LUX 2018 revisited

Wednesday night saw two photography walks taking place around the LUX festival. I joined up with the walk arranged via the Wellington Photography Meetup group. Winter might officially start next week but it’s been quite cold and stormy recently with the evening being cool with some rain around. This did mean that none of us spent as long as planned outside but the wet conditions did help create puddles and a sheen of water to hold the glow of the installations.

Capital-E takeover at the playground

Capital-E takeover at the playground

First up was the takeover by Capital-E of the Frank Kitts Park playground. Lots of lights, a disco ball at the top of the tower, some odd sounds and the swing seats had been replaced by neon-rainbow glowing models. The walk organisers quickly realised that keeping everyone together was going to be difficult so plans were made to meet at the Mac’s bar at an earlier time than first planned.

Also visited in the park were the giant mushrooms labelled Whareatua and the installation Kereru high up in a tree. I think to get the eco-aware message across the Kereru needed to be closer to the viewer, the plastic bag and cat collar details lost at a distance. The Massey Moshpit was sparsely attended when I found it but that probably had a lot to do with the rain that had started to fall.

The Massey Moshpit

The Massey Moshpit

We took shelter for a time from a rain and then were moving on before we got too cold. Pou Rama looked good after the rain and Bloom was enhanced by the reflections now found everywhere.

Pou Rama (Light Posts)

Pou Rama (Light Posts)

Cube also looked great reflected in the puddles on the wharf and it was a pity there weren’t more people around to enjoy the lights and music. Mandala was glowing serenely nearer water level but it seemed odd that it was positioned so close to one of the posts which blocked a front-on view.

In the end most of us were at the pub by 7pm, an hour spent walking around and taking photos. This year’s LUX is, for me, a disappointment after previous years efforts. I hope next time around that the laneways are utilised again, it’ll certainly help prevent the complete closure of the event when the wind picks up which has happened twice so far this year.

Just So Festival

A festival aimed at families where we get to camp in the beautiful Kaitoke Regional park and take part in all sorts of events including a madcap tribal tournament? Sounds great! The inaugural New Zealand edition of the Just So Festival took place over the last weekend of February and we had a blast :)

We had left work early so we would have time to put up our tent and get settled before the festivities started at 5pm on the friday night. There were no queues and plenty of parking and from the car it was a short walk over to find our friends and pitch our tent. Once we had somewhere to sleep and everyone was ready it was time to head over to the festival site.

That evening and over the next couple of days we danced, crafted, paraded, rested, ate, marvelled, collected golden stones, played, talked, sang, dressed up, roasted marshmallows, chased bubbles, went inside bubbles, pillow fought and smiled. Hopefully you’ll see below some of the enjoyment and wonder that we experienced. We can’t wait for the next one!

Puppet dinosaur feeding

Puppet dinosaur feeding with String Bean Puppets

Learning some circus skills

Learning some circus skills

Campfire tales

Campfire tales

Kakapo shenanigans

Kakapo shenanigans

Misty morning camping

Misty morning camping

Conga line!

Conga line!

Dress up fun

Dress up fun

Festival buddies

Festival buddies

The lantern parade

The lantern parade

Campfire marshmallows

Campfire marshmallows

Fire dancing

Fire dancing

Inside camp curious

Inside Camp Curious

Inside a bubble

Inside a bubble

Checking out the aliens

Checking out the aliens

Knocked over by Fraser Hooper

Knocked over by Fraser Hooper

The penguin tribe leader

The penguin tribe leader

Pillow fight time!

Pillow fight time!

Let the feathers fly

Let the feathers fly

Tribal tournament

Tribal tournament

The North Pole Express

What better time to break the blog hiatus than the lead-up to Christmas? Last weekend we traveled on the North Pole Express, a steam train ride from Paraparaumu to the North Pole (Otaki standing in) and back. We were joined by Kelly, Drew and Clara and all met up at the Paraparaumu train station. We had been advised to arrive 30 minutes before departure time of 7pm and got to out muster point for the Elf carriage at about 6:35pm to find we were the last people to turn up, obviously we weren’t as organised as everyone else. Still, we were early enough.

As indicated by the carriage name we stood with an Elf holding a big green flag and we got our tickets from a cheerful Christmas chef. Our Elf was constantly moving and we were soon on the move to the station platform to await the arrive of the titular Polar Express. Soon enough we could see a puff of smoke in the distance and then the train was pulling in to the platform, a wonderfully restored steam engine pulling equally grand restored carriages and all decorated for the Christmas theme.

