Spent yesterday walking the inner city streets of Auckland. It's a lovely city if you haven't an agenda and don't need to get anywhere fast on the roads. The heart you can walk round in about an hour and it's great the way it spills down to the harbour. The main drag, Queen St, is a bit mainstream but the little streets surrounding it have quirky little cafes, bookshops and galleries. Saw a marvellous video installation at the New Gallery as part of the 'Turbulence' exhibition by, I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the artist. It showed a close up of a stream of large ants travelling right to left and carrying pieces of bright green leaf. Then minature flags of the world started appearing interspersed with peace signs which the artist had painted and left for the ants to pick up. It had become a minature protest rally for world peace. Ideas in art can give you a jolt out of your normal thinking and become all the more poignant.
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!