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Easter 2016 007

This old original dairy factory in the back roads of South Taranaki is someone’s home. I know because..

  1. There is a sky TV satellite disk installed.
  2. There are pots and a car parked around the other side.

I like it because it reminds me of buildings in Italy and France (without the fancy balustrades of course). This photograph below – being from Nice in France.

2015-11-18 21.06.01

I also like the dairy factory for the same reasons – its aged patina, its wooden shutters and its pastel hues. It seems so out of kilter in a country town full of dairy factories and farm buildings that are practical and functional and made of simple wood and brick and that are  definitely not pink. I always wonder about who built it this way and why?

 

 

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Reflecting on the new and shiny….

Len Lye Construction

It is certainly going to be interesting!

Reflections of the church buildings across the road… as seen on the first of many stainless steel curving panels forming the exterior of our new contemporary art gallery and Len Lye centre. It’s currently under construction in our city centre – not without controversy I might add.

Will it last? Will it stay shiny? Will it rust in our sea and salt laden air? Will it blind drivers and pedestrians? Will it get too hot? What will our high rainfall do to it over time? Who knows…certainly not me….but who cannot fall in love with the idea of a unique, original, elegant building? I personally cannot wait to see how it looks finished. There is a place in cities for protecting heritage and old buildings and there is also a place for new and innovative approaches and fresh, risk taking ideas…the best cities celebrate both!

 


Creating on a lazy sunday…

remarkable world

It was the first time in seemingly ages – that I had some time to get out my journal/mixed media supplies/paper collections, and just open my journal and play around. I let my mind wander, and I was trying to not over-think anything and just see what developed. This photo is part of an entire page, but I especially like this little composition.

 

 


A thought on personal and individual style.

symbols in home

What is individual style? I have been thinking about this and have come up with a few thoughts about it. To me personal style transcends your home, your studio, your art, your creative endeavours. They are all just manifestations of your style. Your style is you. It is what makes you a unique person on this planet. Style is a reflection of your genuine self, your expression of who you are. Style is understanding who you are and being extremely at ease with that.

Your personal style is partly what others see, it is your art and your creations, your thoughts expressed, your home, and your community. As I think about this I see images from my home, my art, my studio and my journals – all different but threads of the same things – old symbols (hearts, circles, crosses), text and use of letters and words, old patina’s and vintage finds. Trees, beaches, bridges, buildings, houses all feature in my style, as does finding old nests, collecting sea-glass, rocks and shells, quirky finds and birds, horses, growing food, and history all interest me. Writing musings, journalling and playing with mixed media, painting big abstract paintings and trying to do photography everyday are my style. Noticing things others might miss and finding beauty in everyday things are my style. My style is thinking in interconnected circles but writing in bullet points.

Your style is also how you live. Being a mum to four kids will always be my first priority. That’s my style too. Like many of us, I am juggling everyday – the divergent needs and demands of a large complicated and blended family, working to earn income, running, and try to find space in my day to create, fitting in all the other messy stuff in between, that’s my style too.

I am a mother to three boys rapidly moving into that strange place between being men and boys, and one 4 year old princess fairy. A writer and keen blogger. I am a runner. I am a photographer. I am an artist. I am creative. I dream of Italy and of visiting Europe one day. I dream of living closer to the land, but also (ironically) closer to the city centre and so I can smell and hear the sea. I dream of my three sons as babies and wonder at their journey into being young men. I love my pink, sparkly princess who has in a thousand different ways saved me from myself through this process with her enormous smiles, delicious cuddles and piles of charm, giggles and songs. All of this, is part of me.

What has running got to do with style? Running is very much apart of who I am now, after I put on my trainers one year ago exactly and ran to the first lamp post then walked the next two. I run to clear my mind, to think straight, to have my body hurt in a good way. I run so no one can see tears occasionally. I run to have a few precious moments when no-one needs me. Running gives me space to plan, dream and plot. It takes time but it also makes me more creative and more efficient. I also see things that I don’t see when driving or distracted by tasks and errands. They are all part of my style.

Is style is the only thing you have left when you strip everything back to its barest state. Or is style is an individual and original point of view delivered with confidence? Or, the culmination of all the parts of a life brought together? Or is style really just having curiosity, a sense of spirit and confidence in yourself?


Bridging the gap on the east side…

steel railway bridge

I have been travelling recently to the other side of my fair country. To a place I had only been to once many years ago, a place where the sand is pale and golden not black, a place I had only been to in a very different lifetime.

I saw many abandoned railway bridges on my journey. They are no longer used to carry people or cargo around the towns but they have an inherent beauty, individuality and structural elegance that remains to this day. Maybe they will be returned to their former glory  or possibly transformed into a highlight of scenic walking and cycling route…who knows? For now they sit slowly deteriorating in the landscape.

All I know is that I like them and think this one is very beautiful. I hope you do too.


City perspectives…

vulcan building

 

I see beauty. I see commitment. I see vision. I see elegance.  I see the perfect pinnacle where great design, solid engineering and excellent workmanship all come together to create a timeless beauty. It doesn’t happen often, and that is why buildings like this are special.  This Vulcan Buildings is one of my favourite buildings in Auckland. I also love the contrast with the modern, glass, streamlined building to the left. And the tree placed between the two buildings – carefully planned or an after-thought?

Where we live affects us. The buildings, the trees, the spaces we dwell in…they all affect us both as individuals and as a society. Let us hope they inspire us.

 


Blue doors on the street…

blue doors

I love the patina and colour of these blue doors. Once they must have been a much brighter blue but now they are a faded, worn-out, beaten up kind of faded blue. It reminds me of my favourite old jeans, almost threadbare through the knees, the hems have started fraying, old paint stains remain and the blue denim faded by a thousand washes and continual wear. These doors, like my old jeans – old, worn, faded, but beautiful to me.


On not running away with the silver…

forks 2013

A big part of my art/writing is about finding beauty in everyday and ordinary places and noticing what I call “the small stuff”. There is nowhere more unassuming than a cutlery drawer in an old house where I uncovered an odd collection of old silver forks, knives and spoons casually mixed up with a mish-mash of stainless steel and plastic handled cutlery. I grabbed the old silver, and no, I did not run, but rather, I set about photographing it, in such a way as too showcase it’s inherent beauty. I love that it is used on a daily basis and not stored away; that it is beaten, tarnished and the once legible initials have nearly worn off. Such beauty.


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