Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Month: March 2010 (page 1 of 4)

Painted Boxes: Motor Racing

Painted Boxes: Motor Racing

Painted Boxes: Motor Racing

Following on from yesterday’s Oblivion Express, we show a utilty box close by, at the railway crossing between Railside Avenue and Bruce McLaren Road (map). The anonymous artist pays homage to the racing heritage of the West.

Here is the backside of the box:

Painted Boxes: Motor Racing

Painted Boxes: Motor Racing

Look at Traffic Stopping Boxes in Brisbane.

The Oblivion Express Mk 3 (Frank Womble)

The Oblivion Express Mk 3

The Oblivion Express Mk 3

“A salute to the West Auckland racing fraternity, past and present.” Local artist Frank Womble assembled this racing machine from discarded scrap. It is situated along the railway tracks beside Railside Avenue in Henderson (map).

The legendary Bruce McLaren (1937-1970) epitomises the West’s connection with motorsport. He owned a service station (Bruce McLaren Motors) in Te Atatu. Bruce McLaren Intermediate School (on Bruce McLaren Road) is named after him.

Read more about Bruce McLaren at the Bruce McLaren Trust.

Purveyor of Fine Jams

Purveyor of Fine Jams

Purveyor of Fine Jams

This is at the Avondale Markets, where we buy our jams and jellies. Highly recommended.

Location Signs: Ranui

Location Signs: Ranui

Location Signs: Ranui

Two pairs of these signs welcome you to Ranui (map).

NZ Cheese Man

NZ Cheese Man

NZ Cheese Man

On Fridays, 4:30-8:00 p.m. there is a twilight market at the Ranui Community Centre. The NZ Cheese man is there, with a range of cheeses, mostly sourced from the South Island. He can also be found at the Farmers’ Market in Oratia on Saturday mornings.

Auckland, City of Sails

Auckland, City of Sails

Auckland, City of Sails

Auckland has the slogan “City of Sails”. This picture shows some of the masts to attach sails to. In the background the city of Auckland.

Bean Rock Lighthouse on Dry Land?

Bean Rock Lighthouse on Dry Land?

Bean Rock Lighthouse on Dry Land?

In 1985, Auckland’s Bean Rock Lighthouse (pictured below) was indeed taken off its foundations to undergo serious maintenance. What is shown above is an excellent replica of this icon of our harbour, gracing one of the shops in the marine precinct of Beaumont Street. Phoebe Falconer of the NZ Herald’s “Ask Phoebe” fame, has unearthed much interesting detail of this Heritage structure, situated at the end of Kohimarama reef. Read her account.

Bean Rock Lighthouse

Bean Rock Lighthouse

Painted Boxes: Caught in the Act

In this post we pay tribute to the artists who liven up our neighbourhoods with paintings on utility boxes (transformers, traffic control boxes, telecommunications cabinets, etc). Nearly three years ago, I started taking pictures of these works, occasionally inclusive of the artist. This is a compilation of such images. Bear in mind that the paintings on display are unfinished, the finished products might feature in other posts.

The artists I caught in the act:

  • Mark Whyte
  • Edith Diggle
  • Diane Carter
  • Diane Ruth Rimmer
  • Shelley Slater

A big thanks to them, and of course to all other artists participating in these efforts. We should also acknowledge the sponsors of these projects: City councils/power companies/paint manufacturers. The boxes shown in this post are all in Waitakere City, where these projects are administered by Julie Nash, Community Arts Coordinator. I am indebted to her for some additional information incorporated below. These are her details:
Julie D. Nash
Community Arts Coordinator, Waitakere City Council, Private Bag 93109, Henderson 0650.
Ph 836 8000 extn 8934. Julie.Nash@waitakere.govt.nz

The first image shows Mark Whyte painting a transformer in Glenview Road (map), bringing together various Glen Eden Scenes: the cemetery (which is right behind the hedge), the railway station and its cafe “Pumped”, the Chapel of Faith in the Oaks, with the Waitakere Ranges and the foothills as backdrop. I remember, it was a cold day with a biting Sou’westerly blowing across the ridge. Just a few metres up from here is the Glen Eden welcome sign.

Mark Whyte also participates in next weekend’s Waitakere Artists’ Open Studio Weekend 2010. He will be pleased to welcome you in his studio at 13A Woodglen Rd, Glen Eden, on March 27/28.

Mark Whyte in Glenview Road, June 2009

Mark Whyte in Glenview Road, June 2009

The first time I saw Mark, he was painting a transformer at Westgate (map). In his unique way, he used scenes of mangroves and buildings from the Massey area.

Mark Whyte at Westgate (March 2008)

Mark Whyte at Westgate (March 2008)

Just a few days ago, Mark was busy in Glendale Road (map), Glen Eden, with a box showing the Playhouse Theatre which we have featured here before.

Mark Whyte in Glendale Road (March 2010)

Mark Whyte in Glendale Road (March 2010)

Right now, Edith Diggle is taking care of a couple of boxes in Hollywood Avenue (map), Waima, Titirangi. Native flax and rimu and kauri trees surround the ducks so typical of the area. Since this shot was taken, the ducklings have taken on their yellow colour, and Edith told me that over time the scenery will be populated with all manner of smaller wildlife – we live in anticipation.

Edith Diggle in Hollywood Avenue (March 2010)

Edith Diggle in Hollywood Avenue (March 2010)

My very first ‘catch’ of an artist painting a box was Diane Carter of Karekare, painting this transformer in Atkinson Road, Titirangi (map), in bold hibiscus livery.

Diane Carter in Atkinson Road (May 2007)

Diane Carter in Atkinson Road (May 2007)

In Titirangi Road, I found Diane Ruth Rimmer working on this transformer; just imagine the painstaking work with all the cooling fins! She depicts the misty moods of the Waitakere Ranges. Unfortunately, some time ago the transformer changed colour to a uniform green – a victim of a road accident.

Diane Ruth Rimmer in Titirangi Road (June 2007)

Diane Ruth Rimmer in Titirangi Road (June 2007)

The artist transforming the transformer at the corner of Hepburn and Culperry Roads (map) is Shelley Slater, covering it in nasturtiums. This photo was also taken on a very cold day – easy to take the shot, much tougher to brave the cold for hours!

Shelley Slater  in Hepburn Road (June 2008)

Shelley Slater in Hepburn Road (June 2008)

Pararaha Landscape (Dean Buchanan 2006)

Dean Buchanan, Pararaha Landscape (2006)

Dean Buchanan, Pararaha Landscape (2006)


Waitakere Central, the administrative Centre of Waitakere City, is connected to the main centre of Henderson by an overbridge which also is the only access to Henderson railway station. This window shows the unmistakable art by Dean Buchanan, celebrating Auckland’s wild West Coast and the bush of the Waitakere Ranges.

Dean Buchanan is one of about 40 artists participating in the Waitakere Artists’ Open Studio weekend 2010 next weekend (27/28 March).

Below is a view of the overbridge, seen from the Japanese Garden at Waitakere Central. The nikau palms of the window are faintly visible on the left.

Waitakere Central Overbridge from Japanese Garden

Waitakere Central Overbridge from Japanese Garden

The Artist’s Hand: John Pusateri

The Artist's Hand: John Pusateri

The Artist's Hand: John Pusateri

Another study from Saturday’s Artists in Eden (see yesterday’s post). The event notes describe John Pusateri as “Recent graduate who has concentrated on figurative drawing and printmaking”. See also his website.

John Pusateri at Artists in Eden

John Pusateri at Artists in Eden

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