Diego and Frida: A smile in the middle of the way – exhibition and events

South Library will play host to a stunning exhibition of photos of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from Friday 26 October to Sunday 11 November.

Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way takes an intimate look at the life and relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as seen through the lens of some of the most notable photographers of that time, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Ansel Adams, Guillermo Kahlo, Leo Matiz, Nickolas Muray, Edward Weston, and Guillermo Zamora. The documentary prints in the exhibition come from the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, encompassing nearly twenty-five years of their marriage.

Diego Rivera became a legend in his native country for his vibrant murals while Frida Kahlo chose to become a painter after a car crash derailed her dream of becoming a doctor. A Smile in the Middle of the Way was presented for the first time at Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City in 2002 and later around the world. This exhibition has been brought to New Zealand by the Mexican Embassy and will be hosted by Christchurch City Libraries.

Schedule of Events

Dia de Muertos: Day of the Dead

There will be a Dia de Muertos / Day of the Dead altar and informational display at South Library from Friday 26 October to Friday 2 November, and you can celebrate Dia de Muertos with a Mexican themed bilingual Spanish/English storytimes session:

Find out more about Dia de Muertos: Day of the Dead.

More about Frida and Diego

Find resources about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in our collection.

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Digging up the past

New Zealand Archaeology Week runs from 28 April – 6 May, with events up and down the country, including an exhibition courtesy of Underground Overground Archaeology at our own South Library called Pubs of the Past: the archaeology of Victorian Christchurch Hotels, so this seems like a good time to mention some of the archaeological books, magazines, and other resources that you can find at Christchurch City Libraries.

Books

The Library has thousands of books and eBooks about archaeology for both adults and children. Because archaeology lies at the interface between art, history, and science, books on this subject can be found in several different places among our non-fiction collection, so if you’re having troubling finding what you’re looking for, then ask a librarian for help.

Here is a list of a few of my personal favourites that have recently been added to the library’s shelves, including some fiction that features archaeologists as characters…

Archaeology

List created by robcruickshank

Books about archaeology and archaeologists for adults and children, including both fiction and non-fiction

The 50 Greatest Prehistoric Sites of the WorldCover of The 50 greatest prehistoric sites of the world – A guide book to archaeological sites

A’a – The fascinating story of a Polynesian artefact, now in the British Museum, that became an inspiration for Picasso

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes – The consequences of an archaeological hoax come back to haunt the characters of this 1956 novel

Built on Bones – What happened when we started to live together in cities? – the archaeological evidence

Cover of Cigars of the PharaohCigars of the Pharaoh – A classic!Cigars of the Pharaoh

The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders – Not just archaeology, but I love this children’s “lift the flap” bookThe Incredible Cabinet of Wonders

Keeping Their Marbles – The uncomfortable story of how archaeological objects from around the world were acquired by western museums, often by coercion and theft

Cover of A little history of Archaeology by Brian Fagan

A Little History of Archaeology – Stories of some of the great archaeologists and what they found – one of the “Little Histories” series

Lost in A Pyramid – Twelve tales from the golden age of the mummy story, collected and published by the British Library

Mayan Mendacity – The second mystery for Dr Elizabeth Pimms, archaeologist and librarian – sequal to Olmec Obituary

My Life in Ruins – What is it actually like to be an archaeologist?

Cover of The quest for ZThe Quest for Z – A delightful retelling for children of a doomed expedition to find a lost city in the Amazon jungle

The Story of Tutankhamun – A beautifully illustrated book for children about perhaps the most celebrated of ancient Egyptian pharaohs

View Full List

Magazines and eMagazines

The magazine Archaeology is available both as a hard copy and as an e-magazine through RBDigital. Check out the January/February 2018 edition for an article called “New Zealand’s First City, Uncovered”, which tells the stories of the early European colonists of Christchurch through some of the artefacts found among the rubble in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes, as well as presenting evidence of earlier occupation by Māori dating back as far as 1250 AD.

