庆祝2018年新西兰中文周Celebrations in New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2018

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a Kiwi-driven initiative aiming at encouraging New Zealanders to discover Chinese language and culture. It was officially launched by Raymond Huo as a sitting Member of Parliament on 24 May 2014. This year New Zealand Chinese Language Week is on from 23 to 29 September. Explore all the events in the nationwide celebration during New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week Celebrations at Shirley and Hornby Libraries

Coincidentally, Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on 24 September and Confucius’ Birthday on 28 September fall during this year’s New Zealand Chinese Language Week. Christchurch City Libraries is collaborating with the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury to celebrate the two events.

Shirley Library

Our activities include paper cutting, calligraphy, plate painting, Chinese games, Chinese folk dancing, and learning basic Chinese greeting and numbers. Free, no bookings required. Recommended for all ages. Caregiver required.

Hornby Library

Come and celebrate Chinese Language Week with us at Hornby Library. Lead teacher, Fang Tian from the Confucius Institute will run a Chinese calligraphy taster and Cherry Blossom painting session. Suitable for all ages. FREE, no bookings required. Wednesday 26 September, 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Find out more.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival中秋节

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is on the 15th day of the 8th month of a lunar calendar year when the moon is believed to the biggest and fullest. Chinese people believe that a full moon is a symbol of reunion, harmony and happiness so Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunion. Mooncakes are the main characteristic food for this occasion. Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was derived from the ancient rite of offering sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn. Folklore about the origin of the festival is based on the ancient legend of Chang’e and her fateful ascent to the heavens after having swallowed an elixir pill.

Books and resources in the library related to Mid-Autumn Festival 图书馆有关中秋节的读物

Confucius’ Birthday孔子诞辰

Confucius, also known as Kong Qiu, is a great Chinese scholar, teacher and social philosopher. Confucius is believed to be born on 28 September, 551BC. He was living in a period regarded as a time of great moral decline. Working with his disciples, Confucius edited and wrote the classics and compiled Four Books and Five Classics 四书五经 to find solutions. In his life time, Confucius traveled throughout eastern China to persuade the official classes and rulers of Chinese states with the great moral teachings of the sages of the past. Although Confucius did not succeed in reviving the classics, his teachings formed as a dominant Chinese ideology, known as Confucianism, which values the concepts of benevolence仁, ritual仪, propriety礼. His teachings have had a profoundly influence on Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese thoughts and life for 2500 years.

Each year, Confucius’ birthday celebration ceremonies are held on the island of Qufu (Shangdong Province, Mainland China), the birthplace of Confucius. Outside Mainland China, Confucius’ birthday is also celebrated in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Japan. In Taiwan, Confucius’ birthday is set as a public holiday for teachers, known as Teachers’ Day, to memorise the first great teacher in the Chinese history.

  

Books and resources on Confucius in the library 图书馆有关孔子的读物

Chinese Language Collection

Chinese eResources

  • Overdrive — Chinese language eBooks中文电子书
  • Dragonsource — Chinese language magazines龙源中文杂志
  • Press Reader — Chinese language newspaper and magazines 在线中文报纸和杂志

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Resources for Learning Chinese

Programmes and services offered in Chinese at your library

Hong Wang
Network Library Assistant

Podcast – Tā moko

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

Tā moko – Māori tattoos – are enjoying a resurgence. Tā moko artist Chris Harvey, University of Canterbury lecturer Komene Kururangi and photographer Michael Bradley (whose recent ‘Puaki’ exhibition documents wearers of mataora and moko kauwae – facial tattoos) discuss this resurgence, as well as the reasons and responsibilities that come with deciding to wear such a visible sign of mātauranga Māori.

Part I: What is tā moko? How is it different to kirituhi (writing on the skin)? Who can wear moko? Why do people get moko?

