Sunday, August 31, 2008

#457 ... Reinforced

Despite the economic slowdown ... the building continues ... here the team in Taranaki Street are getting ready to put some backbone into Wellington. The blue tower in the background is the vertical bungy on the corner of Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street

Saturday, August 30, 2008

#456 ... Sunshine

The Old Government Building getting a bit of welcome sunshine in between all the rain we have had.

Friday, August 29, 2008

#455 ... Fashion Olympics

Max Fashion takes the bus and goes to the Olympics ... apologies for the resolution ... only had the phone camera

Thursday, August 28, 2008

#454 ... A Clean Street

The rubbish bins in Manners Mall (Manners St) getting the once over from the street cleaning gang ... these guys do a great job keeping Wellington's "effluent" society under control .. thanks for you diligence!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

#453 .. Colourful

On the corner of Marion and Vivian Streets the Beveridge Locksmith's shop becoming dwarfed by yet another inner city apartment building. The eclectic primary paint scheme adds further colour to the somewhat original faded red light area of the city. Vivian Street is a jumble of icons that describe a unique part of our city.

Across the road from the locksmiths is the School of Architecture for Victoria University ... Josh, my son studies here. Next door to that and to the locksmith are some strip clubs and moving west along Vivian St .. an adult store and in the old bank building you will find Logan Brown ... another of Wellington's class restaurants ... very very highly recommended.

Walking back along the street you have the Blue Note Bar, an art gallery and yet another strip club. Heading east there is the Trades Hall whereone of the staff was killed by a suitcase bomb many years ago ... next door to that is the Wellington Stamp Co ... where you can get all sorts of printing stamps crafted.

... so somehow the locksmiths is a metaphor for the street in which it lives.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

#452 ... The Volunteers

On a wet Monday afternoon .. and the photoshoot must go on ... upper Cuba Street, an eclectic band and some Americana on wheels .. all the ingredients for a promotional shoot for some great entertainers.

The band is The Volunteers and they play in a number of the local bars and gig places. Band Members are Elan Mills (guitar, piano, vocals), Joe Simmonds (bass), Malcolm Taylor (drums, vocals), Marliesje Van den Assum (harmony's, piano), Maxine Macaulay(harmony's), Felicity Wait(harmony's).
Influences Family and friends, the Beach, , the blues, rock n roll and soul.
Here are some bands that people have said they sound like after seeing The Volunteers live: The B52's, Talking Heads, Leonard Cohan and Coldplay.

Monday, August 25, 2008

#451 ... Caffe Italiano

A new entrant to the top of Cuba Street ..Caffe Italiano adds colour, style with great food & coffee. Right behind the skate boarder carefully navigating his way down Cuba Street

Sunday, August 24, 2008

#450 .. Contrasts

Contrasts in buildings, light and shadow and styles ... Looking skward on Lambton Quay, Wellington CBD

Saturday, August 23, 2008

#449 ... Liquid Assets

An interesting piece of billboard advertising on one of the boatsheds around Evans Bay ... Wellington Airport is directly behind the boatshed and many people flying into and out of Wellington will have tracked left to right or right to left in this image.

Friday, August 22, 2008

#448 ... AB21

Well we celebrated another family milestone this week ... Anna, my daughter turned 21 .. so we hosted friends and family at Concrete Bar in Cable Car Lane ... Rachael and the team there did a great job

Thursday, August 21, 2008

#447 ... 40 Licks

Constructing an interesting window display ... The Bendon Store, Lambton Quay ... maybe even a tribute to Mick Jagger !!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#446 ... Spring ???

A lone daffodil on our driveway ... is this the start of something better ... weatherwise ???

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#445 ... The Big Wet

Well this is what the grass looks like in the Midland Park on Lambton Quay ... more like a rice paddy field ... and we have had far less rain than many other parts of the country.

This is where we all sit on the grass during the summer months ... not so now!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

#444 ... Tagged Again

As a follow on from the image on Saturday .. here is the latest skirmish in the battle of the concrete wall

Sunday, August 17, 2008

#443 ... On any Saturday

Alex Moore Park, Johnsonville ... grass roots rugby on the day that this little country somewhere in the South Pacific won gold, silver and bronze medals in Beijing ... rowing, cycling and shot put ... as well the All Blacks beat the SA Springbocks 19-0 in South Africa !!! ... and we are proud of them all. For such a small nation .. sport features very large in our national psyhcie.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

#442 ... Graffiti

Which is the graffiti ... fundamentally the difference is more to do with permission or authorisation than art. If you have permission from the owner of the wall it then it is OK ... if not then it is more than likely graffiti .... neither of these scenarios is a guarantee of artistic merit.

