Local Heart, Global Soul

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)

September 12, 2018

Sewing Wheat In the Heart Of The City…

On the intersection in Christchurch, New Zealand where Colombo and Hereford Streets met the pedestrian end of High Street there used to be a famous, iconic fountain that everyone knew as a landmark. As such it was the target of at least one dye or detergent prank every few years and I’m not sure exactly when it was removed: before or after the 2010/11 earthquakes. near to the spot where it once stood is a new statue, one I like very much. Looking like a small bundle of stalks of wheat, this has style, simplicity, inspiration from nature and is, in my eyes anyway, beauty. As in yesterdays post we couldn’t stop for better photos because of traffic, be we went past twice during our tours of the inner city so I had two attempts at close ups. I’m thinking that maybe the “grains” of wheat are also lamps, making this light up at night, but haven’t seen it in darkness so can’t confirm that.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 7, 2018

Chalice… A Leafy Beauty.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One thing that is impossible to miss is the large sculpture next to Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Square.

I find out from the Christchurch City Council website that:

https://www.ccc.govt.nz/culture-and-community/heritage/heritage-in-the-city/chalice “Chalice” is a piece that celebrates the new millennium and 150th Anniversary of the founding of Christchurch and Canterbury by the Canterbury Association. 

Designed by Neil Dawson, sculptor of international standing, The commission was to produce a major contemporary, public artwork for Christchurch.

Chalice has a primary hexagonal steel structure and a solid steel conical base. Native leaf patterns are cut from aluminium sheet, welded to custom-made triangular beam structures, and then bolted into position on the frame.

The exterior of the conical structure is painted silver using a durable automotive paint. The interior of the sculpture, seen through the perforated shell, is painted metallic blue.

A dark band of black pearl granite in six segments surrounds the foot of Chalice making a circle just over 3 metres in diameter. 18 metres high, 2 metres in diameter at ground level and 8.5 metres in diameter at the top, its shape mirrors the spire of Christchurch Cathedral.

With a solid steel base up to approximately three metres above the ground and a perforated network of 42 aluminium shapes represent the leaves of native trees that previously grew in the city area.

The leaves depicted are mapou, kowhai, mahoe, totara, karamu, titoki, ngaio, maratata and koromiko. The leaf patterns – complex constructions made up of computer routed shapes – reflect the geometric features of the Cathedral architecture, windows and tiles. As the leaves become larger, higher up the sculpture, they become more detailed and less dense.

The open texture of the artwork allows views into and through it.

The official lighting ceremony was held 10 September 2001 and Chalice has since been lit at night with one floodlight situated inside the base of the cone and one spotlight aimed at the exterior of the structure from the pavement.

Neil Dawson was born in Christchurch 1948, and went on to receive a Diploma of Fine Arts (Hons), Canterbury University 1970 and a Graduate Diploma in Sculpture, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne 1973. He was also awarded an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2003.”

I think that “Chalice” is an excellent choice for the Square, and I like this piece a lot. The fact that it looks as good at night as it does by day is a bonus, but the piece manages to combine the feeling of lightness and a certain fragility within a massive size.

The leaves manage to look delicate and even as the leaves join up and get smaller at the base, everything is still very recognisable, quite a feat for the artist to pull off. And pull it off he does, this has now to be my favourite sculpture in Christchurch, I am sure it has quickly become an icon of the city, a distinction richly deserved.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 6, 2018

John Robert Godley Is Back On His Feet…

There is a large bronze statue standing in front of the Anglican Cathedral in Cathedral Square, Christchurch New Zealand. This statue of John Robert Godley, most famously toppled off it’s plinth during one of the big earthquakes that shook the city in 2010/11 and landed face down on the tiles below. In doing so he became the much photographed face-plant and one of the many iconic images of the quake.

Wikipedia    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godley_Statue
John Robert Godley Statue  , tells us:

The Godley Statue is a bronze statue situated in Cathedral Square in Christchurch, New Zealand. It commemorates the “Founder of Canterbury” John Robert Godley and was the first statue portraying a person in New Zealand. The statue fell off its plinth in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake and time capsules were discovered inside the plinth. It was four years before the statue was returned to its position.

In November 1847, Godley had a fruitful meeting with Edward Gibbon Wakefield over two days. The founding of the Canterbury Association was an outcome of this. He arrived in Lyttelton in April 1850, eight months before the first settlers arrived through the scheme of the Canterbury Association, and acted as the ‘Resident Chief Agent’.

Whilst he only stayed for two days before leaving for Wellington, he stopped expenditure to address mounting debt. Godley was back in the port town for the arrival of the First Four Ships, and was then in effect governor for the Canterbury settlement. He was outspoken, scrupulous and an accepted authority. He was a strong advocate for settler self-governance.

He left the colony in December 1852, only two years after the settlers arrived. Godley died in 1861. The statue was erected in 1867 and is listed as a Category 1 historic place by Heritage New Zealand. The  statue is located in Cathedral Square, the heart of Christchurch, to commemorate the “Founder of Canterbury”.

