Lauren Greenfield began photographing in the early 1990s, capturing an era of conspicuous consumption. She was also there to document this rarefied world as it all cam tumbling down in the financial crash of 2008. This is a hefty tome filled with brilliant photos and candid stories of wealth and decline.
Early photography lacked colour until skilled artisans began hand colouring prints. In The Paper Time Machine, colouring is taken to a new level with each element in every photograph researched and colour checked for historical accuracy. The photos are of the ordinary and the extraordinary brought to life and reconstructed with fascinating outcomes.
I was in the bathroom shaving. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I saw the bathroom door move. I acted without even thinking – it was my regiment training kicking in – and thumped the door back with my heel as hard as I could. It was my wife. The sharp end of the door, and the force of my kick split her face right open. She’s never let me forget it.
Indeed … this rather horrible incident sums up the book, no one – and I mean no one – gets in the way of this guy.
Chris Ryan will show you how to be safe on an aircraft, mass terror incident, in the car, on the street and hopefully in your own house (with sisterly nod to Chris Ryan’s wife).
German for A Cabinet of Curiosities, Wunderkammer are showing up everywhere apparently, and could be the “next big thing”. Design workshops, expos, and interior design stores are bringing back the memories of the tradition of exotica – material brought back by explorers from all over the world. Think shells, stuffed animals, wild art and exotic varieties of well…everything!
Love reading and taking photos? Bring along your own device and take pics of yourself in our summer-themed photo booth. All ages welcome. Find out where and when these sessions are on: Summer Reading Photo Booth
Use a special quilling tool and lots of bright craft materials to create your own super cute lion note holder. Library staff will help you with your creation. All craft material sourced from the MAKE Company. Free, but bookings are essential – phone 9417923. For ages 5 to 12 years. Find out where and when these sessions are on: Create a Lion Note Holder
Come along to a taonga (treasure) themed school holiday session and discover what cool things are hidden in your library. Enjoy storytelling, go on a scavenger hunt to discover treasuers, and then get crafty and make a treasure box to take home. Free, but bookings are essential – phone 9417923. For ages 5 to 12 years. Find out where and when these sessions are on: Treasure in the Libraries
Last week Pantone announced their colour of the year for 2018* and fans of purple will be happy. Ultra Violet, as it is being called, is a “…blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level”.
While this might sound a bit of a big ask for a mauvey shade that might easily have been called “Nana’s lampshade”, it’s worth pointing out that when it comes to colours all sorts of meanings can be conveyed. Whether it makes sense to or not, we associate colours with feelings, ideas, and concepts and this fact is not lost on designers and artists.
I accidentally proved as much when I decided to scroll through books from this year, looking for those that were ahead of the field in featuring next year’s representative hue… and found patterns emerging.
Purple, on the whole, isn’t as popular a colour for book cover art as some others – black is very common in some genres, shades of blue turn up a lot, and if you like Romance fiction hopefully you’re not repelled by the colour pink…
In any event, here is how Ultra Violet groups itself in our catalogue, more or less.
The cover art for kids’ books, as it is with their clothing, decor and other possessions, is a bit more exuberant with the use of colour than you find with the corresponding versions aimed at adults. Because time and age hasn’t made them love neutrals yet, I guess.
Visual by their nature, it’s not a tremendous surprise that graphic novels would make good use of colour in the covers.
Did you used to be a kid a little while ago? Then you might still be interested in some of those colours you used to see a lot of during childhood.
Health, wellbeing and babies
Maybe it’s that purple is “gender neutral”? Maybe it’s that parts of your body sometimes go purple if they’re exerting themselves? Anyway, enjoy these kinder, gentler purple covers.
Fiction (mostly mystery)
Here’s hoping they saved the purple for the cover, not the prose.
Tech, science and maths
Ha. Maybe purple really does “take our awareness and potential to a higher level”?
There aren’t that many naturally purple foods but, oh yes, there’s an aubergine in the mix there.
The last word in purple covers
And while it’s not a new title, you can’t write a blog post about book covers that are the colour purple without mentioning The color purple.
