Monday, December 24, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It's hard yakka at this time of year but most satisfying making people happy. About 80% of our customers are regulars or have been recommended so we know we must be doing something right.
Our long range weather forecast is not good with a humid and wet summer and the possibility of a cyclone or two which usually means people don't come to the beach.
Maybe it will be a quiet one and I'll be able to go skinny dipping at Lonely Bay without scaring anybody!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
The winning sculpture 'A Pregnant Thought" by Lauren Kitts which will stay in our permanent collection
unfinished wooden sculpture
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I started a big wooden sculpture but ran out of wood so started on stone but with feeding and looking after a group of tempremental artists didn't get anything finished as per usual. They aren't really difficult. As a group they work hard and get on very well and we had some wonderful nights of music and fun.
Hope to have some images tomorrow.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The real joy for me is when they finally get a feel for it and I can take them out into the Bay where the wind is true. A line of little boats with grinning skippers
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The first shining cuckoo made his presence felt this week. They winter in the Solomon Islands and after the long flight their distinctive whistle is a sign that summer is on its way. Lots of other pairings on the beach also. The oyster catchers are long time residents, Mr Smith still favouring his gammy leg, hatching a brood every year. The mallard ducks have already hatched, not sure about the paradise ducks, the white headed female and dark male with their alternate hee haw honks are still flying around. Our little rare dotterels are back this week. They are the same colour as sand and shells and it's only when they move that you can see them. It was a real success for us to see them hatch last year. Many other seagulls and terns but they nest elsewhere and use the water and beach as their dinner table.
So the seasons change, as do the tides of life....
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I remember my elder sister and I, we were very young, coming home and into the kitchen where Father was cutting a big loaf of white bread saying your mother wants to see you in the bedroom.
Mother was sitting up straight backed in bed in a blue nightie with a dead baby, our little brother John, in her arms. It was a wasp sting she said perhaps because menengitis was too unpalatable and that day was never mentioned again even though Mother and Father are long gone. It's strange that I can't see the face of John, only the big loaf of bread.
I remember too Father saying no to me using the dinghy and I got up early and dragged the heavy boat inch by inch into the estuary that bordered the farm and tried to row upstream. They found me gone and I couldn't understand the fuss.
And the anger and beating and no dinner when I walked home 7 miles in the dark after rugby practice.
And my younger sister rolling in the surf at Buffalo beach with her eyes closed and thick sand in her hair and Mother running down the beach... running... running.
I understand the anger now of course, coming from the desperation of losing a child, but then it only created a distance of misunderstanding.
Now I see it in other mothers eyes, that quiet, watchful desperation of loss
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
My menu has been working OK but what seemed a good idea on paper doesn't necessarily work when the pressure is on. I changed the fish dish yesterday to seared bluenose on risotto cake with lemon carrots, wilted spinach and chilli prawns and it sold well. Bluenose is a type of groper and being a big fish has nice thick fillets which I can cook medium rare. Must work on my duck croquettes today they are not selling. Sometimes it only takes a change in the wording and away they will go. The scallop entree is still the most favourite with a lot of people having them as a main.
Well back to the bread dough.....
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Thought I would post the above gem of a video after hearing that we are to have one of the largest wind farms in the world built on a remote part of the west coast of the North Island. It still needs some consents but I'm sure the Govt. will make sure it is fast tracked so they can add it to their green image. It will produce enough energy to power 250,000 homes.
I hope little old NZ doesn't take off with all those propellers going round!
Monday, October 15, 2007
History - Delivered – 1948
Deflowered – too long ago to remember
Enlightened – 1965
Haircut (after hippiedom) – 1978
Corporate – NEVER
Enlightened again – 1979 –83 –87 – 95 etc.
Future - Continuation of enlightment (with dark edges)
Aging rock star
World reknown artist (just in case you are worried about
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Also the American people, confident in their impregnability, for the first time felt what it was like to be vunerable and have lashed out since at anyone and everyone they think is to blame.
So the coach will go and some of the players will go and the management will be shaken up and probably there will be more family violence and two weeks later people will wake up and realise that it really doesn't matter.
But the pyschology of putting your dreams into a national sports team fascinates me. It's almost as if it is fulfilling the old warrior need of vanquishing a foe which is not available anymore. That works of course when you win but then you lose and whamo!
The game was beautiful though with passion and courage, exaltation and heartbreak, and although I felt I had gone through a wringer I feel that I have gained something.
