15 December 2006
14 December 2006
Nicolaus raised a lot of good ideas about extending the location of contemporary art beyond the art museum to re-engage dwindling and aging audience numbers. I've long had reservations about audience numbers as an accurate reflection of a gallery's performance, particularly as a justification for ongoing and future development funding. It's a bit like hits on a website (as Nicolaus pointed out). Sure it's a quantifiable number, but it doesn't actually mean a hell of a lot. If anything.
As with all art lectures though, it was a nice opportunity to sit in a dark room, look at pretty pictures (in this case by Isa Genzken (more in her at a later stage)), and let the mind wander.
Prompted by the talk, I thought a lot about a couple of artist projects/works that have shifted the gallery from frame to subject- New Plymouth artist David Clegg's Imaginary Museum project presented at the Govett-Brewster, and Rem Koolhaus' dissection of the value of additions to the Hermitage at last year's Venice Biennale.
Could the fact that artists are the only sector of the industry willing to question the museum be a case of the rest of the industry not wishing to bite the hand that feeds it?
The Imaginary Museum
08 December 2006
Art has been largely remiss from the echo chamber, save for a few occasional forays by general non-art focused bloggers. This seems about to change, with the quiet launch of a couple of blogs by some NZ art world heavyweights.
The great New Plymouth based photographer Peter Peryer has long had a dynamic and comprehensive website, which he set up initially to provide a first lien of defence against barrages of questions from school kids. After a brief hiatus over recent months, his site has reappeared based on a blog platform, and he's clearly embracign the ease of updating that blogging offers. I'm off to Peter's opening at Paul McNamara's in Wanganui tomorrow, so will post a review of sorts in due course. On that there was a great piece on National Radio last Sunday.
More recent converts to online content generation are art world supremos Jim Barr and Mary Barr, with a really interesting and historically valuable collection of observations and mementos Over The Net - no doubt a reference to the cult of table tennis that seems to be entrenching itself in the upper echelons of the Wellington art world. It's interesting to note that nobody has yet posted any comments on this site...
I've also come across this blog - best of 3 - which looks promising, if not still a little green.
I look forward to a stronger dialogue about NZ contemporary art emerging, as these blogs gain momentum and followings, and the edges of the echo chamber get pushed out a little bit further.
05 December 2006
On Saturday I caught Richard Killeen's show at the Peter Mcleavey Gallery. I'm not sure what to make of it. I was impressed with the technical perfection of the works - computer generated heavily textured scenes - whose black lined edges trace a heritage to Killeens more recognised aluminium cutouts. I liked the links to Cezanne, again through the black lines hinting at Cezanne's (then) revolutionary bold outlines and shadows a century ago, and the modern take on the formally staged and richly coloured diorama of the Dutch masters. I was drawn into the stories the works were telling, trying to figure out the relationships between the various figurative objects in the works and the what the artist was saying by his choice of texture and shape.
The show also reminded me of a time when I loaded Microsoft Publisher on 30 computers, and then spent a year retraining 30 staff that just because they had access to 120 different fonts, they didn't need to use half of them on a single A4 page. Kileen's work unquestionably shows a mastery of some sophisticated 3d modelling software that has been building over his work of recent years, but I was repelled by the overly intricate textures employed (to be fair both stock and custom). The result was like chocolate sauce on chocolate pudding. The forms in the works are rich and sweet, but so is the texture. Together they're almost too much.
Richard Killeen's website
Andrew McLeod's website (compare and contrast)
29 November 2006
Having grown up in a small town, I'm used to places closing at 8pm. Or nothing being open on a Monday night. Or not having the population base to build amenities for young people.
So spending last week in Reefton, on the West Coast, shouldn't have been too much of a shock. But in some ways it was. For example, it has the coolest skate park in the country. Huge. And with no graffiti. It has no cash machines. I had to go to the town's only bank to get money, and while I was doing that they changed my accounts so that I pay less fees (Wellington banks take note). The shops are a weird mix of service oriented (hardware and food) and completely obscure junk shops (See white boots below).
But it was so relaxing I'd go back there. I'd return for the great cooked breakfasts, and the pizzas served from someone's carshed on the front porch they've turned into a restaurant. For the friendly locals, and the amazing skatepark. But mostly to head for the hills with a map, compass, insect repellent, and mountain bike, to explore all the old gold roads that dissect the surrounding hills.
28 November 2006
20 November 2006
A: Me. For the next week.
