Tag Archives: auckland

The changing city skyline and lego bricks…

art gallery

I watched this group of older school boys…they were completely engrossed in building a city skyline entirely from white Lego bricks –  it was part of an interactive public display at the Auckland City Art Gallery recently. The structures that had been created by others so far were striking in their elegance, complexity and intricacy creating a fantasy city skyline of magical, wonderful, imaginary towering structures. It was also temporary, as each structure could be dismantled or added to by the next person and turned into something new and different, always changing and evolving – an interesting way to consider a city…


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.


Grey Guardian in the city.


I have really felt invigorated recently, being in a different city. It’s been a real reminder of what I love about being right in the heart of a big city…the architecture, the use of spaces both big and small, the people watching, the discoveries you make by walking around and exploring.

I love the very Gothic feel of this photo, which was taken in the pouring rain. The grey sky, the rain, the grey stone building…”The Guardian” it says over the entranceway, which is rather apt I think. And the rather grand clock, a sombre reminder that time waits for no one…

Sculpture in the city…

bird sculpture

I love art is public spaces. Especially beautiful, thoughtful, elegant human scale sculptures such as this one I came across on a very rainy day recently in Auckland. I also love seeing old buildings that have been lovingly restored and redeveloped. The sculpture sits right under and next to a lovely old city tree. I love that it seems to say to the child “come and explore here”. And to me, it said…”I am a part of this city’s heart. I speak for the birds and the trees”.

It also happened to be right next to the very impressive and newly renovated City Art Gallery. And as I am also partial to the native birds that this sculpture honours, it all adds up to a pretty special place/moment where even rain couldn’t dampen the spirit. I hope my image captures some of that.

I was not lost but I found you.

I found you. An old piano, in a tiny corner of a tiny outside space tucked in between two modern buildings. A found space that beckons you…stay a while, have a seat and a coffee, discuss your meaningful (and mundane) things here – your secrets will be safe with me, contemplate here, read your book, write, or dare even, to play a tune on these worn old keys.

Perfectly perfect in every way.

A city view.

I always look up.

These are three of the images I took in a city I have not lived in for over ten years, but recently visited briefly. I observed my new but not entirely unknown environment, considering the streets as I walked. Both public and private spaces, and public and private buildings, old and derelict, new and everything in between was found.

I like to consider what makes a place interesting, vibrant, beautiful, eccelctic and what it is that draws us in, to linger and stay, play and be ourselves.

The view from the window

I was going to write something about old buildings and why I love them (along with trees and old graveyards apparently!).

I think this photo did not need a comment about appreciating old buildings and trees, or another comment on urban landscapes or the importance of heritage buildings in our city centre, etc …Nope, none of that… I just think it’s a really nice photo actually.

My interpretation of Auckland…

memory markers?

The most private of conversations happen not always in the most private of rooms. Frequently, and i would argue mostly, they occur in the most public of spaces. Conversations about love, loss, decisions about critical issues, joyous and tragic unexpected news is announced to us, not in quiet rooms with closed curtains, but frequently in the most public, open spaces you can get, a park bench, a seat on the edge of a raised garden bed, a cafe table and chair…and these very public of places become markers in our memory. If you think back to critical news you received, those key relationship make ups/break ups/first dates/final meetings, decisions that you made,  discussions with a close confidante, results that were read from tests, exams and life changing admissions/declined applications, and the fate that they sealed/opportunities they opened, important letters read, internal debates had about choices…they happened, frequently, in a public space, a library, a cafe, a park, a street seat or stairs of a civic building. And that space, becomes a memory marker in your conscience. You cannot walk back to that place without recalling the critical conversation had there, you cannot sit at the same cafe without remembering, you cannot walk past that bench without reflecting.

That is why we need good urban spaces, private public spaces, intimate enough for life’s most important and critical discussions to take place, private enough to talk, but public enough to feel you are not alone.  There are witnesses to your life, passers by, the general public, other people..and thats important. They distract, providing welcome relief when the discussion becomes unbearable, when talking ceases, when its time to decide, when there is nothing left to say…

Memory markers…walk past one and you will know. It will all come flooding back, like it was yesterday. It reminds you where you came from, and why you are here and where you are going. And reminds us that we are not alone. And we all need that.

private public spaces or are they public private spaces?

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