It would make a good abstract collage!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
We had a wonderful surprise when our good friends Paul and Mata walked in after driving all the way from Auckland to wish us well and then driving back again so they could open their jewellery shop (Brighouse Design, very innovative - great black pearls) in the morning. You owe me now m'boy, this is beaming out to all of three homes around the world!
The singing voice was pretty damn good, if I say so myself, maybe because it hasn't been used for so long. I'm playing along with 16 other acts in Tairua on Sat. to raise funds for a little girl with cancer and on Sunday we have our open jam session with the Whitianga Music Club.
So now it's consolidating time, tweaking sauces and changing what doesn't work and just enjoying the fact that we get people coming to see us every day looking for fun, food, art and music.
It's got to be good for you!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Our little town of Whitianga has always been well blessed with galleries and now another friend (yes I have two!) Andrea is setting up a fine art gallery which will replace the Upstairs Gallery which closed last year. Interestingly, Tauranga a city twenty times larger, (I'm guessing) has just got it's first gallery. What comes first the gallery or the artists?
Off to Auckland now to pick up supplies for our opening and to see the grandchildren for their birthdays and then it's nose to the grindstone for seven months. Whoopee
Friday, September 21, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Now it doesn't sound like ground breaking science but it begs the question, has any research been done around the world by big grown up scientists into stopping this pollution at it's source in the chimney? I had just assumed that they had tried and failed. In the city of Christchurch they have estimated that in winter 50% of it's pollution is caused by household fires. Imagine the worth of such a simple device.
I have used a wood stove in my homes a lot, giving me cooking, heating and hot water but have been increasingly concerned about the effects of the smoke if everybody was using them and in fact with the building code now in some areas you aren't allowed an open fire and other fires have to be approved. Bring on something that will allow us to toast our toes in front of the fire again!
Also in the news are engineering students from Waikato University who have designed an electric car with a 150kg battery that will take you 200 kilometres for a $5 charge. The idea is that you will pull into a station and they will replace your depleted battery for a charged one and you are on your way for the next 200k's. It's going to cost $10 million to set them up to be made commercially and could be out in 18 months. I hope the old Subaru is going to last that long. I told it a long time ago that it can retire when I find a green alternative. It's still waiting.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Now China has set up a smoke screen by having a new coal fired power station coming on stream every four days which makes nuclear look positively green. But just by having a better option doesn't make it green and with their record of anti freeze in tooth paste and lead in childrens' toys will that lead to them using the waste to make radioactive electric drills? Which would have an upside in that instead of being good for only two weeks they would last for three thousand years! You don't think they would? Look at the Americans using radioactive bullets in Iraq, perfect scenario, kill the enemy and use up the waste.
The biofuels mess is another case in point. Using up 50% of American corn for a 2% additive to petrol and still controlled by the oil companies. It has pushed up food prices around the world.
What happens is it creates big issues and dilutes the research into renewable resources. If the debate between coal or nuclear is raging and you suggest trying to use 10% less electricity you are treated like environmentalists were five years ago who suggested global warming was happening.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
The Modern Art Gallery in comparison feels disjointed with office areas and wrong turnings disrupting continuous viewing. Some great works though, including 'we walk, we eat, we sleep' by an Indian artist (I didn't write down the name again!) three large canvases which reminded me of a photograph taken high up of displaced flood victims in a gym in China looking almost like calligraphy, delicate birds nests made of shredded US one dollar bills, a large dying elephant.... Katharina Grosses' big installation held no surprises as I had seen it in Auckland. Does an artistget tired of doing the same old thing around the world? I know she spray paints everything so it is a little different but the idea is the same.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I also know you don't take kindly to criticism, especially from such a poor, insignificant correspondent, so if you are reading this blog please disregard it as from someone living in the past with no insight into contemporary music. However even though you didn't sing any of my songs I will continue to sing yours but with the old melodies to keep alive the raw power and poetry that changed my life.
I wish you well in your retirement behind a white picket fence(yeah right!)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I will miss the sculpture work which has become a bit of an obsession but have packed a sketch pad with my swimming togs and I'll see what artists I can hunt down on my travels.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
So the water is running over and going back up thanks to a little French pump which I have 30 from a former venture making indoor portable fountains of which I sold zilch so I have the means to make many more water based sculptures! Now I have to change it from a fountain to a sculpture, a much more difficult task. I have made the one oar from recycled rimu which I thought was kauri until I started working on it and my mate Ronny who is demolishing an old house which it came from told me it was and I believed him as you do and now I know he talks a lot of shite. But I believe him when he tells me how much rum he drinks! I might also fashion a mast (from aforementioned rimu/kauri) and break it to add to the shipwreckedness and of course the frayed rope and maybe a body or two... I digress
The other image shows I have some timber to work with when it's too cold and wet outside (most of the time). It's a different size (the timber) so have had to shelve the 3 sculptures I had underway and start some new ones. I love starting new ones but have trouble finishing the old. Sign of a fickle ideas man whose next idea is much better than the one he is working on. It (the sculpture) is just two simple curves but it reminds me of a speed skater so I might fashion a polished stone head to sit in the apex......