Photos on the other side.
17 November 2006
13 November 2006
There is still a little too much pink left on doors, window frames, and carpet, but not for too long, hopefully.
An unexpected benefit of living in the middle of town is the ready availability of a front row seat for a renage of civic events. Like the recent fireworks display, witnessed from the civilised confines of one's deck, armed with glass of wine, nibbles, and camera. I was quite impressed with the performance this year, and got lots of fireworks photos, but kind of like this one, which was a few minutes before the display started.
30 October 2006
25 October 2006
Leaping into the driver's seat, I'm immediately surrounded by leather and plastic, and a substantial array of glowing green back-lit dials. It felt a lot more snug than the Peugeot I'd just driven a few hours in - the roof is lower, windshield a lot more vertical, and the driver's footwell not so much tight as well fitting. This was an auto, with a sideways activated tiptronic that didn't feel as intuitive as the forward/back oriented tiptronics I've played with, but would probably feel better with time.
Pulling out of my street and planting the right foot, the diesel demonstrated a fair bit of torque, and the suspension wasn't as wallowy as I had expected. Flooring it up the steep bit of Vivian St was interesting - heaps of power, but teh hill countered any noticable punch in the engine. Over the Terrace the bulk - real or perceived - of the car was really noticable, though not wing mirrors were harmed in the making of this road test.
There's something about the looks of this car that gives you the sense of committing a crime, even when stopped at traffic lights. It's kind of part family friendly hot-rod, part sacked out gang-patched Holden Statesman. Even at 50kph cruising roudn town you feel like you're breaking the law.
Heading off the Terrace on-ramp onto the motorway, and this thing lept. The rogues gallery in the back seat were audibly impressed by the acceleration, and I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. There was a little bit of turbo lag, but that was overcome quickly, and off we went. Apace. Suspension was good, but given a tight backcountry road the softness would become a lot more noticable, and the slightly noticable understeer a lot more pronounced.
Interior space felt tighter than I think it was - the centre console is enormous, and the leather seats softer and less bucketed than I'm used to, giving a sort of loose shell feel that I suspect is based on the larger US customer market. I didn't test the back seats, but word is they weren't as roomy as expected.
So all in all two thumbs up. And being diesel it won't kill the polar is caps as quickly as the petrol version. I'd like to do a big road trip in one, with fairly straight roads. Where it really shines though, is around town - where you don't so much drive as cruise it. And everyone looks your way, expectign to see someone leap out of the back seat with a violin case...
17 October 2006
Then I suspect we'll look to modernise the kitchen, probably a new benchtop and cupboard doors, followed by an improved stove/sink/oven, then flooring and maybe lighting.
The dilemma currently facing the design committee is whether to go for a contemporary formica benchtop or a more industrial cast concrete finish. Or clinical stainless steel.
And a faux wooden or coloured cupboard door finish. Of course too many years of Wallpaper magazine readership have left me with utterly unreasonable expectations given the current budget parameters.
16 October 2006
02 October 2006
The last time I had to go fast on a bike was a few years ago now. Since then most of my riding has been by myself, and in short fast loops around town, where it's hard to gauge how fast you're really going. But races are good in that it's kind of nice to push hard and make muscles burn in places you didn't know existed, and collapse in the midst of both a massive endorphin rush and total leg failure on the finish line, with a smug sense of achievement. And it really does make beer taste better.
So on Saturday in a scrappy sodden sandy pine forest near Levin I entered a race. 34km of fast logging tracks, bike carrying up nasty hills, loose sandy singletrack, and more than a few knee deep puddles. On this occasion I came in 5th. And it was good. It made me want to go get a superfast superlight race bike, put in some serious training miles, and maybe do some races again.
Maybe it'll even inspire me to chuck in the day job...
18 September 2006
It's been months since I've left Wellington, so it was really nice to take a wee road trip and head up the coast for a couple of nights this weekend. Friday night traffic still sucks, though I suspect the big railway overbridge at McKays Crossing will alleviate that a little.
The lack of decent cafes open beyond 5pm was also felt, particularly as we had jumped in the car straight from work, but Levin has a new Countdown (even though we're off Progressive at the moment) with aisles wider than a hospital's, so all was not lost.
But once there all was good. A decent red wine, some good fresh pasta, some good cds, and a cosy batch steeped in family history. Rather nice really.
