Local Heart, Global Soul

September 22, 2019

Open …Or Closed?

Driving along the “dune” road of the Maasvlakte on a warm, sunny Saturday morning in August, Himself, Little Mr and I spot an unusual piece of wooden sculptural art. It’s cleverly structured so that it appears to change as you progress along the beach road, even looking like it has several solid panels at one point. It’s something that stands out  if viewed from one location, but at other times it almost melts into the dunes. The natural wooden timbers  and curved top lines blending in so well that despite it’s size it can be difficult to spot at a distance. It’s certainly a landmark (when it can be seen) and I’m delighted to see the use of natural materials.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 10, 2019

A Cuppa With Long John Silver!

I’ve been sitting in the car, sharing my DSLR camera with Little Mr as he and I took photographs of our early Saturday morning tour of the fire stations dotted around the massive port of Rotterdam. Now it’s time to get out and stretch our legs for a little bit, and enjoy a cuppa at the beach cafe at the end of the public road in the Maasvlakte. Called “Smickel Inn” it’s an informal take-a-way/cafe place in what looks like a large shed.

The people running it are very friendly indeed, and the fries and drink that we ordered were delicious too. We sat in one of the booths facing the water and I saw afterwards that all of the booths on that side make up the shape of along ship, with the ‘bow” to our right. Standing next to this “bow” we even had our very own pirate! He’s not real of course but I bet he enchants kids when they come here. Not every day that I have a cup of tea with Long John Silver!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 12, 2019

Creepy Or Charming? You Decide…

My next find at the Garderen Sand Sculpture Exhibition in 2017 were these (I think they were cast concrete) faces. They remind me a little bit of Shrek, but somehow, for me at least, there is not quite enough charm and whimsy in the expression to avoid them just being creepy. They were too big to use as doorstops (unless you had a barn door that needed propping open, and as a garden ornament I am not sure what you would do with it.  I live in a big city and don’t have a garden but if I did I’m not sure if knowing that Shrek’s cousin was grinning in the moonlight near the potting shed would fill me with confidence or unease.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 11, 2019

Would You Keep A Cow In The Back Garden?

There seems to be a current trend for painting on stone (or concrete). Sometimes these take the form of small decorative pebbles and stones, other times they are intended to be hyper realistic images of other things. The popular theme of the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition appeared to be cats, but sheep, cows, birds and even a bear (who I think doubles as a post-box) is included. Some are more realistic than others (intended to be or not) and whilst I like, for instance the black crows and black and white cats for their realism, I can’t think of where I could possibly put them, or how I would want them at home.  But full sized sheep and cows? That would make for an “interesting” garden (if I had one).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 7, 2019

Carving Out A Place At The Front…

Attending the Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition in 2017, I find these wooden sculptures at, and round the main entrance. They vary in size and complexity, but some are seriously detailed. Creativity at it’s finest, it’s an excellent introduction to the exhibition ahead.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 24, 2019

Statue Kid Magnet…

Standing next to the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren in Zierikzee, is a statue that is quite compelling to look at. Designed so that it looks like it changes shape as you move around it, it is also a kid magnet in the park area around the tower. When I arrived two kids were playing on it, so I waited for them to leave, then took my first photos. Since at the time I was already heading past it to got inside the tower I thought I’d get it from different angles as I went. A new little girl had other ideas and playing on this for ages so again the waiting game. Eventually her mother called her away and I hastily took photographs before more kids arrived. I suppose that being dual purpose, both playground equipment and sculpture is a good thing, it one way to draw visitors closer to have a look. I didn’t see any artist attribution markings, maybe there was but I just missed it. It is most certainly striking, and a good way to liven up this open space.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 23, 2019

Pieter Mogge Stands Tall In And For Zierikzee…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst looking at the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Zierikzee I come across a statue. I can see that it is of Pieter Mogg, but the text on the plaque is difficult to read, so I did some research of my own and came across information from a Zierikzee website (link below): The page was only available in Dutch so I have translated it here:

Pieter Mogge (1698-1756). Born in Zierikzee in the Meelstraat on the 29th December as the son of a Zierikzee regent, he was destined for a comfortable governmental career.

