January last year, his son Rob Tuwhare has been looking for an “appropriate person” to assist him in setting up a trust to buy the house and establish it as a retreat for artists and writers in residence.

Hone Tuwhare at Kaka Point (1988) Ans Westra

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Showing in all the best artworks

I read this recently from Kaka Point by Hone Tuwhare

“…The power-pole is festooned
with a choir of singing wires – a Kiwi Landscape
of classical distinction. Second–rate artists
Leave it out of their pictures, altogether.”

and now I am seeing phone and power lines in all the best artworks.

Fog, Hawkes Bay – Rita Angus

Others I can think of are by Gopas, Lusk, Frizzell, Nigel Brown, Lois White. I have an idea Hotere or Driver may have worked with actual poles/lines (can anyone confirm?). On a quick scout I was surprised I couldn’t find them in McCahon or Woolaston though. Any other examples would be greatly received in the comments ….

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At a distance

In grey winter days – what art is there unless you seek it out? It is times of “art is where you find it” but sometimes you need to dig deep. A friend describes hanging his surfboard on the wall as art, I find favourite paintings on book covers ( including Agnes Wood’s “The Committee”) and beauty in nappies flapping on the line. Other friends use the weather to stay inside and craft and make art industriously. The children make play dough art which I then have to dig out of the carpet….

In the big world, grumbling continues about the NZ Venice Biennale presence and CNZ, and the Montana books which all seems so distant while I struggle to write or finish anything I start to read (the library fines are building up). So this is writers block huh…?

Winter maybe is a time for quiet contemplation, but I can do without the existential angst!. So something to contemplate.

Rain – Hone Tuwhare

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One of those days

Overheard in a department store today “Well I guess there’s nothing else to do on a wet Sunday but shop“.  That statement annoys me on so many levels. If rain defines you (as per Tuwhare), then maybe the fact that rain makes these people shop, defines them? At least I had a reasonable excuse for being there. However the day didn’t improve much from then, but I’ll spare you the details.

My head hurts so I am going to eat some more chocolate and just bring you some things that have caught my eye this week.

I found an excellent article from Ali Bramwell “Occupying the Pavement: Public Art” While the subject dates back a bit, I have fallen HARD for this type of art.

“…the Dunedin Beautification Project (2006) by Matt Gillies. Without warning or any discussion with council the artist had gradually replaced a number of existing functional aluminium plates (part of the city’s water and gas infrastructure, designed to allow maintenance access) with image and message bearing alternatives. The process Gillies followed was to ‘liberate’ a single plate at a time, melt it down, then recasting it to his own satisfaction and replacing it where he got it from.”

Matt Gillies, Dunedin Beautification Project (installation detail), Dunedin City, 2006.

On the same theme, the Wooster Collective always has interesting stuff, I loved these inflatable sculptures on subway air vents (yes I know animal art again).

The Art Life came up with this work by Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi, Paths are made by walking. “In order to determine whether the above phrase was actually true, Yamashita and Kobayashi kept running in a park for 5 days”. The video is really good.

Today there was to be “Mass Cloud Watching – Human Art Work:  watch clouds as a mass while I photograph you”. I am asuming it was rained out but looks like something interesting if you are in Auckland when they try next time (April 22).

I’ve also been spending some time on Flickr, where there is lots of fun stuff.  The Banksy group is good and I found some excellent photography of ‘Wellington – abandoned’ which I may follow up to get some local ‘industrial rust’ photos. The whole flickr site is kind of a weird concept though to my mind. Its life on display. .. to the extreme.

I’ve realised just how much the internet is my window to the world but I do need to get out more and see.more.art. I’ve come to the conclusion that its all about planning. I have one morning a week that’s mostly free so I’ve decided that I will go into Wellington once every 2-3 weeks, otherwise I will miss all the things I’m wanting to see. So I will forgo every 2nd long black to acheive this aim (yeah right). Sometimes delays bring good things though. I hadn’t got around to seeing “Reboot” at the City Gallery but I noticed that a special collectors tour is happening on 4th May, so I’ll go then.

