Putangitangi over cabbage tree swamp
“Putangitangi over cabbage tree swamp” is the title of this mural by Charles and Janine Williams. It covers a sizeable wall of the premises of Alsco along New North Road, Kingsland.
Putangitangi is the Maori word for the paradise shelduck; male in front, female to the left of the picture. Cabbage tree is the common name for cordyline species, and the reference is to a watercolour “Cabbage tree swamp” by John Backhouse (1845-1908), parts of which are quoted in the triangular bits of the mural. A reproduction of that painting is shown on a plaque beside the mural. The cabbage tree swamp is an area close by, now Eden Park, which in years gone by would have been teeming with these ducks.
The artists completed the painting of this work in five days this January, often working until midnight.
More murals at Oakland Daily Photo.
Mural by Charles and Janine Williams: Detail
“Cabbage tree swamp” (John Backhouse)
Mount Albert Borough Council Logo
Art Deco style public toilet building, built in 1928 (at 448 New North Road). All neatly refurbished, with a reminder of the past in the form of the old Mount Albert Borough Council logo – the borough became part of Auckland City in 1989.
Kingsland Public Conveniences
Hotere Mural, Kingsland
More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!
Ralph Hotere (1931–2013) was a significant New Zealand painter who died February 24, 2013. This mural tribute to Hotere, painted by Askew One (Elliott O’Driscoll) in March, was funded in part by crowdfunding. The portrait is based on a 1978 photograph by Marti Friedlander, the text is a traditional poem which featured strongly in Hotere’s work. In particular, it is used in the monumental 18 metre long painting “Godwit/Kuaka” which between 1977 and 1996 greeted passengers in the arrivals hall of Auckland Airport (donated to Auckland Art Gallery when the airport was totally reconfigured). Godwit (kuaka) are migratory birds which breed in Alaska and spend the northern winter in New Zealand/Australia, travellers extraordinaire.
The text of the chant and a translation can be found in a blog post by Auckland Art Gallery Curator Ron Brownson)
Ruia ruia, opea opea, tahia tahia
A grab shot as I was passing this Mediterranean Takeaways with the waiting customer. The reflection of the winter sky and of the sharp delineation of the Portland Buildings caught my eye.
For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.
For more weekend reflections, go to James’ Weekend Reflections site.
Kingsland Old Post Office
For the duration of the Rugby World Cup, projections onto the Old Post Office tell stories of Kingsland and of Kingslanders, as well as painting the building. Thursday nights, an hour after sundown (about 8:30) to 11:30.
The ubiquitous witches hats stand guard – slowing down the traffic on New North Road to protect bystanders.
Kingsland Thursday Night Lights
Kingsland is right next to Eden Park, the temple of Rugby. The dairy here has flags aplenty — and comfortable chairs for the locals to have a yarn as they meet at the shop.
This pou guards Entry D of Eden Park.
From the interpretive plaque:
Tūmatauenga, Māori God of war, stands above wielding a taiaha – a traditional combat staff employed in times of conflict. As a dedication to this deity of contest, any arena where battle ensues is bestowed the name Te Marae Ātea a Tūmatauenga – the battle domain of Tūmatauenga.
In today’s context, Eden Park is such a place. A domain of battle where contemporary gladiators clash under the banner of sport with an intensity and ferocity reminiscent of that of the ancestors.
Carved by Boydie Te Nahu, October 2010.
This pou stands at Entry A of Eden Park.
From the interpretive plaque:
Tāwhirimātea, Maori God of wind and weather signifies the natural elements and their collective influence on the nature of sporting contests. Tāwhirimātea holds the Tewhatewha, a weapon used by the commanding leader to direct warriors into battle formations.
The Tewhatewha is used in a swirling motion to mimic the movement of wind and, as such, is an acknowledgement of Tāwhirimātea.
Carved by Iwi Le Comte, Octobert 2010.
This pou depicting Tānemāhuta is at Eden Park, Entry H. It is the only pou I am aware of that is coloured black. From the interpretive plaque:
Tānemāhuta, Maori god of the forests, bears the pou whenua – a tool traditionally used to mark tribal boundaries and engaged with equal distinction as a weapon should those boundaries be contested.
Tānemāhuta is also credited with the ascension to the highest heavens to retrieve the three baskets of knowledge that brought understanding and enlightenment to mankind.
Designed and carved by Arekatera Maihi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi, Te Waiōhua. Toitu Design Ltd. October 2010
The Rugby World Cup 2011 will take place in this country from September 9 to October 23, watch the clock counting down to kick-off on the official website. The country is preparing to show itself in the best light, and refurbished stadiums are part of that effort. Especially of course the temple of our national religion: Eden Park.
Apart from new stands and amenities, there are four carved pou at the four corners, and this is one of them: Rongomātāne, carved by Albert Te Pou, guarding Entry E.
From the interpretive plaque:
Rongomātāne, Maori God of peace, signifies completion in the psyche of man. In contrast to the traits of the Gods Tānemāhuta, Tāwhirimātea and Tūmatauenga, Rongomātāne represents the calmness, fairness and understanding of humanity. He stands with the wahaika at his front to ward off evil and holds a toki behind his back. The toki or adze is a customary symbol of peace between two parties.
Although Eden Park is a realm of sporting confrontation, the presence of Rongomātāne reminds us that contests fought in this arena must be underpinned by the values of respect, fairness and, ultimately, peace.