Sunday, 26 May 2013

New Zealand: Land of the Fairies

There's something otherworldly about New Zealand. Particularly when you are from Australia, as I am, and you're used to crumbly red dirt and eucalyptus-scented bush (a term used to describe scrubby forest/grass areas), and also when you're used to thinking of New Zealand as being, well, almost like Australia. It's so close to us, and yet the landscape is so very very different.

Volcanoes push their way through rolling green hills, mud pools hum and spit, deserted beaches glow with white white sand and heavy dark trees drip with rain.

It make sense to me why New Zealand has been the site of fantasy films like Lord of the Rings - it is hard to believe this landscape exists, even when you're standing on it.

And really... there's nothing as fun as bubbling mud!

One thing I love about New Zealand is the Polynesian culture, and I had a great time at Waitangi learning about the treaty, and seeing some Maori performances in a traditional Whare.

Lest you think New Zealand is just a wild landscape, I took a few photos in some of its urban spaces...

New Plymouth 
The people are generally some of the friendliest and most welcoming I've ever met, and many of the towns of which much of New Zealand seems to consist, have a 1960s down-to-earth charm.

Looking for mussels, Whitianga

Thursday, 16 May 2013

White Nights and Inspirations

 Flinders Street Station

I've had a lot going on lately... family illnesses and so on. After such an intense time, it is nice to get back to the blog and a little bit of creative normality.

Melbourne had a White Night a few months ago, mid February it was, a hot night with music, art and street performance from dusk till dawn. White Nights have been happening in other places around the world - including Saint Petersburg, Paris and Tel Aviv - but this was the first time we had experienced one in Australia.

I was impressed! The city was packed, so it made it difficult sometimes to see all the things there were to see, and find all the things that there were to find, but the volume of people added to the buzz. And it was a good sign for art in Melbourne - I have never seen so many people going into the National Gallery before.

I've been inspired by the colour, the lights and the fun to create a new jewellery range based on White Night. I might even include some textile and fashion designs in the mix! Watch this space for more news to come...

Buildings along Flinders Street 

 Busker in Hosier Lane

Flinders Lane

Money for the busker, Swanston Street

Princes Bridge

Foam artwork installation, National Gallery of Victoria (photo from NGV website)