Part II: Responsibilities that come with wearing and giving moko

Part III: Changing attitudes in Aotearoa towards moko; changing designs; likely continuing interest in moko in the future

Transcript – Tā moko

Mentioned in this podcast

Find out more in our collection

Cover of Mau moko Cover of New Zealand Tattoo Cover of Ancient Wisdom Modern Solutions The Inspirational Story of One Man's Quest to Become A Modern Day Warrior Cover of Moko Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century Cover of Moko Rangatira Māori Tattoo Cover of Moko Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century Cover of MataoraCover of Moko The Art and History of Maori TattooingCover of Ta Moko The Art of Maori Tattoo

More about Speak up – Kōrerotia

The show is also available on the following platforms:

Te Ao Hou – Weaving indigenous identity back into Ōtautahi: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

It was a chilly, damp, blustery and all-over a very Christchurch kind of day on Friday. Sheltered in the foyer of the Piano was a small and well-wrapped group of people, both long-term locals and people visiting just for the weekend, waiting for our 90 minute tour of the central city with Joseph Hullen (Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāti Hinematua). I was really looking forward to it – I love finding out the stories behind a place, how human histories are represented in art and design. Joseph, and Ōtautahi – did not disappoint. The work that Matapopore has put into Ōtautahi Christchurch is incredible.

We started the tour in Victoria Square, near the site of Puari, a Waitaha Pā. The square was later known as Market Square after colonial settlement, and Joseph talked about the European design of the square and how it’s a bit… higgledy-piggledy (my word there, not his). Queen Victoria faces toward a building that isn’t named after her, faces away from a street that is named after her, and the closest figure to her is James Cook, a man she shares no whakapapa with. Their life spans never even crossed over.

In 1857, Ngāi Tahu rangatira, Matiaha Tiramōrehu, wrote a letter to Queen Victoria calling “That the law be made one, that the commandments be made one, that the nation be made one, that the white skin be made just as equal with the dark skin.” These words, and more from his letter, now adorn the tall windows of the Hereford Street entrance of Te Hononga, the Christchurch Civic building. A lovely link between Victoria Square and the Council building.

Joseph Hullen surrounded by the group who attended Friday’s walking tour of the city, in front of Tūranga.

Our second stop was our very own Tūranga, the new Central Library. Joseph told us the story behind the naming of the building as he explained the artwork carved into the stone above our heads. Tūranga was the place that Ngāi Tahu ancestor Paikea landed in Aotearoa, after his journey from Hawaiki on the back of a whale. It is a fitting name for a library – a repository of knowledge – as Paikea bought with him all the wisdom and knowledge from his homeland. The art on the side of Tūranga represents migration stories, and the pathways that bring people from all over the world to our shores.

Another thing to note, when standing directly under Tūranga and looking up at the building, is how ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE it is! Phwoar!

Joseph Hullen speaks to the Kirihao – Resilience sculpture in the Pita Te Hore Centre

Next we ventured down toward Te Hononga on Hereford Street to see Matiaha Tiramōrehu’s words on the windows, and explored the art and the rain gardens across the road at the Pita Te Hore Centre, where the old King Edward Barracks used to stand. Before the barracks, it was at the edge of the Puari Pā site. Joseph drew our attention to the banks of the river and the fact that the side we stood on was higher ground than the other – a very sensible place to build as it was much safer when the river flooded!

There’s a lot to see in the Pita Te Hore Centre, the landscaped courtyard in the centre of the office buildings is gorgeous. The stormwater is all treated on site in the rain gardens which are full of native plants. A moving sculpture, called Pupu Harakiki, commemorates Lisa Willems who died in the 2011 earthquake. Another sculpture, Kirihau – Resilience, speaks of the kaha – the strength and resilience of the tuna – the long finned eels – to adapt to their environment and it acknowledge the durability and adaptation of the people who live here as well.

The tiles under our feet are laid out in a poutama pattern – it looks like a series of steps, climbing toward excellence. The pattern also represents the pathway that the local soldiers took during World War One – out of the King Edward Barracks, across the river, toward the train station, over to the port at Lyttelton, and off to war.

This Christchurch City Library tukutuku panel, Poutama, shares the design with the tiles of the Pita Te Hore centre. Image reference: Poutama, tukutuku panel-04.

We followed the same path as the soldiers across the river (although there is a bridge there now – the soldiers at the time trudged across the water), across the Bridge of Remembrance. In front of the bridge is one of the series of 13 Ngā Whāriki Manaaki – woven mats of welcome. This one, Maumahara, remembers the men and women fallen in battle. Images of poppies are woven into the pattern that represents the march to war, and the journey after death to the spiritual realm.

