Still in deep lockdown… So don’t really want to talk about anything too dark today. Actually, I want to show you the ways that Christchurch has rebuilt itself in the time following the disaster.
In my previous post, I concentrated on the ruins, and you might remember seeing the ruins of the Anglican Cathedral. The people of Christchurch didn’t want to be without a place of worship for too long, so they quickly commissioned the Cardboard Cathedral, which was opened 2.5 years after the earthquake.
It’s a very creative and positive building to enter, and when we visited there was a lot of activity. It was supposed to be temporary, but I heard they’ve decided to make it a permanent fixture for the city.
In other places around the city they’ve planted gardens where there were buildings. This one is a memorial garden in the place where the CTV station building was.
Other places are getting rebuilt in typical 2010’s style.
However there are places that are a little more innovative. Christchurch is famous for its use of shipping containers as structures.
And some interesting sculptural elements.
And finally there’s a proliferation of street art everywhere you look, on old and new buildings.
The combination of all this artwork is very moving. It shows a city that’s rebuilding itself using art. We can learn a lot from that.
The centre of Nelson is based around the Cathedral with a war memorial alongside it. It’s a favourite for visitors.
There are also a few art galleries scattered about town, the Suter being one of the best ones.
There are vineyards up this way as well. We had lunch at Fossil Ridge Winery, which unfortunately now has closed down due to COVID-19.
Like most large galleries, MONA was a mixture of permanent collection and temporary exhibits.
Some of the permanent collection exhibits are fascinating, like the waterfall of words they call bit.fall.
It’s a bit of a maze inside because there are no signage on the walls or set ways to view the works (you are provided with an ipod and headphones to navigate by), but for me that’s what makes it so much fun. You really don’t know what you might see next. It could be an Egyptian mummy, or a weird video installation or an artwork based on a bodily function.
The exhibition at the time was called Zero, and it’s a modern art movement from Germany in the late 1950’s. It’s appropriately minimalist, like this blue ‘pool’ by French artist Yves Klein.
Needless to say, if you don’t enjoy being challenged and completely confused then it’s not the place to be. But if you do enjoy a bit of an adventure (artwise or not) it is worthwhile visiting.
After the visit, we cruised back up the Derwent just as the heavens were opening up. There goes Mount Wellington, for another day at least.
Let’s take a little cruise upstream, to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). It’s a bit like Disneyland for adults there – a bit absurd, lots of fun, very interesting.
Lots have been said about the place, but it’s no doubt the biggest drawcard to Hobart and has even lifted the whole Tasmanian economy out of the doldrums.
The cruise starts from the centre of Hobart at Brooke Street Pier. Soon we’re passing under Mount Wellington, clear and in sunlight.
The special cruise boat has the absurd MONA touches. Kids loved the sheep seats out back.
And 25 minutes later we pull aside the wharf to the low-key entrance.
Apologies for the blog break. Health issues have kept me offline, but I’m slowly getting back on my feet.
Finishing off my 2018 art projects series, we come to the nature inspired sculptures.
This is inspired by Christo, and is an household object(s).
This is inspired by the constructivism movement of the early 20th century and is a bull skull.
And this is a multi-media recreation of a cave (though no cave in particular).
Previously, I had explored human forms through drawing, so I was very familiar with them by the time I revisited them in Sculpture later in the year.
All of these works are in clay. Observation was still the key to their creation, however working in 3-D presented an added challenge.
Still, there is something very primal and (dare I say it) grounding about working in clay. It was a very pleasurable experience, I must say.
Painting projects explored not just technique but art movements too. Everyday objects were a good vehicle for this.
I must say that although I enjoyed painting in both styles, I found painting in the Cubist style very freeing.
Built environments can also be depicted in paint.
These works are in oil, and depict my home.
There is a warmth and coziness about these scenes that is very different from the starkness of charcoal.
A Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you have had a happy and safe festive season.
Getting back to drawing… It’s not just about organic subjects. In contrast, the built environment is a different beast.
All those straight lines may appear restrictive.
But there is always a way to break loose, as these scenes from Cockatoo Island attest.
Determination Cap segues very nicely into the work the other work I’ve been doing in my art studies.
A large part of it was the very essential skill of drawing. No hiding behind colour here – it’s all about form. Thse organic subjects may be difficult to draw but since there were no straight lines I felt free to mark-make and add my own interpretations of light and dark.