Friday, February 29, 2008

What a night ...

Here we are, Whitireia students and tutor Deb (far left) and Suzie Moncrieff, the founder of New Zealand's World of Wearable Art. That's her sandwiched between Olivia and me. I think her story is that about twenty years ago (give or take) she and a few others had a small gallery in Nelson, and decided to have a show. The idea was to take art 'off the wall'. From those humble beginnings, this is now a major event on the arts scene every year with entries from all over the world. We had a little chat about lasts years show, which was truly amazing. This is a huge event that is choreographed with dancers, acrobats, and models. You have to see it to believe it. (Thanks to Carol for this photo because guess who had flat batteries at the most inopportune moment!)
Suze chatting with us. I met her last year and she was just as friendly as ever.
Me, Olivia and Joan, some of my wonderful colleagues from Whitireia majoring in textiles. See my lucky feather earring and my new fabulous Native American earrings. Love love love them.
I want to tattoo my arms and hands this year (or next depending on when I get my design, I want a moko - Maori tattoo, so I may have to wait) but I noticed Suzie's and snapped it. Such a simple design that looks great.
Looking out from the second story of our city town hall, one looks across Civic Square to Wellington harbour and the Hutt hills beyound. The sky was grey but the light is good for my purposes. I got a great angle on these tall sculptures.
Another view looking across to Eastbourne and just below to the right is Cirque Ici.
I remember this, Friday night drinks. All the office workers flood out into the bars for a few drinks, laughs and relax with friends.
Then onto another entirely different gathering, my husband and kids were at their church prayer meeting tonight held in a local marae, Maraeroa at Waitangirua in Porirua.
And look what I found. These carvings are typical of Maori carving (I think you might appreciate these Robyn, and perhaps you can see why your work might resound with me too). Robyn is a an artist in South Africa who carves from wood as well, and you can view her work by clicking on her link, Art Propelled down the right hand of my blog. The figure below has tukutuku panels to the left. Tukutuku panels are made using wooden slats that are woven together. It takes two women, one sitting either side of the board, weaving back and forth to achieve this. And look at this fellow. He has a fish tail. There were over thirty of these carvings supporting the walls of the marae, then central carved poles, and the main ones at each end. The ceiling was a combination of tukutuku panels and more carvings. I don't know the local lore, but each of these carvings will be significant and represent someone important from this tribe.
This lady was high up and so I couldn't get the lighting any better. But having a woman depicted here was very interesting. Where I grew up, no woman were represented in the carvings. She must have been at least three metres high.
Below, this carving has a smaller figure wedged between it's legs.
On of the tukutuku panels.
Detail of tukutuku panels.
My son showing me his muscles. The carving behind him shows the figure holding a kete (flax woven bag) and has a dog. They were all very interesting, like a good read because each figure was represented quite uniquely.
The painted central beam of one of the other halls. Most meeting houses are built on the form of the human body, with a spine (central beam) and ribs (rafters).
And finally, when I got home, my son needed to talk. He is finding all the changes hard this year. He has such a quiet nature and I loved the way he came and leaned against me while I checked my mail. We read how Robyn was bitten by a spider in South Africa and has a swollen foot, how the caterpillars leave something on you that makes your legs and arms itch, how she is visited by monkeys and we learned what owl pellets are. I couldn't solve his difficulties but I promised to help him through them. In the morning I have a 'Pink Party' to attend, then my family want to celebrate my birthday early, so I think we are going for a bush walk and swim at the Kaitoke Park in Upper Hutt. I hope your day was satisfying. And congratulations Robyn for taking up my first challenge and winning. I look forward to finding things from my culture and country for your package.



Let the photos do the talking ...

1 comment:

Robyn said...

What a surprise to find myself starring in Ahiparagirl. I am honoured.
I love the photographs of all the carvings, especially the fish tail figure since I have been making preliminary sketches for a carving of the African goddess, Yemaya who sometimes has a fish tail. The marae must be fascinating with all the symbolic carvings, the woven panels and the beautiful painted beam.Thank you so much for sharing!