Here comes the Polar Express

Here comes the Polar Express

Our carriage chef

Our carriage chef

Decorations

Decorations

Off we go

Off we go

We found our allocated seats and settled in for the journey. There was appropriately themed music for the whole trip and our Elf, Chef and a cast of other characters kept us entertained as we steamed north. There were people watching from their houses or pulled over beside the road to watch the train go past, obviously we were quite the sight! As we got closer to the North Pole our Elf was getting very excited and as we pulled into the station we saw Santa and his assistants waiting on the platform and welcoming us with a wave (Santa) and acrobatics (the assistants).

The conductor pays a visit

The conductor pays a visit

Our elf gets excited

Our elf gets excited

Disembarking we arrived into a winter wonderland with stalls dispensing iced chocolate (it’s been a warm summer so far) and cookies and there was a foam machine pumping out a fare substitute for real snow. Alayna was certainly impressed and this is was the closest she’s ever been to real snow.

Alayna in the snow

Alayna in the snow

The snowing platform

The snowing platform

We had plenty of time to wander about, watch people getting photos with Santa and the other dressed up characters from the other carriages, and then see the steam engine move to the other end for the return journey (returning backwards as there was apparently no turntable available). Then we were called back to our seats and headed back to Paraparaumu. During the return Santa visited everyone at their seats and gifted bells to all. There was more singing, more dancing and general good cheer and even a nice sunset to watch.

Receiving a bell from Santa

Receiving a bell from Santa

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo

Singing and dancing

Singing and dancing

We disembarked, had a chance for one final chat with Santa and then were walking back to the cars. It had been a fun trip and was now quite late which meant Alayna fell asleep on the way home, all excited out.

The train empties at dusk

The train empties at dusk

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!

LUX Light Festival 2017

After a hiatus in 2016 the LUX festival was reconfigured and back lighting up the Wellington night for 2017. Starting earlier in the year meant that the installations were powered up earlier in the evening which allowed us to attend with Alayna at a reasonable hour which was a bonus. The works were divided into precincts which was a logical progression and overall the organisation seemed improved on previous years, for instance having two areas set up with food trucks reduced the queues and the crowds.

We attended as a family twice and invited along some of Alayna’s friends and their families and this helped give the visits some variety. Both times we started with some food and then facepainting before setting out to explore the installations beginning with the Playground precinct.

Control No Control by Studio Iregular was a firm favourite and probably my pick for best installation. A large cube with a changing roster of lighting effects linked interactions. Touching the walls caused the effects to change and with plenty of space a large number of people could interact at the same time. Fun to play with and fun to watch it set a very high bar.

CONTROL NO CONTROL - STUDIO IREGULAR https://www.lux.org.nz/control-no-control

CONTROL NO CONTROL – STUDIO IREGULAR

CONTROL NO CONTROL - STUDIO IREGULAR https://www.lux.org.nz/control-no-control

CONTROL NO CONTROL – STUDIO IREGULAR

The little lion

Our little lion enjoying herself with Control No Control

The nearby Social Sparkles by Studio Toer was also interesting with suspended lights like hyperactive little fireflies following people as they moved below. Alayna for some reason wasn’t interested at all in this installation, perhaps the nearby sights and sounds of Control No Control were simply more engaging for a 3 (nearly 4) year old.

SOCIAL SPARKLES - STUDIO TOER https://www.lux.org.nz/socialsparkles

SOCIAL SPARKLES – STUDIO TOER

Capital-E had a couple of shipping containers set up with things to do. One had a sort of VR action game where hand movements influenced (rather than controlled) geometric shapes in front of a large face displayed on large screens. Of more interest to Alayna and her friends was the Electro Jungle where a black light lit container contained fantastical beasts and a forest which could be drawn on using glowing chalk. As with the last LUX there was also an area on the waterside path set aside for glow-in-the-dark chalk activities but it was much warmer (if cramped) in the container.

Alayna enjoying drawing on the walls of the electro Jungle with her friend.

Alayna enjoying drawing on the walls of the Electro Jungle with her friend.

