It was somewhat overcast yesterday at Henley Lake and so the colours were a little subdued but still the water shone. Me and Maggie Mae went, she was so excited, she hadn't been any where for a while and I certainly hadn't been to The Lake either. There were still half grown cygnets and some ducklings as well.
And Maggie Mae went in the water as always and always at selected spots. I do love the way any disturbance in the water creates ripples which distort reflections and any transparency. Even the wind can do this and break up the surface of the water.
When there has been no rain and the weather is hot the lake develops a toxic algae which can kill dogs if they eat it. I do keep her on a lead to keep her out of the water in the summer.
A couple of flocks of Canadian geese come in over the lake and land at the far end. They are very noisy as they swing around, calling, flapping and settling onto the lake.
The clouds look ominous and I hope that the rain stays in the hills around us. As the weather plays across the lake and the water darkens it feels quite threatening.
There are what I call "cotton wood" trees because of the fluff that falls from them in the autumn, just what I imagine balls of teased out cotton would look like. They must be quite old, their trucks are grizzled and coloured by lichen.
When I look over towards the islands in the middle of the Lake I can see that someone has done some planting. Unfortunately the Lake is managed by three different groups and it doesn't seem as if there is much communication between them. Each group seems to decide autonomously about the management of the area. One year, one of the islands was moved and a month or so ago someone set fire to pampas grass during nesting time. It is a beautiful resource for Masterton.
I hope they grow and are appropriate for the environment and the weather is not too hot and dry.
As well as the Canadian geese and the swans hooting I can hear the Australian Coots making warning squawks as I get closer to where they nest.
I see one with some dried leaves in it's beak and I wonder if it is making a nest in under the branches.
As I get nearer to the car park I can see some of the Canadian Geese on the grass and I can see that they are dirty messy birds but somehow I like them. They were introduced to the Lake as game birds and have proliferated and now there are attempts to manage their numbers.
As I walked around the Lake I started a "Journey" strip. Thank you Shelley Rhodes. I recommend her book.
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.