Thursday, June 26, 2014

Could be the largest Maori hand-carving in the Northern hemisphere...


An enormous hand-sculpted rock carving in France nearly six years in the making could be the largest work of Maori art in the Northern Hemisphere, its creator says.
It's at Les Lapidiales in the Port d'Envaux village, part of the Charente Maritime region, about a 90-minute drive north of Bordeaux.
Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia (Ngati Porou) began working on the 10m by 5m sculpture in 2009 after sculptors he met in Switzerland recommended he visit Les Lapidiales - an old limestone quarry that is being used as a sculpture park.
The project, De l'Ambime A l'Azur': From the depths of the earth to the Blue Azure, has been split into two-month residencies that have taken place every two years.
The work, which is nearly finished, depicts the Maori goddess of death, Hinenuitepo, a tuatara, and the moko of Tanenuiarangi, who according to Maori belief ascended the heavens to bring knowledge to the Earth.
"This work is in response to the cave's internal sculpture of skeleton and skulls which I viewed in 2007 and reminded me of Maori use of caves for the interment of bones. So the Maori genesis of life and death is portrayed by these images."
Mr Toi Te Rangiuaia said his work followed that of his great-grandfather Riwai Pakerau, who adopted European and American influences in his kowhaiwhai work on East Coast whare nui.
He said the project had deliberately been kept low-profile and people were constantly amazed by the scale of his work and his hand-made approach.
"The sculpture of Tanenuiarangi as a Ta Moko mask will be finished this year but it is my hope that when we return in 2015 we will have a small ope [group] to carry out the Mauri ceremony and affix the pounamu to this work."
The sculpture park has featured the work of about 60 artists from 24 countries.

Warning that Christchurch is in danger of becoming a 'doughnut city'...

Christchurch CBDf
Stacy Squires
BOMB SITE: This picture of the Theatre Royal in Gloucester St, taken in July 2013, shows large tracts of empty land remain in the city centre.
Al Nisbet's doughnut city
Al Nisbet

The Rebuild

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Christchurch risks becoming a "doughnut city" with an empty hole in the middle if more is not done to encourage businesses and residents back into the city centre, a visiting housing consultant says.
Aecom associate director of architecture Michael Bilsborough will speak at the Sustainable Housing Summit in Christchurch on Friday about creative options for developing a more sustainable housing market.
Bilsborough said the biggest challenge Christchurch faced was bringing businesses and residents back into the city centre after they moved to the suburbs and new developments on the city's fringe following Canterbury's earthquakes.
"There's a risk that there will be some extended suburban sprawl and we won't be able to achieve this compact city that the [central city recovery] blueprint is aiming for," he said.
The suburbs remained attractive for businesses because of cheaper rents and more accessible parking, meaning Christchurch was in danger of becoming a "doughnut city".
"People need housing now. They're going to go to where that's available now. You could end up with vibrancy on the edge and then this gap in the middle where not much is going on."
Bilsborough suggested apartment-style living could be an option for Christchurch once residents got over their "reluctance and nervousness" about multi-storey buildings.
Christchurch should have been more proactive about putting in temporary worker accommodation to cater for the thousands of extra workers coming in to join the city's rebuild, putting further pressure on the city's housing stock, he said.
Pockets of high-density housing could be the way to cope with the influx of workers and deal with the city's housing crisis.
"It's a big challenge. There's no quick fixes," Bilsborough said.
The Sustainable Housing Summit will be held at the Christchurch City Council offices on Friday.
It will showcase ideas to make the residential housing market more sustainable economically and socially.
Council housing committee chairman Cr Glenn Livingstone will give the seminar's opening address, while CoDesign Studio chief executive Lucinda Hartley will deliver a keynote address about planning for uncertainty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

50 years since The Beatles toured NZ in 1964...

Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted di...
Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted directly on drum by Erwin Ross, Hamburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


On June 21 1964, the Beatles arrived on what was a winter Sunday.
There had been pop hysteria in Godzone before. But nothing like it before – or since. Thousands lined the streets outside their hotels in AucklandWellington,Christchurch and Dunedin. Thousands saw them play two shows a night of less than a dozen songs during their eight-day jaunt.
The 1950s and Elvis might have invented the teenager – the adolescent with tastes and attitudes distinct from their parents but the 1960s unleashed them on the world and here, the Beatles tour marked the actual start of that influential decade. True, their time inAustralia and New Zealand rates barely a blip in the many volumes of Beatles history. It was the quiet patch after conquering America earlier in the year and makingA Hard Day’s Night and releasing it for the UK and US.
But here, it was bedlam from the moment the plane door opened at Wellington’s Rongotai Airport and the four were bestowed with those very  large tikis.
The Beatles
Cover of The Beatles

Behind the Armour: Future Knights...

Rugby league player Kurt Gidley
Rugby league player Kurt Gidley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



When it comes to producing quality juniors, Newcastle has long been renowned as one of the best clubs in theNRL competition.
From Danny Buderus and Paul Harragon through to current stars Adam Clydsdale and Kurt Gidley, the Knights have always blooded exciting new talent from the Hunter region‘s vast array of juniors.
Talk to those inside the Club and it’s a production line that continues to roll out.
Just ask Knights’ recruitment officer Peter Mulholland, a bloke who has worked with some of the best juniors in the NRL as a coach and recruiter throughout an illustrious 19-year career.
Mulholland says the Club’s current crop is right up there with the best he has ever seen, including the star-studded Penrith sides from the early 2000s.
“The future is exciting for the club,” Mulholland tells Behind the Armour.
“It’s all on the back of good structures that Wayne has put in place and programs like the High Performance Unit (HPU).
“The juniors we have at the moment are right up there with the best I’ve seen.
“The Canterbury crop that they’ve got at the moment is a great group of kids.
“Penrith was also wonderful in the early 2000s. They included Luke Lewis, Luke Rooney, Steve Turner andFrank Pritchard.
“But this Newcastle group is potentially as good as them.

Brazil beat Camaroon 4-1 to qualify in top 16...


Looks like this blog has been repaired after a number of weeks..

of not being able to publish new posts.