Black light friends

Black light friends

Nearby was a totem-like installation named St Elmo’s Fire Tree created by Nelson local Anthony Genet. Four chaotic balls of fluorescent tubes sparked to life in glowing red. When the wind was blowing strong the straps helping to keep the piece in place would thrum adding to the almost ritual feeling of the piece.

ST ELMO'S FIRE TREE - ANTHONY GENET https://www.lux.org.nz/st-elmos

ST ELMO’S FIRE TREE – ANTHONY GENET

Walking on to the Te Ao Mārama Precinct there were a couple of highlights. Tane Te Wānanga by Hemi MacGregor & Mara TK was a giant waterscreen in the middle of the lagoon which was captivating to watch and the amphitheatre seating at the edge of the lagoon made this a perfect spot to sit and take in the projections. Geometric shapes and dancers appeared and moved set to music and sounds while the wind through the water screen changed the size and intensity of the projection.

TANE TE W?NANGA - HEMI MACGREGOR & MARA TK https://www.lux.org.nz/tanetewananga

TANE TE WĀNANGA – HEMI MACGREGOR & MARA TK

Neaby was another intriguing installation. Kaokao by Bob Jahnke. Two large Xs side to side and with red neon tubes enclosed in glass were striking from a distance and then close up the internal reflections made the neon appear to duplicate to infinity. It gave the piece a hidden depth and led to many people wandering around trying to figure out the optical illusion. I played around with shutter speeds and manual zooming to give an added effect to some of my photos.

KAOKAO - BOB JAHNKE https://www.lux.org.nz/kaokao

KAOKAO – BOB JAHNKE

KAOKAO - BOB JAHNKE https://www.lux.org.nz/kaokao

KAOKAO – BOB JAHNKE (with added zoom)

We also happened to see the returning Lux Cats near Kaokao. First featured in 2015 these cats wandered around the Lux precincts in mysterious fashion. They happened to stop nearby and just stood there, occasionally turning there heads and appearing to stare at people. After a period of time and with no warning they started walking again, very enigmatic.

Light cats

Light cats

The Circus Precinct took in Civic Square and the City to Sea bridge and was our next destination. To one side of the bridge in the grass space fronting the Michael Fowler Centre there was an installation called Passing Me By created by Christopher Welch & Makers Fabrication. For a static piece this one was quite playful. If you stood in one place it was simply a wall with different colours glowing under the black lights. If you walked in parallel to the work the colours changed with the change in perspective. Many people were just standing and staring without realising how fun it was to view while moving and try to figure out what was going on.

PASSING ME BY - CHRISTOPHER WELCH & MAKERS FABRICATION https://www.lux.org.nz/passingmeby

PASSING ME BY – CHRISTOPHER WELCH & MAKERS FABRICATION

Then on to the big display projected onto the council building. Circus of Light by Ocubo was a circus illustrated in an animated cutout style and involved a variety of animals performing (generally lame) tricks and most often failing in an unamusing fashion. Alayna summed it up for me when she asked after a few minutes “when does the real show start?”. It was pretty but overall for me and Alayna just boring. Plenty of other people seemed to find it enjoyable. The artists and acrobats entertaining between screenings were much more fun to watch.

CIRCUS OF LIGHT - OCUBO https://www.lux.org.nz/circus-of-light

CIRCUS OF LIGHT – OCUBO

Civic Square hula hoop

Civic Square hula hoop

Also found in Civic Square and then wandering around the festival were a pair of woman wearing Little Sun solar light dresses promoting the Little Sun project. Again this was a return from 2015 where there was a static installation of Little Suns displayed on a grid and it was good to see them back in a different form.

Little Sun solar light dresses

Little Sun solar light dresses

I was hoping for a night of rain during the festival but this didn’t happen during any of my visits. I like to photograph the reflections and reflected glow of the installations and I think the work Drawn by Lisa Munnelly & Angus Donaldson would have become even more interesting in those circumstances. Pretty much just some net curtains drapped over a large lightbox Drawn was interesting to watch when there was a wind blowing, the interferance patterns created by the fabric covered light were mesmerising at times.

DRAWN - LISA MUNNELLY AND ANGUS DONALDSON https://www.lux.org.nz/drawn

DRAWN – LISA MUNNELLY AND ANGUS DONALDSON

Near Drawn was Augmented Geometries by Erica Sklenars, another projection mapping work. I liked the contrast with the grafetti covered wall below and the sequence was a lot more interesting (albeit on a smaller scale) that something like the Circus of Light.