The bare walls of our busted city are a canvas for something beautiful. Since the earthquakes, a lot of us think: “Christchurch street art is ka rawe”. Here’s a mere sample of what is happening right now:
Superlot 9 is opening on 2 December at 122 Lichfield Street and is going to have street art bedecking giant spraycans.
Fiksate Gallery in New Brighton has an exhibition of street art, illustration and urban contemporary art on until 17 December.
YMCA Christchurch in association with PAINT (Pushing Art in New Zealand Trust) presents Street Prints Otautahi 2017. Large scale murals will be painted in the central city, New Brighton and Lyttelton, plus there’s a range of events and activities for all ages between 21 December and 29 December.
Street art can be ephemeral, as murals are painted over, blocked out, or the building canvas demolished. But there is a particular little leap of happiness in the heart when you spot something happening. It’s a buzz. Our street art is tied up with memories and possibilities, and with hope. I spoke to Lindsay Chan who since 2015 has been playing an important role documenting Ōtautahi’s street art and facilitating new artworks via the website Watch this space:
Why do you think Christchurch has become such a street art hub?
Christchurch always had talented muralists and graffiti artists, but it was the earthquakes that brought their talents to the forefront. The city became a blank canvas with empty buildings and buildings waiting to be torn down. George Shaw from Oi! YOU together with the Canterbury Museum and then the YMCA brought in internationally renowned artists to paint large-scale murals across the CBD. Combined with the amazing local talent and visiting international artists keen to make the most of the post earthquake landscape, Christchurch started making a name for itself in the international street art scene. Did you know it has its own chapter dedicated to Christchurch in Lonely Planet’s first ever street art dedicated guidebook, Street Art ?
How did Watch this Space get started?
When I moved to Christchurch a few years ago, I went on one of Frocks on Bikes free bike tours. That day they showed us around the different street art works. I was surprised to see all this amazing art work in the very city that I live in and bike through all the time. The bike leaders pointed out so many different art works that I had never noticed. I asked Connie, the leader from Frocks on Bikes, how she had decided the route, and she said it was actually quite a lot of work because none of the information was centralized. It was scattered across individual newspaper articles and maps were often incomplete and not kept up to date. Not to mention, Frocks on Bikes is a group of volunteers, so I thought it was a bit crazy that she ended up having to go through various newspaper articles and websites to decide a route and find out the details of each artist and work.
I work in geospatial information systems (GIS). We make maps and visualize data. We take number data and put them into an easy to understand format, usually into maps. I’m always looking for ways to learn new skills and thought this could be a great opportunity to put my skill set to use with something I’m really interested in – street art and create a resource that can be used now by the city and as a legacy item once the city is fully rebuilt.
What does your role involve day-to-day?
Well, my “real” job is working as a geospatial analyst at the Department of Conservation (DOC). I do Watch This Space stuff outside my regular work hours and have gotten others involved too because we think it’s something the city and the visitors to the city need. We are now a charitable trust and have five trustees who are a big help with sharing the day-to-day duties.
Day-to-day, we try to keep up to date with where the latest murals and graffiti are coming up in town and share that through our website and social media so other people can know about it too. We take photos, research the artists, chase down funding, and meet with all kinds of different people to try and convince them that the graffiti and murals in Christchurch are truly amazing and something that the city needs to make space for in “new” Christchurch.
Do you have any favourite artworks in town?
That’s a hard one Donna. I have many favourites. One of the things that draws me to graffiti and murals is the stories behind each of these. I like the paste up of Tony Fomison and the tags that cover it. This one is located on the corner of Manchester and High. The paste up was put up after the earthquakes as part of Christchurch Art Gallery’s Outer Spaces project, but they put it over a tag. Later that artist came back to mark his territory and tagged over the paste up. I think it’s a great dialogue between outdoor and indoor art and the different forms of art that exist in Christchurch.
My other favourite was a portrait of Ikarus by Wongi . It was on the corner of Manchester and Welles. I like how graffiti is something friends go out to do together. I think it’s even cooler that Wongi did a portrait of one of his good friends and the works around it give it a nice touch too. It shows that a lot of different artists had been out to that spot.
How can Christchurch people and visitors help grow Watch this space? What are the features of the website they can use?