Saturday shot through to Palmerston North to look at art. Good to see Te Manawa pushing the provincial comfort zone a little, with the Sydney Biennale work by Racheal Rakena and Brett Graham, and some hauntingly good video works by Annee Olofsson, juxtaposed with a bunch of good paintings on canvas, belying the fact that Te Manawa still has a strong commitment to delivering what the local audiences actually want. Good work the new team there.
Other pleasant discoveries in the North: Peter Ireland at Thermostat - vibrant and clever canvases delivering an affordable and near sellout show, reliably good food and coffee at Barista, and a frotty Look frame at Pedal Pushers.
The rest of the weekend was a happy blur of sunshine, simple food, bombing through overgrown pine forest singletrack on a singlespeed (soo much easier that hauling a 1-geard bike around Wellington's hills) and equal amount of plotting to overthrow the art world and conspiring to advance the mountain bike industry.
Escapism. It's kinda nice once in a while.
11 September 2006
08 September 2006
Friday 8 September, 6.00pm
Cuba [Street Art] gallery is pleased to present the latest in its public event series In Conversation. This week's installment juxtaposes landowner and landuser on their differing perspectives defining public and private space.
07 September 2006
I'm not one to incessantly collect links to other blogs (although I guess that is the whole point of web interconnectivity), but this, from Dublin Opinion via Spare Room, is just too good to let pass.
Yes Steve Irwin's departure is a sad thing, and yes this may be a little tasteless, but come on, we of a certain age and upbringing based around Friday afternoon TV2 Thunderbirds and Stingray (before the Dukes of Hazard/BJ and the Bear/Automan at 7pm) WERE ALL THINKING IT!
06 September 2006
Eventually the cynicism of the informed (or at least not-uninformed) audience must overcome push of the advertisers, marketers, lables and network executives. We're already seeing a new wave of bedroom performers making their own albums, having lost faith in their own pop idols and thinking "yeah I could do that".
I predict the waves of celebrity spewing out of the music and tv industries will dwindle. In their place will be a new celebrity, one which doesn't get their fame in the bottom of a cereal packet.
The new celebrity will come from sports and science. They will work hard and think hard. They will earn more than a gold record, or a tour of shopping malls to push their latest single, and they will contribute more than next year's elevator music.
04 September 2006
I've never been a huge fan of SUVs, despite hiring a baby one on occasion to go snowboarding, and doing a 4wd driving thing in a Range Rover once. Something about the smoke a lot of them put out, the aggression that a lot of the drivers exhibit, and the safety abominations caused by a centre of gravity 4 feet off the ground.
But last weekend we had one of our very own for a wee while, due to visiting in-laws bringing the 'work car' - a GMC Yukon. To say it was big is like saying Lord of the rings is a film about a short guy who goes for a walk.
- It was exactly twice the height of our regular car.
- It had more leg room than my lounge.
- It had a 5.8 litre V8.
- It was bigger than every other SUV we encountered.
- It had over 12" of body roll (by my totally unscientific calculations)
- It had mirror glass in the back
31 August 2006
Actually that's not true. I did know a guy once with a hole in his heart. We had to go and visit him in hospital when I was in primary school. His name was Phillip.
There is also a hole in the gas main, and now, because holes seem to love company, there are two large holes in the bottom of The Terrace where people are looking for the hole in the gas main. If you look closely in the above photo of said holes, you can see the obligatory guy standing around with his hands in his pockets. I wonder what level of job satisfaction that role delivers.
29 August 2006
Except maybe when we ride our bike to work, with new shoes and cleats for our clipless pedals, that make it really quite tricky to unclip our feet when we get to a traffic light, which may make us fall over in front of a small crowd waiting to cross the road.
Tinks 0. New shoes 1.
28 August 2006
While we've got our very own Misery and Mephisto Jones making some pretty clever statements and developing recognisable styles, they seem to have been repdily elevated to the gallery (maybe not so much the gallery as the canvas on a cafe or clothes shop wall). We seem to be lacking the buy-in from the wider community that it is a valid art form. Witness Melbourne's city-wide embrace of stencil and managed grafitti. Or Banksy's sustained efforts in delivering high-brow messages through a lo-brow medium. But then we have a whole seedy undebelly of society who view it only as a self-branding exercise, making no point other than they were there.
Maybe the stage is perfectly set for a considered showcase of street art, to position it apart form the mundane tagging that councils are poised to come down hard on.