One Wet Sunday  – Barry Payne

I love this picture of The Terrace. It also shows 2 buildings I worked in when I was Ms Corporate IT person too (a whole different life).

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News bulletin

As I have the flu, have lost my voice and am trying to cope with the forthcoming weekend of visiting relatives, a kids party and then my daughter’s first day of school on Monday, this will be short and (hopefully) sweet.

I learnt something about reviewing yesterday – don’t try and do it when you are in a rush, are being bugged and have little time for revision. It comes off sounding like you are a 7 year old writing about what you did in the holidays 

The Hone Tuwhare tribute last night was great. Glenn Colquhoun certainly invoked the spirit of Tuwhare (in my opinion) and Michelle McGregors’s documetary was excellent. Funny about Tuwhare giving away the Hotere’s that were gifted to him :-) I don’t think Hone would have minded me feeding my baby during the evening either;-)


Interesting about the ‘stolen’ McCahon sculpture. Is it stolen? Is it an estate issue? Will Dunbar Sloane be liable? Why isn’t it in the McCahon database?

I see the guy charged with stabbing the tagger in Auckland is out on bail today. The law change on taggers has brought up a lot of interesting debate in the media and online. Artbash right now is debating “what is art? is tagging outsider art?” and other great questions. A really interesting view (and some provoking art) can also be found at Streetarse and Askew’s website. You have to love this:


I just wanted to note how much I am enjoying Peter Peryer’s blog just now. Having grown up in Southland then living in Central Otago for quite a few years, his move back down that way is bemusing to me. I loved Central but I couldn’t wait to get out of Invercargill. That could have been a teenage thing though. Lately I have been softening towards it and his photos capture something really special about those places. Check out the whitebait.

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I don’t live in a cultural wilderness – really I don’t. Where I live is supposedly “arty” and there is a lot of art about but, as I was saying to someone the other day “surely mediocrity is the enemy?”.

Anyway yesterday I took the road south to Porirua and the drive down the coast gave me an idea why many artists have been draw to the area, it was a beautiful clear, calm day with long views to the South Island. Also a few literary names that sprang to mind on the journey were JC Sturm in Paekakariki,  Alistair and Meg Campbell in Pukerua Bay, Sam Hunt in Paremata.

My target was Pataka in Porirua (well after I’d bought tepee making materials). I had no idea what was on so it was a pleasant surprise to see so many good things. I am no art reviewer but I can give a brief run down.

ObservanceNicola Dove
“Observanceis a series of long exposure portraits and soundscapes of people in a meditative state of prayer from a wide spectrum of spiritual practices and faiths from around the world.” This was excellent and although I was a little put off by the blurriness due to the long exposures to start with, overall I think that added to the effect. There is a video to watch as well which I didn’t get to sit right through but which would be worth going back to see. One critique is that only a selection of the photos are on display. There was a small list with tiny thumbnails of the whole series near the video screen and I felt a little short changed. A humorous thing for me was one of the ‘spiritual practices’ was Jedi!

Samoan Contemporary
The only artist I recognised was Michael Tuffery and he had an interesting display of fly pictures. One of his corned beef can bulls was  also in the foyer. The exhibition was a real mix of styles and mediums. I liked John Ioane‘s cowrie shells and also “influenza” a pile of cynically printed apple boxes (not sure of artist). EDIT: The artist of “influenza” is Siliga David Setoga. For a review see here


There were also 2 exhibitions of prints. ‘Crow’s Shadow’ – Native American artists and ‘Crossing Cultures’ by Australian aboriginal artists.  My pick of the bunch were Lillian Pitt’s pictographs from the former and D W Eastwood’s work from the latter.

owl-dance-lillian-pitt.jpg Owl Dance– Lillian Pitt

There was a lot to take in. Hows that for a “high-school style” review? :-) I can also recommend the gallery cafe and the oaty caramel slice.

OK I had to drive 20 minutes to see that but thats nothing really. I am also very happy to report that 5mins away in our local library there is a literary event tonight – A Tribute to Hone Tuwhare.  Poet Glenn Colquhoun is presenting the documentary about Hone Tuwhare’s return to his Northland home. I’ll be there.

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