Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Riley and The Bird Lady

I've made a new friend - The Bird Lady. Isn't she wonderful!

My Monday morning (a public holiday here in Auckland, New Zealand) started with Enzo and I being chauffeured to the Auckland Botanic Gardens to see the "Sculpture in the Gardens" exhibition.

For those of you who can't visit the gardens before the exhibition finishes you are welcome to join me on my walk.

You can click on my photos to make them bigger if you want to see more detail.

Here I am, already to go, in one of mum's favourite areas where there are lots of smelly herbs (or "erbs" as Americans say). 

The sculpture trail consists of 21 artworks along a 2km path. Each sculpture had a sign with number, the artist, name of the work, materials used and price and mum has included some of the information under the photos for you so you know what you are looking at.


2. Richard Wedekind BARISTA ALCHEMY
Painted steel, stainless steel

3. Elementals group  GARDEN ELEMENTALS
Metal, wood ceramic and resin on stainless steel poles

The people weren't part of the sculpture - there were people and dogs everywhere! Here are a couple of the GARDEN ELEMENTALS close up.

Then we found this carving...
4. Tui Hobson  BIRD STRATEGY

Mum always thinks that it is better if there is a Golden Retriever in the photo to give you an idea of scale...

At the native plants area of the park we found these floating in the pond ...
5. Bev Goodwin  EXOTIC BLOOMS
Mixed cable ties, leis, acrylic, mosaic tiles, hub caps, wire netting


 I'm not sure how native plastic is to New Zealand, but they were very bright and cheerful amongst the other plants.

Around the corner (still amongst our native plants) was this...
Permanent Sculpture Collection
Colleen Ryan Priest  CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF LOOSING YOU (2009)

Then an old boat. We weren't sure if this is it meant to be art or if it is just an old boat. 

Anyway mum was so busy wrestling with holding dog leashes and a camera so she missed taking photos of five of the sculptures (including one she really wanted to show you by Lucy Bucknell called Big Man), but here is the next sculpture.

8. John Oxborough  DOUBLE STRETCH
Premium steel, Oamaru Stone

Then we walked through the rose garden... 

 Permanent Sculpture Collection
Samantha Lissette ROSE CATHEDRAL (2008)

Over one of the bridges... 
 and in the lakes were these...
10. Todd Douglas  STILL:LIFE
Raku clay, porcelain

Now as a dog I don't know much about art so this next piece really confused me as all it seemed to be was plants with a plaque inside. I really didn't understand it, but the sign said it was for sale for NZ$6,000 which seemed a lot of paper money to me.
11. Bronwynne Cornish  BIVY
Kanuka, glass , ceramic

The 21 works range in price from NZ$900 (for an individual piece in a group works) to NZ$75,000 (which is approx. US$730 to US$60,500).

By the way you will be pleased to know that during our entire walk neither of us two dogs lifted our legs on any of the art! 

This next sculpture consisted of flexible fabric covered shapes that formed seats when you sat on them...
Steel, aluminium, stretch fabric and signage

Dad and Enzo checking it out...

There were lots of pretty flowers at the Auckland Botanic Garden (it is mid-summer here in New Zealand).

What do you think of this one? It sort of looked like it was falling apart to me.
14. John Edgar  CORE
Basalt (Auckland), sandstone (India)

Time for another photo by the gateway.I am on the left and Ezno is on the right. 
15. Chris Moore  GATEWAY
Forged steel, bronze

Next something to challenge my Golden Retriever mind. You see Jeff Thomson, the artist of the next work, is famous for his corrugated iron (a common roofing material here in NZ) sculptures. Over the years he has made many interesting animals out of old corrugated iron - in fact he was one of the first to do this in Australasia, but here he has started moulding concrete into corrugated iron forms and references this to gorse (a horrible prickly weed bush with yellow flowers that covers land) and is hated by farmers), but to me here is all this other stuff now covering the land.

Concrete, corrugated iron

Moving on...
18. Llew Summers  BIRD WATCHER

 And then some more birds. These ones moved around in the wind like weather vanes.
Sheet aluminium, steel pipe, carved and painted wood

At last I saw her. There she was on a park bench waiting just for me to go up to her and sit beside her. She was so lovely. Look at how she is made - all that detail, and the lovely patina she has from being touched by human hands and from the weather turning her a lovely shade of rust.

 20. Jamie Pickernell  THE BIRD LADY
Mild steel, galvanised and powder coated steel, totara

I wanted to take her home so that she could be in our garden. I would have invited all my friends to meet her and spent time outside watching her and checking that she was OK, but mum said that The Bird Lady was one of two sculptures that had been bought by the "Friends of the Garden" to become part of the permanent collection at the Auckland Botanic Gardens which means that even though the exhibition is ending soon, we can go back and visit my Bird Lady anytime we want to.

Our walk continued to the final sculpture which (back where I started amongst the herbs).

 21. Christine Hellyar  KAVA KAWAKAWA FOUNTAIN
Cast bronze, water

So that was our 2km stroll around the the park. All that was left was for Enzo and I to have our silly "who has the biggest tongue" competition which he always wins (as I think his head is still trying to grow enough to catch up with the size of his tongue) before we had a cool drink of water and a car ride home.


( Enzo)

If you would like to know more about any of these artworks visit this link for information about the artists, their statement about the meaning of their work, photos and audio.

So which sculpture is your favourite and why do you like it?