As I entered the Christchurch Art Gallery it was almost 11am, and a free guided tour was about to start. Bella, a volunteer guide, took us around several exhibitions, pointing out just a few items of interest in each, enought to whet our appetite and encourage us to look again later. While we were exploring upstairs there was an occasional sound of heavy breathing. This turned out to be a looped DVD (4:30 minutes) by Connie Samaras. Down on the Ross Ice Shelf she had made a video of a Weddell seal, coming up through the ice for air. These creatures live and breed further south than any other mammal, and can hold their breath for up to 96 minutes. This means they have time to capture their fishy prey, and to then find or make a breathing hole in the ice. Their sensitive whiskers help them to detect their prey during the long dark Antarctic winter.
I enjoyed looking at various artworks, and hope to visit the Gallery again before long. Weekday mornings are probably a good time when I can avoid the crowds. I like the fact that these days it permitted to take photos inside the Gallery, provided copyright is not infringed. This means I can display photos on my blog, as long as I’m not making money from their display.
“Today I saw just one small section
of our city’s art collection.”