We want Watch This Space to be a project for the people by the people. The website is set up so people can contribute their own street art images, so if you see something new come up, take a photo and send it in. If you notice a building getting torn down or an art work getting covered up, take a photo and send it in. If you’ve taken photos pre-earthquake, send it in. Watch This Space can only cover so much ground, so please, we’d love to add your images to the map. The best way for this project to be sustainable is if the community gets involved, and we’ve created some easy to use tools so you can.
How do you work with artists and building owners to activate walls with art?
We have steadily been building ties with the local artists as we add their works to the map and write about them in our blog. People around town are starting to come across our resource and contact us from time to time for help connecting with artists. We recently helped ChristchurchNZ in their search for wall space for the David Kidwell mural on the corner of Lichfield and High as well as helping Christchurch City Council find artists for the Enliven places street mural project.
Artists can fill out this expression of interest form on our website, and businesses or local organisations who want to commission a mural can fill out a form, where we’ll help to connect them with a local artist.
There’s a lot that happens before we actually see the mural on the wall, which many people don’t see or understand. That’s where we can step in and help make it easier on both parties.
I think one of the great strengths of Watch this Space is that you also list the artworks that are no longer viewable, whether they are on buildings that have been demolished, or sites that have been built up. Do you have a sense of the work having a role to play in our history?
I think it’s extremely important to follow street art as it gets decommissioned. Many people see the beauty of street art as being ephemeral. I agree that is an aspect that contributes to its beauty, but art isn’t just about beauty. Throughout history, art has been used as a form of expression and commentary on the current climate. Graffiti, murals, and street art are a record of what our city is, what it was, and what it could be.
Take for example Daek Williams’s mural that used to be on the corner of Colombo and Peterborough Street. He made that for the Rise festival, and the mural is based on his impression of the residents of the Red Zone and how they stayed and did not leave Christchurch.
Dcypher’s mural on the side of the Roxx climbing gym on Waltham Road is the artist’s interpretation of Christchurch’s urban landscape prior to the earthquakes. Following street art as it gets covered up and torn down is also preserving piece of history and the memories individuals attach to different works.
Do you use libraries?
I went to the library a lot as a kid. I read a lot growing up.
What are you reading/watching/listening to now?
I have to admit, I’ve been watching the Marvel series on Netflix. I used to love reading as a kid, but when I entered high school, there was so much required reading and analysis and essays about what we were reading, I haven’t been able to get back into it. I recently heard an interview by the author of Nevermoor on RadioNZ. It reminded me of the Harry Potter series, which I was a big fan of growing up. Nevermoor sounds pretty awesome. I might have to go check that out..
Watch this space …
From Friday 24 November, we’re starting to guide tours on Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the summer. They will go from 11am to 12:30pm, at a cost of $25 per person. Proceeds from the tour will go back into Watch This Space to help cover developer fees, the interviews and editorials on our blog, and be put aside to commission a mural in the future. Find out more and book your tour.
Janneth Gil, Liam Lyons, Elise Williams, Lucas Perelini and Thomas Herman photographed the people and physical environment of Bishopdale between March and September this year, building a collection of over 350 images that capture both the history of the area and the often overlooked moments of community life. The gathering at the fishing and casting club meetings; new mums learning baby massage at the Plunket rooms; a father and teenage son watching the All Blacks over a pint, a Coke and a bowl of chips — for the photographers, these were some of the moments that conveyed the deep connections people had in Bishopdale, to each other, and to the place.
“Going to a community like that and noticing that there are so many things going on and people getting together – it opens doors and gives the feeling like you can belong to a place,” Janneth Gil reflected after completing the project. Like Janneth, all of the photographers discovered a vibrant and inclusive community in Bishopdale, and were humbled by the generosity people showed as they were invited into their homes, workplaces and clubs.
For Lucas Perelini whose only experience of Bishopdale before this project was Saturday morning rugby at Nunweek Park, he was inspired by the richness of life that exists in suburban Christchurch if you only pause to look: “Sometimes you can walk around a place and it doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot going on – but there really is. There’s so much going on that you can’t always see at first glance.”
