Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ben's Holiday & Picking Up Ideas

The goal for Ben's holiday this week ostensibly was to work on our Nature Reserve, otherwise known as Overgrown Garden, but the strange weather, Ben working on Monday, the little social activities I keep cramming into our days and the mandatory holiday slow breakfasts/lunches in town, have meant no progress on the garden front. Or side or back.

On Tuesday we visited Tony and Arline Moon, the last owners of the late lamented Betts Stationary (art supply) store. They have a brand new house, they are keen gardeners, and they have so many hilarious stories from their live at Betts and before, so it was sure to be a great visit. We just had to be mindful not to fall off their chairs as we laughed, hard. We also lamented the final, official, death-fizzle of Nelson Bays Arts Marketing. I also picked up an interesting idea from Tony, one which is apparently becoming popular in the US.

There are fancy waterfront apartments in New Zealand, but many are owned by overseas and out of town absentee owners, and some were never sold before the crunch came. Tony said artists could rent/hire these spaced short term to hold art exhibitions, and bypass gallery commission. There must be regulations of the municipalities and the buildings to be considered, but I thought it was a lovely idea, either on the Nelson waterfront, (in which case I'd have to get a few other artists to work with,) or the Picton waterfront, where the ferry from the North Island arrives, for my Marborough Weavers group.

Are there places where this idea might work for you? It has a potential of being a very personal, creative, interesting event, kind of like late night shopping at bookshops and hardware stores, with wine and nibbles, that used to happen before Christmas in Nelson, but with an artistic flare.

Today we went to talk by our friend and sculptor Tim Wraight. It was nice to see a chronological slide presentation of progress and changes in his work, even though we've heard the story many times in a more fragmented way.

Of great interest to me is a series he's been working on for some time: artifacts. He's been imagining anthropologists and archaeologists digging up the Nelson and Tasman region centuries from now. He's been creating artifacts they might discover, reflecting the ethnic mix, the interests and trends of our times, and how we see and interpret our history now. I immediately fell in love with the idea, and though textiles won't last as well as wood or other material he's been using, stainless steel, concrete, cast glass, (unless we stick it in a temperature-controlled bog,) it's still fun to imagine a retrospective/an exhibition of our work and craft, say, in the year 2200, or 3500.

I received 1200 of the 1600 heddles I ordered from Halcyon Yarns, as well as Mom's copy of Carol Stickler's Eight-Shaft book (Item Number: 54260000), which I did not know she didn't own and must, as well as my copy of Leslie Voiers' Plain Weave is Anything But Plain (Item Number: 52013000), a volume I've been meaning to get for years since I bought her lace book.

So that's been the first half of my week. How's yours been?


  1. Wow, Meg, you've been busy. Sounds like a good holiday, despite the garden situation!

  2. Yes, you could say that, Connie. I feel myself a bit tense, kind of holding my breath and waiting for some kind of a weaving explosion!

  3. Another thing Tony mentioned is that to the discerning eye, you can tell when a maker just pushes out 'products to sell' vs. thinks, contemplates and creates a work of art. I've been doing mostly the former lately, and have plans for many more of the former, but I want to get back to the latter mode. I hope I can find a good place.

  4. sounds like a good holiday, love the idea of the privately run exhibition.

  5. Very attractive, isn't it? And for e.g. renting furniture to go with the exhibition, etc, if the apartment is still/already vacant.


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