There were some creative events, places and people who stood out for ARTbop in 2019. And while like Janus we’re looking to the future, we’re also looking to the magic of the past year.
Finally the start of a Fringe Festival. It’s been “years” since a much younger Dhaivat Mehta floated the idea of a Fringe Festival to run in conjunction with the biennial Tauranga Arts Festival. Then it was “inappropriate” but this year the creative door opened slightly with the Fringe Village organised by The Incubator Creative Hub.
Of course I loved the Fringe Village. Not just because I got to read my poetry while standing on the small shared stage opposite the main Incubator building but because I saw so many young people, young family people, “alternative” people participating in the event and having an amazing time. And I can only repeat what I said at the time – a wonderful investment and “return on creative funds”.
Alf Rendell was legendary around our region. Not just because he lived so long but because he brought to us a collection of creative work that enabled comparison. ARTbop was privileged to meet Alf at an afternoon organised by the Tauranga Historical Society in their rooms behind the Brain Watkins House in Downtown Tauranga. Alf died at the age of 102 years on the 27th December 2019.
Alf established a scholarship for Toi Ohomai students:
Alf is well-known in Tauranga; he followed his father (Robert) into photography as a 17-year old school leaver and after serving in the army during WWII, he returned home and ran the family owned photography business. A business Alf’s son also eventually took over from him.
Between 1946 and 1956 Alf had friends who were learner pilots and it was during flights with them that he discovered a passion for aerial photography. These photographs remained unpublished until a few years ago when Alf decided they could be put to better use. Alf’s 160-page book ‘Tauranga – Historic Tauranga From Above’ was published and stocked in local bookstores.
The profit has been donated to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the form of the ‘Alf Rendell Photography Scholarship’. Each year one deserving Bachelor of Creative Industries (Tauranga) or Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Rotorua) student with a keen interest in photography will be awarded the scholarship. Students are required to submit a photography portfolio in order to apply for the scholarship.
- Applications are open to any Bachelor of Creative Industries (Tauranga) or Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Rotorua) student
- Open to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only
One award of $2,000 is available.
Application Form / More information
BCI students: Please upload the following with your application to the Alf Rendell Scholarship on Google classroom (classroom code y1ayz1).
BCT students: Please upload the following to your USB with your application form.
- Proof of NZ Citizenship or Permanent residency (such as NZ birth certificate or passport.
- A current digital photography portfolio of 15-30 photographs.
- An explanation about your portfolio (no more than 400 words).
- A brief statement on how photography will be part of your of your intended career.
- A brief statement on how you will use the scholarship money.
I arrived in the Western Bay of Plenty shortly after the hard-won Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga had opened. It was a focus and a haven for a newcomer. A wonderful community of supporters and staff. And I believe it’s grown in strength and style. I’ve seen so much there, some of it challenging. In 2019 I was blown away by the current collection of the work of Kelcy Taratoa. The exhibition continues until 1st March 2020. You can also see the indoor exhibition of the work of internationally acclaimed Mr G – Graham Hoete.
Every year I get invited to the end of year exhibition of the work of the graduating students of Toi Ohomai Bachelor of Creative Industries. The 2019 exhibition showcased diversity of style, talent and individuality. It’s inspirational not only for the work on display but the creative people you meet and their determination to complete the BCI.The translucent irregularity of the ceramic work of Anya Fischer
I watched the careful deconstruction of the old district hall on the Te Puna Corner. It was sad, despite the thorough conservation of as much of the timber as could be sustainably reused. The Hall had been a focus for a vibrant and creative rural community. After some delay the “new” Te Puna Hall is well on its way to completion. Last April the Te Puna Anzac Hikoi commenced from the Hall site. I was given a cup of soup and an Anzac biscuit by a team of ladies who told me “this was the first meal on the site of the new hall”. We then walked down to the Maramatanga Park.
One of the treats of 2019 was being invited to join a family watching their young daughter participate in her dance school production “A Modern Alice”. This was another inspirational event bringing back memories of endless hours of practice to be “a flame” and a “swan” …… Loved the Mad Hatter and wondered how some of the really young performers remembered all of the programme.You can contact the dance school https://www.i-dance.co.nz/
I almost cried when I walked back into one of my regular childhood haunts – the Auckland Art Gallery. I caught the bus up.Loved the blackboard…I followed a group of school students writing perceptive comments about international leaders – they got cleaned off.I went up to see an exhibition at Black Asterisk in Ponsonby Road – opposite is another gallery and art space, Studio One. This creative complex is based in the former Newton Police Barracks and you can still see the cells of the gaol. http://www.studioone.org.nz/
I also went over the hill into the Waikato on several occasions to Cambridge and Morrinsville. So much going on. Found Bay of Plenty locals exhibiting in major festivals.Isaac Weston of Re.Work.It with some of the examples of his garden art creativity. Love the Wallace Gallery at Morrinsville and the huge historic hotel on one of the main street corners – Nottingham Castle.
The school in our Upper Whakamarama district is developing a wider community focus. It holds an end of year prizegiving in the Community Centre/Hall over the road. Nothing has changed since I sat in another Hall a while ago and watched this generation of parents. It was magical.
And the school was the place of my 2019 standout highlight – my participation in Te Wananga o Aotearoa te reo Maori course. Not just a language lesson but an insight into the reality of local history and the privilege of whole weekend experiences of Marae stays. This course isn’t your usual academic experience because it involves the talents, goodwill and effort of so many members of local Maori communities.
The beautiful Te Whetu-o-Te Rangi wharenui at Te Whetu Marae Welcome Bay.
And finally looking back at two things I’m absolutely delighted to see. The opening of Okorore at the Historic Village in the Faulkner House.
The development of Creative Korero. So superbly presented and with wonderful content. https://creativebop.org.nz/korero/
The sky is clear today. Yesterday the shared antipodean haze hung over us. It was cold and grey – conditions which would have been welcomed in incinerated Australia. The wind is forcing down the trees I can see outside my window. Pushing them to meet the ground. Letting us all know who holds the power in 2020. If I close my eyes the wind sounds like the sea. Whooshing and slapping.
Rotorua+Hamilton+Taupo+Tauranga:- Mature professional visual artist and arts educator is available for house sitting from 01st February 2020. Non-smoking, non-drinking. Experienced former home-owner, gardener and small pet owner. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org