Joseph talks about the Maumahara – Remembrance tiles near the Bridge of Remembrance

Next we stepped down toward the river where little tuna were poking their heads out from beneath the steps, drawn out by Joseph’s tempting fingers on the water. This whole area was a mahinga kai – a food gathering place – rich with tuna. This started a discussion among the group about sustainability – you get heaps more protein and calories from an acre of tuna than you could ever get from an acre of cows, and farming tuna is much better for the environment than farming cows.

Onward we walked to Hine-Pāka, the Bus Interchange, where the artwork on the ground in front of the entrance understandably represents navigation. Joseph drew our attention upwards too. Ngā whetū, constellations used for navigation, adorn the ceiling.

From the exchange we looped up Manchester Street, where the high density housing in the East Frame is going in – and the greenery around it in the Rauora Park. There’s also a basketball court and climbing frame – places to play are a vital part of any residential area.

Finally we heading back past Tūranga for a group photo, then back to the Piano where members of the group thanked Joseph with a waiata, a moving close to a really brilliant tour.

Find out more

Ian Chapman Rocks WORD Christchurch Festival

David Bowie, who had many connections to New Zealand, sadly only toured here four times, but for fans there was a rare opportunity to experience his genius again today at the WORD Christchurch Festival through an extraordinary and rousing performance by the academic musicologist and Bowie aficionado, and author of the book Experiencing David Bowie: A Listener’s Companion, Ian Chapman. Ian was brilliantly accompanied by Liam Donnelly on piano and Pania Simmonds on acoustic and electric bass, and sounds they made together were sublime. Those lucky enough to be there were treated to a wonderfully entertaining celebration of eccentric creativity, a trait that Bowie and Chapman clearly share in abundance, and which Ian refers to as the art of being different.

The trio played two mesmerising sets of early Bowie songs, which bookended a remarkable talk by Ian who explained to us exactly why David Bowie had such a profound impact on so many people’s lives, not least his own. This is perhaps best illustrated by comparing the two alternative covers of the 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World. The British version features a picture of David in a full length dress and boots reclining on a chaise longue. This being a bit too gender-bending for the Americans at the time, the US release features a cartoon version of a scene set in front of a rather imposing gothic building, which is the mental hospital where David’s brother Terry was incarcerated. The British cover symbolises David’s ever-changing persona and his compulsion to explore all aspects of his creative self, continually reinventing himself anew by inhabiting different identities; as evidenced by a comment on the back cover of the album Hunky Dory, David considered his performance to be an act rather than a reflection of his true self, whatever that may be. The American cover represents Bowie’s embracing of the outsider, rooted in his relationship with his troubled brother. As Ian told us, someone once described Bowie as “a flame towards whom dysfunctional moths flew”, which David was more than happy to make a virtue of.

Cosmic Jive Trio. Image supplied.
Cosmic Jive Trio. Image supplied.

The second part of Ian’s talk was much more personal and we heard what David Bowie’s music meant to Ian after things went terribly wrong for him as a child when his life was turned upside-down by a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances, a message that Ian now takes to schools to empower young kids and address the issue of bullying. In the end, what we were treated to was a tour de force on the transcendent power of music and performance to lift us out of our everyday existence and, if only for a brief moment, to take us to another place entirely (brilliantly captured in a picture taken by Mick Rock that was eventually rejected as the cover image for the Bowie-penned single All The Young Dudes by Mott The Hoople). We may have been sitting in a dark room in a college building on a late winter’s day in Christchurch, but for me at least, for an hour or so this afternoon I was transported to the heady days of glam rock in 1970s, and nothing else seemed to matter. This was a wonderful tribute to a much loved, and much missed genius, by someone who delighted in sharing his obsession with us.

Before I go, I’d must give a shout out to whoever was operating the lighting. Nice work! It really added to the atmosphere.

Ian Chapman is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Music at Otago University and Head of their Programme for Performing Arts. His doctorate was on David Bowie, and he has published many academic articles as well as several books about glam rock and the New Zealand music scene

For more about David Bowie, check out these two excellent online resources, which are available free to Christchurch City Library members

A favourite book of mine that touches on the darker side of some of the themes raised in Ian’s performance is All The Madmen (which interestingly, also features two of the musicians we heard playing before and after Ian’s show – Ray Davies of The Kinks, and Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd).

As well as Ian’s books, you can find dozens of others about every aspect of Bowie’s life and work on the shelves of your local branch of Christchurch City Libraries, as well as CDs of his music, including my own personal favourite Bowie album, Hunky Dory.