AUGMENTED GEOMETRIES - ERICA SKLENARS https://www.lux.org.nz/copy-of-imperial-ghosts

AUGMENTED GEOMETRIES – ERICA SKLENARS

My other favourite installation was Into the Underscore by Anita Dykes. A series of light emiting hoops suspended between buildings off Opera House Lane the colours and sequenced noises created an interesting if slightly disquietning show. Many people would approach and stand underneath mesmerised and looking like they would be transported up and away to some alien spaceship. This would have been another piece that would have looked great in the rain with reflections but the most I got was a section of hoops reflected in a tiny puddle.

INTO THE UNDERSCORE - ANITA DYKES https://www.lux.org.nz/into-the-underscore

INTO THE UNDERSCORE – ANITA DYKES

INTO THE UNDERSCORE - ANITA DYKES https://www.lux.org.nz/into-the-underscore

INTO THE UNDERSCORE – ANITA DYKES

INTO THE UNDERSCORE - ANITA DYKES https://www.lux.org.nz/into-the-underscore

INTO THE UNDERSCORE – ANITA DYKES, using the zoom technique again

Stretching Light by Joshua & Sam Lewis was a suspended lightwork above Opera House Lane. A number of neon strings navigating through a series of geometric frames it was diverting and an interesting addition to the laneway.

STRETCHING LIGHT - JOSHUA LEWIS & SAM LEWIS https://www.lux.org.nz/stretching-light

STRETCHING LIGHT – JOSHUA LEWIS & SAM LEWIS

Over the road above just past the entrance to Eva Street was The Light Launder by Rayzordoll. A larger than life washing line with suspended linen was used as a medium to project slides of family memories. Eva Street is now home to a number of light installations that had their beginnings in past Lux festivals so it’s always interesting to have a look around.

THE LIGHT LAUNDER - RAYZORDOLL https://www.lux.org.nz/thelightlaunder

THE LIGHT LAUNDER – RAYZORDOLL

So that’s a selection from this years LUX festival. I’m looking forward to the next one already and in the meantime there is a new light event planned for the Hutt Valley taking place later this year. The more the merrier I say :)

For the Birds

The last NZ Festival in 2014 included an event called Power Plant which was a trail of light and sound installations set up in the Wellington Botanical Gardens. It was a well recieved and popular event so there was a follow-up organised for this years festival called For the Birds. As the name suggests this new event had its influence in our feathered friends and overall it was a more thoughtful and relaxed experience while still encouraging interaction and cultivating a sense of wonder.

Books, birds and bird houses

Books, birds and bird houses (Cuckoo Ensemble – Artist: Jony Easterby)

 

Talking, glowing eggs

Talking, glowing Huia eggs (Nests – Artist: Marcus McShane)

 

Now extinct

Now extinct, the eggs of the Haast’s Eagle (Nests – Artist: Marcus McShane)

Initially the installations were mostly static with small moving parts and subdued lighting. The bird houses above had small bellows that sounded in cycles, mimicking somewhat mournful two note “cuck-oo” calls. The glowing eggs I found very engaging and very relevant. There were a number of nests containing eggs, each set representative of a species of New Zealand bird now extinct. The eggs glowed in time to an audio track of conversation between the birds inside the eggs and their hunters, for instance the unhatched Huia bemoaning that people would want their feathers when they look much better on the bird as intended. There was a lot of humour in the conversations as well which I found helped with the engagement.

Mysterious birds

Mysterious birds (Owls & Kingfishers – Artist: Mark Anderson)

Movement began to be introduced with installations traversing large areas. The mysterious calls of the Owls and Kingfishers piece came from small devices attached to long wires that were strung between trees and above the stream bed. We’d turn as we heard one approach and then watch as they came towards us and then disappear as the lights dimmed at the end of their path, only to spark up and pass back again a short time later. Alayna found it a little disconcerting but that was understandable for a 2 and half year old up well past her bedtime. I just wanted to find a space where I could try and get some photos without interrupting the constant flow of fellow visitors.