23 August 2006
In breaking news, apparently I have an alter-ego. Named Nick. I don't know too much about Nick yet, but was introduced by someone to two fellow bloggers (one Rose and one David Cauchi) last night as Nick. I'll keep you posted as I find out more - he sounds quite intriguing. I suspect he's a lot like me, only taller.
15 August 2006
Watch this space. Maybe.
14 August 2006
I'd like to say this is the After shot of my apartment. But renovations haven't started yet. But they will. Oh yes they will.
But sadly no, it's actually the Sydney pad of a good friend. Lucky bastard (said with love, of course). Who said minimalism can't be cosy?
I like to think of it as a a form of considered tech-minimalism.
11 August 2006
I was conscripted onto my first committee last night. That's me in the plaid shirt. It seems the thing to do when one reaches 'an age', and it's a chance to donate a bit of time and a few ideas to a cause I'm moderately passionate about. Watch this space (and a big chunk of land just past Karori...)
10 August 2006
So last night was my first red carpet experience - the opening of the new Sky City cinemas in Lower Hutt. I won't review too much - it was a great night, full of real dignitaries (who all drive Mercedes it would seem) and famous people that everybody talked to, and interestingly, a couple of famous people that nobody talked to. And the cinemas are stunning - I encourage you both to go there.
A highlight for many was the WALL OF FOOD! A giant clear perspex triangle wall with little slots in it that had spoons of food poking out. You simply plucked a spoon off, ate the contents, and deposited the empty spoon in a silver bucket. I should have taken a camera. It was pretty special.
And having to walk a long red carpet through a closed mall was eerily cool - like tiptoing past a sleeping giant - only in this case it wasn't a giant that wanted to eat you, it was a giant that wanted to eat all your money, and leave you with armloads of brightly coloured shopping bags filled with brightly coloured mall clothes. Everything was so shiny and bright.
I might get round to reviewing the film we saw at some stage, but a lot of money was raised for the Te Omanga Hospice, which made the event feel good, and the lucky attendees feel good by association.
- 1 x 55g bag M&Ms
- 1 x 50g bag Light and Buttery Popcorn (naturally flavoured)
- 1 x August 06 edition of M2 magazine (plastic wrapped)
- 1 x Famous Faces auction catalogue, proceeds to the Te Omanga Hospice
- 1 x A5 brochure for the Gold Class Cinemas - the ultimate cinema experience (I can vouch for this)
- 1 x complimentary ticket to Gold Class Cinemas
- 1 x $10 gift voucher redeemable at Westfield Shopping Centres
- 1 x donation envelope for the Te Omanga Hospice (used)
- 1 x Kiwi Blue still spring water (600ml)
- 1 x blue Bic pen
- 1 x Pop'n'Good chocolate and caramel popcorn
- 1 x sampler, Britnet Spears new fragrance Fantasy (which I am reliably informed makes me smell like a teenage girl)
09 August 2006
I could have taken thousands of photos of Melbourne street art/grafitti. I could even have got a t-shirt that states I (heart) Melbourne Grafitti. And a book of the same.
But no. Showing uncharacteristic restraint, and choosing not to prompt a divorce as I halted mid-stride to take yet another photo of some sticker or scrawling on the side of a building that looked kinda cool, I only captured a couple of examples.
I'm not sure why it's so prolific there. Wellington was becoming that way for a bit, but stencil art seems to be no longer the avenue of artistic expression du jour. Places where it was really strong, like Peter McLeavey's doorway, now resemble tagged out Auckland railway sidings more than Melbourne alleyways. The slyly humorous stecil has gone and in it's place is the urgency of a crude, indecipherable and illegitimate aerosol autograph.
All through Melbourne her name was grafittied (sp?) in the same script as is on the album. It did make me wonder if a new advertising medium was being employed. Now my local clothing store is sending me emails (it really has become a mad interweb world) to enter competitions to win custom Nikes designed by her. All of this would be fine if only the Nikes weren't so cool!
08 August 2006
Auckland gallerist Michael Lett made a big impact in Melbourne with his bright yellow stand, inflatable bunnies (moved into various compromising positions daily) and heavily curated rotating show. This undoubtedly contributed to the extremely positive profile of the 6 New Zealand galleries at the fair, and equally nice media exposure and feedback.
07 August 2006
The Little Carrot Angel came down to earth to deliver a message of peace and hope, and save the good people of Melbourne from the ravages of gluttony in the form of eating too much, and sloth, in the form of sleeping too much. She did this by making everyone feel ill, and in some cases keeping them up all night as they returned their chinese meal to the earth from whence it came. By both mouth and bottom, in a somewhat emphatic fashion.