Pieter attended the Latin school in Zierikzee and studied law in Leiden and Utrecht. Back in Zierikzee he held various prestigious positions until becoming Mayor on three occasions, each term of office being for one year.

In 1737, Mogge left Zierikzee to sit on behalf of Zeeland in the audit office of the generality in The Hague. Four years later he became deputy representing Zeeland with the States-General.

Mogge acquired considerable capital thanks to his parents. As the only son, he inherited from his father and also received an inheritance from his childless uncle Ockersse. Therefore Mogge, who remained unmarried was an extremely wealthy man, one of the richest Dutchmen of his era.

The link with Zierikzee remained despite Mogge being unable to visit often.  He knew how to guide himself through the political storms of the time, especially in 1747  when The Netherlands went into war with France.

After Mogge’s death on November 6, 1756 in The Hague, his body was transferred to Dreischor to be buried in the burial chamber of his uncles Ockersse in St. Adriaanskerk. At the funeral of the guests, received besides bread, wine and cheese, also tobacco and pipes.

The centuries-old statues of the mausoleum were rapidly deteriorating. The municipality received 6500 guilders (present day value of approx. 1.9 million euro) inheritance from Mogge for maintenance of these but the work never eventuated, the money apparently  having been distributed around various community projects on Schouwen-Duiveland (the island in Zeeland on which Zierikzee is located).

Eventually, centuries later, Government subsidy was approved and in 2010, restoration was completed. This was a specialized renovation due to the necessity of completely dismantling the lavishly decorated tombs and having them taken to the workshops of stonemasonry workshop Zederik (daughter of the Royal Woudenberg) in Tienhoven. The complete renovation took approximately a year.

The burial chapel has been renovated from top to bottom, from the black-gold lattice at the entrance to the painted ceiling. On January 21, 2010, the impressive tombs of Mogge and his uncles Ockersse were unveiled after restoration by Mayor Rabelink of the municipality of Schouwen-Duiveland.

To everyone’s astonishment, in his will Mogge also bequeathed 420,000 guilders to his home town of Zierikzee for the founding of a university. Almost all regions of the Netherlands had one university of applied sciences by the 1750’s, but Zeeuwen (people from Zeeland) had to go elsewhere to study.

Mogge wanted this to change and at the same time give his father city a new lease of life. Mogge worked out his plan in detail. In order to carry out the will of their fellow townsman, the Zierikzeese Town Council turned to the States of Zeeland for their cooperation. The States hesitated because the city of Leiden objected. These, supported by the States of Holland, argued that the privilege of their university of applied sciences determined that it had been established for both Holland and Zeeland. No matter how much the Zierikzeese regents campaigned, nothing went in their favour.

After more than ten years of debating, the Zierikzeese city council was forced to give up in 1767. Mogge also forsaw this situation, because he determined in his will that should this situation arise, the profit of his capital should be earmarked for the orphans of fallen soldiers.

The war, however by that time, had been over for quite some time so that nothing came of that plan. After consultation Mogges’ heirs, it was decided to use the interest for a variety of useful purposes such as supporting fishing and merchant shipping in the area. In 1960’s when the municipality of Zierikzee’s finances were especially tight, due to the restoration costs of many historical buildings, the bequest was made redeemable for these expenses. In 2008 the Renesse foundation had a beautiful image of Mogge, made by Marian van Puyvelde, placed at the Nieuwe Kerk.

https://www.zierikzee-monumentenstad.nl/Mogge-Pieter/ gemeentearchivaris  (City Council / Municipality of ) van Schouwen-Duiveland / Pieter Mogge / Statue / Zierikzee / Zeeland /The Netherlands     (Dutch language text only)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 17, 2018

Pounamu, Jade, It’s All Greenstone To Me…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On our way back from Franz Josef glacier we arrive again in Ross. This time we are not here to check our luck finding gold, but to hopefully collect another New Zealöand treasure: Pounamu , or as readers may know it: Jade.

Mountain Jade Company website tells us:  “Jade is a semi-precious stone that goes by many names, including nephrite, greenstone and pounamu.

