Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Auckland, solo shows and 'stuff'

Sunset in Auckland (Symonds St)

Here are a couple of photos from Auckland. My eldest son has gone there to study Jazz at Auckland University and I took my younger son up there for the holidays for a visit. Music son was trying to fit in 8 hours of practice a day during the holidays so we didn't see much of him. My husband went to a conference in Marrakesh for pretty much the whole holidays.

Anyway, I managed to get to see the exhibition 'Kermadec' at the Maritime museum which is great. I really recommend this exhibition to anyone who has a chance to see it. The band 'One Direction' was staying at a hotel very close to where we were staying. I had to wear earplugs to get to sleep to cut out the noise of all those screaming teens.

We are only 2 days into the new term and  today is a public holiday for  Anzac Day so I have been working on some of the weird experiments required as part of the course. Today I have made a sponge and feather mockup of a sparrow, tried and failed to smash up an old road reflector and hung a line full of washing over a stream (with the help of various members of my family). The sponge and feathers sparrow hasn't been used yet so I can't tell whether it will be successful or not. The road reflector is a dead-end I think and the washing over the stream was supposed to look like dyed clothes dripping into the stream but the sun went behind a cloud and really all it looked like was a washing line on a camping trip. Never mind - we have to try these things.
I should explain that as part of the course we got 2 mystery 'materials' and a word and we have to use these together for experiments and try to incorporate them into our body of work for our solo exhibition (which is looming fast and I haven't even worked out what I am making).

So my 2 mystery materials were a packet of pigeon feathers and  a road reflector, (probably dug up in the numerous road works on in wellington all the time). My word is 'Impact'.

I've had fun with the pigeon feathers which I dyed blue,  however the road reflector is pretty much indestructable. I have hit it with a sledgehammer, attempted to crush it and hammered nails into it but most of them bent. In the end all I have been able to do is use it to make an impact on something else.

 It is very hard to make any sort of impression on the reflector

So I used it to make an impression on some camping mat foam. I'm short so I have cut the bottom 30cm off my foam camping mat. Then I warmed it up with the heat gun but heating it up with iron works as well, as long as you cover the foam with tin foil first. Then when it has been warmed till it looks like it is changing a bit on surface, push the object you want to get an impression of, into the foam. Then you can ink it up to make a print or paint it and use it for some other purpose.

The gold sprayed foam impressed with the back of the reflector which is studded with gravel, looks a bit like a slice of toast. Unfortunately I have no real use for toast-like bits of camping mat right now.

Here are some other shots from the park where we went to take fake pictures of clothes dripping into the stream.
 This is the Bucket tree. World famous in New Zealand :-)
Here is a quote * Tawa's Bucket Tree, which is registered as a notable tree, is thought to have been first pruned into shape by Frederick Westbury, who worked for landowner William Earp, in the 1880s. It is actually a group of about five macrocarpas. 

Underneath the tree is an amazing tangle of branches.

So this is what I did on Anzac Day 2012...

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