Naughty Little Carrot Angel. Go to your room.
Something about the smell of jetfuel - it's naughty and nice all at the same time.
But really this post only serves as a segue to post up more photos from my shiny new camera.
I've photoshopped one of these for added effect. And if you look closely you can see the Southern Cross. What ho!
05 August 2006
Sifty breakfast at a great little cafe on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, a wander along Brunswick Street, and into the Fair for the morning shift. And I've met 2 NZ tv stars today, which as we all know is waaaay more important than meeting artists or collectors.
And they give us free art magazines every morning. All I need now is free coffee and croissants and I'd never ever leave.
04 August 2006
We now have the Kingpins - drag act extraordinaore - performing an 80s medly, next to the 30 foot high inflatable rabbit. So just another average Friday night really.
30 minutes to go and then I'm off to have proper Italian and loads of wine on Lygon Street.
"Shot through the heart, and you're to blame..."
I just tried to sell an art work by discussing the fact it was controllable by remote control. I think I'm going to hell. Right after this detour to heaven.
03 August 2006
- A4 page about the Melbourne Art Fair Foundation
- Copy of magazine The Monthly - Australian politics, society, and culture
- Booking form for a test drive of a Saab
- Compy of Saabmagazine - the innovation issue
- Voucher for a complimentary flute of 'ultra premium sparkling wine accompanied by a cheese plate'
- Voucher fo $50 off a cut and colour service at oxhey & bushey
- Reproduction of the first chapter of Justin Paton's book How to look at a painting
- Cellophane wrapped 2-pack of greeting cards from Artbank
- Catqalogue of Saab's current range
- Quirky 'Saab is art' spiral bound notepad
- Silver ANZ Private Bank moneybox, decorated to look a bit like the tower of London, plastic wrapped in a blue box
- Cellophane wrapped silver metal ANZ Margin Lending pen
01 August 2006
I quite like Melbourne. It's easy to navigate, flat, warmish, and seems to have a phenomenal number of cafes. And it has a great art fair.
Setup day today - lots of fun installing art, scoping out what the other gallleries from all around the world have to offer. Some very very cool art. I moght pop down to the casino tonight - a decent win would mean I just might be able to afford some of it...
Fingers crossed, eh?
27 July 2006
17 July 2006
I do worry about its impact on child obesity though - when I did my Standard 4 maths project on the statistics of colours of cars I actually had to go outside and count them. Apparently that's not longer necessary.
13 July 2006
Dinner on Tuesday was with the Gallery at their stunning new local - Pod
First of all, I like restaurants with websites. They show me there's a commitment to building a lasting icon, and some investment has been made in telling people about their food. I like them more when the put the menu on the website. And I like them even more when the menu on the website is the same as the one you get at the table. Pod does all this, so one thumb up.
I also like restaurants that make me rethink my own kitchen/decor/home/way of life. Pod did this too. While I'm not so convinced about the bubbling water feature, the bar area had me rushing home at the end of the night to redesign the kitchen, and the bathrooms were pretty inspiring as well. Two thumbs up.
The food? Very good. They've moved away from the pacific/thai fusion thing they had going on last time I was there, to more of a mild Italian/New Zealand flavour.
The company? Enlightening as always, even when interspersed with stories of shooting the nipples off workmen...
11 July 2006
Wednesday: McDonalds, Manners Mall. Shattered, we stumbled in hunting for quick warm reliable food. Some brutal strip lighting and a pretty dry old Big Mac later, we stumbled out again.
Thursday: Miyabi Sushi, Willis St Village Maki Sushi plate followed by Katsudon. All good, as I've come to expect over the years.
Friday: Rasa, Cuba St Great simple cheap food, though they really need some soundproofing for those friday nights where 2 big tables make a lot of noise.
Saturday: Viva, Edward St Formerly Mexican Cantina et al, but now a very nice Italian eatery with a stunnign array of wines. Adn I mean stunning. Will be headed back there for a full meal soon.
Yes. I am the restaurant slut.
06 July 2006
Was fortunate enough to get invited to the Client's and Artist's preview of the new Tinakori Gallery space, which opens publicly today. The upstairs area which many people remarked looked cool enough to live in is pictured.
It was a great event - the new space is stunning, the diverse selection of works look great, the guests were interesting, enthusiastic, and good-looking, and the food and wine delicious.