We also have many other general science and history magazines that include articles about archaeology, such as All About History, BBC History Magazine, DiscoverSmithsonian Magazine, etc., in both hard copy and digital formats. Check out the library catalogue for details.

eResources

A library card gets you free access to a huge number of electronic resources that contain information about archaeology, many of which can be accessed from home. The best way to find out about these is to log on a take a look. In particular, you might want to check out some of these:

These are in addition to our extensive collection of eResources about local and family history. If you are a Christchurch resident, but not yet a member of the library, you can join online, with the option of a digital only membership if you just want access to our online resources.

Other places of archaeological interest in and around Christchurch

Fans of Egyptology should check out Tash Pen Khonsu, an Egyptian mummy on display at Canterbury Museum. For those with more classical tastes, the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, run by the University of Canterbury, is well worth a visit. This relatively new museum opened in May 2017 and is located in the recently refurbished Arts Centre on Level 1 of the Old Chemistry Building at 3 Hereford Street. It is currently closed, but will re-open during New Zealand Archaeology Week on 5 May with an exhibition called “Beyond the Grave: Death in Ancient Times”.

More information about archaeological sites in Christchurch can be found on the websites of Christchurch City Council and Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as the Historic Places Trust), which has an extensive archaeology section that includes a wealth of fascinating and useful information, and of course on our own Library Website.

Happy digging!

Budding journalists at the South Learning Centre

Journalism students at South Learning Centre are celebrating their hard work and pressured deadlines with some stunning results. The Canterbury Oracle, The Papercut and The South Library Bulletin newspapers are super pieces of work.

The In The News programme ran for 8 weeks in Term 4 of 2013 and involved students investigating the composition of a newspaper, suitable and varied content, the reality of advertisements and the pressure to produce articles and final publications under the duress of deadlines.

Students visited The Press to interview the chief editor, advertisement officer and experience the day-to-day running of Christchurch’s busiest newspaper.

In the News is an example of the interesting programmes our learning centres offer  to schools. They also run a great variety of after school and holiday programmes.

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Kaffe Fassett quilt display at South Library

quilts on displayRenowned textile artist Kaffe Fassett is coming to town and the South Library is hosting an exhibition of quilts using stunning fabrics designed by the Kaffe Fassett Collective. Kaffe is known all over the world for his brilliant colour combinations and designs, in many forms of needlework as well as quilting. He is the author of over 40 books and  a prolific designer of textiles for the patchwork industry. He works with a talented team of designers who form the Kaffe Fassett Collective. The Collective includes Kaffee Fassett, Brandon Mably and Phillip Jacobs.

Fassett and Brandon Mably are visiting Christchurch to give a public lecture on February 6. The lecture will take place at the Beckenham School Hall from 7pm. Tickets ( there may still be some available) cost $50.00 and are available from Stitch, 27a Colombo Street, 03 332 1820, contact fenella@stitchplayroom.comThe lecture is designed to inspire and motivate. The presentation highlights works from his latest project, these include his patchwork quilt,fabric, needlepoint, mosaic, painting and knitting designs.

The quilts hung in the exhibition have been created by local artists, including award winning quilt artist Penny Jameson, using some of the many stunning fabrics designed by the Kaffe Fassett Collective. They show a range of traditional techniques and patterns with a modern twist and eye popping colour. Find the 2 quilts by our very own Katie Grady in the exhibition.

The exhibition  runs until February 18.

Art and heritage at South Library

photo of exhibitionThis month at South Library we are fortunate to have two stunning exhibitions on show which highlight lost heritage treasures in Christchurch. Artist Rudolf Boelee is showing portraits of artists and photographs of their houses from the Eastside of Christchurch and quiltmaker Kathleen Burford is displaying three magnificent heritage themed quilts.

Rudolf had a showing last year for his portraits and the exhibition is due to tour public galleries around the South Island from late 2014 onwards. As always we are keen to support local artists with our display wall and give their works additional exposure. There is also a link to his e-book Eastside  about the original exhibition at the Linwood Community Arts Centre. This show had 24 portraits, of which 12 are on display at South Library.

