Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Barry's Provocative Unpublished Minutes - 98

"Heading off Down the Gurgler"
Leading New Zealand printmaker dreams of a fantasy journey. More in this series if you click on Cleavin in the label line below this post.

Art in the Trees

Like a Mirage
Hoisted Above Trees
By Neil Dawson
On the Riverbank outside Waikato Museum.
June 2010. Ajr

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reflections on Waterfront Art

So.....this is "Mimetic Brotherhood" by Peter Trevelyan, the latest work in Wellington's Four Plinths Sculpture Project outside the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Not the best or clearest of shots I'll admit, but they do demonstrate just how variable the works are at different times of day, in different lights.
These four bulbous but flexible forms made from hinged and mirrored equilateral triangles, envelope the plinths. Trevelyan was one of six sculptors invited to submit a proposal for the 2010 Four Plinths Project and his was selected by the Wellington Sculpture Trust and a panel of artistic advisors. As stated in a small brochure about the work, written by Abby Cunnane: "730 daylight skies will pass overhead during the period Peter Trevelyan's sculpture occupies the Four Plinths in Te Papa forecourt. 730 nights, 730 dawns, 1460 tides will change guard in the harbour. Scudding debris, wind-tortured kites and red-faced pedestrians will appear, and orbit, and depart. All this will be reflected in the multi-faceted mirrored surfaces of the four massive forms. And at the end of two years, they will leave as unaccountably as they arrived, like fictions, like diamonds conjured by fantasy, like extraterrestrial observers."
A very nice little piece of writing I might add. www.wellingtonsculpture.co.nz

StreetscapeNZ - 87

Dee Street
Invercargill, Southland.
May 2010. Ajr

Sunday, June 27, 2010

France Comes to New Plymouth

Scenes of Greed
Petit Paris
A little den of deliciousness that I discoved quite by chance, wandering around the streets of New Plymouth to see what had changed since my last visit. I was supposed to be photographing sculptures and architecture but I became distracted by the edible goodies here - which in their own way, are in fact little sculptures. I loved the wonderful red flocked wallpaper!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Small Architectural Details

I'm a big fan of breaking down the big picture, of homing in on the small details and that applies as much in architectural photography as anything else - especially when a building has been photographed as much as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
And so it was a few weeks ago when I was roaming the Wellington Waterfront early in the evening, just as the light was turning. Te Papa showed another side of itself....the small details, cleverly illuminated, so how could I refuse to snap the moment.
I've returned in daylight and while I always have enjoyed the bold architectural statement of Te Papa, these particular details are less dramatic by day. But having seen them by night, it did prompt me to re-look at the building by day. I guess that's the important thing. We do after all, miss so much in the cold light of our busy lives - so many exquisite details go unseen as we hurry about our familiar environments. www.tepapa.govt.nz

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shiver Me Timbers!

I wonder how many people have ground their cars to a halt outside this crazy little house and sheds at Otakou on Otago Peninsula, near Dunedin? I know I did - and with a lingering sense of disbelief, I raised my camera to try and capture some of the madness of it all. If nothing else, you'd have to say it's a labour of love - collecting all that drift wood off the beach and then assembling it into this rather wonderful example of Kiwi visual insanity.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking Up.

Half the fun of any city is way above street level, yet how many people ever take the time to look up?
I like nothing better than stopping in the middle of a city street and looking up. Not only do I see many wonderful architectural details - and cranes - that I would otherwise miss, but I also seem to trigger everyone else's interest. Human curiosity. people can't seem to help themselves. They want to know what you're looking at. Try it sometime. Beyond the silliness though, looking up is also about unexpected compositions, about the juxtaposition of shapes, colours, textures, angles; about the interplay of positive and negative spaces. And here in Auckland I'm in heaven. There is a massive amount of development happening along the waterfront area (not all pretty it must be said); and being surrounded by highrise in the inner city, I'm having a field day with my camera. These shots were taken down at Britomart.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Barry's Provocative Unpublished Minutes - 97

"Broadening One's Horizons"
A new week, a new work by one of new zealand's leading printmakers.
For other's in this ongoing series, click on Cleavin in the label line below this post.