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I hope to have some Coromandel granite for our next symposium in November. This is found north of Colville on the Peninsula near Fantail Bay and has been quarried and used for some of our Parliament buildings. Softer than marble and very consistent it has a lovely fleck and can be picked up as boulders in farmers fields.
I'm working on a shipwrecked boat in two pieces, the lower piece supporting the boat and having a reservoir so I can pump water up through the boat to cascade over the side and back down to go up again. In theory it sounds good but I'm having trouble making it look natural as if the boat has been cast upon the rocks and abandoned. I want to craft an oar out of a piece of recycled kauri to make it look more authentic and maybe and old frayed rope from a bollard on the front.
Cutting stone with power tools at this time of year can be a bitch, by the time you assemble all the tools, supply the power, put on the overalls, the face mask, the ear muffs, turn the stone over and imagine what you are going to do, it's time for a cup of coffee!! Don't tell me I don't need my coffee! After watching a DVD of Australian artist Brett Whitely my addiction pales into insignificance.
Monday, July 30, 2007
We think of time as linear, that is going in a straight line, with events happening that haven't happened before but we need to measure the passage of time against something as we do when we judge the speed of a car coming towards us against the constant background or the hands of a clock against it's face. But sometimes events do repeat themselves so maybe there are two times, one linear, and one cyclic which stays the same or repeats itself. Imagine if linear time is moving constantly right (why does it seem natural to me to be heading right?) and we are measuring against cyclic time which is on the bottom half of a circle moving left so it appears that linear time is moving faster and conversely when it is on the top half of the circle it would appear to move slower.
OK now all we have to do is control it consciously. When we are enjoying ourselves we make time move slow and when life's a bitch it's a rollercoaster!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
the pug-nosed old sea dogs
slinking home with bellies full of contraband
after a night spent
scrounging amongst the seaweed
We have extensive beds in our Bay which, like a lot of NZ fisheries, were raped and plundered almost to extinction when first discovered but now with the season only from July to February and a quota limit set they are producing as well as ever. In places they are 6 metres down so, as a recreational fisherman with a good set of lungs, you can get your limit of 20 in good time.
Here's how I like to prepare them :
Fresh Macadamia Crumbed Mercury Bay Scallops on Corn Hotcake with a Pernod Cream Sauce
2 eggs beaten / 400gm can cream corn
3/4 cup plain flour / tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream / dash of tabasco sauce
tbs sweet Thai chilli sauce / 1/2 small onion chopped fine
clove garlic chopped fine / 2 tbs chopped coriander
salt and fresh pepper
I lightly crumb mine in a mix of macadamia nut and chilli kelp I get from my local macadamia orchard
but you can do them plain.
Have a pan with a little oil searing hot and add scallops, cook 30 seconds, flip over and , add a knob of butter, a little lemon juice and a good splash of pernod. Flame the alcohol (the exciting part) then add 60mls of cream. Cook a minute, remove the scallops, season the sauce with salt and freshly ground pepper and reduce down to a nice consistency. While cooking the scallops cook the hotcakes in 7cm rounds in another hot pan with oil to golden brown.
To serve: place two hotcakes in the centre of the plate, put 6 scallops on top and pour over sauce. Garnish with a nasturtium flower and a sprig of coriander.
The ingredients are deliberately a little loose. Remember to taste, taste, taste as you are cooking to understand what works! Photo coming when we finish the wild pig our neighbour dropped into us. I can see another recipe coming on: medallions of wild pork fillet with seared scallops on.......
Friday, July 20, 2007
It's not easy hosting live music. At first people would walk away rather than pay a $5 cover charge although they would come in and buy a beer for that. We lost money on every gig for the first couple of years so it took a greater vision of helping struggling musicians, educating people about the value of performance and building ourselves into a serious music venue. We still have trouble with some agents in the industry who think that because we are small (110 max.) we don't qualify for the big names but we have done the hard yards and their 'big names' had to start somewhere. The musicians once they have played here love to come back because of the intimate atmosphere where they can get a rapport going with the audience.