Our local suburb Ngaio is tagged Naturally Ngaio so tends to favour a more natural colour palette. However the City Council in their wisdom paid for a Painter (no disrespect intended) to create a garish blue and cheap looking seascape on the railway overbridge ... with stenciled coloured sharks ... the whole thing is so out of context and qualifies as F-ugly.

Over the last week there has been a silent tug of war going on between a tagger and the City Council ... the words "Ross is a gay" appeared and then were "blued out" .. and yesterday there they were again. For me the fascination is about what we call environmental art. In this case neither artist makes the grade ... in my humble opinion.

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is sometimes regarded as a form of art and other times regarded as unsightly damage or unwanted vandalism.

Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples going back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Graffiti can be anything from simple scratch marks to elaborate wall paintings. In modern times, spray paint and markers have become the most commonly used materials. In most countries, defacing property with graffiti without the property owner's consent is considered vandalism, which is punishable by law. Sometimes graffiti is employed to communicate social and political messages. To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions, to others it is merely vandalism. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly evolving artform whose value is highly contested, being reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

Friday, August 15, 2008

#441 ... Lido Cafe

The pavement seating at The Lido Cafe has become a Wellington landmark. Situated opposite Civic Square and on the ground floor of the building shown in the picture, Lido serves up great coffee and tasty, affordable all day food.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Jazz on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Even though its winter you see the trees beginning to get a tinge of green as spring tries to push through the gloom

Thursday, August 14, 2008

#440 ... Enrol to vote

We are heading towards the elections for the political party to govern the country. November this year ... so there is lots of marketing, promotion and information about how to get on the electoral role ... hence this motorised, passenger carrying billboard.

Victoria Street, Mercer Street intersection .. next to the Wellington City Library

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#439 ... Arching

The Wellington Library (left) and the City Council administrative building (right) joined by arching offices at the entrance to the Civic Square

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#438 ... Dreamer

I took my new black cat "Jaguar" into the workshop to get new software loaded for the trip computer ... and no it is not the car in the photo (bugger) While waiting I walked across to the new car sales to have a look ... when I was approached by Nigell, one of the sales guys. "Would you like to take the new Jaguar XF for a test drive, Sir"

Well why not .. and not only was it the new XF but the top of the range 4.2 litre V8 Supercharged (306kw) .. absolutely superb. Awesome power to go and to stop !!! You can park it in my garage any time you like.

After a "test" drive ... Nigell obliged and took this photo of me and the car ... I'll probably never have ... but maybe . Anyway it was a delightful start to the week ... Thank you Nigell from Williams & Adams Premier

PS: rarely to I post personal photos .. so apologies for showing off this piece of automotive machinery ... and a "smile in the mind"

Monday, August 11, 2008

#437 ... Seeing clearly

This is Dave .. a part time, contract window cleaner .. keeping the glass display windows at Kirkcaldie & Stains, bright and clean. Most people were out and about enjoying the sunny day after all the rain ... but others have to be there giving us a clear view with a fast and steady hand. Thanks Dave.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

#436 ... War Gamers

Well this is what kids do on a cold wet wintery day ... this shop is at Courtenay Central .. the multiplex cinema on Courteny Place ... my son Josh did this for a couple of years when he was at Intermediate School.

Basically with a throw of the dice ... you claculate what and where and how far you move your soldiers. The Rules

Saturday, August 9, 2008

#435 ... the Birth & Death of Taxes

This footpath bill board is outside Bennetts Book store at hte northern end of Lambton Quay ... in the heart of the political end of the Wellington CBD.

They always seem to strike an appropriate chord that brings "a smile to the mind"

Friday, August 8, 2008

#434 ... Morning Pasteries

The delivery of pastries at the north end of Lambton Quay .. someone is going to have a delightful lunch

Thursday, August 7, 2008

#433 ... Hob Dog

Take it which ever way you like "Range Rover" or "Hob Dog" .. the terms are almost inter-changeable for the two main participants in todays image .. taken in Upper Cuba Street.