The glowing tunnel

The glowing tunnel (Feather Arch – Artist: Ulf Pedersen)

A glowing tunnel gradually formed as we walked up a slope, first appearing as lights in the distance and then becoming ephemeral walls and ceiling around us as the light source was approached, light becoming stronger and then fading as the smoke was pushed across the path. It was a beautifully still night so the smoke moved and dissipated slowly keeping the structure of the tunnel very well defined as passers by waved their fingers through the projection.

Birds through the wires

Birds through the wires (Piano Migrations – Artist: Kathy Hinde)

A crowd had formed in from of the Piano Migrations installation watching as shadow birds fluttered through the upended piano strings, their movement apparently touching on strings to make a strange music. Is was quite mesmerising, attested by the amount of time people stood by and took it all in.

Bird house silhouettes

Bird house silhouettes (Shadow Birdcages – Artist: Jony Easterby)

 

The bird arch

The bird arch (Lapwing Display – Artist: Jony Easterby)

 

How it works

How it works (Shadow Birdcages – Artist: Jony Easterby)

We came out of the forest into the dell that is the Troupe Picnic Lawn with a number of works scattered around. The Shadow Birdcages attracted a number of people who often posed to have their own shadow portrait captured with the bird cage silhouettes. Keryn and Alayna were immortalised in kind as evidenced at the top of this page. Stepping around the screen the birdcages could be seen and provided a separate interesting sight, hanging suspended while bathed in light.

Off to one side the silent outlines of lapwing flew up and then down into the still surface of the stream that defined the lower edge of the dell. The reflections completed the loop, an endless mirrored flight.

Looking at the spinning feathers

Looking at the spinning feathers (Feather Dervishes – Artist: Mark Anderson)

 

Cello and nightingale

Cello and nightingale (Nightingales with Cello – Artists: Kathy Hinde & Jony Easterby, Cellist: Elena Morgan

The path then headed upwards and opened out as we neared the Cockayne Lawn and rock gardens. Alayna enjoyed watching the Feather Dervishes and was quite keen to touch them as well, something we had to quietly dissuade. A number of large white feathers were spinning while lit by bright white lights and made an intriguing spectacle. All around the trees and vegetation was lit in an array of dusky autumnal colours providing a warm and inviting atmosphere. There was a variety of installations and near the end we stood and listened as cellist Elena Morgan played counterpoint to a recording of nightingales.

All up it was a wonderful walk full of interesting and thought provoking sights and sounds. We can’t wait to see what amazing event may came along during the next NZ Festival.

Strawberry Fare

Our trip down south coincided with the Waimate Strawberry Fare, a celebration of the local crop that has become a well known event. We parked at the home of Waimate legendary teacher Mary Firth (also fantastic Aunty) and headed inside for a chat. Mary produced a suitcase full of interesting things for Alayna to play with including a small tea set that got some good use in the time before we headed out. Bridget was also there having stayed overnight after a drip down to Dunedin to wow the audiences with talks on the importance of transport and design in keeping people connected (amongst other things).

Ready to walk to Strawberry Fare

Ready to walk to Strawberry Fare (Bridget explaining to Alayna the importance of transport and design in keeping people & teddy bears connected)

House from the garden

Looking to Mary’s house from the lovely garden

Rose in bloom

Rose in bloom

It was a pleasant walk to the Fare and we took a path through the nearby Victoria Park and checked out the birds. We were all impressed by a peacock in full display mode as it tried to get the attention of a frankly disinterested female. We caught up with Mary and Bridget just past the old Empress Flour Mill and then crossed the road to enter the Fare which was spread over Boland Park and Seddon Square.

Old silo

Old silo

There were many many stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to radio controlled helicopters, a variety of food and drink including plenty of strawberries and live entertainment. The raffle reminded me of those that took place (and probably still take place) at the Rangitata Huts every new years, the board rattling around as tickets were sold. Alayna wanted to look at and touch everything and loved some of the toys on display. She climbed into a comfy seat (also for sale) and would have been quite content to stay put if we’d given her food and a hand-knitted doll to play with. We watched a pipe band walk by and I considered talking to some extravagantly dressed steampunk aficionados about a photo but in the end didn’t manage to make up my mind in time.

Raffle

Raffle

Comfy

Comfy

Playing a tune

Playing a tune

We bought lunch and some more shoes for Alayna and then it was time to head back to Timaru and for Alayna to have a sleep. In the afternoon Keryn made a cake for the following days birthday celebration and Alayna got to have more cousin time. As well as Mum’s birthday the next day we’d also be driving north on the first part of our journey home so some preparation for that was also required.