What’s your favourite?

More music at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

A Date with Dylan at The Institution at tonight’s New Regent Street Pop-up Festival,Thursday 30 August 6pm
Philip Matthews, Adam McGrath, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, and David Slack talkin’ bout Bob Dylan.

Soundtrack Or, Dancing about Architecture Sunday 2 September 11.30am to 12.45pm
Featuring Philip Hoare, Pip Adam, Chris Tse and Nic Low, hosted by Kiran Dass.

Samuel Flynn Scott: On songs Sunday 2 September 2.45pm to 3.45pm

More about Ian Chapman: Read Kim’s interview with Dr Ian Chapman: The Dunedin Sound and a passion for music

Strangers Arrive – Leonard Bell: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

image_proxyWelcomed by Marianne Hargreaves, Executive Director of WORD Christchurch Festival, Leonard Bell enthralled us on Wednesday night with his presentation on artists that emigrated to New Zealand, and their influence. His book Strangers Arrive: Emigrés and the Arts in New Zealand, 1930–1980 was published in November 2017 by Auckland University Press.

Leonard Bell is associate professor of art history at the University of Auckland. His writings on cross-cultural interactions and representations and the work of travelling, migrant and refugee artists and photographers have been published in New Zealand, Britain, the United States, Australia, Germany and the Czech Republic. He is author of Marti Friedlander (Auckland University Press, 2009), Colonial Constructs: European Images of Maori 1840–1914 (AUP, 1992) and In Transit: Questions of Home and Belonging in New Zealand Art (2007). He is co-editor of Jewish Lives in New Zealand (2012).

Using fascinating art images he regaled the audience with stories of artists’ forced migrations here fleeing from Nazism, communist countries or displacement after the Second World War. Making connections between displacement and creativity he follows the journey of photographers, architects, sculptors, writers, painters and other artists, the places these artists connected with each other, and and their influence on emerging New Zealand artists.

He also discussed the reception they received from general society and the inspiration they were to some local artists such as Colin McCahon. They brought with them modern styles of art unseen here which in turn changed the local art scene forever. We owe a lot to these artists.

His talk has inspired me to read his book Strangers Arrive: Emigrés and the Arts in New Zealand, 1930–1980and to delve a little more into New Zealand art history.

Find out more

Saving the Future: Interview with Ant Sang

Ant Sang, self portrait.Ant Sang is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed cartoonists and graphic novelists.

His best-selling graphic novel, Shaolin Burning, won an Honour Award at the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. He’ll be appearing in Ant Sang: Dharma Punk with Tracy Farr, Saturday 1 September, as part of WORD Christchurch Festival 2018.

Welcome to Christchurch, Ant!

Graphic novels are very popular here across all age groups, as are animated series and films. New Zealand artists compete well in this genre. Can you say why you think the comic strip and cartoon has remained a popular genre?

I think cartoons are naturally appealing to people, from a young age.

And with the breadth of work being produced in the comic form there really is something for everyone; from easy-to-read comics for younger readers, experimental ‘alternative’ comics, Japanese horror and romance manga, superheroes and so much more.

As a kid I read Monster Fun, The Beano and Judge Dredd. What early cartoonists and artists appealed to you as a young person?

I read so many comics when I was young. Asterix, Tintin, Footrot Flats, Beano, Tarzan, Uncle Scrooge, Richie Rich; anything i could get my hands on really!

Cover of Shaolin Burning by Ant SangI enjoyed the clear black and white plates of Shaolin Burning, not to mention the great plot and strong characters. It appeals to those (like me) who don’t like too much text, or are reading graphic novels for the first time.

Was Shaolin Burning your interpretation of a folktale, or a myth of your own creation?

Thanks. Shaolin Burning was a retelling of kung fu myths and Chinese history, interwoven with my own original characters. I really liked the idea of creating characters who were written out of history, but who might have interacted with famous kung fu personalities such as Wing Chun.

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas is a standout as your first foray in colour comics. How did you make this transition and how did you find it as a medium?

I loved working in colour for Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas. I’ve worked with colour previously in my illustration and comic projects, but never on the scale of this book. To make it visually interesting I wanted to use different colour palettes for different locations and times of day so that there was a sense of a varied landscape and a long passage of time throughout the book.