The Christchurch Documentary Project is a collaboration between Christchurch City Libraries and the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts that began in 2015. Internship positions are offered to photography students in their 3rd or 4th year of study with the brief to create a documentary photographic record of a Christchurch community. The photographs are then included in the Christchurch City Libraries Digital Heritage Collection, acting as an important social record for generations to come.
Ngāi Tahu artists have transformed CoCA Gallery. On a recent visit I was captivated by the rock art images drawn on the walls. The drawings, by Ross Hemera, are inspired by ancient rock art. Fascinating pieces of sculpture and projections also rim the gallery walls and interior.
Ngāi Tahu artists from Aotearoa and around the world have come together to create the exhibition Paemanu: Ka Nohoaka Toi.
Curated by senior Paemanu artists, the exhibition takes the form of a nohoaka, a seasonal site for gathering food and other natural resources. There are 72 nohoaka (or nohoanga) within Te Waipounamu. Rights to the nohoanga are part of the Ngāi Tahu Claim settlement.
New Brighton has undergone many changes in the last ten years or so. From the early 1900s, it was a bustling tourist spot with people catching trams from all over Christchurch to sunbathe on the beach. New Brighton also had the distinction of being the only place in Christchurch where Saturday shopping was permitted. This lasted until 1980 when Saturday shopping became the norm.
New Brighton is currently getting another makeover with construction of a fancy new playground under way, and several other projects being planned. Development Christchurch Limited (DCL) is looking for feedback on early design ideas for Christchurch Hot Pools in New Brighton. Christchurch City Council is working with the community to develop ideas for the revitalisation of New Brighton Pedestrian Mall and Marine Parade and you can vote on some improvements. You have until Sunday 12 November to have your say, so get typing now.
To get you inspired, here are some images of New Brighton through the ages
A view of the New Brighton Pier circa 1910. The original pier was opened in 1894 and was demolished in 1965.
Beachwear has certainly evolved over the years. These poor souls must have been sweltering. New Brighton Beach 1928.
This image from the 1920s shows how thriving New Brighton was.
Cullimore’s Brighton Exchange was located on the corner of Beresford Street and Seaview Road. This image dates from the mid 1930s.
This image from the 1950s shows Donkey Rides on New Brighton Beach. This would have been awesome. Let’s bring back the donkeys!
The iconic whale will be a part of the new playground development. Here is what it looked like in 1970.
New Brighton Mall had an upgrade in 1977 removing the road and making it a pedestrian mall. The road was partially reinstated in 2005.
In the 1980s, New Brighton Mall had a seriously funky fountain.
Here are the matching bollards.
The building of a new pier began in 1996 and was opened to the public on the 1st of November 1997. Here is a lovely shot of the pier at sunrise in 2015.
After the earthquakes, artists beautified damaged buildings in the mall with murals.
Every year New Brighton holds a popular Santa Parade. The big guy is known to make his entrance via a surf lifesaving boat.
We can’t forget the New Brighton Library which is situated in the location that is open for submission.
Kite Day is a popular day at New Brighton with families from all over Christchurch coming to join the fun.
What’s Your Bias? The surprising science of why we vote the way we do Lee De-Wit
This is a timely book considering some of the surprising election results of recent years. We may take for granted that people vote the same way as their parents, but it turns out that this is not so much to do with upbringing, but because of our genetic similarities. However there is so much more that influences the way we vote – or indeed if we vote! With chapter headings such as “Why do you always think you are right”, “What’s in a face” and “Faking it”, De-Wit offers an easy to read and fascinating look at the psychology behind our political preferences.
Children’s Garden: Loads of things to make and grow Matthew Appleby
Many of us want our children to get off the computer and enjoy the outdoors. The beauty of this book is there is no need to travel to the high country, you can introduce your children via your own garden, however big or small. The book is divided by the seasons and includes craft projects, cooking your produce, games, keeping animals etc. It shows that a garden can be full of creativity and fun, whatever the season.
Vitamin C: Clay + ceramic in contemporary art
Ceramics have left behind their image of rather nasty shaped pots created in night-school, and have now been accepted into the hallowed folds of “Art”. Each page has full colour plates ranging from the small and delicate to large monstrosities and installations. There is colour, detail, a dash of ‘goodness my three year old could have made that’, and plenty to be challenged by.