And proving it's not all high-brow and hoity-toity (sp?) here at O.M.C. I'll recount a snippet of conversation which I wish I had recorded, purely for it's similarity to a crude Monty Python sketch, between a senior artist and a Wellington gallery owner. Neither could decide which of them liked 'dick' more, where they would put 'dick' , whether 'dick' looked good on a desk or on a plinth, whether 'dick' would stand up in Te Papa... Straight faces all round (no easy feat). Turns out they were talking about a work by Australian artist Kathy Temin - a large camoflaged fluffy material dick - apparently quite a hit at a recent art fair.
04 July 2006
I got to thinking which section does collecting art fit best under - social, mental, or spiritual?
And is this dliemma partly responsible for Maori not having the concept of Art as such before Pakeha arrival and subsequent commodification?
03 July 2006
And Parisien it was. real French staff, real French food, real french menus, coffees, patrons, everything. It made me want to launch a scintillating conversation using my French skills. Until I remembered it's been 11 years, and I would suck, probably ending in a pot of coffee being dropped in my lap.
Nice homemade jams, tres stunning pastries, and French coffee (not as strong as wellington coffee), by Nescafe, which I thought was cool. It's cheap too, but the servings are kind of lite - perhaps the real reason why French women don't get fat.
Hot tip: don't order an English Breakfast tea. As the proprieter said (you'll have to imagine a suitably French accent) "Why would you want a cup of tea that tastes of bacon and egg?"
And then he'll chase you out of the restaurant.
Good things about fog: It looks pretty, makes for good photos (see above) and interesting bike rides around the bays.
Bad things about fog: The airport being closed means sisters have to catch later flights, your knees get really really cold when riding around the bays, and it makes central wellies bloody freezing.
30 June 2006
As far as dining experiences go, it wasn't amazing. The ambiance was a bit starck and well lit for my liking, and though I'm a fan of minimalism in decor, I felt the place needed a load more art, or something to add character to the walls, and soften the echo effect. The place is super-new, so I'm picking it'll grow into a more intimate space as the owners get more comfortable and relaxed there.
The food more than made up for it though - the menu was small but covered all the usual bases well. It looked good on the plate, and there was plenty of it, and it was done simply, but really well, and for a decently small wad of cash. My risotto was spot on - perfectly balanced on that fine line of moistness between soup and fried rice.
I'll be headed back some time soon, if only to get more than a mouthful of the twice cooked pork.
I do think it should be called The Roxy though. Sounds lots cooler.
29 June 2006
I think it'll take off. At least until lunchtime, when I can go and get some new ones from Farmers.
27 June 2006
I've got a wee Leica on order, so at least they'll be good photos, even if the subject matter might be a little weak...
(And two thumbs up for Hutt Cameras. They rock.)
Lots of really nice works, from a range of emerging and established NZ artists. A good overview of what's happenign now, particularly at a regional level, though lacks a very strong argument to raise questions beyond a collection of works featuring birds.
I always expected Te Papa to be delivery exhbitions of this level, but sadly not. It will be interesting to see if much of Pataka's lead position in the curation field will be eaten into when the revitalised Dowse reopens its doors later this year...
It's all the flavours of Hell, and the best bit is they're brought to you at your table. You don't even need to stand up. Which is good, because after 10 bits of pizza that gets a little tricky.
Hell, it was a bit like pizza heaven.
23 June 2006
Due to all this freakishly cold weather and a truck crash, the only road open between Wellington and Auckland this morning is around the Taranaki coast. Imagine the boom for the coastal tourism number. In 30 years the locals will look back with teary eyes, and recall the winter of 06, the swelling numbers of tourists, all stopping in Opunake at Sugar Juice for a coffee. Visitor numbers at the Govett-Brewster will be forever skewed, as the travelling masses stop for a wee and a dose of culture. Some poor future marketing and audience development manager will be hauled over the coals for not getting numbers through the door like the gallery "did back in '06".
Other than that it's a bloody nice drive, particularly when the mountain looks like this. And there'll be a solid southerly swell wrapping around every point along the coast. I do wonder though how long it'll remain open, given the liklihood of a crash on the nasty corner by the Oeo pub...
21 June 2006
20 June 2006
19 June 2006
Backhouse Interiors had a sale on this weekend. It was dangerous. It took a lot of self control (and a degree of self flagellation) to only walk out a small Kartell unit and a little desk storage thing. Unlike someone I know, who managed to buy half the shop.