The Dharma Punks, Shaolin Burning and Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas feature strong female characters. How did you develop Helen’s character?

Helen was created by my co-author Michael Bennett, who originally wrote the story as film script. As we developed the graphic novel, Helen did evolve; for instance in the original script she was married, and a few years older. But at the heart of it, it’s always been a story about a young woman finding herself and her place (or time) in the world.

Not just action-adventure, your comics address strong themes. In Helen we touch on disability, environmental destruction, state control and domestic violence, to name a few. Were these issues part of Michael Bennett’s original script idea, or did they develop as you responded to it?

A lot of these were very much a part of Michael’s script, though we did emphasise the environmental issue as we developed the script into comic form. Originally the collapse of civilisation was more mysterious and wasn’t fully explained, and Helen wasn’t an environmental activist.

These things became clearer as we collaborated on the comic and dug deeper as to Helen’s motivations and character. That’s something I really love about collaborating with other creatives; the process of pushing our work into new and undiscovered directions.

How do you think zine culture and comic strip writing could be better nurtured and preserved in New Zealand?

I think there’s already so much great work being produced here in New Zealand. Back when I started, it was all about using photocopiers to make and self-publish mini-comics, but now there’s a huge amount of great work being produced as webcomics.

Do you have any advice tor people planning to run a comic or ‘zine workshop?

I’ve been teaching comics at MIT here in Auckland for the last two years, and I think it’s a good idea to give participants an environment where they can create in a hands-on way. For short workshops, I like to focus on one topic and let participants get into it.

Lastly, we all loved Bro’ Town. Can we hope to see more of your series animated? (Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas would make a great film!)

The Naked Samoans have been busy writing a bro’Town feature script, and I really hope it goes into development. It’d be great to get together with the bro’Town crew again. As for my other projects, I’d love to see them all adapted into films. I’m currently making an animated kung fu short film about the young woman Wing Chun, so that’s a start.

Find out more

More about WORD Christchurch Festival

What to do in Christchurch while WORDing

I am the polar opposite of a travel blogger (my holiday this year was a night in Methven – 96.8 km away) and I don’t go out much at night (old, parsimonious) BUT I am an absolute fiend for town. In the week, at the weekends, I’m out there with my whānau, getting into all the stuff that the Christchurch CBD has to offer. 

SO here are some travel tips for all the writers, thinkers, readers, and people coming to Christchurch for WORD Christchurch Festival 2018 – Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 2 September.
Add your suggestions in the comments!

ART

Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA)

We do art good. Go to Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) and have a browse of the new Chch / Ōtautahi Zine Library and Nicola Jackson: The Bloggs: “Nicola Jackson has created her own version of an anatomy museum, filling vitrines and cabinets with a range of curious objects and adorning the walls with paintings of inquisitive characters.”

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OPENING NEXT WEEK// The Bloggs & Mid Century Modern: The Morrison Collection.⠀ ⠀ Opening next Friday evening in our Mair Gallery, we are thrilled to present ‘Mid Century Modern: The Morrison Collection’, an exhibition of significant pieces of mid century design from the expansive collection of Christchurch mid century design dealer, Ross Morrison and his son, Nico.⠀ ⠀ In our Northern Galleries, we proudly open Nicola Jackson’s ‘The Bloggs’ featuring Jackson’s own version of an anatomy museum, filling vitrines and cabinets with a range of curious objects and adorning the walls with paintings of inquisitive characters.⠀ ⠀ Both shows run from August 25th to November 18th, with the opening event next Friday August 24th 5:30-7:30pm. Join us!!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #coca.chch #photooftheday #picoftheday #art #instadaily #design #drawing #magazine #artistoninstagram #artist #artwork #arts #instaart #art_collective #art_we_inspire #artofvisuals #artistic #digitalart #artcollective #contemporaryart #artisan #artists #artcollector #artdirection #artofinstagram #nzartist #contemporaryartist #nzart #christchurch

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Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is an utter gem. Not only does it have fabulous art, but it includes a design store with an assortment of gifty goodness (including books). Right beside it there’s a great food spot called Universo (the yorkshire pudding, lamb ends, gravy and parsnip on the menu is delish).

Exhibitions on during WORD are We do this (I keep revisiting this one – Judy Darragh’s jaunty Rug, Roberta Thiornley’s stately photo of her Mum) and Tony de Lautour’s US V THEM. Some WORD events are on in the gallery, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to browse its riches. 