Rudolf says ” The idea for this project came after reading of former Christchurch Art Gallery curator Neil Roberts’ predicament of living in a perfectly good but red zoned house. The house is significant from a New Zealand art historical perspective; it was designed by sculptor designer Tom Taylor for renowned painter Bill Sutton, who lived there from 1963 until his death in 2000. It seems insane that this great place might just be demolished for no good reason. The new plan for the rebuild will change Christchurch even further, so my work is a type of mapping of what we still have here now.”
“Most of the artists approached, I had known for a very long time and the majority of them have been living and working in this neighborhood as long as I have. Some are still in their houses/studios but others have not been that fortunate, everyone carrying on though in their new circumstances in one way or another. The eastside of Christchurch has always had a proportionately larger population of artists, including: Colin McCahon, Bill Sutton, Rudolf Gopas, Doris Lusk, Tony Fomison, Rita Angus, Leo Benseman. The geographical area for “EASTSIDE” is roughly between Montreal Street / Bealey Avenue / Linwood Avenue / Ferry Road, The project, as an exhibition, is of 24 artist portraits, each a same size painting, 60 x 60 cm: acrylic on hessian on board.”

The exhibition EASTSIDE@ South Library runs until 8 November.

We also have a series of 3 quilts from Kathleen Burford titled: Lost Heritage recreated in Fabric. The quilts are based on the encaustic tiles on the front and side walls of the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings. Kathleen worked from photographs to try and replicate the colour of the tiles.  Nelson quilter Bev Dyke helped with the machining. This exhibition is listed in the Reconnect experience heritage event programme and runs until 31 October.

Te Kete Wānanga o Wai Mōkihi – South Library

How South Library got its Māori name – Te Kete Wānanga o Wai Mōkihi

The Waitaha people would have known this area first, and then came Kāti Mamoe and, later, Kāi Tahu. Beckenham circuit was traditionally used by Māori as a mahika kai or a place for gathering food. The only remaining area of the marsh today is the Beckenham Ponds, formed from natural springs in the nearby Beckenham Park.

The swamps draining into the Ōpāwaho River were called Te Kuru and the upper reaches of the river at Spreydon bore the name Wai Mōkihi after a smaller pā located there called Ōmōkihi meaning ‘place of the flax staff rafts‘. These craft were used by Māori to cross the river before a bridge was built. They are temporary watercraft constructed by binding together reed shafts and forming a very able means of travel over short distances.

The river contained different types of eels (tuna), tūere (blind eel), kanakana (lamprey), native trout (kōkopu), small freshwater crayfish (kōura), tidal herrings (aua ā tai) and whitebait (inaka). The people of this area were known for their abilities in aquaculture and night fishing. Māori fisherman did not carry lights, but speared eels by listening for them. The hills close by would also have been home to moa and weka.

When Europeans came to the area, they changed the Ōpāwaho to the Heathcote River. Captain Joseph Thomas, the Canterbury Association’s surveyor, named it after Sir William Heathcote, who was a committee member of the Association in England.

It is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week and this year’s theme is Ngā ingoa Māori – Māori names – so we are bringing you some of the stories behind the Māori names of our libraries.

The Displaced Reader: South Library is humming and the wireless is free

South LibraryI was really looking forward to visiting South Library as it has such a great reputation. I was not disappointed. It is large and stylish with a substantial cafe and council service centre in the building. It really hums with activity especially at the moment.

I quickly hoovered up a couple of DVDs  (Poldark and I, Claudius for that nostalgia kick). Again I was seeing lots of attractive stock and I could have loaded up with heaps of good reading. South is another of our free wi-fi libraries and I would think grabbing a coffee from the cafe and finding a nice possie somewhere with your laptop would be a great option. The cafe delivers food and drink anywhere in the library and the riverside location makes for a nice outlook.

I forgot to take my usual happy snaps but this collection from the library Flickr gives you a good look at the place.

There is also some good shopping nearby on Colombo Street as you head back towards the city.

Getting there on Colombo Street I encountered some bumps (some not marked which is my pet peeve these days) but the traffic flow was good. Parking was certainly tight around the library as it is being used for a lot of council work and meetings at the moment. Cycling  or busing is a good option at present.

Find out which libraries are open and learn more about South Library.

Next stop on the library tour is Bishopdale which is a great place to combine a shopping and library trip. Find out where else the Displaced Reader has been.