The last rays of the evening sun brush over the rows of grapevines shrouded in bird netting. The grape harvest has begun already in the region, and the birds would love to help…
This composite picture of a traffic control box is designed to confuse, but I am sure you will make sense of my composition quickly. The artist, Abdul Jawad, shows us youthful street scenes, with two girls patiently waiting at the pedestrian crossing just off the footpath. Nice touch that he has even included the button for them to push.
This box is at the intersection of Te Atatu Road and Edmonton Road in Te Atatu South (map). There used to be another box by Abdul Jawad next to Parr’s Park in Henderson, but whilst the transformer is still in its place, the decoration is no longer there (maybe due to tagging, or possibly a new transformer was needed – highlighing the transitory nature of this artform. Added 24/03/10: Julie Nash, Community Arts Coordinator, Watakere City, informed me that the transformer fell victim to a road accident). I have only one side of this box, showing a game of kilikiti being played.
WestCity Shopping Mall in Henderson had a weekend of art last weekend. One of the participants was the potter Kairava Gullatz, demonstrating here how to finish off a vase she had thrown on the wheel. She also invited young spectators to get involved:
From the exhibition notes:
“The clothesline is the most common kinetic sculpture in New Zealand, seen laden with clothes and spinning wildly in most backyards.
Frost’s Wash reveals only the shape, form and weave of the fabric and not the substance of our clothes as they hang hard stiff and cold after a heavy frost.”
At present, we would have to seriously exercise our imagination to think of frost, but this may be easier for people on the Northern hemisphere.
This sculpture, along with over 60 others, can be seen at the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, just north of Kaukapakapa. At 1481 Kaipara Coast Highway, you find an excellent Garden Centre with a beautifully landscaped sculpture garden containing exquisite pieces. The 2010 exhibition runs until October. 1-2 hours of bliss for all senses.
A stack of pallets at the back of Henderson Pak’NSave.
When I was a student, I used to decorate my digs with inexpensive art prints. One of my favorites was “Le Fifre” (The Fife Player) by Manet. It came as quite a surprise to find it at the Glendale Road entrance of Glenmall in Glen Eden, together with another Manet painting: “Emile Zola” – the reading man and the books being a reference to the Glen Eden Book Exchange which is behind the wall.
Hidden behind the vegetation is also a shelf filled with books, and a portrait of a young girl – the daughter of the owner of the Book Exchange. Unfortunately, taggers leave their marks from time to time, and when the anti-graffiti squad arrive, parts of the mural may change colour. The mural was painted quite some years ago by Louis Statham (who has painted about 50 murals throughout the Auckland region), with costs shared between the Book Exchange and the Waitakere City Council.
Information thanks to Bruce Sutherland of the Glen Eden Book Exchange, Craig Constable of Fleetwood Printing (Glen Eden), and the artist.
This colourful traffic control box is situated at the corner of Alderman Drive and Great North Road in Henderson. Its painter (“SK” – Waitakere City’s Community Arts Coordinator Julie Nash tells me he is Sean Kerrigan, and the title is “Weta Cosmology” – thanks Julie!) shows a dramatic version of male weta, a grasshopper-like insect. Occasionally, one of them finds its way into our house, but with their prickly legs, they have a hard time in the fibres of the carpet – then we might find them and show them their proper habitat.
There are quite a range of different weta, and they are essentially harmless creatures. New Zealand’s famous Weta Workshop takes its name from this ferocious looking creature.
Here are a couple of images of the real thing (Auckland tree weta, males with the big face armour):
Look at Traffic Stopping Boxes in Brisbane.
This little fellow is from the live display at the Arataki Visitor Centre.
There are about 20 species of Geckos and 30 species of skinks in New Zealand. They are protected and must not be collected from the wild. Even the keeping of live skinks and geckos requires a permit. Recently, there have been two cases of attempts to smuggle live geckos out of the country, one of them resulting in a jail sentence, the other is still pending. What on earth are these people thinking! (Maybe a rhetorical question, when one hears that some European ‘collectors’ are willing to pay up to $12,000 for one of these creatures.)
There are also brown geckos, and until recently I had not seen any gecko, green or brown, in the wild (well, in the Philippines, I did, but not here in NZ). But last Saturday, as I was vacuuming the bedroom, something sprung up from under a rug. I think we were both relieved that it had not gone into the vacuum. So here are a few snaps, and proof that after it had found the door, the little critter (about 18cm total length) enjoyed the sunshine and freedom at the bottom of the deck.