Nestled into a display of decorative and utilitarian woodwork in one of the boutique-style retail areas of The Cargo Shed, Dive Crescent Tauranga is a doll’s house.
I don’t think Keith Goodwin would mind if I describe him as one of the “older fixtures” at The Cargo Shed; he seems to have been there for a very long time now. If you walked past Keith on the street you wouldn’t think you were passing by a clever creative – he looks like everyone’s Granpa.
The large and perfectly formed little house that catches my eye is one of those front opening dolls houses made for big girls and boys rather than little girls. It’s an artisan creation of a life of yesterday with kauri planked floors, tiny carpet hall runners, minute household furnishings, Lilliputian occupants and when the doors close an appropriately sized front garden.
I came across this art form on my trip to see O ARA WHIRIWHIRI: Woven Pathway Multiple Threads One Vision exhibition of contemporary Maori art (also reviewed). In fact I was expressing my thanks to Whare Heke of Moana Nui Design and walking out of the Shed when this intricate and work-intensive little gem caught my eye.
Like many of these miniature houses the front opens wide so you can stand and stare into the interior to your heart’s content. Because it is so detailed you could stand and stare inside for a very long time. Keith and Whare are particularly tolerant as I “ooh” and “aah” when I spy yet another little wonder.
Apart from the craftsmanship and hours of work that have gone into this house and its contents; the most fascinating thing about it is the roof – it’s cedar shakes (tiles) and they have been sliced from the old doors of the old Tauranga Fire Station at the Historic Village, 17th Avenue, Tauranga.
If you are Downtown Tauranga on any of the summer cruise ship days or Saturdays and Sundays pop in and look over Keith Goodwin’s Little House on the Waterfront. It will wow you all.