The statue, by English sculptor Thomas Woolner, was cast in the Coalbrookdale foundry in Shropshire in 1865. It was unveiled by magistrate Charles Bowen in Cathedral Square on 8 August 1867.

In 1904, a Christchurch City Councillor advocated for the statue to be moved, as the soon to be built trams would not leave enough space around it. In 1907, the City Council gave permission for the erection of a tram shelter to be built that completely hid the statue from view from the Cathedral. In 1917, the situation was made worse by the construction of underground toilets right next to the statue. Finally, on 5 March 1918, the statue was shifted to a new position to the north of ChristChurch Cathedral.

The tram shelter was demolished in 1931 and the statue was moved back into its original location in April 1933 after the removal of some trees from this part of the Square.

The statue fell over during the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. In the following days time capsules were discovered beneath its plinth by a crane driver, one a damaged glass bottle containing a parchment and the other a sealed metal container. The two capsules were placed in the care of Canterbury Museum for examination and preservation. The time capsules were to be opened once the Museum’s lab was operating again sometime in April 2011.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said in late February 2011 “the first thing that we will do in this city is put back up on that plinth the man whose vision it was.” After a conservation process that included the strengthening of the bronze, the statue was put back on 18 February 2015, “just shy of four years since he tumbled from his plinth.”

On 2 April 1985, the statue was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I historic place, with the registration number being 3666. The statue is significant, as it is the only known work of Woolner in New Zealand. It demonstrates the link between the settler community and the Canterbury Association. It was the first portrait statue that was unveiled in New Zealand, and for almost 20 years, it was the only one.”

Personally I think that after a four year absence, it’s nice to see John Robert Godley in his rightful place and back on his feet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 17, 2018

A Place Of Intense Feeling…

The War Memorial in the Square in Christchurch is a wonderful piece of art work. If it were possible for emotion to ooze out of a statue, then this would be an example of it. We can only see it from a distance at the moment, I hope to take photographs that would do it justice at sometime in the future. There is a large fence all around here, the only gap is filled with a wire fence. By zooming in I attempt to blur the wire out of existence. This statue is not just an artwork, for many it’s a place of intense feeling.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 16, 2018

And What Do You Do? …”I’m A Dragonfly Rider…”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When we crossed this bridge on the way to the “Supertrees”, there was so much to look at that I barely registered that these sculptures were there.

On the way out however I saw them and instantly fell on love: After all, a whimsical set of sculptures where a breed of tiny folk ride on the back of dragonflies, waving their nets to catch… ? (I’m not sure what they might be catching, but let your imagination run wild).

My first split second thought was “Butterflies” but that’s not logical, if everything is to scale in this imaginary world then the butterflies would be as big as the dragonflies.

Maybe it’s a grain of pollen they are after, a sweet treat on their dinner menu?

These sculptures glisten in the tropical sun, which makes them harder to photograph than I first realised.

These are two works of art that I would dearly love to get closer to on a future trip, there are coloured pieces set into the wings of the dragonflies, they really capture the gossamer structure of the real insect.

These are fanciful and beautiful, and by far my favourite artwork in Singapore so far. There are several Information notes about Dragonfly Lake (where these pieces sit) which read:“Dragonfly Lake: The Dragonfly Lake plays an important role in supporting the ecosystem vital to the Gardens’ sustainability. Stroll along the 440-metre board walk and be transported to the world beneath the lake through the augmented reality binoculars” and “Dragonfly Bridge: the Dragonfly Bridge is a fantastic photographic spot, which offers panoramic views of the Gardens and connects into Bay South Garden from Bayfront MRT and Marina Bay Sands.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 15, 2018

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees, But Gold Does?

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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We are getting ready to leave the “Gardens by the Bay” in Singapore. On the way out I notice some art that follows the “tree” theme, no doubt influenced by the massive structures of the “Supertrees” close by. The Gardens extend far beyond the small area we have visited in part of one afternoon so if you like nature and walking then this would be an excellent place to explore. We didn’t even get time to visit the two large indoor buildings, the “Cloud Forest” and the “Flower Dome”. We will have to leave that for another trip. The “trees” in this sculpture series appear to be part of a set, I counted three, but I think there may have been more. They were so far away that I needed maximum zoom to get a decent close up, and judging by the raised cameras of people close by, I was not the only one keen to get a photograph.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 6, 2018

Clouds Illusions, … Rock On.

Filed under: ART,Marina Bay Sands Hotel,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Family Kiwidutch have been visiting the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. After a trip up to the Observation deck of the hotel we head back inside to take the “bridge” to the Gardens By The Bay. On the part of the bridge that is inside the hotel stand two large sculptures. The information plaque tells me that the artist is: Zhan Wang of Chinese nationality and the two pieces are made out of stainless steel. They are called “Artificial Rock No.86” (2002) and “Artificial Rock No.71” (2004). Okay, I have to confess that as soon as I saw them I was positive that they were clouds. It just goes to show how much I know about modern art… (which is not much it seems). I photographed them from different angles… Don’t tell the artist, but they still look more like clouds to me!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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