Part of a Collection

"I Disappear"
Sculpture by Gregor Kregar
Museum Hotel Collection
June 2010. Ajr

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Church Chairs

When I arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, my first stop was the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. It seemed like a restful place to start my Auckland travel guide research and, always a sucker for stained glass and church architecture, I didn't need my arm twisted. The sun was up in Parnell and as I walked into the cathedral my mouth fell open. The sun was casting a million rainbow reflections through the nave - shimmering, glimmering 'despatches' from the magnificent stained glass windows. I did of course photograph the windows but they deserve a separate post, all on their own. Besides, I was equally bewitched by the rows of chairs and the beautiful colour casts that were dancing across them creating the most marvellous shadows. So that's where I've started.
The cathedral has a fascinating history too. Initially designed by architect, Charles Towle and started 1959-72, it was later modified when the money ran out and the original tower and nave were not built. Then, between 1990-1996, work on the new nave, designed by Richard H Toy, Professor of Architecture at Auckland University, was undertaken - complete with incredible stained glass windows by New Zealand contemporary artists - Robert Ellis down one side and Shane Cotton down the other. In addition to that, the lovely old, wooden Gothic church, St Mary's (1880-1888), located across the road, was shifted to nestle in against the rear of the cathedral. That alone, was a mammoth undertaking, beautifully documented in photographs in the church's entrance.
I spent over an hour at the cathedral - photographing the windows, the chairs, the general architecture and chatting with a lovely old lady of 84, who was the church's volunteer guide for the day. She told me she had been coming to the cathedral in that role every Wednesday for the last 20-plus years. She didn't mind a bit she said, she looked forward to it. "It's my spiritual home," she declared, as she lead me around the cathedral interior, complaining that she wasn't "what she used to be" now that she had to use a walking stick - and could I please walk slower. She asked to see some of my photographs and was perhaps a little bemused. "I've never seen anyone photographing the chairs before," she said. "But I'm a painter myself and now that I see your photos I can see why you were inspired." www.holy-trinity.org.nz

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Barry's Provocative Unpublished Minutes - 96

"A Cat and a Rat in the Museum of New South Wales."
One of New Zealand's leading printmakers remembers a museum visit. For other works in this now-lengthy series, click on Cleavin in the label line below this post.

Words in the City

I'm a word hunter - always on the look out for everyday words in unusual or unexpected places, juxtaposed with surprising surroundings. So I was a little delighted when I fell upon this row of Wellington buses and the word GO last week - like wise the billboard, larger than life on Lambton Quay. I am endlessly intrigued by the vastly different situations that people find visually stimulating - my thrills not necessarily anyone elses's. And why is that? -That's what I want to know. Why do I respond so strongly to words (other than for the fact that I'm a writer), why cranes, why trees, why the spaces between architecture? And if I knew, would it detract a little from the mystery and the unexpectedness of it all? [Perhaps I should have called this post 'A Morning for Thinking.']

Monday, June 14, 2010

Capital Cranes

Show me a crane and I'll show you a good time - or words to that effect. This to convey my delight in cranes I hasten to add, not to extend an unlikely invitation to the online universe. If you'd told me a few years ago that I would end up with a passion for photographing construction cranes, I would have laughed at you. But somehow it's happened. I suppose it's related to my enjoyment of photographing sculpture - for they are related....in my eyes at least. I could spend hours at a construction site with my camera - if I was allowed. I've never asked mind you - rather I take my chances on the street when they avail themselves. As here, in Willis Street, Wellington.....this crane hard at work, photographed from the slither of Chews Lane. If you're interested in my other construction photos, just click on Cranes in the labvel line below this post. There's a few there.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

More From the Food Files
Peppermint Cake
At Everyday Gourmet
May 2010. Ajr

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making Way for Art

"Invisible Art"
Anton Parsons
Every time I discover another public sculpture in inner city Wellington, my heart gives an excited little leap. The Wellington Sculpture Trust, formed in 1982, has this fabulous idea that urban spaces can be enhanced by a widely diverse assortment of sculptures by New Zealand artists - it's an idea I wish more New Zealand cities would embrace more whole-heartedly. Christchurch is getting there but I always feel there's a decided lack of good public art in Auckland - an no, I'm not counting Waiheke Island or other private sculpture gardens. I'm sure many people and Wellington and Christchurch ignore the works that are springing up in their midst - walk by them everyday without considering their message, their beauty, their context -though frankly it's a little hard sometimes given the size and presence of most of them. The choices made are always interesting and usually not without their controversy (especially in Christchurch) but I always see large, contemporary public sculpture as a continuation of sorts, of a city's architecture - an important contribution to 'the scale of things,' a statement about who we are as New Zealanders and the issues that inspire us to creativity. Sculpture should be as much a part of the fabric of any city as the people themselves in my view.

University Art

On a recent trip to Dunedin I flew around the city like a spinning top, grabbing information and photographs as the weather allowed. I snapped this scene (and sculpture) in the grounds of Otago University. I didn't even have time to pause and find out who the artist is - so if any Dunedin readers know, please leave a comment.


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