So now most people recognise the value of paying musicians well (the movies cost $15!!) and are willing to pay $5 up to $30 depending on the artist.
They probably recognise also that by supporting other musicians coming into the area it keeps me off the stage! I'm learning new songs I promise!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Because of New Zealands' unusual evolutionary past, we hold stock to one of the worlds most unique collection of plants and birds but unfortunately we have lost proportionally more of its species than most other countries. One in two of our endemic birds and one in ten of our native plants are currently under threat of extinction and a variety of endemic reptiles, amphibians, invertabrates and fish species are gravely endangered.
We are organising an exhibition here at Eggsentric to open on the last day of our annual sculpture symposium Sunday 2nd Dec. and run for two weeks. The artists themselves set the % of commission they want to donate to the organisation which takes the pressure off those that are poor (probably all of them!)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Just had the mother of all storms with 200km winds and 6 metre swells. Our power was down for two days but we got off lightly compared to some with severe flooding and roofs missing. It reminded me of the time when the kids were young and we had no power and relied on the woodstove and read and played games by the light of the gently hissing kerosene lanterns. Them were the days!
Friday, July 6, 2007
On a personal level it's hard to not feel powerless in the overwhelming world but it's amazing what drip feed can do. Look at the environmental movement. Seen as lunatics when they first started protesting they have now become so mainstream through the constant media attention of climate change that they are directly shifting government policy. You can make a difference!!
I enjoyed my first mutton bird for a long time. These are the young of our common seabird the sooty shearwater (of the petrel family) which fly to Stewart Island on the 13th September (yes like clockwork) and lay one egg in a burrow mostly on the 25th November which is incubated by both parents and hatches on Christmas Day. The Titi (Maori name) need to eat their weight of food each day and become little balls of fat which the Maori people harvest around the middle of March. The plucked birds are preserved by salting heavily and require boiling in several changes of water then crisped under the grill usually out the back in the shed because the smell is.....distinctive. The flavour is at once salty and gamey and I'm going to design a dish around it for the restaurant. Maybe a mutton bird and possum terrine.....
Monday, July 2, 2007
I finished my chair last night. Two weeks from conception, design and completion, not too bad. Half way through I decided I didn't like the loop under the feet so cut it off and am better pleased with the balance. Today it's back to my arches and maybe the start of a new design which I have been playing with. I'm almost ready to invite a gallery to view the finished pieces in the hope of an exhibition which is never easy, I'm not good with rejection. Toughen up. Who cares!!
Monday, June 25, 2007
The biggest revelation is the simple statement that after violent action the conqueror must have the vanquished do his bidding and unless that happens he has lost the war. In earlier history 'military victory made rule possible by turning bold, angry enemies into frightened obedient subjects' but in recent history with the advent of 'peoples war' usually linked with independence or self determination this has changed as the British found in India, the French in Algiers, the Japanese in China, the Americans in Vietnam etc. This is also being played out in Iraq where the invading forces thought the people would welcome them with open arms to be freed from their dictator but the opposite happened and the country with the biggest military arsenal in the world is again heading for an inevitable defeat, not only because of the will of the Iraq people but also through the (non violent) will of the American people who have gone against the war.
But the premise that we can live without war is even more surprising. The super powers do it between themselves now because of their nuclear arms deterrent, if you get me I'll get you! Schell shows that even revolutions are relatively bloodless, it is their foundation that becomes bloody. The will of the people can endure without violent action and of course Gandhi was the foremost practitioner of this with his withdrawing of cooperation with the invaders. But strangely even he preferred violence to impotence. He said that non violence requires more action than violence and I think pacifism is linked to passivity and is doomed if it is.
Growing up in the sixties where as hippies we honestly believed love could change the world was mostly passive and therefore doomed but maybe there is another way!
The book is highly recommended by this old but not disallusioned hippy!
Monday, June 18, 2007
It's difficult when our country is so dependent on trade and a lot of other countries have human rights abuses. We can't be black and white ( we aren't lily white ourselves) but we must make a stand as far as our economy can take it against anyone who is not even trying or is denying that abuses are taking place.
Remember our borders are open. We have no protectionism. Our farmers get no subsidies, they must stand on their own two feet in the world markets, so when we ask for a free trade agreement we are only asking for equality. The US won't give us one because of our no nuclear policy so I don't have to take a stand about the killing of innocent people in Iraq but Britain is a traditional and one of our largest trading partners and is just as culpable.
