24 September 2008

They call her Styrene

Only in New Plymouth do you head along to the launch of a book by a great New Zealand photographer, compare phones with a pioneering gallerist, get embroiled in business development assistance for an ongoing art project, get offered a section of bush-clad land, debate the merits of the latest Audi S6, organise a politically motivated Yum Cha, and end up discussing passive resistance and the development of modern warfare with a top Taiwanese/US contemporary artist, all with an underlying bouquet of polystyrene.
I suspect I really need to out more.

23 September 2008

The tyranny of parenthood

Dear God, we've created a mime!

22 September 2008

Live and local

New Plymouth District has been shortlisted as a finalist in the International Awards for Liveable Communities.

Also on the same shortlist are cities from Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, England, Poland and China, with a total of nine cities in the running to receive the Whole City Award 2008.

“Basically this says that out of all the countries in the world, New Plymouth District is one of just nine cities that could receive the ultimate accolade as the best place to live,” says Mayor Peter Tennent.

“The people who live and work here already think this part of New Zealand is pretty special, but now we have an independent panel of international judges who have looked at what we’ve got and noticed that something pretty outstanding is happening here.”

10 September 2008

Road trip

So we're braving our first 4.5 hour car trip with the little fella to head to Wellington this weekend, deftly avoiding Peter Robinson's opening at the Govett-Brewster (from what I've seen it looks amazing), a BBC film crew, a chopper flight into Whangamomona with an Australian flim crew, an Arts Foundation event, the screening of Hollow Men as part of the film festival here, and Team Wanda Harland who, in a bizarre twist of timing, is heading to Taranaki.

Short of a 22 hour conference and dinner and 4-minute dash through Rita Angus at Te Papa (the 4-minute exhibition - thoroughly recommended), it'll be my first trip back in 6 months.

On the hit list are Floriditas, Miyabi, Superfino, Page Blackie, Hamish McKay, Peter McLeavey, Parliament, and a million people. Still not sure how we're going to get a baby stroller up the McLeavey staircase, but life without challenges would be dead boring.

Any other recommendations of things to do or see greatly received, as it's been a while.

Exciting times!

05 September 2008

Mandatory Cultural Inclusion

Given that it was Taranaki's first ever hosting of a test match, and work was loosely a sponsor, it would have been downright rude not to head along to the All Blacks game (read: exhibition match/training run) on Wednesday.

Was fun to watch, and made doubly special in that Dad was able to be there as well.

You're it

A little while back I got informally tagged by Art and My Life (as did all readers) to post an artwork that was rocking my world at the moment. So here it is.

The work:
Julian Dashper, Love, 1993, found objects, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of Hamish McKay.

The story:
We bought this (kind of an early birthday present) a couple of days before we found out we were parents, but it wasn't until a month or so later when the exhibition finished and we picked it up that Hamish revealed that the artist uses concentric circles as a metaphor for his pregnant wife.

Physically, it's 5 different sized metal key rings, interlinked small to big. Idealogically it's an incredibly exciting (and nervous) stage in our lives, both in terms of creating a family, but also in having the guts to move away from buying paint on a canvas or light-sensitive chemicals on a piece of paper and investing in an idea.

It's a great one in that it makes people look at us funny, but I never get tired of explaining it.

Moving into the new place in the provinces, it was the first piece to go up, and it's probably the first thing I'd go for if the house was burning down (just in case the Herald ever asks).

Your turn.