Local Heart, Global Soul

August 10, 2018

Sheep On The Line!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I are taking an early morning tour of Christchurch’s, (New Zealand) central city to see for ourselves how the rebuild process if going on after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Whilst looking around Manchester Street we see a tram parked up at the end of High Street and I spot something quirky.

Himself obligingly does a “U” turn and I go in for a closer look.

At the end of the track are buffers: metal boxes filled with concrete, a necessary safety feature and probably a standard fixture.

These fixtures however are far from standard: they have been made to look like sheep and painted in bright colours.

It’s a fun and quirky way to disguise a mundane utilitarian object, well not really even “disguise” because these draw attention to themselves, but in a totally different way to how they might as plain lumps of metal filled with concrete.

I think they are delightful, they avoid the usual problem of being blocks that might be targets for messy graffiti, will amuse kids and adults alike with their whimsical tails, ears and faces and legs and serve their safety purpose as well.

I think these are wonderful… there can be no missing these “sheep” on the lines!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 1, 2018

This Fish Gets A Thumbs Up…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Whilst driving around Wellington, New Zealand, I saw this little fish and chip shop. Look at the sign: I mean, a fish wearing a hat leaps out of the water to give you a wink and a thumbs up… What’s not to like?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 26, 2018

The Funniest Fish Faces…

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Directly next to the “hippopotamus” building of my yesterday’s post, we find this adventurous mural. It’s huge… the fish swim in a large school that covers the entire length of the building. Traffic behind us meant that pulling over wasn’t really an option, and the rain was getting harder. I had to compete with the windscreen wipers for space to see out of the windscreen: this is one funny mural, someone with an excellent sense of humor painted these fish. Wellington, New Zealand is excelling itself with beautiful murals and the decorative arts…Kudos!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 24, 2018

Bright, Humorous And Quirky!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Having visited the excellent Brickworld LEGO exhibition in Te Papa, rain or no rain, Family Kiwidutch decide to take a small look around Wellington City. We don’t have to drive far before we see this mural. As a “collector” of these kind of images, I quickly tried to get a decent close-up. This mural is bright, humorous and quirky… right up my street!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 5, 2018

Side-Stepping The Image, But Not The Issue…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just before Christmas 2017, Family Kiwidutch visited Singapore, and on this occasion took in the views from the “Singapore Flyer” observation wheel.

Himself sat out the actual ride, heights being very much not his thing, but was pleased to wait for us below.

As usual I was busy with my camera, looking for new things to photograph and enjoy. One of these things is the delightful way that people take existing items and turn them into something else.

For example, here at the base of the Flyer, is a wide passageway that features quite a few large columns.

I delight in the fact that in this multi-cultural and multi-religious State, there appears to be no controversy or objection to actually naming the various religious events.

The banners say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”, there are “Happy New Year” banners even though a vast majority of the population in Singapore will celebrate the Chinese New Year (16th February 2018) instead.

I have no problem to promote special days in the calendar of religions other than my own either. I need assistance to get to work, so my work pays for a taxi. Both of my regular drivers are Muslim and the one who has been driving me for a long time is a friend outside of our working hours.

I have no problem to talk about religion to them, we respect that each of our faiths is different, but peace and respect are central. I will let God judge everything else.

We have celebrated Eid (the feast that celebrates the end of Ramadan) with them and learned a lot about the traditions that are important to them. Here in Singapore the columns have been decorated in Santa’s and figures from the Nutcracker, the rain / shade umbrellas outside are decorated with tinsel and baubles.

There is even a large Christmas image on the floor that has a strange 3-D effect.

It was funny because  waiting for a small group of people to pass and to get a better shot, I noticed that only one person was willing to walk directly across the image, everyone else took an extended side route.

I think it was a case of your mind telling you that of course it was flat, the image is only an illusion, but our eyes rebel and in the end we prefer to side on the caution that our eyes dictate and side-step just in case.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

March 4, 2018

Sitting On Big, Bold, Beautiful Forms…

Here’s another “arty” type post from the Singapore Flyer building. In the area between the ticket office and the place where you go up to go onto the observation wheel, is a seating area. Of course I would not be featuring them if they were “just seats”. These ones are bright and quirky, and in a design that catches the eye. I dare presume that they are also seen by young children and toddlers as excellent climbing equipment, or for that game where the child feels compelled to complete a full circle of something, possibly holding the hand of a parent: similar to walking the length of low walls.
It’s not just a kid magnet either, plenty of adults appear to have made themselves comfortable too. Most of all it is quirky, and who doesn’t love quirky? In art I am more a lover of texture, line and pattern. Others art lovers like these too but prefer big, bold, beautiful forms, full of colour. To those people, this post is especially dedicated.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 29, 2017

One For The Road… Well, Better Advised For After It.

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,THE NETHERLANDS,Zeeland (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I have an ongoing “thing’ with some friends who we consider more as family than friends and visa versa.

