Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker – Saturday 15 February

Pondering what to do with the kids on Saturday 15 February? Does the Christchurch Art Gallery have news for you! Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker is  a fun art exhibition for all the family at Christchurch’s ArtBox – on the corner of Madras and St Asaph Streets –  and there is a grand opening Family Fun Day this Saturday, 15 February 2014.

Here’s what the Art Gallery peeps have to say:

Artists from New Zealand and Australia test the limits of their materials, with morphing pencil sculptures, stretchy paint skins, gravity-defying stacks and videos of exploding paint-balloons”.

The exhibition opens to musical and colourful fanfare this Saturday,* from 10am to 3pm, with a family-friendly event featuring performances by Kitchen Collective Ensemble, School of Rock, and magician Josh Grimaldi. The young and the young-at-heart can also enjoy the Imagination Playground, art-making activities, face painting, refreshments and fun give-aways.

Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker ArtBox, corner of Madras and St Asaph Streets, Christchurch, from 15 February* to 28 September. Entry is free of charge. ArtBox is open 10am–5pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am–4pm, Saturday and Sunday.

*In the event of rain, the opening of the exhibition will be postponed until Sunday, 16 February.

Rebecca Baumann art
Rebecca Baumann Automated Colour Field (detail) 2011. 100 flip-clocks,
laser-cut paper, batteries. Courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite Gallery.
Originally commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for NEW11.
Photo: Andrew Curtis


And here is the Imagination Playground when it was here for the Christchurch Art Gallery’s 10th birthday celebrations.

Book Eating as a Pastime

cover of The Incredible Book Eating BoyWorking in libraries allows you to have some pretty interesting work stories. My top one for this week was a small boy with a problem that involved library books and bedtime snacks.

A mother came to me holding the hand of a very worried looking two year old. She whispered to me : “We need a stern face please”. So, I tried to look stern. I can do perplexed, amused and just plain crazy, but stern is one look I’m not good at. She talked him through an apology to me and then explained.

Little Timmy had decided that eating books was a good thing and his parents just could not figure out why. It suddenly dawned on them that Timmy had spent the week before reading The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. He certainly took to heart the initial joy of eating books, but as his mother and I decided, his two year old mind had failed to digest the moral at the end, which suggest reading is the best way to absorb the contents of a book.

damage to bookWhich begs the question, could and do children get led astray by other books and their dark conspiratorial messages?

Think of the havoc if your young one took Lets Make Mud to heart on the shag pile, or Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps when particularly cranky, or even We’re Going on a Bear Hunt? Then there is Hop on Pop  – Pop may not be pleased. Or perhaps Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus  would be a problem for a child such as my youngest once was. You know the kind, the ones who insist on doing the direct opposite of anything you may suggest.

But you just know for sure, they would not take to heart Shhh! by Sally Grindley.

Got some dangerous books you can think of?

Terrified by Tirimisu?

cover of The Can't Cook BookWhat started as a bit of a joke, has ended in a cooking revolution in my home this last week or two. I saw a cookbook in our New Titles a while back, immediately thought of my husband, and put it on hold.

The Can’t Cook Book : 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified  by Jessica Seinfeld, has a funky cover, quirky title and seemed just the thing for a man who tells me he hates to cook. I took it home as a bit of a nudge and a chuckle, but we then started looking through it and we are both hooked.

We’ve made chilli, a few pasta dishes, cookies and wonderful nutty bananas grilled in the oven with a little honey and the darkest brown sugar. I made a lovely one-pan brown rice ensemble that was divine and we find ourselves dipping into the book for inspiration just about every night.

It has a great section of helpful colour photographs to show you how to do the most basic things, such as chop an onion or squeeze a lemon if that’s the skill level you find yourself at and each recipe is headlined with a DON”T PANIC sentence that tells you the trickiest part of the recipe and gives you positive affirmations to help you along the way. And in this online age, there are also links to online video tutorials.

As one of the ‘absolutely terrified’, my husband is really enjoying the ease of use of the book and the fact that everything he’s cooked has turned out great! As a cook whose lived through decades of cooking for family and friends, I’m enjoying the simplicity of the recipes too.

The only down side would be the American measurements and some ingredients, but very few can’t be sourced here, with most recipes made with things you’d find at home already and there is always the internet.

So if you or someone you know is frightened by figs, scared of spaghetti or even made a little nervous by nuts, get this gem out and enjoy your time in the kitchen.