February 27, 2013

wet hair

Hair on bath tiles - an artwork by Jeanette Mundt from the group show "Reckless Head" at Michael Benevento, and a drawing of a head with  my own hair done while showering one evening, 2011. This probably means I need a better conditioner. Would like to return to this idea however, though now it may be difficult as I have just had my hair cut.

February 24, 2013

A day trip

Boogie boarders in the surf at Port Waikato / tyre tracks in the black sand / Parents posing outside the Mercer Cheese shop / Tuakau Bridge, which leads to Port Waikato / a Bayleys exclusive property for sale / blurred Mercer cheeses / rough waters at Sunset Beach

While visiting New Zealand I generally limit myself to Auckland - apart from a week spent at the family beach house on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula (which is pretty much part of Auckland these days anyways) the main priority is to catch up with friends and family. However I do like to fit a day trip in at some point. Last time my parents and I motored northwards to Brick Bay Sculpture Park and the Scandrett Regional Park, both places I had never been to before, and both now with my seal of approval. This time I put forward the notion of heading in the opposite direction, as I never seem to venture southwards a great deal.

Driving south these days seems to take about half the time it used to, and the smooth sheen of the motorways  detract a little from the sense of adventure (as adventurous as one can be, when your parents are sitting in the front seats chauffeuring you), but as long as you take some pit stops along the way, you feel like you are off the main drag a bit, even if technically you are not out of Auckland.
We stopped in Mercer, to buy some Mercer Cheese, one of those small towns where they are all known for something. I wish we had also stopped in Pokeno, for some Pokeno Bacon. We nibbled on our mature Gouda with slices of apple as we took a scenic route of our own invention towards Port Waikato, the small settlement on the West Coast which is the mouth of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest.

Port Waikato doesn't have any of the glamour of Piha, Bethells, or Muriwai. It's decrepit, the houses falling apart, single storied, single roomed, they all seem hunched over, sheltering themselves against the stiff breezes that pound them with salt. The surf beach goes by the rather misleading name of 'Sunset Beach', perhaps trying to trick innocent tourists into thinking it's New Zealand's answer to Home and Away's Summer Bay. But it is so unspoilt, and it's bleakness is to it's benefit. The beach was empty except for a few boogie boarders and perhaps a dog, and the surf lifesavers camped between the flags sitting in their buggy.
An overcast day, one could just stand on the beach at look out to sea, and see nothing.
I stared out into the distance as the clouds and surf spray merged with the sand dunes at the end of the spit which curves around into the mouth of the river. Apparently there is a walk you can do around there, and in the springtime sightings of dolphins and seals are possible.

We stopped at the local café/restaurant/takeaways (it was maybe the only shop at the beach, there was a sort of general store by the old wharf) and in a fit of New Zealand patriotism indulged in an L&P and a Hokey Pokey ice cream. We drove around the streets before leaving, I think I noticed a library, half the houses seemed to be for sale. If anyone wants to join me in setting up an art commune there, pretty sure we could buy the properties on the cheap.

On the return trip we crossed the Tuakau Bridge which spans the Waikato River, stopping for mandatory photo documentation. Built in 1933, in a way it served as the 'bridge' (what other word can I use) between the 'island time' of Port Waikato and the pounding repetition of everyday life.

February 21, 2013

Surface details.

Kilmartin House Museum, 2013, Bronze Thirteen pieces, overall size 3 m diameter / The Perpetual Plannist, 2012, Artist’s pages for Un Magazine 6.2, December 2012 / Floor Work, 2012, Acrylic, Dimensions of the floor, less 30cm at each edge

All works by Ash Kilmartin.

I love these three details of works by my clearly talented good friend Ash Kilmartin, which I have blatantly thieved from her website with only the best intentions.  The separate works were made over a  period of two years, but the repeated use of specific colours, shapes and scale create a sense of a continuation or investigation of a larger theme or project; ongoing research which manifests itself in different but familiar ways as her practice evolves.
The considered interferences on floorboards, the oval shape of the front pad of a shoe sole is mirrored in the stripped back paint surfaces which surround the embedded key. All surrounded by a particular shade of orangey pink, which sooner or later could be known as 'Ash Kilmartin Salmon' (which doesn't really sound like a colour at all but hey) in a similar vein to Yves Klein Blue.

Possible colour names for that particular shade welcome.

February 17, 2013

Not installed

As yet I have no means by which to hang my framed photographs, artworks and posters, therefore they are currently resting on the floor - slouching against the wall like a row of disenchanted youths outside a petrol station. I quite like everything being low to the ground though - it is as if I can take everything in if I sit on the transparent chair (reflected in the mirror) in the centre of the room, and 'survey my territory'.

Paper grain

Hand drawn woodgrain paper created to wrap christmas presents last year. I envisage them framed and hung, a little torn, creased, with traces of sellotape still attached. The traces of the objects they enclosed, personalised by the recipient, showing their efforts to preserve/destroy the paper.

February 10, 2013

Drum 'n' organ

Swedish friends are great to have, and I am lucky to have one who introduces me to amazing things like this 60's duo, Hansson & Karlsson, one on drums, one on organ (and everyone knows organ is the best instrument ever). I can't really put it better than the introduction to their biography on Spotify:

"The two members of Hansson & Karlsson are both better known for other things - Bo Hansson as the composer of the progressive fantasy album Lord of the Rings, and Jan Karlsson as a second-rate actor."

Fortunately in the 60's they combined to create this moody, manic mish-mash of amazing sound that I am going to spend all afternoon lying on my bed listening to, trying to drown out the thumping bass emanating from downstairs.

Be sure to watch the video above - special moments to watch out for - Karlsson (drums) grinning like a buffoon the entire time, Hansson (organ) the 'serious' one obviously, but who also happens to play in socks, and random guitarist who keeps cropping up (sorry dude, it's just drums and organ), and when they go crazy at the end and all pound gongs.

And best of all their albums are all on spotify for your (and my) listening pleasure.

Furniture for flats


So far in the epic adventure that is to be called 'furnishing my flat' I have sourced two pieces of furniture from Malmö's rather good second hand establishments, both very reasonably priced. I love to gloat/share my successes, so I have documented them in situ and plastered them all over the internet. Unfortunately not much else exists 'in situ' (I write this sitting on a cushion on the floor in the corner where the internet lives) I have no tables, no blinds or curtains, no ceiling lights. Yet it isn't bleak at all, having always lived in rooms with filled to the brim. It is nice to downsize and I hope it remains that way.

February 3, 2013

This is not my home

Don't look at interiors blogs/images/anything when trying to furnish an entirely empty apartment. It will just make you depressed. I wish I had never seen these.