Typically green or black in colour and often flecked with stunning hints of gold and cloudy milky hues, jade has been revered by cultures around the world for thousands of years.

New Zealand’s European colonists typically refer to jade as greenstone, while Maori people call it pounamu.

Elsewhere, geologists call the stone nephrite while gemologists know it simply as jade. Despite regional differences, these names all refer to same material

I already have a (cow) bone “Hei Matau” (fish hook) which I wear every day. For me this is a special piece first because it was a gift from an Aunt who is a member of the Kaikoura Ngāi Tahu southern group of Maori. The fish hook is the symbol of the “Mainland” (South Island) and in Maori legend Maui used a line and fish hook to drag the North Island out of the depths of the sea. Since I am South Island born and bred and now live on the other side of the world this symbol is my little piece of “home” that I wear every day.

I have always been on the look out for a companion piece in Jade to go with my bone Hei Matau but so far, places like the souvineer shop we visited in Picton just don’t have the simple style I am dreaming of finding. Their pieces are too tourist orientated for my tastes. Kiwi Daughter is also on the lookout for a special piece of Jade for herself so it’s to one of the jade /pounamu / greenstone carvers that we go.

The artist is Steve, who carves amazing pieces of all shapes and sizes. His workshop shows pieces in progress, the walls have photographs of native birds (one of his inspirations) and around the walls the jade is on display. Steve has lost a leg (I didn’t ask how) so we joked about having one working leg each, and he explained about how work on Jade is slow, delicate work where a design can not just be imposed on the stone, it has to be worked out gently around the imperfections and grain of the stone.

We also learn that there are different grades of Jade, the most “pure” being of course the rarest and most expensive. There are probably more than fifty pieces on show and I learn later that from those Steve had put out just a couple of the best quality.  Of course this not to say that the majority of the pieces were low quality, because they certainly were not. That would be like asking you if you wanted to turn down 18 carat gold just because it wasn’t 24 carat gold. Would you do it? Of course not. The Other jade is of seriously good quality, it’s just that it is possible, on occasion to find rare pieces of stone that are almost perfect. Steve had a few such pieces. It turned out that even though one display was higher up than the rest, and contained a mixture of styles, I was immediately drawn to one piece. It was long and slim, imagine a sword blade but with slightly softened edges. This was the piece I’d been looking for, for all these years. To my amazement I’d also picked out one of these rare pieces of Jade. Kiwi Daughter bought herself a beautiful small piece, also of very good quality, a simple, elegant piece of pounamu that she too wears every day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Jade, with the grain clear to see…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Below: this piece was massive.. and so tactile, as Little Mr. could attest. We all wanted to touch this one. Little Mr’s had also for scale…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 27, 2018

Robert Falcon Scott, As Sculpted By His Wife…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is the statue of Robert Falcon Scott, the Antarctic explorer who lost the race to be first to the South Pole and who, with his team of men, perished on the ice.

The statue was damaged in the 2010/11 earthquakes and after breaking in half needed extensive restoration.

In these photographs Scott is missing the staff that he was holding in his right hand. What makes this statue especially notable is that is was sculpted by his wife, Kathleen Scott, in Italy in Carrara marble and it bought out to New Zealand after the end of the First World War.
Wikipedia tell me that;

“The inscription on the plinth, which is one of his last diary entries, reads:

‘I do not regret this journey, which shows
that Englishmen can endure hardships,
help one another, and meet death with
as great fortitude as ever in the past.”

The inscription had become illegible by 1922 and a separate marble plaque with this text was installed at the entrance to the reserve. Another plaque lists the names of the five men who died.”

The link to the Wiki page shows both the broken statue and it in it’s original state, with the staff in his hand. (it looks more “complete” with the staff in my opinion).

I’ve taken multiple views of the statue for my artistic inspiration files.

Wikipedia / Robert Falcon Scott / Statue / Christchurch / New Zealand
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Statue

(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)

September 23, 2018

Love It Or Hate It?

Another new-to-me statue around Christchurch is the on Main North road just by the factory that makes, or at least used to make Marmite. Looking a little like the cross between a baby Chalice  (Chalice… A Leafy Beauty. )  and a flower, I love this one too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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