Lonely without art

Abandoned barracks at Fort Takapuna, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

Abandoned barracks at Fort Takapuna, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

I’m a morning person, so this is my favourite time of the year. With the sun rising around 6am, it means I have lots of “day” to do things in. Yesterday I found myself out playing with my new camera and ended up at Fort Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore.

I hadn’t been there since November 2013, when it was the site of NZ Sculpture OnShore – a biennial sculpture exhibition held to raise funds for Women’s Refuge in New Zealand.

To help out a friend, I’d volunteered to work at the exhibition. I expected to spend a few hours there, but fell in love with the event. Thirteen months later, I am a Trustee of the fund-raising charity Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust (FoWR), and a member of the Board of NZ Sculpture OnShore.

So I was excited to go back to the Fort – to see it emptied of all the art and all the people. It is a beautiful place; a cliff-top reserve facing east towards Auckland’s iconic Rangitoto Island. This site is a gift to the artists who exhibit here – a gift hard-won by the amazing women who have, over the years, created one of New Zealand’s premier art events here.

An Auckland sunrise - from Fort Takapuna. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

An Auckland sunrise – from Fort Takapuna. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

The next NZ  Sculpture OnShore exhibition is in November 2014. It will be the 10th such exhibition – and the 20th anniversary of the event. Perhaps, by this time next year, I’ll be fed up travelling to Fort Takapuna to play my part in the exhibition. But looking at these views, somehow, I don’t think so.

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