More Birds

In the previous posting I wrote about my parents running the Breakwater Hotel in New Plymouth and I talked about how much my father loved birds.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a bird show here and took some snaps so I’m on a bit of a theme here or to put it more accurately for me, a seam. Kim Hill questioned me a bit about my process.
I postulated that in my experience, making new photos seemed to require periods of removing considerable overburden but then new images arrive suddenly, easily and quite quickly. It’s not always like this of course but often. I hit a seam two years ago, when I went to Invercargill on a residency for 4 months. I’m feeling close to a seam now so I’m a little excited. I probably look like an old miner who thinks he can smell gold.

Anyway, back to Dad. Here are a couple of photos of him, the lower one definitely taken in the Breakwater Hotel, or as it used to be colloqially known, The Breakie. Incidentally it closed down a couple of years ago. Now it is empty.

The young girl is my sister Natalie. I don’t know the parrot’s name, when I arrived or “came along” it was not with our family anymore. I wished I’d asked my parents about it. Too late now.

PS Remember that a click will enlarge these photos. I recommend trying on the photo below. Then to the right of the hotel you will see a little tram emerge. Trams serviced New Plymouth at that time. One ran all the way to the port.

More Aeronauticals

Often internet friends, some of whom I know, some of whom I don’t, send me images that they predict I may be interested in. It is one of the pleasures of keeping an online journal.

Above is a snap that Brett McDowell, art dealer in Dunedin, who has taken over Marshall Seifert Gallery, sent to me a couple of weeks ago. It is a delight. I love these models. There are more sophisticated versions that are made that look like dragonflies. They can be flown inside large stadia. I have made some enquiries and it appears that there is a monthly meeting of enthusiasts here in Invercargill. I’m going along.

A year or so ago Brett exhibited the photo of mine below. These are non-flying models at the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland.

In this case I’m not sure whether it’s the aeroplanes that I am interested in, or their arrangement. Again and again I take photos of subjects that display this pattern. Below is an example that took with my camphone.

School children had been invited to make paper models of birds, as an exercise to go with an exhibition of birds that was on in the main section of the Sarjeant Gallery in Wanganui.

Yesterday I travelled to Wanganui with three friends. From New Plymouth it is
2 hours by road, although yesterday’s journey was made particularly pleasant because I was being chauffered by a friend Grant Kerr in his powerful smooth Audi A6, with black leather seats.

We were going in particular, because Grant the driver, was wanting to see an exhibition of my photographs that I have there and I decided to accompany him even though I had seen all the works before. (many times)

The exhibition is at Paul McNamara’s gallery in some rooms that were once his surgery, when he was a medical practioner. I like the ambience that still exists in the spaces, I think of all the injections that must have been given there, all the internal examinations, and all the sad news that must have been broken to patients.

Because my exhibition has been on since the beginning of December, and I had more works than could accomodated in one show, Dr Paul has been changing some of the images every couple of weeks. On this visit it was the first time that I had seen this particular rotation.

Paul Craig, framer par excellence, from Wellington, made us a frame enabling us to change large images at will, with great ease. Yesterday was the first time that I had seen the above large image, in a frame ever, and it’s over a year old.

After Matisse, as I call it, was the result of months of work. I had bought a packet of these rubbery shapes at a toy store over a period of several months, kept rearranging the spaces.

When I saw this photo yesterday. in its Paul Craig frame, beautifully lit, on a wall painted in an soft colour, I was almost shocked. I had forgotten how much I liked it. In over a year I have not managed to sell a single print of it, which had, I suppose, made me lose some faith.

After leaving there we moved on to the Sarjeant Gallery, a civic gallery that at one time had the deserved reputation of being one of the most important galleries in New Zealand. No longer alas. However, one of the exhibitions that they had on there was one about birds, a show originated by Pataka Porirua, another civic gallery about 20 minutes drive north of Wellington. I have a few photos in this show and it was good to see these but what really struck me was an area where those in the gallery who were involved in education had been working with children on the theme of ‘birds’. On a wall were these creations. I took a snap with my camphone. I like the result. It dances.

Zoo Music – BNZ CollectionJust arrived in the mail this morning is a handsome book that has just been published by the BNZ bank. It includes works from about 60 artists. In the 80’s the bank put together a large collection and this is in effect a catalogue.

One of my works that is included is Zoo Music, one of two images taken at the Auckland Zoo.

The book will not be available in shops but has been produced for BNZ clients and, apparently, copies are being donated to NZ libraries. If you are a BNZ client and ask for a copy it is possible that you may be given one, at least they may have viewing copies.