Yesterday I went to the Dowse in Lower Hut and found this very interesting exhibition of the work of five New Zealand women artists. All most all of the pieces were installations and/or site specific work, all of them involved textiles, thread or paper in some form.
I enjoyed this piece with its neon green and divisions of space. Every time I walked around it I saw a different image.
These two pieces above are by Pauline Rhodes. It is interesting to look at the different sense of scale conveyed by the two photographs of the standing piece.
These pieces by Mauteen Launder were woven and cast beautiful shadows on the walls and the floor.
Christine Hellyar's pieces were constructed from canvas and objects - feathers, driftwood, and fibre. They were called "Pacific Tool Aprons".
This was another beautiful piece constructed of standing pillars and again had beautiful shadows and a solid sense of space. I think it was constructed from heavy tracing paper, wax and assorted ephemera.
This piece from The Estate of L. Budd was, for me, the most confronting and disturbing.
Thinking today I think it was the most interesting installation. I could walk in among it, it did not seem to be precious or beautiful and it was compelling.
I remember now about the art "group" called "et al", all women, secret and very confronting for the art establishment and others at the time. They were responsible for a New Zealand entry in the Venice Bienniale that portrayed a donkey inside an outside toilet. It created much discussion about what was art and what wasn't and money.
The works in this exhibition are all from the 1080's and reflect the time. They are about change and challenged the popular beliefs about art and society in the 1980's. I can recommend a visit if you can get to Lower Hutt before 28 October.
On Friday I went out to Onoke Spit which is south of Lake Ferry on the South Wairarapa Coast with Steve and Maggie Mae.
It is a narrow strip of land between Lake Onoke and the sea and is a special conservation area where several species of native sea birds breed and there are various types of native flora unique to the area.
This was the first time for several months I have been out to the sea and it was invigorating and calming to be there. I had read that there was the remains of a shipwreck on the spit and I was keen to see it.
When we walked over from the car to the seaward side of the spit the southerly wind became stronger and I could feel my nylon jacket flapping and battering around my ears. The sun was shinning but there was a bank of clouds coming in over the southern headland.
The spit stretched up ahead of me towards Lake Ferry and I knew we had to walk for an hour before we would be anywhere near the shipwreck.
As I walked I realised I had forgotten how much there was to see, and hear and feel. No other people walking or fishing, the only people we saw, the whole time we were there, was a couple heading north past us on a four wheel drive vehicle.
I love finding patterns in the sand, man-made and natural. The stones are "au natural"
There were groups of different sea birds on the sand - gulls and small terns as well as black backed gulls.
And swarming over the sea I could see sheerwaters making their way south, later I would see them coming north.
And birds in the sky swirling and calling above and around us.
And this, I watched it, waiting for it to get closer to the shore, thinking it was a large piece of wood washing in to shore on the tide. Then we both watched it and Steve decided it was a seal and it did appear to move as if it was alive. It seemed to roll over and then put it's 'head' up out of the sea and disappeared. I think now it was probably a basking shark feeding on plankton not far from the shore. What do you think?
We cut across onto the top of the spit looking for any signs of a shipwreck and not knowing exactly what to look for.
The Agenda (Addenda) foundered in 1904 with no loss of life and this is what remains. She was an American barquentine built in 1895, a four masted sailing ship. What you can see are the iron hull fasteners.
On the top of the spit there are wind swept plants, drift wood and the nesting places of some New Zealand seabirds such as the Caspian Tern and the Banded Dotterel. In the spring dogs and people are not welcome on the spit near the nesting birds.
A wonderful day, followed by late lunch at Everest in Featherston - a hot pie and chips to warm up. Even though the sun shone it was a bit chilly as the sky clouded over.