BLINK Micro Exhibition at BLUR the pushinguppixels collective: I’m determined to take a look at this exhibtion where pieces are nestled among the shelves and stock of the Optometrist blur in Downtown Tauranga. I’m let in before “the Queue starts here” that’s Simone Anderson in a Doctor Zhivago style fur hat and her companion “the Queen” resplendent in lurex gold, lorngette and tiara. Both these incubator represenatives are sitting on deck chairs covered with tartan travel rugs. A pop up installation. Inside the small and often eccentric surreal works of art are displayed throughout the fundamental being of blur. Lots of very affordable “objets d’art”. This was a great idea – blur owner tells me he likes to support the community. This was a very clever combination of styles and judging by the size of the queue outside by the time I left, was a very popular art event. Favourite quote from the self-deprecating promotional handout “ I will work for shoes” Lynette Fisher, Artist etsy.com www.blureyecare.co.nz
COLOUR UP: Tauranga Creative Fibre Guest Exhibitors: Rene Corder-Evans and Tauranga Potters: This exhibition was held in the Baycourt Community Arts Centre Exhibition area. Rene Corder Evans is an expatriate New Zealander whose work was featured. One piece displayed was “Ever Green Queen” Hand felted, hand dyed bustier and gauntlet gloves with hand dyed shibori pleated silk skirt. Merino wool, wool, silk & beads – a theatrical but wearable outfit. I loved the disparately textured twill work of the “Pleats, Paper Pucker Series 1”. Of the Tauranga Potters Group work I particularly liked the horse and landscape tiles of Janet Stanley and Linda Moffat’s Pairs of Ladies – witty and whimsical.
The creative work of the local group was outstanding. Items were numbered not named but I was given a catalogue and was able to note against the numbers with three ticks those pieces that particularly appealed to me. I have no knowledge of creative fibre and found it interesting that I could identify work of individual artists scattered throughout the exhibition. They ranged from wallhangings, hand knitted socks, scarves, fingerless gloves, a witty hot pink pillbox’, felted gauntlets to “please wear me jumpers”. I loved the “New Arrival” Wakakura (baby bassinette) of woven flax and all the surrounding kete; the “Owl Eyes” and “Natural Look” blankets, the blankets and baby clothes of Valerie Sneddon and “Blackberry” a child’s cardigan by Kay Ward. “Ice Cream Cool” was a treat reminiscent of a mohair cardigan bought many years ago in England and “Warm Earth” also took me back – wonderful traditional patterns and style by Beverley Wing.
This exhibition was displayed on ladders and garden rakes – it looked so good. It is held alternately with a regional exhibition. Over coming years keep your eyes open for this display of work by local creatives – it will be worth the visit.
MATARIKI Group Exhibition at Creative Tauranga Community Gallery: This was an “…exhibition of the work of a collective of artists (students and graduates of the Te Wananga O Aotearoa Raranga Flax Weaving Courses) working mainly with flax and some other mediums. Each piece is relevant to Matariki as an overarching theme….” The diversity of this exhibition is clearly shown by Parewhati Taikato’s “wearable halter top” and Bernie Ross’s vibrant blue kete with peacock feathers and paua shell detail and the more traditionally appearing pieces by Bernie Ross and Lesley Boyes. This is a collection of contemporary creative work and another example of the diversity of exhibition at the Creative Tauranga Community Gallery. (The initial statement from the Creative Tauranga gallery website information) www.creativetauranga.org.nz
ART 101: A Beginner’s Guide at the Tauranga Art Gallery:- “A is for Rita Angus” This is not a comprehensive exhibition or introduction to all aspects of art. It is a very clever presentation of a number of very different works with information about their styles, techniques and artists. It will appeal to many in the community not just as a learning experience but as an opportunity to walk through art history. I really enjoyed it. Also at the Tauranga Art Gallery; INNOCENTS ABROAD: TOURING THE PACIFIC THROUGH A COLONIAL LENSE : “You are gently raping my intelligence” It juxtaposes colonial attitudes through photograph and statement against contemporary opinion. They are the often patronising fantasy world of the photographer and visitors of the period. There is reference to the historic existence of a branch of the Klu Klux Klan existing in one of the islands visited. It’s an excellently presented exhibition but it’s depicitions of Pacific people and young women made me uncomfortable. I’m therefore really glad this exhibition has been brought to Tauranga. And then WATCHING WHOPPER DIE: I saw it being born as an installation in the Atrium of the Gallery and now coincidentally I’m watching it die – being painted out. The large multi-coloured canvas has been removed and the beep of the extension platform moves along creating pristine white walls. One corner of the wall refuses to die and the hint of shadow and colour of the former vibrancy defies the white of the roller. Slowly another coat of Resene white erases Whopper. Hotere is coming! www.artgallery.org.nz
PUBLIC ART – HOT DOGS!
Sunday morning down on The Strand there’s a crowd – old, young, big and little and that’s just the people. Then there are the dogs – big dogs, little dogs, boy dogs and girl dogs, shaggy dogs, groomed dogs, little dusters on legs dogs and big and staunch dogs.
Te Puna-Bethlehem Lions have organised a Dog Walk to support the completion of The Hairy Maclary and Friends Waterfront Sculpture Project. A large tent houses the sausage sizzle and there’s a lineup at the contained coffee shop. There’s a smattering of Councillors and families and I ask Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout if he can click a couple of phone photos of the gathering for ARTbop.
A quick word with Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell of Creative Tauranga, the organisation continuing to drive the financial completion of this public art project. I have an explanatory conversation with a young Asian tourist who’s busily photographing the event and the displayed sculpture of Bottomley Potts (who looks even better in daylight) A father tells his young son not to touch B Potts Esq– Grandma like I tell him he’s allowed to touch.
There’s a competition for the storybook lookalikes. Much pointing, cheering and clapping. All the entrants (or more likely the owners) get a free sizzled sausage.
On the grass, on rugs and cushions, two storytellers are reading Hairy Maclary stories to a cluster of small listeners. I walk back to my car past a full playground and as usual small people are dancing in the fountains.
Hopefully the installation will be finalised for its projected opening. If you are interested in this public art project, would like more information or would like to donate to the installation and completion costs www.hairymaclarysculptures.org.nz