In fact HOBDOG would make a GR8 personalised PL8 for a RNGRVA .. haha

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#432 ... Photographed Photographers

One of those strange moments .. walking along Vivian Street to meet my son Josh ... when theses 3 uni students appeared from nowhere and started taking photos around a nearly empty carpark ... the ground, the walls, the pipes, the graffiti, etc ... must have been from the Design or Architecture Schools

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

#431 ... Emporio Cafe

Emporio Cafe in the new Chews Lane which runs between Willis Street and Victoria Street. It has been modelled on the narrow lanes of Melbourne with cafes, food places and bars. The plywood rings for the lights and the very solid concrete bench top of the Cafe make for an interesting mix ... the warmth of the decor and the smell of fresh coffee was a welcoming feature especially on a cold wet wintery day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

#430 ... The Bucket Fountain

Cuba Street was closed to traffic in 1965 to remove the unused tramlines. During this time a campaign started to keep Cuba Street closed to traffic. In 1969, the Cuba Street pedestrian mall was officially opened by then mayor, Sir Francis Kitts.
Designed by architects and town planning consultants Burren and Keen, the Bucket Fountain was constructed as part of the Cuba Street Pedestrian Mall. Before the fountain was installed in Cuba Mall, an off site mock up was created to test and adjust the tipping buckets.
Cuba Mall has received two facelifts, in 1980 and in 1998, but the Bucket Fountain continues to remain remarkably faithful to its original construction (although regular maintenance is required to keep it operating).
The Bucket Fountain is recognised as one of Wellington’s quirkiest and most well known landmarks. The Wellington City District Plan includes recommendations on how best to develop Cuba Mall. Within these recommendations the plan states, “The much maligned/much enjoyed sugar-scoop bucket fountain should resume pride of place in the Mall.”
In November 2003, the Bucket Fountain was removed from Cuba Mall so that it could be painted and repaired in time for the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The revamped fountain is brighter and splashier than ever!

Go to this link to see how it works

Sunday, August 3, 2008

#429 .. Link Building

This is a photo of the "Link Building" with Te Papa and Circa Theatre in the background. My son Josh used it as the subject of his latest architect project to enhance and build on this space. The design is a stage with coloured side panels mimicing a keyboard and the glass panels on the south side of Te Papa. The concentric squares in front of the stage are seats which also look down to the water below. The central pool has rotating paddles that generate electricity from the movement of the waves.

This small building was the control office for the link bridge that connected the stern of ships to the Taranaki Street Wharf. The building still remains as part of Wellington's architectural history although the link is no longer in use.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

#427 ... THEME DAY: Metal

This month's theme of "metal" should have perhaps portrayed 'corrugated iron' which is one of NZ's iconic sheet metals ... however this particular artwork by Ken Laws uses a metal which a lot of New Zealand industry was built on.

This piece is made from stainless steel which in NZ is almost synonymous with the meat,dairy,wine and food industries, from which most of our export revenue comes from. I worked for 25 years in the meat industry so have had some contact with cold, hard stainless steel ... painful and otherwise. This particular sculpture "Keeping Secrets" is matched by the gallery owner Ron who does a human mimic of this very well. ... thanks Ron for your patience.

Ken provides a quite unique form of expression by sculpting in the unusual medium of stainless steel. But despite what we might consider a hard and cold material Ken provides reflections and depth that give his totally original and eye-catching works a softer far more subtle, transient and personal feel. Ken believes it was his travel overseas and his life experiences that encouraged him to start sculpting in metal. It is the New Zealand landscape that provides the inspiration for his work, in particular, the mountains and the sea. Travelling through these areas gave him “glimpses” on which he bases his work.

The combination of a two-dimensional medium (painting) with a three dimensional medium (sculpture) gives Ken’s provides a quite unique form of expression. It enables him to experiment widely with new ideas and techniques. Stainless steel is his preferred medium as it allows him to sculpt the metal to provide reflections and depth. His skills as an artist were originally honed on the work-shop floor as a panel beater and he has used this training combined with his obvious artistic flair to produce works that are totally original and eye-catching.

Ron Epskamp has this to say about the gallery ... "As Exhibitions Gallery Of Fine Art I feel it is important to continue to maintain and grow the quality, variety and range of artworks we sell. By representing emerging artists alongside more renowned and by displaying works from representational and expressionist to abstract I feel that we often excite or challenge the viewer when they visit the gallery.”

THEME DAY PARTICIPANTS Click here to view thumbnails for all participants