Posts Tagged ‘arts’

Snark Show

Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, written 1874-76 is the inspiration for a book and an exhibition by David Elliot.  In his book Snark Elliot has taken Carroll’s fantasy further, and his meticulous drawings depict the characters and possible circumstances of the original story.  For the exhibition Snark: A Victorian Odyssey at the Ashburton Art Gallery Elliot’s drawings and text are shown under glass and accompanied by Victorian artifacts which all add to the experience.  Some items are on loan from the Otago Museum.  Others are from Elliot’s own collection and often constructed by him.

In Elliot’s book the Snark story is told from the journal of Boots, one of ten characters whose names all begin with B.  The original journal is displayed in a glass case together with an antique bicorne hat and hatbox.  There’s a photo of a Victorian gentleman who was zoophagous, i.e. he ate only wild animals.  Further on we see a decidedly steampunkish Snark Cooker.

Snark Cooker

Other cases hold a Beaver, and his lace-making equipment.


It’s suggested that the hunters’ voyage took them to Australasia, and the Borogoves are identified as being similar to a kakapo.  A Bird Chart estimates the size of a Jubjub bird, depicted alongside a moa (fossilised leg on display), and an Elephant Bird.  Elephant Birds, now extinct, once lived on Madagascar, and the name reminded me of Horton hatching the egg.

Art Gallery staff welcomed our group and are happy to show any visitors round the exhibition.  It will be on until 10 February, and is definitely worth the drive south.

‘Now Mister Elliot has made
a show which tells the tale
with artifacts and drawings that
depict a snark-‘type snail.’


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Florisugent is a new word I’ve learned.  It means nectar-sucking (of birds).  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fit it into a Scrabble game?

There’s a florisugent mural on Lichfield Street behind the new Emergency Services Precinct.

I had to take the photo in two ‘bites’ to get it all in.  The mural’s by The Chimp, and certainly brightens up the street.

‘This new-found word describes them well
these charming birds au naturel.’

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Fetching Fantail

I like this ‘Bird’s Eye View’ by Sarah Greig.  On Sunday it was one of a number of artworks on display beside the Arts Centre Market.  I thought this might be part of the SCAPE festival, but it doesn’t seem to be mentioned in their programme.  Sarah is a local artist who work I admire.  In 2015 I blogged about her installation beside the Avon River.

The Arts Centre Market will be open every Sunday, 10am-4pm, from now on.

‘To have such art displayed outside
gives it an audience that’s wide.’


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This Three Square Gyratory by George Rickey is displayed at the Arts Centre as part of the SCAPE Public Art 2018 Season.  I love kinetic sculpture, and this is a fine example.

The word gyratory refers to a circular or spiral motion.  When I was in the U.K. I was intrigued to find that their traffic roundabouts were called gyratories.

‘This sculpture is propelled with wind
by physics it is underpinned.’

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This rather fearsome mural is on the west wall of the Isaac Theatre royal, behind the Dance-O-Mat.  It’s signed Berst.  I think this must be Bobby ‘Berst’ Hung, who is a tutor at Unitec.  It’s colourful, but perhaps a little scary.

‘These purple monsters on the wall
could possibly make your skin crawl.’

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These poles on the corner of Worcester Street and Latimer Square intrigued me, so I went over to ask what was happening.

I found a group of Gap Filler people who are creating a living willow sculpture.  The concept had been designed by Ara students, and the finished work is expected to remain there for two years (or maybe longer if Fletchers take their usual time with building).  It’s all part of transitional plans for the East Frame.

This reminds me of a time many years ago when my brother, who was an amateur radio enthusiast, installed a tall willow pole as a mast outside his sleep-out.  This very quickly sprouted leaves and grew into a sizeable tree.  I’ll be most interested to see how the new living sculpture develops.

‘The willow tree is versatile
and can be planted sculpture style.’


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This beautiful sculpture by Neil Dawson graces the front wall of the Methodist Church National Office in Papanui.

The design is made up of dozens of doves flying upwards to reflect the shape of an unfurling flower, or a heart.  Where there are two doves together they look like angels.

It’s hard to photograph in the daytime because it’s silver on a pale wall, but I’m told that at night it is lit up and looks amazing.

“By symbolising peace, the dove
reflects the church’s way of love.”

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