Friday, June 27, 2008

In England

Finished my coffee (it only took 4 days!). Portavadie is remote, wild and beautiful and I felt very much at home. Elpies' family are developing a marina with a restaurant and accomodation and have a farm on the beach called Craig Lodge where I stayed. Stone everywhere and no stone cutting tools of course but managed a sculpture I was happy with and worked around the house building a path and filling the potholes in the road. The area is hilly with tiny one way roads and quaint villages of old whitewashed houses, deep sea lochs and solid Scots citizenry.

Down to Ayre to visit Elpies' parents at Monkwood an old estate with with a three storied 1620 house where they have created a huge pond area with all types of waterfowl and Sandy grows a vast array of fruit and vegetables which Elsie converts into jams and pickles and juices and lovely homegrown meals.

Visited Castle Calzean and Robbie Burns house and museum and just enjoyed their warm hospitality.

Fond farewells then off down that long and lonely road 9 hours to the home of Billie Mallet friend and painter of large, bold landscape figures in Exeter, Devon. Billie has visited me in NZ and used my studio to paint so it's great to be here and see her studio and all her paintings. I love her work which is very spontaneous and full of volume and colour (picture above)but like a lot of us she is discouraged because she rarely sells anything so I'm helping her put a catalogue together and search out places to hold exhibitions. It's funny that it's easier when you believe in somebody elses work rather than your own.

Been up on Dartmoor and again tiny roads and villages with history, history, history
Now off to the allottment to do some gardening

Monday, June 23, 2008

Now in Scotland

Apologies for the big gap in news, it's harder than I thought.
Enjoyed London with the beautiful Michele, staying in her wee flat with Ahmet and two others at Tooting Bec but good to head north an hour on the train to St Albans to visit my very good friend 'Crazy' Liesa. She has a three story house in the little village of Colney Heath and runs her event company out of converted stables nearby. Lovely area and I was looked after like a king and I bought a car! It's a Suzuki Capaccino convertible bright red, very small but goes like a bomb. So it was on the road to Scotland and now I'm in Portavadie near tabert on the Mull of Kintyre with friend Elpie.
Got to go, been offered a coffee.
Talk soon

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Reading John Pilgers' book 'Tell me no lies' about investigative journalism on the plane to London doesn't help the feeling of detachmentone gets at 37000 feet.
His piece 'Year Zero' describes in chilling detail the illegal bombing of Cambodia by America which killed 600,000 people with the force of "five Hiroshimas" and led to the Pol Pot genocide.
How culpable are we all . Me for flying into Britain who sanctioned the bombing and along with the US, China and Singapore refused to let any aid into the devastated country after the Khmer Rouge was ousted by Vietnam (the old enemy). All of us for not questioning our governments over the affair.

I look along the wing
Of BI097 to London
And it easily becomes
B52 to Cambodia

With my TV remote
I 'bomb' Budapest, Berlin and Brussels
And wonder how bombers can return home
To have scrambled eggs with the family

London fine and busy. Done the art galleries so will be on the road soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sculpture again

Couple more sculptures under construction which will have to wait until I get home. The round one will become an igloo shaped little house with a door and a hole in the centre of the roof . The outside will be rough and natural but the inside will have the feel of sitting inside a woven basket. The other two are a bit of fun, they can be set like they are or turned away from each other or one behind etc. etc.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Had a great night fishing with son Sam last night. Your sun went down in a blaze of glory while his wind, keenly cold, could only muster a 60 grit ruffle on her sea.
Fishing only 200 metres from our house in our little boat we cast out floating lines (no sinkers) with a mixture of squid and pilchard as bait and caught many snapper most of which we put back to grow but kept three (one a 3.5kg beauty) and a kahawai for the table. It's a contemplative sport (I'm sure the fish don't think so!) and to have the ability to pursue it so close to home is priceless.
Inside today doing the dreaded end of year tax returns but in two days I'll be free as a bird so who's complaining.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sculptures at Lochmara

At last I have some images from all my hard work at the Lochmara Symposium. They stand 3.5 metres tall and as you can see from the bottom photo they each go together in four sections so are easily transportable which is important because there is only boat access to the Lodge. Because I am using waste wood from the building industry to build 'trees' I have called the piece 'carbon credits' and now I don't feel so bad about using the jet plane to London next week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sculpture finished

Finished my sculpture and placed it on a bush trail yesterday (still no photos!). Happy enough with it, three tree towers 3.5 metres high made from waste macrocarpa (Montery Cypress) with redwood 'leaves'. I built them in sections to make them more portable and once they weather a little they will become part of the trees around them. I've named them 'carbon credits' so I don't feel bad about using air travel next week! Made some great new artist friends and sleeping with two other blokes in a small flat with all the detrius of stone dust and wood chips, body functions and boozing is revealing to say the least. I feel I have made strong mates with them despite the drawbacks.
So back on the ferry this afternoon, a night in Wellington then home to prepare for my adventure in Europe next week.