Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Month: March 2011 (page 1 of 4)

Magnolia Grandiflora (in Colour)

Magnolia Grandiflora

Magnolia Grandiflora

Last Sunday I showed black and white images of Magnolia Grandiflora, and Bill from Brisbane asked me for colour versions. Well, here they are (any colour as long as it’s white, well, sort of white). I thought that black and white was a good means of hiding the typical rust blemishes that these flowers seem to get. Some discoloration from the stamen, some for other reasons.

In the picture below, one can also see the brownish underside of the leathery leaves.

Magnolia Grandiflora, Seedpod

Magnolia Grandiflora, Seedpod

Heavenly: Genevieve

Genevieve and Angels

Genevieve and Angels

In such angelic company, smiles come naturally. Stained glass artist Genevieve Berthet is surrounded by her “Angels with an Attitude” at the Titirangi market last weekend. Her trade name is “Heavenly Glass“, and as you can see in the picture below, it is not easy to keep those colourful angels from twirling and dancing in the light.

Born in Switzerland, Genevieve came to New Zealand 12 years ago, “with a few countries in between”.

A Flock of Heavenly Glass Angels

A Flock of Heavenly Glass Angels

1320 Kiwis

1320 Kiwis by Donna Sarten

1320 Kiwis by Donna Sarten

As you enter the exhibition room at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson, you are greeted by a fine display of a wall full of terracotta kiwis. Lined up in columns of 4 and 2, it is easy to get a count – and here lies the rub. If you knew that the artist is Donna Sarten, or if you checked on the label for the display, you would have known that there are more sinister things in store than just 1320 kiwis on a joyful parade. And if your eyesight is good enough, or you finally put on your glasses for a closer look, you will find depressing text written on the individual kiwis.

The title of the work is “New Zealand’s Roll of Shame“, with the explanatory text: “From 1900 to 2011 approx. 1320 New Zealand children have died at the hands of their parents or caregivers.”

While the figure of 1320 is by necessity an estimate, the scale of the work rams home the size of a problem that has been in our news too often in recent years.

Using a pretty picture to highlight anything but.

Food for thought.

Part of an exhibition by CEAC artists (The Deep End of the Mud Hole), finishing on April 10.


Published analyses, with discussion of the difficulties in raising statistics:

Deatail

Detail

Chicane Duo at CEAC

Chicane Duo at Corban's Homestead

Chicane Duo at Corban's Homestead

Last Saturday/Sunday was the West Artists’ Open Studio Weekend 2011, and the Corban Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) had its doors wide open. As on some other special occasions there was a cafe in operation, serving food and beverages on the verandah, with live music all along.

Here we see the Chicane Duo of Max Purdie, keyboard, and singer Petra Rijnbeek as they lifted our mood away from the less than perfect weather into an altogether more congenial realm.

On the left you can also spot signs of the presence of the knitters, in the background is the church of St Michael and All Angels which we showed from a different angle earlier.

Magnolia Grandiflora

Magnolia Grandiflora

Magnolia Grandiflora

The flowering season for Magnolia Grandiflora is reaching its end. The flower above has already lost all its stamen, dispersed by the wind, with only the spirals of scars showing on the stem. Numerous pistils at the top, which then develops into the seedpod (and can remain dried up at the end of the branch for a number of seasons).

Magnolia grandiflora is a fairly common tree in the Auckland region, with some trees growing in the wild. Flowers are huge (how else could you explain the name? — up to 30 cm diameter) and very showy, and the tree itself has a size to match. Leaves are a shiny green on top, with a furry rust-brown underside, very decorative. The plant is native to the southeastern USA.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Magnolia Grandiflora, Seedpod

Magnolia Grandiflora, Seedpod

Ministry of Art and Design

Candlesticks by MoAD at Essenze, Parnell

Candlesticks by MoAD at Essenze, Parnell

These two candlesticks on a polished surface were too tempting at the Urbis Design Day. The display was at Essenze in Parnell (285 Parnell Road), the work is by MoAD (Ministry of Art and Design, a creative collective founded by Zekiah Heath and Aroha Lewin). Here is the manifesto from the MoAD website:

To enhance and encourage growth and innovation in the NZ craft/object creative sector by delivering high quality arts experience that a local and international market.

To support and nurture emerging designers and design brands by providing networking and business opportunities in a professional environment.

To celebrate artists and designers who are acknowledged for the quality of their work.

Strong emphasis is placed on quality rather than quantity and encouraging people to buy NZ made.

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

A Calm Morning

Morning at French Bay

Morning at French Bay

This was a very still morning at almost full tide at French Bay. Absolute peace, interrupted only occasionally by a noisy gull. Autumn is here.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap

Guardian, Otitori Bay Road

Guardian, Otitori Bay Road

The Sunsmart slogan is:

Slip into a shirt
Slop on some sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Wrap on a pair of sunglasses

This fellow, who guards a driveway in Otitori Bay Road, Titirangi, seems to heed #2 and #3 if we assume that his black coat of paint acts as sunscreen (or is it scorched skin?).

How to Crack an Egg

The Vice

The Vice

At the recent Urbis Design Day, Poggendorf Kitchens and MakeSomething joined forces to demonstrate the “ultimate man cave”. They found room for good old-fashioned boys’ toys which were in stark contrast to the super-slick kitchens. Orange tools featured in a kitchen designed by Porsche, whilst the purple saw sliced the bread in a kitchen designed by architect Hadi Teherani.

The Spanner

The Spanner

The Saw

The Saw

Impala Resting

Alex with His Impala

Alex with His Impala

At one point of our Urbis Design Day circuit, we passed this stylish vehicle. A Chevrolet Impala (Wikipedia describes this as a “full-size automobile”…) from 1959. Alex, the proud owner was at hand and kindly agreed to pose with his pet. He had it restored to mint condition a couple of years ago, and obviously looks after it. Probably never saw a parking building from the inside. Rejuvenates me just looking at it.

Hey, does that say “Tow Away” in the lower picture? When we came back, the car had disappeared. Ominous.

[Edit 23 March: I found more about this car and its owner on the site of New Zealand Classic Car Magazine.]

The Impala is a species of gazelle from Africa (“Capable of leaping and bounding to avoid predators, fleet-footed impalas roam the savannas and plains of Africa” is the caption on the linked article).

Wings

Wings

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