We are only a small country and don't make much difference in world affairs but it is important that we can live with ourselves. That if we treat people fairly in our own lives then it should spill over into our foreign affairs.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Talent obviously helps. If you can draw at an early age you will be interested in the arts. I was behind the door when 'he upstairs' gave out talent. He gave me a head full of ideas and no means to put them down so it took me 50 years of hard work to get a somewhat passable artwork!
I started with collage, the putting on and sanding off of paper (construction and deconstruction), taught to me by my good friend Felix, then painting (again on and off), followed by stone sculpture (deconstruction) and now I am working with wood sculpture (construction again). Each piece takes a long time but I find it very satisfying, as if it is fulfilling a basic need most of us have of building something.
Spent last night designing a chair. Looks OK on paper but haven't a clue whether it will work in practice.
Monday, June 11, 2007
At first I could remember everything, title, author, publisher, colour of the jacket and even cheap thrillers I only had to read the first page to know I had read it before. Now I'm almost finished before I realise it is familiar!
However there are advantages. I am visiting my old books and I know I have read them and remember how they affected me but not why. So the words are new but the ideas aren't and in 40 years I've changed so I view the ideas differently. I'm excited. My dear mother in her late Altzeimer years would visit with a book and every hour or so would pick it up and read the same page. Imagine that. What you could do is find the most provoking, life changing page in your reading history and put it aside to enjoy again and again.
What am I reading? 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter', Bruce Chatwins 'In Patagonia', E.E. Schumachers 'Small is Beautiful', 'Catch 22' and poetry by Gerald Manley Hopkins and our own James K Baxter.
Five shelves to go, by the time I'm finished the memory will be diminished further and I'll be able to start again. What a saving!
Friday, June 8, 2007
How relavent is it today? Probably not very with the Berlin Wall down, tactical nuclear weapons off American ships and the vessels wouldn't fit in our ports anyway. However when the National Party made noises about watering the policy down, opinion polls showed a large proportion of people want it to stay in place
It's not about nuclear anymore it's about the fact that a little country at the end of the world had the guts to stand on it's own two feet and give a big fat finger to a superpower and we may have been snubbed but we haven't nuked or sunk and we hopefully continue on our way with respect.
Winter has a few problems, the worst being the layering on of chubbiness at my age! So I have started my usual mandarin diet which means nothing but coffee and mandarins (homegrown of course) until dinner when I eat whatever I want. Probably not recommended but it works for me and the hunger pains are a gentle reminder of all those hungry mouths out there.
Hi to Petra and Rainer from Berlin, we are looking after Flaxmill Bay until your return and the stocks of lamb and mussels are finally starting to recover!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
We have a good quota sytem in NZ to retain fish stocks, where only so much fish is allocated to fishermen and once they have caught that they can't catch any more. We also have many marine reserves where no fishing is allowed so fish stocks can build up unhindered. One of the largest is just two kilometres from our home so it is rare to come back with no fish. Our boat, called 'The Beast', is small and rough, is fast and we can go far but we catch most 200 metres from the beach so we just get up speed then it's time to stop and anchor. Snapper is our predominant fish with a sweet, white flesh and because of the export price costs close to $30 a kilo in the shops.
Son Sam and I caught some nice fat fish yesterday and this is how I cooked them.
Grilled Snapper on Spinach and Potato Rosti with a Red Wine Reduction Sauce
For the sauce - put 1 1/4 cups of red wine and 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar in a saucepan and add 1 peeled carrot, 1 clove peeled garlic, 1/2 onion thinly sliced, 1/2 teaspoon pepercorns, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds and over a medium heat reduce by half, about 25 minutes. Meanwhle put a cup of port wine in another saucepan and reduce by half about 15 minutes. Strain first reduction into the second and set aside.
For the potato rosti - grate 4 medium potatoes, 1 carrot and 1/2 an onion in a bowl add 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, salt and freshly ground pepper and deep fry big spoonfulls in a pan until golden brown.
The snapper - generously season both sides with salt and pepper and cook in a little light oil over a high heat approx. 4 minutes each side until just cooked (depends a lot on thickness of fillet)
To assemble - put 2 rosti in the centre of the plate, add some lightly steamed spinach and the fish. Finish the sauce - bring to the boil then off the heat add 4 tablespoons butter and swirl until the butter is dissolved and the sauce becomes shiny. Pour around the food and garnish with chopped parsley.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Just a last look at the differences between us and our Australian cousins. Reading their newspapers there is less international news and comment than ours and is this because they don't bother or that the country is much larger and with the newspapers being the same size as ours there is enough Australian news to fill them. This is fine because they are well informed about their own country but don't seem so well informed about others. Is this true of other large countries? In America a lot of people don't know where NZ is!