Street Art

We’ve become pretty famous here in Christchurch for our street art. If you spot something on your travels, your go-to resource is Watch this Space – a crowdsourced map of street art spots, past and present. It might also give you ideas of street art you want to find. 

Brandon Warrell's art on the side of the Ibis Hotel, Hereford Street.
Brandon Warrell’s art on the side of the Ibis Hotel, Hereford Street.

WORDS AND BOOKS

The official WORD booksellers are University Bookshop UBS and they will be on site at festival venues. Buy books by WORD authors, and get ’em signed!

Scorpio Books is in the BNZ complex at 120 Hereford Street if you want to wander to a bookshop in town and browse. I am fully a Scorpio Girl.

If you want to head further afield for books (old and/or new), some of my faves are the Edgeware Paperback Centre in St Albans, London Street Books in Lyttelton, and Smith’s Bookshop in The Tannery.  

London Street Books. Sunday 12 August 2018.
London Street Books. Sunday 12 August 2018.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square is a lovely spot to wander in, and it has words by Fiona Farrell (who has written acclaimed books about the Christchurch earthquakes). 

Words by Fiona Farrell in Victoria Square.
Words by Fiona Farrell in Victoria Square.

Ngaio Marsh House

The perfect post-Ngaio Marsh Awards activity is to go to the open day at Ngaio Marsh House on Sunday 2 September. You can see her paintings, and perfumes, as well as her books – it’s such a stylish Cashmere home. 

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Visit the Ngaio Marsh House and Heritage Trust website to find out more about Ngaio’s home

River of Words

Come to 110 Cashel Street, stand in front of the projectors, and watch as the words change. John Maillard’s interactive lighting display River of Words is inspired by the people of Christchurch. 

Tūranga

Normally I’d be advising you to visit our town library/ies, but they’ll be closed in preparation for the opening of our new central library Tūranga (set to open on Friday 12 October). Do check it out though, and there is free wifi in Cathedral Square too. 

Tūranga, this morning. Thursday 16 August 2018.
Tūranga, this morning. Thursday 16 August 2018.

You are most welcome at any of our branches

PLAY

  • Perch yourself on the big green seats in Cathedral Square by Gloucester Street for a good selfie op.
  • Have a boogie on the Dance o mat (right beside Tūranga).

Margaret Mahy Playground

This is a fun place for all ages. Writers and festival-goers – ride on the flying fox, or shriek your way down the dread twisty slide. 

This place also stands as a tribute to our great writers – word witch Margaret Mahy and peace activist heroine Elsie Locke

Margaret Mahy Playground 
Margaret Mahy Playground. Flickr 2015-12-23-IMG_1733

The Christchurch Arts Centre, Botanic Gardens and the Museum

Cuningham House 
Cuningham House, Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Flickr 2014-07-27-IMG_0809

A favourite local outing is the big 3 – the Arts CentreCanterbury Museum and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Highlights are:

The Quake City exhibition is on display at Quake City, 299 Durham Street North, corner Armagh Street. It provides a good insight into what Christchurch people have been through, and the progress of the rebuild.

FOOD AND DRINK

New Regent Street is the setting for a Pop-up Festival on Thursday 30 August. It also has lots of fab food and drink options to dip into. Rollickin’ Gelato (which also has a shop in the Arts Centre, and a cart at the Margaret Mahy Playground) is a Christchurch stand out. My fave is the hokey pokey, but I had the Fairy Bread yesterday and it was delicious. 

More food & drink picks:

  • Karage curry at Samurai Bowl on Colombo Street
  • Cookai Sushi Train in The Crossing
  • The Emerald Room at Dux Central – they have a cocktail that has mandarin in it
  • Leisurely beer and chats at Smash Palace
  • Pizza at Winnie Bagoes
  • Tiramisu and Quattro Stagioni Pizza at Mediterranean Food Co
  • Boxed Quarter on the corner of St Asaph and Madras has a stellar lineup – glorious pastas at ChiChi Kitchen, yum Korean street food at Steampunk Laboratory, lots of delish options here
  • There is this drink at OGB that may or may not be called a Tillbury Place. It has whiskey and freeze dried rhubarb
  • Little High Eatery – my faves are Bacon Brothers Burnt Broccoli and Base Woodfired Pizza (the St George)
  • Vanilla Ices in Victoria Square. My pick is the ice-cream and secret recipe raspberry (I’ve asked, they won’t tell)
  • Escarto Espresso in Cathedral Square (great coffee, and they use Whittakers Dark Ghana in their hot and iced chocs – yum).
  • Friday Night Food Trucks in Cathedral Square, after which you might feel like a wee boogie at the Dance-o-mat on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets.