Time for a story

Time for a story

Re:Lux

We’ve now visited the Lux festival three times this week. On Wednesday evening there was some rain about so I headed into the city to try and get some photos of lights and reflections. Unfortunately (for me anyway) the rain was light and didn’t hang around so there wasn’t much in the way of pools of water or wet surfaces. Mid week and quite late there were not a lot of people around so I had plenty of time and space to play with.

Rube

Rube by Ian Hammond, Johann Nortje and BMD

Rube was worth spending some time watching. The artwork painted on the wall was given a storytelling element through the use of projected light and sound with different parts of the art lit up and animated. Even on a quiet night there was a small crowd staring up and watching.

Laces

The Laces by Jamie Roberts and Peter Fraser (WCC Urban Design Team)

Probably my favourite lightwork this year is the Tree labelled The Feast of Lights. As intentioned it is first seen framed by a building down a long laneway. Up close it appears like some otherworldly free grabbed from a James Cameron movie. It’s strange and while alone with it I just stood and watched it, slowly moving around and looking at the interaction with the industrial structure surrounding it.

A lack of water

A lack of water

As mentioned I’d hoped for water to allow for reflections. Above is what I ended up with. Better luck next year maybe?

There was an increased interactive element to many of this years lightworks. Circular Ruins looked like a basic henge or simple pillars of light. With movement from the viewer the pillars became a circular geometric enclosure of light. Trying to capture it on camera involved a lot of experimentation and spinning on the spot.

Pulse

Pulse by Daniel K. Brown and Mark K. Johnson

The photo above is only one side of the Pulse installation. I hope if future years more is done with the underside of the wharfs. On a still night the lights on the water were eerie, especially when combined with a stirring piece of music.

The lightwork Vessels of Light reminded me a miniature Weather Project. I think it’d be good to see in a larger space but the small room made out of shipping containers was intimate and interesting to explore.

Tension

Tension by Angus Muir Design and AJ Design Co.

VS 300

VS 300 by Visual System and Thomas Vaquié

More interaction with the little suns that populated this wall. Playing with light was a popular pastime for the passing crowd.

Aura

Aura by Philips Design

Aura was still a lot of fun and there was much experimentation trying to change the sound and light. The sense that people were creating something new and interesting drew in an audience and everyone wanted to have a turn.

Another night and we decided to visit again with Alayna. While Keryn waited in a queue for food I wheeled Alayna around in her pram. We checked out the glowing night time incarnation of Carrello del Gelato with the added bonus of getting away from the light but cool breeze. By the time we decided we actually wanted to sample some incandescent gelato the queues were long enough that the thought of waiting in the cool wasn’t worth it. Thankfully the souvlaki from the Greek Food Truck was excellent.

Glowing icecream

Glowing icecream

Souvlaki anyone?

Souvlaki anyone?

First facepainting

First face-painting

We took the opportunity to see if Alayna would be interested in face painting. Alayna was a little shy but let the woman paint a small flower on her cheek after first watching Keryn receive her own little artwork. We needed a mirror so Alayna could inspect the flower, instead Alayna was happy to play with the chalk and glowing blocks.

Happy at play

Happy at play

Lets go boating!

Lets go boating!

We came across the wandering Light Swan a few times. It was a challenge to get a decent photo and I was rather obsessed at times, something that didn’t help Keryn or Alayna as they had to stay nearby and pretty much just get cold. I need to learn to be faster :)

Playing with chalk

Playing with chalk

Alayna got to spend some time playing with more glowing chalk and she enjoyed crawling over the boards. She also enjoyed watching the nearby incandescent twister, though I think she mainly wanted to just spin the arrow.

Jelly Bloom

Jelly Bloom by Cameron Brodie, Dylan Cole, Ollie Orme-Dudman, Dani Cunningham, and Sam Bazalo

Inspecting one of many suns

Inspecting one of many little suns

And finally there were the mysterious cats. Aloof and constantly on the move I thought we’d missed a good photo opportunity but then as we were nearly back at the car they appeared walking towards us. Alayna was quite taken with the glowing felines, for their part they glanced our way and continued on their way.

