Posts Tagged ‘arts’

I hadn’t previously noticed the sign labelling this small lane off Gloucester Street as Nurseryman Lane, and wondered whether it might be a reference to Cabbage Patch Wilson.  The Otakaro site says it refers to the nursery that once stood on the site of the Innovation Precinct, and a couple of other sites give this lane as being between Lichfield and Tuam Streets in the South Frame (rather than the East), so I’m confused.

The other end appears to be called Huanui Lane (meaning trail or highway) and the lane, under whichever name, leads towards a 16 metre tall sculpture in Worcester Street.

Vaka A Hina

Vaka A Hina combines Pacific Island culture with a striking geometry to embody the uniqueness of all the different people who make up our community.  The name translates to Vessel of Hina.  She is a Tongan Goddess who lives on the moon and frequently travels back and forth to earth.  The artist is Semisi Fetokai Potauaine.

This sculpture honours a goddess
which pleases me as you may guess

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This mural is on a wall at 116 Buchan Street, Sydenham.  There didn’t seem to be any acknowledgement of the artist on the wall, but I’ve discovered it’s by Deow of Southland, and was created for the 2016 Spectrum Festival.   It shows a woman striving and reaching up from the water, symbolising the will to rise up and push through hard times similar to how Christchurch city has done and will continue to do.

We all continue to push through
although it’s sometimes hard to do

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This book is truly a labour of love.  The author is the great-nephew of the artist, and the book is a distillation of Cranleigh’s eighty journals and thousands of water colours.  It’s not a book I would usually have chosen, but I was given a copy as a prize in the Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt 2019.  The photo I submitted was highly commended.

Cranleigh Harper Barton, 1890-1975, came from a privileged background.  As a teenager studying at Victoria College in Wellington his laundry was sent home to Fielding every week in a basket on the train, and returned, washed, ironed, and starched.  He was devoted to his mother and took a great interest in women’s clothes.  Cranleigh arrived in London in 1913, in time to witness the funeral of suffragette Emily Davison.  He was absolutely a child of the British Empire, and referred to London’s Trafalgar Square as the grandest point in the Empire.   His travels in U.K., Europe, Asia, and the Pacific encompassed music, ballet, art, and architecture, and he met many well-known people.  Nellie Melba wrote him letters of introduction, and D’Arcy Cresswell was one of his “chums”.  His paintings are in many collections, including that of the Canterbury Museum.

I found the descriptions of his travels interesting, together with the paintings of scenes, especially familiar New Zealand ones.  The author’s additional snippets of social history give helpful context.  However I must admit my interest waned after I’d read half the book – there was just too much detail.  It’s a book meant to sit on a coffee table and be dipped into.

His privileged life allowed him to
seek out all kinds of pastures new

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A new sculpture has appeared on the corner of Lichfield and Colombo Streets.   To me it looked like a bunch of giant puffballs, with little stools beside them.  There’s a stand nearby, but no explanation on it as yet.  I later discovered that the balls are dahlias.  They have colour inside and they will light up at night.  The work was part of the Light up the City design competition earlier this year.  Great to have another new artwork in the central city!

This kind of sculpture I just luff
there’s seven giant balls of puff



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Ruby Jones is a young Dunedin artist who came to prominence when a drawing she did in response to the Mosque attacks went viral.  This led to her being invited to illustrate a cover for Time magazine.

Lately she’s been brightening inner city walls with drawings aimed at enhancing wellbeing.  We came across two of these in the central city yesterday.

Ruby’s work in High Street


Ruby’s work in Cashel Mall

These messages are from her new book All of this is for you, which is about kindness and self-care, and they are intended as a gift for Christchurch.

Thanks for your gifts Ms Ruby Jones
they’ve brightened up our central zones


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Aspiring Artists is part of this year’s SCAPE season, and five works by young people are displayed at the corner of High Street and Cashel Mall.

This piece is called Strength in Sisterhood and is by Rosetta Brown, Hazel White, and Georgina Jolly, all 17 year old students at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School.  It consists of metal silhouettes depicting friendship between young women.  I love that they chose this theme to depict.

Together they’ve built something strong
may they be friends their whole life long

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SALT is the area around St Asaph, Lichfield, and Tuam Streets, also known as South Alternative.  On a sunny morning we parked on Manchester Street and walked down Southwark Street towards Black Betty’s which was our breakfast destination.  We haven’t explored this southern area for some time and discovered many new murals.

I liked these clouds

I liked the flying ducks even more

After breakfast we investigated the Boxed Quarter which is chock-full of murals and interesting eating places:

Face in Boxed Quarter

Person emerging in Boxed Quarter

In High Street it’s good to see that the Duncan’s Building has been preserved and shops are now open there.

Duncan’s Building in High Street

This clever mural by George Shaw is beside Little High:

Over in St Asaph Street there are more murals.  The lower one with native birds especially appealed to me.

A mysterious old brick building at 220 St Asaph Street has some humorous touches, including a sign that says it’s a chocolate bomb factory.  I opened the door and discovered it’s the home of NOTT architects.

Murals at 220 St Asaph Street

In Welles Street we found the GoodFor Wholefoods Refillery.  This has an amazing range of goods available, all package-free.  You fill your own containers, weighing them first on a machine which prints out a sticker with the weight.

Goodfer Refillery

I hope they do good business, but we’ll stay loyal to PIKO which offers similar package-free goods.

Over the road there’s a caricature of the Christ Church Cathedral:

Sad Cathedral in Welles Street (Small)

So many murals, buildings too
this area has much that’s new



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Flora and Otto have found a new home on the daffodil lawn beside the Botanic Gardens in Hagley Park.

Flora and Otto

I first saw these pieces in Colombo Street five years ago.  The mosaics are made from china which was cracked during the Christchurch earthquakes.  They make a quirky and comely earthquake memorial.

Now any daffodil explorer
may chance to meet Otto and Flora


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Bird murals always attract me and today I saw a new one.

This is on an alleyway by the Sweet Soul Patisserie in the Guthrey Centre near Ballantynes.  I wondered whether this pukeko might be plump because it’s pregnant, or because it’s been sampling the patisserie’s goods?

Mr Explorer Douglas claimed this bird can fly, walk, dive, and swim, but can do none of these even tolerably well.

Pukeko usually live in groups with three to seven breeding cocks and two breeding hens who lay their eggs in one communal nest.  Their small communities are rife with incest, but they thrive despite inbreeding.

This pukeko upon the wall
has no community at all.

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I saw a picture of Le Dejeuner en Fourrure (Luncheon in Fur), a surrealist sculpture by Meret Oppenheim.  It was inspired by a conversation the artist had with Pablo Picasso where he admired her fur-covered bracelet.

Le Déjeuner en Fourrure

Seeing it reminded me that I have a coffee mug with a felted band and mat which was a gift from a friend several years ago.  The artist is Lorna Hayward from Portobello, Otago.

Coffee mug with felted band and mat

As a cat lover I welcome the furriness of Meret’s piece, but my logical self says this would not be a cup to drink from.  Like my decorated mug it’s a piece of art intended to show that a cup can have different meanings and act on different levels.

A decorated vessel may
be not quite right for tasse de thé


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