Edible Book Festival – Wednesday 29 August

Ara Library will be hosting an Edible Book Festival event on Wednesday 29 August. Find out how to enter. 

You can view the entries from 10am at the Rakaia Centre Atrium of Ara Institute. The winners will be announced at 12.15pm and then the real fun begins – eating the entries.

"Best in show" winner - The Kite Runner, created by Bree Underhill
“Best in show” winner – The Kite Runner, created by Bree Underhill. Friday 1 April 2016. Ara Library’s Edible Book Competition at the Ara Institute of Canterbury. Read the Ara Library blog post. Flickr 2016-04-01

More to do in Christchurch

If you want to explore more things to do in Christchurch, try:

Ōtautahi locals, share your picks too – what are the places you recommend?

Previous travel tips for WORD Christchurch

Step into a River of Words

You can become part of Christchurch’s own River of Words.

River of Words is a ten metre wide installation in the South Quad of the Arts Centre, part of the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights (6pm to 9pm from Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August). It is an interactive animation featuring a flow of words in six languages, and representing the changing nature of the people of Christchurch. Your shadow becomes a space for animations related to the words. We dived into the river last night, and had a ball – moving around, shining torches, and becoming part of the art.

River of Words has been developed by artist John Maillard from Ara (Programme leader, Photography), installed by Spectrum Lighting, and supported by Enliven Places Programme at the Christchurch City Council.

That’s us in the River of Words – my child to the left, me to the right.

Making the River of Words

John had the idea for the river of words, and put out a call on social media for people to share their words representing Christchurch:

Making the most of the expertise at Ara, John worked with Te Puna Wānaka Māori and Pasifika – Ara who suggested appropriate Māori words.

Once he had the words and kupu, John explored game design and technology to see how it might work. The project started out as a mystery technically, but due to working with colleagues and experts like Spectrum Lighting, his knowledge grew exponentially. Using the programme Isadora (known for its use in theatre lighting and effects), vector animation, and security cameras, he came to a technical solution that brings his vision to life:

Christchurch has been through many painful experiences in the last few years, both personal to the people, who are the city’s lifeblood and to the buildings and roads that make up the city.
Even though the infrastructure of the city was damaged, the people of Christchurch have moved and flowed through its changes adapting and embracing its reinvention, though the process has been slow and stressful.

The inhabitants of this city are part of a human river, are always moving and flowing in this, our city. Each person is a part of the changes to the landscape of the city, and we are all linked by the words that we share about the city. These words bond us together. I have asked for people in the city, my friends and neighbours to lend me words that represent Christchurch, the people the cultures and the languages of the city. The words in the river represent the ever-flowing people in our city. The words within each person represent their humanity and resilience as we navigate through our lives in this city.

John’s workspace.

John says “I think people truly love Christchurch”. He’s right, and going into the River of Words feels like a warm embrace of Ōtautahi.

Creating this work is his way of giving something back to the community. It’s the antithesis of art as a commodity – this is art that can’t be bought. It is art for everyone to experience and enjoy.

River of Words – The Future

River of Words will carry on as a legacy piece from the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights. This 18 metre wide version will be installed for six months at 110 Cashel Street, and projected on to the vacant wall of 112 Cashel Street. This project is part of the Enliven Places programme, completed in partnership with the events team and Ara with the aim of enhancing the night time experience in Christchurch through innovative lighting.

One of the interesting aspects of River of Words is its adaptability. In September, it will be themed around Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week.

More about artist John Maillard

John Maillard has exhibited in galleries around New Zealand and the United Kingdom for over three decades. John has specialised in documenting people and landscapes. For the past sixteen years John has been studying New Zealand landscapes and in particular the culture of rural New Zealand, assembling a body of work which will reflect his love for this country.

He has published or collaborated in four books on native plants, New Zealand landscapes and cultural history. John is working on a new book documenting the location of native habitat for migrating birds from the Alps to the ocean with Canterbury University Press.