I am so very proud of my fiercely independent little country ( is it so little? If laid on Europe it would stretch from Denmark to the heel of Italy) I know isolation helps with threats a long way away but trade is very important to us and can be used against us if we don't align with larger powers' foreign policies
John dory on the beach? These ugly but beautiful eating fish have a design fault which makes them fall over in shallow water while chasing small fish and become stranded as the tide goes out so I can pick them up off the beach. It only happens in autumn when the early mornings are cold and at a certain tide. If you see them in the water you can also chase them ashore. Last year the count was around 40 so we don't want for fresh fish!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Out to Oxford Road to do some shopping and found more artworks. The shoes and the dresses and the mens cardigans! Yes it seems the humble cardy is making a fashion comeback so don't throw it out. I abhor shopping centres where everything is dumbed down and the same and love little shops where the owners are trying to be different.
Dinner was at the Pier in Rose Bay, the Doyle familys' finest restaurant, which started off badly with a glass of champagne offered at the bar, before we had seen the winelist, costing $25 for 1/2 a flute but a corner table with great views over the water brought us round. The service was professional without being stuffy and the ambience relaxed. I had the entree of blue swimmer crab in gaspacho, which was a nice contrast of sweet and sour, and the main of crispy skinned salmon was delicious. It is expensive with entrees upwards of $20 and mains upwards of $40 and I applaud the chefs maxim of not playing around to much with the fish to retain it's delicate flavour but at that price I want the dish to wow me and felt he could have been braver with his flavours.
It's hard being in the business, youbecome very critical.
Looking forward to quiet home to put some of this vibrant city energy to good use
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The Contemporary Museum on Circular Quay also has its disappointments with Stephen Birchs' installations having no good ideas and no sense of entering and a newly donated collection of a Melbourne couple failing to inspire. What does a museum do when they are offered a large collection gathered by an individuals' criteria? Do they accept it all because it is free even though some of the works aren't very good?
Enjoyed a video installation of five screens with the centre one occupied by a mothers hands while she relates stories of her family whose faces occupy the other four screens and the change in their facial expressions fill in between the line stories and gradually build up an emotional family history.
Back to Greys Point where my daughter lives a little inland from the Cronulla coast. A community of large houses with too much room for the people but not enough room for their three expensive cars and flash boat and they are all pursuing the Australian dream of owning a large mortgage! Apart from my daughter and hubby of course who I dearly love and can do no wrong!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Not a lot else sung to me. Peter Wallers' realist landscapes at the Soca Gallery were far too tight, like looking at scenes frozen in time with no past or future. What do we look for in art? Lucian Freud demands it to " astonish, disturb, seduce and convince" but I think you have to live with a piece for it to do all those things. It becomes difficult in a limited time frame to see so many images because the good ones tend to take time to reveal themselves and you notice the ones where the artist has shown everything but they won't stand the test of time.
In Sydney now amongst gum trees overlooking the water where possums are a protected beast, we should send them some of the 60 million of ours that are chewing through our native forest!
Monday, May 7, 2007
The art scene always seems vibrant with lots of sold stickers on artworks in the inner city but overall I think we have more interest in the arts just not the population base to support it.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Lonely Bay is framed at both ends by soaring sandstone cliffs soft in some places and hard in others so weathering has left wonderful curves with sharp edges. Accidental sculptures or part of a greater plan? Does it matter? Pohutukawa trees, saviours of the NZ coastline with their gnarled roots holding back erosion by the sea, hang low over the sand and the tidal drift leaves banks of shells of all descriptions but in particular circular ones which you can put on your finger as a ring or use as he does in tree sculptures.
Every year he organises an 'Andy Goldsworthy Day'. Andy, an English sculptor, goes into the environment and builts sculptures from found objects, records them on camera and video then lets nature reclaim the materials. Suits Lonely Bay because it's untamed and has no visible evidence of man apart from footprints in the sand and after a few days there is nothing left.
At the far end of the beach he sheds his clothes. The sea is clear green, blue and the lazy swell is regurgitating sand and foam on the shore. The dog is swimming far out chasing a stick, almost invisible in the reflected sun. It's bloody cold! But it's bloody freedom.