Whenever we travel somewhere new we try and bring something the local cuisine back for the other family.

On a few occasions it isn’t possible but it can be surprising what we manage to pick up, be it home made goodies from road side stalls to guesses made in foreign languages in regional supermarkets.

Himself and my friends hubby are both keen connoisseurs of dark beers: apparently these are called stouts and porters and the darker the colour the happier our menfolk often are.

We have become experts in wrapping bottles so that they don’t break in checked in baggage on long flights and in attempting to guess what interesting looking packages are in supermarkets.

Our food and beverage swaps also extend to new areas of the Netherlands so when spending Easter in Zeeland and finding this beer it gave us a giggle and we immediately decided to bring some back as our food swap souvenir gift.

The reason for the chuckles were because although Zeeland is a very conservative part of the Netherlands, they are is obviously not without a sense of humour.

On the label is a funny photograph of a very traditionally dressed Zeeuwsch lady driving a very untraditional mode of transport: a large motorcycle.

The name of the beer is “Zwarte Lola’ (Black Lola) which refers to the fact that this is a dark beer and again, it sounds more heavy metal than classical music if I was to make an analogy of musical genres with regional stereotypes.

I have never have been a beer drinker, but apparently it wasn’t bad, the taste testers verdict was that whilst it did not rank amongst the very best they have ever tasted, it was far from terrible and had there been more going, it would have been quickly accepted.

I love it when product manufacturers come up with quirky, imaginative label ideas.

This one shows that the locals can poke fun at themselves and stand out from the crowd.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 3, 2017

This Butt Solution Is No Joke…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Regular readers will know that I love quirky, innovative things. When visiting Gouda’s ‘Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) in order to see the statues of Leeu and Erasmus, I came across this ingenious way of dealing with cigarette butts. Instead of a tall standing sand tray, this sand tray is where smokers usually stub out their cigarettes: at their feet. The tray is below ground level, the butts fall into it through a metal grid. Needless to say I think this is an excellent idea…this butt solution is no joke.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2017

Halt ! Artisan At Work…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The narrow street that almost encircles St Janskerk (St Jans Church) in Gouda has the ‘original’ name of “Achter de Kerk” (Behind the Church).

At one point, this little street widens into a sort of regular street size and it’s name changes into “Willem Vroesenplein”.

It is at this point that several exceedingly old buildings can be found, they lean in the fashion of centuries old subsidence problems but stand strong in spite of this.

The closer of the two has an open door and an interesting display in the front window. Always interested in ‘arty’ things, I of course wheel myself over for a closer look.

There is a man working in the back, a vast array of tools fastened neatly to the rear wall and amazing sculptural works of art everywhere. I request permission to photograph his work, and once given, set about snapping what I can from the doorway.

The man is cordial but even when I admire his work, doesn’t invite me in, so I do not presume that I may.

My eye is caught by round and square towers of all sizes, some of them taller than I am, which are crammed full of architectural details.

A kind of cross between the leaning tower of Pisa, the pyramids, an echo of Escher and the spiral of sea shells, these pieces are full of arches galleries, tall doorways, colonnades and staircases. They are fascinating to look at, but other items also clamber for my attention.

There are the wide eyed, colourful little birds, the squares of equally wide eyed faces (which had a sort of “Grover-esque” quality to them … the artist remembers Sesame Street fondly perhaps?). There is even a larger piece that incorporates both of these ideas, and it’s been broken up so that it could be fitted back together mosaic style into a wall, path or floor.

The front window is made up of little panes, these even extend over the door. The man continued to work on the small conical tower in the back, but just as I finished taking photographs he starts putting tools back into their spaces on the wall and drapes a cover over the work that is in progress. This is to stop the clay from drying out too much. This is very much a “made from scratch” workshop, each piece made under one roof front start to finish. That in itself is getting more and more rare these days. The building is interesting too, even the pattern, texture, colour and style of the old roof slates fascinate me. It’s an old workshop in an even older building, and a little quirky discovery. Interestingly, the Google map screen shot also features the multi-roof pattern in St Jans Church, a brilliant additional touch I thought. I’ve marked on the map roughly where this little workshop can be found.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 8, 2017

Make It Quirky And They WILL Notice!

Regular readers know all about my love of quirky thing, the little details all around us and things that make you smile. In this instance I was delighted to find that it was not only me who noticed that the legs of the seats by Texel’s Eierland lighthouse have been made in the same form as the lighthouse it stands in front of.

Kiwi Daughter, usually disparaging about my taking photographs of inanimate objects of the architectural detail kind, thought that this detail was really lovely and whipped out her phone to take a photograph herself! I also heard other people mention it as they passed by, so here is a message to architects and designers everywhere: make it quirky and they will notice!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Eierland Lighthouse / Texel, The Netherlands.

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