John has worked as a photographer in many countries around the world, notably, Gambia and west Africa, the United States and Europe.

John’s previous works at Botanic Night of D’Lights

A brief history of Botanic D’Lights

Light up the Leafy Night was an event run in July 2013 as part of the 150th birthday of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.The gardens were lit up for 8 nights with installations and performances.

In July 2015, The Press Night of D’light in the Botanic Gardens took place (also part of KidsFest). It expanded in August 2016, and became Botanic D’Lights.

In July 2015, it began as The Press Night of D’light in the Botanic Gardens – part of KidsFest. It expanded in August 2016, and became Botanic D’Lights.

In 2018, the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights is bigger and better – and it’s on in both the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Come and visit – Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August, between 6 to 9pm each night, with recommended last entry at 8.30pm. Prepare to be stunned! Here’s a sampling of what you will see:

Big may be beautiful, but small is seductive!

Spoiler Alert: I am talking about books here.

I love small squarish books. I like the feel of them in my hands, their unexpected heft, their solidity. Customers in libraries ask all sorts of questions, like  “Where are your Biographies? Do you have any Italian books? How do I log-on to the computers?” and “Where are the toilets?” to name but a few. But as of yet, no one has ever asked me to direct them to the Small Seductive Books section.

A Dog a DayBut just recently I have been spoilt for choice. Here are 5 small, but perfectly formed chunky little books: A Dog a Day by Sally Muir is a collection of Muir’s dog drawings – a different dog every day over 365 days. I am moved by this book in more ways than one: I love drawing (and I try to draw every day), I love dogs (though Muir has omitted Scottish Terriers – what was she thinking?), and it is small and  squarish. Win, Win, Win.

In the midst of the dreary grey winter weather that was such a feature of life in Christchurch a few weeks ago, a small jaunty book stood out from all the drabness and said “Pick Me!”, and that’s how Brolliology (A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature) ended up in my book bag. What substances are these people imbibing to get such an off-the-wall idea as linking literature and umbrellas? Whatever it is – Give It To Me Now!

Everyone know’s that I love café culture, that I never take my meals at my workplace, but each day treat myself to a capuccino at a nearby café. Some libraries even have café’s on site – that works too. Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour is a neat little book that I wish I’d had in my possession when we travelled to Italy. I checked out the New Zealand and  South African cafés and I am pleased to report and I am ahead of the pack in these two countries. If you are about to travel, have a flick through this muscular little number.

Now, let’s put it all to music. Donna Leon, well known crime novelist has brought out a beautiful little book on an intrinsic aspect of Venetian life: the Gondola, and it comes with its own CD of well known Gondolier renderings. This book is arguably one of the most beautiful books I have ever held. It is also informative and entertaining. One of the first chapters “I Think I Could Do This” tells of a dinner guest who was given the blueprints of a gondola as a gift. It took him over 5 years to build, and 32 men to lift its 350kg weight onto the truck that would take it to its launching place. That’d keep Greg busy in his retirement!

And finally, step aside Hygge, because Japonisme is about to knock you right off your perch. In an exploration of your Ikigai (purpose), Kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics with gold) and wabi-sabi (the transience of life) and more, you will be gently exposed to much wisdom, such as:

One who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.

Japanese Proverb

And I am delighted to tell you that all the above-mentioned seductively small books did indeed make me smile.

Recommended Reading:

Bigger is Better (and just what your coffee table needs)

Yes, you could shell out over $100 to buy that enormous, spectacularly illustrated coffee-table-worthy publication you saw at Whitcoulls. Alternatively, you could use your free library membership to borrow one of Christchurch City Libraries’ own gorgeous, larger-than-life tomes. What is more, your coffee table can play proud host to a different book each month! Paris this week, Hieronymus Bosch the next…never again will you have to stare at the same photographs of wild bears for years on end because you were a poor student and could only afford the one, heavily discounted, over-sized ‘Spirit of the Bears’ from Borders (RIP).

A thoughtfully selected coffee table book can add that much needed pop of colour to a room. It can also provide an excellent conversation reviver, or swiftly become an effective weapon. There is a coffee table publication for you, whatever your requirements.

Here are some of our biggest and best (click on an image to find out more).

Just be sure to clear out some room in your boot first.