Hanging out for the ECC sale now...
It may have been a case of bad timing (ie half way through a rugby game which was being broadcast on a big screen in the restaurant), but the service was bleak. Just imagine not being able to get a drink (or a drinks menu even) in an Indian restaurant, during an All Blacks game. Bizarre.
The food was good though. Just kind of overshadowed.
The shows offer an interesting mix of old, new, borrowed, but not much blue. Guy Ngan is the standout for me, even if it is a sort of Retrospective Lite. I can see one of his big public sculptures from my office.
And I liked the 2x2 format. But am I being too demanding in wanting more from my gallery (I am a ratepayer now) than just some paintings/photos on a wall. I want curation, dammit, if only to answer a niggling question of what City's staff actually do all day. I want to leave with questions. And answers (but to other questions - not the ones I'm also coming out with). The Ngan show did that, as did the reliably provocative show at Hirschfield. But the others? Not so much.
And I still maintain Elizabeth Thomson's work sits more at the craft end of the spectrum than contemporary art. But well done that Mark Hutchins for getting yet another of his artists into City - it's almost enough to warrant a call of shenannigans.
14 June 2006
I thought about a team of bloggers entering, but then decided that all our secret identities would be revealed, and the sense of intrigue would be lost. .
And for the record Barry Bostwick appeared in both Spin City and the original lineup of Rocky Horror Picture Show. And it is possible to shoot 285 free-throws in 10 minutes. (We would have got first if we'd known that yesterday).
Knowledge. Funny really.
13 June 2006
Some workmates Googled me the other day - I think in a fit of boredom they were doing the office. They got to read about a bunch of bike races I did a few years ago, and a few press releases about artists I write in a former life in the provinces. And some other vaguely interesting miscellany.
Which made me wonder whether I was sort of being stalked. It was all just a little bit creepy.
12 June 2006
I'm a bit partial to Phil Dadson, particularly after spending a day driving one of his creations - a 1974 Landrover with 80 harmonicas suction cupped to it (Harmonicar) around New Plymouth. Think he might be a bit eclectic though, despite a major presence over the years.
I'm secretly picking the massively underrated Frances Upritchard to come from behind in the late stages to take the win though, but suspect it'll probably go the way of Peter Robinson.
All will be revealed in October I guess.
09 June 2006
Since I sold C's bike in a fit of reductionism and ambitious planned expenditure, I've been looking for another one for her. And may have found it. And as an added bonus I got to place my first bid on Trade me. The slippery slope has begun.
And because I'm desiring this object for someone else, I get to choose one too (hey - I don't make the rules!), AND SO:
A modern take on a bike I had years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed riding, until it just plain wore out. Sadly I have to drive to Hamilton to get one. And plunge into debt - and evil consumer debt, not good mortgage or paying off an artwork debt.
08 June 2006
06 June 2006
I have also decided I need to go surfing again. There's something really nice about winter surfing - the solitude, the grey glassiness, the sea meets sky emotiveness, the joy of a warm dry towel at the end.
01 June 2006
Once we'd fought our way through the ubiquitous hoard of spotty first-years who've just discovered coffee, culture, drum and bass, and that they don't have to go to bed ever (Oh the memories!), we found a really good selection of dangerously good cakes.
Beyond that the evening descended into part history lesson/part rant about said first-years, as I struggled to consume a hot chocolate slightly bigger than my head, and fought the urge to elope with a particularly flash White chocolate cheesecake.
All in all two thumbs up, despite too much chocolate.
And thwn we went and bought music. At 9.30 at night.
Central city. It's good.
31 May 2006
30 May 2006
I might park it on another blog site - as per Petone is full of Jelly.
And if I ever get round to getting a new digital camera, it could even include photos.
Or drawings on napkins scanned and posted up in the mean time.
Watch this space. Or some other space that hasn't been created yet...
25 May 2006
Which led me to thinking about whatever happened to the Otara Millionaires Club.
Which, oddly led me to thinking about whatever happened to Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark.
Except that would be OMD, and it wouldn't fit. Orchestral Manoevres in the Car perhaps?
22 May 2006
Only it's extended to Real Groovy and Arte Bee's to flog off books, cds and dvds as well.
Just as long as I can keep selling and not buying I'll be sweet!
Oh - anyone wanna buy 100 or so cassette tapes - mostly indie rock circa 1985-92?