Subtle … not!

Automotive wearable art? Image: Su Leslie 2019

The World of Wearable Art competition is about to begin in Wellington. Sponsor Mazda ran a competition to design a WOW-themed wrap for one of their cars.

Ragtag Daily Prompt | subtle

Shelter once, and perhaps again

Image: Su Leslie 2019

Nothing left but the facade. Heritage buildings in Cuba Street, Wellington, NZ undergoing redevelopment in the wake of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

Image: Su Leslie 2019

Retail and apartment living; redeveloping heritage buildings in Wellington’s Cuba Street.

One Word Sunday | shelter

Just because

Seen in Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington. Su Leslie 2018

I am well and truly back from my little break in Wellington. The bags are unpacked and the laundry’s done. I’ve even dealt to the email backlog.

Unusually, the camera’s SD card isn’t particularly full from this trip. I think the weather may have played a part in this. Although the threatened rain held off, the wind was sufficiently robust to cause the organisers of the LUX light festival to close the event early on two evenings due to public safety concerns.

But I suspect also that Wellington has become almost a second home (albeit one where someone else makes the bed and clean towels appear as if by magic), and as such I no longer see it with eager eyes and lens.

I did however, enjoy the whimsy of the poster above (and yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday shop window).

The poster is promoting an initiative that invites visitors to the museum to “hang” their choice of work from the collection on a virtual Art Wall. Annabelle’s choice (above) is by Michael Smither, and is called big occity (1984).

Given the wealth of NZ art and the large collection at Te Papa, I’d struggle to chose just one work to add to the wall. But this work, Mangaweka, by Robin White, would definitely be a contender. I love the simplicity and clarity — and I have a sneaky fondness for the tiny village of Mangaweka in the central north island.

DP Photo Challenge: liquid

I couldn’t go to Wellington and not share a photo of the city’s iconic bucket fountain. Especially as this week’s theme for the Daily Post Photo Challenge is liquid.

The bucket fountain was designed and constructed by architects and planning consultants Burren & Keen in 1969, as part of the creation of a pedestrian-only mall in lower Cuba Street. The fountain was originally derided (amongst other complaints was the regular soaking of said pedestrians as water splashed beyond the buckets onto the pavement), but over time it has become a much-loved and much-photographed landmark.

Regular Random: five minutes with Lt Col. Percival Fenwick (1870-1958)

Detail; model of Lt. Col. Percival Fenwick from Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition at Te Papa, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Detail; model of Lt. Col. Percival Fenwick from Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition at Te Papa, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

While in Wellington last week, I went to the exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Created in partnership with Weta Workshop, the exhibition explores the WWI Gallipoli campaign through the lives and memories of eight individuals who served there. For each of the eight, a giant (2.4 times normal size) life-like model was created by Weta, showing them at a particular moment.

Lt. Colonel Percival Fenwick, who features in these photos, was a 45-year-old surgeon with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was amongst the first New Zealanders to land at Gallipoli on April 25th, 1915 and remained there for two months until evacuated; sick and exhausted.

The Te Papa model shows Fenwick on May 4th 1915, leaning over Infantryman Jack Aitken of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, in despair at not being able to save the man’s life.

Model of Lt Col Percival Fenwick. Te Papa. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Model of Lt Col Percival Fenwick. Te Papa. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Percival Fenwick survived WWI and returned to New Zealand where he continued to practice medicine. He died aged 88, in 1958.

This is a much more sombre subject than I usually post for the Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), but the exhibition was very moving and worthwhile.

Five Minutes of Random is a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

DP Photo Challenge: evanescent, take 2

Sharing secrets? Girls at the LUX Light Festival, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Sharing secrets? Girls at the LUX Light Festival, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The LUX Light Festival of Wellington has ended. Over 10 nights, thousands of visitors came to watch an ever-changing play of light and dark in a series of sculptures and installations around the city.

The cinema of the washing line. Images projected onto giant petticoat and bloomers. The Light Launder, by Raysordoll, seen at the LUX Light Festival, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The cinema of the washing line. Images projected onto giant petticoat and bloomers. The Light Launder, by Raysordoll, seen at the LUX Light Festival, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Woman standing against projection of the word LUX, at the LUX Light Festival in Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

LUX. Light Festival in Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The word LUX in lights, seen in Eva Street, Wellington during the LUX Light Festival. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

LUX. Light Festival, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Daily Post Photo Challenge | evanescent

 

On public art, festivals and the power of community

Out on the street. Couple at the LUX Festival, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Out on the street. Couple at the LUX Festival, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I spent last weekend in Wellington, visiting friends and enjoying the LUX Light Festival; a free public event that attracts thousands of people onto the streets and waterfront area  to enjoy clever, whimsical and creative light sculptures.

LUX is incredibly family-friendly; the works are easily accessible and there are performances, activities, street food, and a range of glow-in-the-dark merchandise (including ice-cream) to delight kids.

Visitors to LUX gather around 'Control, No Control' by Daniel Iregui (Iregular), Frank Kitts Park, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Visitors to LUX gather around ‘Control, No Control’ by Daniel Iregui (Iregular), Frank Kitts Park, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

A good night out. Girls enjoying the night market at LUX, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

A good night out. Girls enjoying the night market at LUX, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

On Tuesday as I waited for my flight home, news of the Manchester Arena bomb began to appear. By the time I reached Auckland, it was known that people had died, amongst them children.

With each terror attack, each mass-shooting and atrocity that occurs in the world, I struggle to comprehend how anyone can feel enough hatred and anger to knowingly kill and maim complete strangers going about their day-to-day lives.

I think of the people who rugged up and went out to enjoy street art, and of the people who dressed up and went to a pop concert; of those whose memories are of a fun night out, and those whose lives were taken or forever damaged.

Festivals, concerts, public events; these things are essential to the fabric of our communities. They build and strengthen the bonds between us though the sharing of food, music, art and fun. That they seem increasingly a target for terrorism, is worrying. If we become too afraid to go out and share in the joy and camaraderie of public events, we lose not only personal happiness, but community strength.

Yet in adversity people do come together, looking for ways to connect with our shared culture and common humanity. Manchester’s Tony Walsh has shown how art is integral to this, reading his poem, This is the Place at a vigil for the Manchester Arena victims.

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.