Local Heart, Global Soul

August 23, 2012

Foxton Gets it’s Glamour Paint On AGAIN!

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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There’s a small clue in one of the photographs of yesterday’s post as to what we found around the corner as we came out of the Foxton Windmill… even this town full of murals has time to run a Mural Festival! Since the festival had recently ended, many of the ‘exhibition” spaces where mural had hung were now empty,  returned to artists or sold to buyers, but there are enough left over for me to investigate further.

Therefore yet another  arty post!!!  Who would have suspected that this rural stretch of coastal highway would boast such a massive percentage of creative talent!? Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 21, 2012

Foxy Foxton All Painted Up…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We drive into Foxton fully expecting it to be another non-descript small town,  where you arrive in at one end, travel the full length of the main street and leave out the other, the journey having only taken a couple of minutes.

Once again we are delighted to be proven wrong.

Foxton seems to have risen to the challenge to become rivals …

…(or partners), with it’s northern cousin Opunake with respects to art works, as murals are everywhere.

Once again it’s clear we will be pulling over for a photographic tour… but there are far more than I could actually photograph in a realistic time, since for instance down just a single side street  we discover one massive wall of a large DIY  shop that sported (from memory)  four of these alone.

You can just imagine the smile on my face as the van pulls over and I step outside to get some photographs and marvel in the detail  these amazing artists have produced. Yes, I know that the courthouse/museum building doesn’t have a mural on it, but it was a beautiful building  with ornamental stonework and my shutter just couldn’t say “No”…. You know me by now, … a sucker for a building with a pretty face.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 11, 2012

Remembering Opunake… a Fitting Memorial.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still  not finished with murals in Opunake… they are almost literally around every corner.

Not surprisingly the Opunake War Memorial is not just a physical memorial but also depicted in a mural, consisting of three main parts:  from left to right, first  there is a tall masted sailing ship and a depiction of what I think are the very first local Maori and Pakeha (white settler) settlements, then secondly, past the beach is a Maori war canoe, native bush with the war memorial itself and Mount Taranaki  looms in the background.

The third section of the mural optically bends the view, morphing it into a turn of the century street view with local landmark buildings of the main street and a horse and rider making their way down the street.

Once again… cool! I’m loving the community spirit of this place, and this is reinforced by the sign that thanks local for shopping locally and supporting local businesses (as I believe we all should, where ever possible).

Mount Taranaki sits in the background not only in the graphic on the walls but also physically… yet another beautiful landmark in this town full of charm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 10, 2012

History Painted On the Wall…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still taking photos in the small east coast town of Opunake, yesterday we saw the tag art of the Café Surf Lodge 45,  and today we are looking at  a mural diagonally across the street that depicts the history of Opunake.

Called “Reflections of Opunake 1900 -2000”  it’s by mural artist Denis Lattimer and was painted in April/May 2002.

There was an information  board close by so I managed to collect some details about the mural which I have added (in italics)  to the photos below.

Whilst there was a large open space next to this wall, there were also several petrol pumps down  the middle of it so cars came and went  as people tanked  their vehicles and I made allowances accordingly since getting photos without the cars or the pumps in the picture was a bit tricky, but did my best from several angles.

The building of roads out of boulders and swampland created it’s own share of mishaps. This 1910 scene shows a steamroller being extracted on one such occasion. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Potentially seen as the biggest port on the west coast, two attempts were made to establish a safe wharf during the early part of the century. Unfortunately both failed as commercial ventures and safe berths. Some piles of the one pictured still remain at the northern end of Opunake beach.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This mode of transport was a common sight on Opunake roads at least into the 1930’s.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Taken from a 1921 photograph this Hudson vehicle transported passengers and mail from Eltham to Opunake. “Speed, safety & comfort”was the company motto. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The farmers co-op-operative chain of retail outlets were vital suppliers to the coastal towns these delivery vehicles  were a common sight on the Opunake roads during the 1950’s and 60’s. Allied farmers continue in business today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Opunake’s  beach has long been a popular spot with both locals and tourists. This picture from the 1930’s shows a pagoda changing room  where the local surf lifesaving club stands today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Flax farms and associated fibermills were an important source of employment. Maori women are adept at flax weaving – a tradition continued to this day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The railway line branched from Hawera and ended at Opunake, where engines mounted a turntable for the return journey. This thriving method of transport was superceded by road cartage and the rail closed in 1973.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hand milking a mixed breed cow, probably in the 1920’s. Cow herds may have numbered 20 compared to the largest today of around 700.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The surf breaks along this coast are considered among the best in the world. Depicted is a local surfer on a typical wave.  This sport is nurtured as a future tourist industry.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Frisian  herds are arguably the most popular of breeds on the local coast. The dairy farms form the economic infrastructure are vital to the prosperity of the area. The milk collection tankers are an everyday sight through the township.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The oil and  gas condensate platforms, Maui A and Maui B, (erected 1976 and 1972) are situated approx. 33 km offshore. Their operating lights are visible on a clear night. They are part of the  part of the recovery of the considerable on and off shore oil reserves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 20, 2012

Colouring In Blank Spaces Brings and Instant Smile…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

On our way to the Waitomo Caves  we passed through a small town called Otorohanga. It’s about 20 minutes  back-tracking from the caves in the direction of Hamilton  and it’s where we have found suitable accommodation for the night. But first before we find our beds we stop to look at some of the more decorative elements in the town.  I am always beyond delighted to find colourful murals on what would have been boring blank grey concrete walls in any urban environment so this discovery immediately brings a smile to my face. The only annoying thing was that I was too tired at this point of the day to walk the distance down the road to photograph it closer up.  I therefore took the lazy route and used the zoom lens on my camera to capture as much of the detail as I possibly could.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 23, 2010

Landmarks in The Hague: a View with a Room…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes when I’m moving though the city I spy thing that  really catch my eye.

If I have time and I can grab a photo then I try to not miss the opportunity.

This landmark  in The Hague is a mural on the side of a building…

…Actually on the entire end side of a  block of apartments.  The apartment  building is off the Medlerstraat  which runs at right angles to the Erasmusweg,  and it’s  from the Erasmusweg  where you can see the mural.

The ingenious thing about this piece of artwork,  is that it’s like a view inside the building itself,  like you really might be looking into a room of one of the apartments.

Of course that chances are that it’s not, but actually we will never know, yes it is a typical old fashioned Dutch living room, complete with old fashioned gas heater, but in the end  it’s just left up to our imaginations. We are left with a kind of peeping tom view that is actually a peek that’s OK to take.

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