Skating In North Hagley Park : Picturing Canterbury

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The photograph was taken and developed by my father Harry Baldwin, with a Graflex camera with a glass plate film holder. Date: Probably 1940s.
Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Bruce Baldwin.  Kete Christchurch. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ 

Winters were colder in the 1940s.

Kete Christchurch is a permanent digital archive that aims to provide a forum for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents to share images, stories etc. Anyone can join and contribute.

Time Magazine Archive – for your busy reading pleasure!

ckey946016There are some magazines that are instantly recognisable. There is National Geographic with its bright yellow border and there is also Time Magazine with its bright red border that demands your attention. Time Magazine was the brainchild of two young journalists, Henry R. Luce and Briton Hadden. In 1923 they wanted to start a magazine that would be aimed at busy readers who sought a concise approach to news. (Apparently we were far too busy back then too!) They made sure the magazine’s format of short articles summarizing information and arranged in “departments” made for an informative yet systematic approach to the week’s news. Their efforts paid off and soon their concept became the standardised format that many other news magazines used.

Lucky for us we now have access to the fully searchable Time Magazine Archive dating back to its first issue in March 1923 through to December 2000. Capturing the relevant news for each week the magazine is an important research tool for every aspect of 20th-century history and life. Even better its content is available on Publications Finder as well as eResources Discovery Search (eDS). So if you search for say Barack Obama on eDS you will get a multitude of results from all our eResources as well as articles and images from Time Magazine. So it is an absolute gem for all forms of research and homework. Do have a look and a poke round.

1101350819_400Did you know?

The red border of Time has only changed four times since 1927 – a black border after the 9/11 attacks, a green border for an Earth day issue in 2008, a metallic border to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and silver in 2012 when Barack Obama was selected as Person of the Year.

Your life as an artist

The Wayward LeunigThere are three stages to your life as an artist: young and artistic; middle-aged and completely useless; and the Third Age in which you will do anything to stave off dementia.

According to research, Seniors (in addition to exercising, eating well, doing crossword puzzles and cleaning their teeth with turmeric) are being exhorted to take up drawing, painting or sculpting – with a wee glass of red wine on the side. Because Seniors who picked up these creative skills later in life are 73% less likely to develop cognitive impairment than those who did not. (Readers Digest, November 2015)

But long before we get old, we seem to lose our creative confidence, as art lecturer Linda Carson recalls:

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”

And maybe most of us did forget, but not all. Some very creative, successful adults carried that child-like creativity into adulthood – and made a fortune while they were at it. Here’s a selection of contemporary artists who made it big, just by staying connected to their inner child – and who have produced beautiful new books as proof:

  • Michael Leunig: Leunig is an Australian cartoonist who started his work life in an abattoir and only took up cartooning a little later on. I love his drawings and the pithy words he so often gives his characters – who always have exaggerated noses!
  • Grayson Perry: Perry’s sketchbooks take the reader on a journey of discovery through the complex sexual life of the author – who realised he was a transvestite in his teens. He rediscovered his love of drawing when he and his daughter started drawing together for fun. Sketchbooks is an inspirational peek into the life of an artist.
  • Quintin BlakeQuentin Blake: Best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s books, Blake’s illustrations are quirky, witty, cerebral, physical and endlessly creative. According to Quentin Blake by Joanna Carey, his mother wasn’t a fan of her son’s drawings though, she called them “unfinished”. But he just powered on, and to this day draws with an old-fashioned pen and ink. No expensive equipment required.

Make Your MarkAnd there are others, like William Steig, Ralph Steadman, Tristan Marco with the stunning compilation of up-to-date art in Make Your Mark, and James Hancock who was so lonely when he first moved to New York, that he decided to draw all the buildings around him.

And if you are a confused late bloomer in your artistic career, just turn to your inner child who, like the little darling in the quote below will tell you how it is all done:

First I think. Then I draw my thinks.

Easy Peasy.