Posts Tagged ‘van der Velden’


I thought I was getting used to the weather here, but then we had rain – heavy rain every day this week. I live at the end of Mosgiel that is close to Silver Stream. It’s only a stream until it rains a lot and yesterday it got very near to the top of the stopbank between my house and it. Phew!  Today we had rain, sleet, hail, the odd snow flake and now more sleet. I like snow better than rain because its drier, but actually I just want it to be warmer. I’ll settle for a pair of gumboots though.

So I got to thinking about early settlers in NZ trying to cope with this weather just to make myself feel better, and I remembered poor old Ada from “The Piano” in the endless rain and mud. Made me happy to have my old dryer in the garage I can tell you. I thought too of Petrus Van der Velden and his majestic ‘bad weather ‘ paintings of New Zealand. Maybe it didn’t strike him as too bad if you look at his pre-NZ work.

I am fond of this

Petrus Van der Velden Snow on sand dunes 1880
Collection of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

But particularly this (click for larger image)

Petrus Van der Velden A Dutch Funeral 1872
Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

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Ebb and flow

Some weekends I feel that I achieve nothing. And although I managed a trip through the cultural mecca of Levin yesterday, this weekend was pretty empty. In contrast, next weekend appears to be bulging at the seams already. Election day, Kapiti Arts trail, an invite to an artist’s studio in Wellington on Sunday and if I can work it, Rain of the Children at the Embassy on the same day.

The prospect of an afternoon in Wellington (without the kids) is so exciting that it also makes me realise how much I will miss some of my regular ports of call. For example, there is a lot you can criticise about Te Papa (and I have) but just to be able to wander in and visit my old friends is magic. I know that the Dunedin Art Gallery is good but what will it bring? I did see my first Clairmont there (at the old site*). The promotional brochure and DVD about Dunedin we were sent by my partner’s future employers has a picture of a couple walking past “A Waterfall in the Otira Gorge” by Petrus van der Velden – you’d think it would show something more contemporary. It is a nice painting though.

A Waterfall in the Otira Gorge (1891) by Petrus Van der Velden

It also means I will stick to my usual plan of only visiting a few places in the local Arts trail. Some time ago Janet Bailey said something to me about not compromising any critical integrity this blog may have by randomly promoting local events and places. I have tried to stick to this and only mention things I would actually go to myself. So this is an opportunity to see a few artists and their work again before I leave – Chris White at Colbolt and Caroline Beaufort for example (I love Caroline’s woodblock prints).

So I am hoping for a fine weekend and if anyone wants to join me for a coffee in Wellington next Sunday…I’ll check my dance card.

* I cannot for the life of me, recall where the old gallery was. It was in a park – Logan Park maybe?

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