Mysterious cats

Mysterious cats

A glowing profile

A glowing profile

Lux is back

A beautiful and calm winters evening last Friday saw the return of the Wellington Lux festival for 2015. I’d read about a free workshop for creating fairies in a jar so while
Keryn went and signed us up Alayna and I took a quick trip to Moore Wilsons to buy a suitable jar. The workshop was set up in a shipping container at the Lux Festival hub in Odlins Plaza. Constructing fairies in a jar was simple. There were a variety of glow sticks on hand and we selected a couple and then emptied them into the jar followed by a generous amount of glitter. With the jar sealed there was some vigorous shaking and then we were done, a jar filled with sparkly, glowing fairies.

Keryn and Alayna admire their work

Keryn and Alayna admire their work

Looking at the lights of Odlins Plaza

Looking at the lights of Odlins Plaza

We had a good dinner from one of the many food trucks encircling Odlins Plaza and then wandered along the waterfront checking out a few of the Lux installations. Alayna enjoyed walking across a bridge and peaking through the holes in the structure.

Blue Bridge Alayna

Blue Bridge Alayna

The neon bridge (TENSION)

The neon bridge (TENSION)

The Feed the Kids too was being treated as a mini-maze by the passing crowd with a constant stream of people pushing through the strung up lunchboxes. The susurrous made by the constant movement was a background soundtrack punctuated by laughter and giggles as children raced around the central tree.

Watching people wandering through FEED THE KIDS TOO (CAPITAL)

Watching people wandering through FEED THE KIDS TOO (CAPITAL)

We watched a woman walking around wearing an outfit that seemed to resemble a neon deep sea jellyfish, the organic bouncing of the glowing dress adding to the oddness.

Jellyfish girl

Jellyfish girl

We joined a crowd mesmerised by the sights and sounds of Aura. Stepping into the open container individuals would face a glowing speaker on a stand and conduct an orchestra of sound and light by moving their hands in front of the open speaker face. Quiet and delicate, loud and brash, the emanating audio and pulsating glow would change for each different person and their gesticulating.

Staring at the AURA

Staring at the AURA

Conducting the AURA

Conducting the AURA

There were many interactive installations and the Spreading a Little Sun wall have a magnet for those passing by. A wall of miniature suns that were turned on and off by the crowd the warm glow was inviting and drew everyone in (when they could reach it through the pressed mass).

The crowd interacts with SPREADING A LITTLE SUN

The crowd interacts with SPREADING A LITTLE SUN

The last spot for us was the cicle of lights called Circular Ruins. Alayna stood by one of the pillars and touched the lit surface, perhaps trying to figure out what it was. Soon after we were back at the car and then heading home, Alayna quickly asleep after her late night. We’ll be back for another visit.

Alayna inspects one of the CIRCULAR RUINS pillars

Alayna inspects one of the CIRCULAR RUINS pillars

The summer had to end sometime

It has been a glorious summer of warm weather, lots of sunshine and little wind. It would appear that this has ended today with the advent of heavy rain and high winds, normal service resuming. That all said some rain will be welcome in the garden.

Over the last month we’ve been out visiting a few fairs and festivals and have also been starting to get into a DIY mindset (while working through some planning differences between what we want to do and what the local developer will allow). First up was the Newtown Fairand we had a pleasant morning walk looking at all the stalls and entertainment on show.

Smiling happy people

Smiling happy people

Dancing with a smile

Dancing with a smile

Balloon entertainment

Balloon entertainment

We also spent an afternoon at the first Cuba Duba festival in Wellington. There were theatrics, music, a huge variety of street food and stages full of interesting entertainment. We didn’t manage to see Spanish hair wizards Osadia at work but their work was always crowd stopping as those who had been worked on wandered the festival turning heads and drawing compliments.

Different festival, more joyful dancing

Different festival, more joyful dancing

Hairdressing at another level

Hairdressing at another level

The dragon and El Matador

The dragon and El Matador

Street parade

Street parade

Red rose petals

Red rose petals

A change of pace had Keryn designing a planter box and after purchasing the required wood and a few new tools I was set the task of constructing the piece. An afternoon and mornings work and we had a new planter box ready for filling.

Watching mum measuring her design

Watching mum measuring her design

Happy days

Happy days

The finished planter

The finished planter

And sometime during all this Alayna decided that crawling wasn’t the transportation be-all and end-all and has started walking :)

Walking!

Walking!

February highlights

It’s been a busy February so far with lots of things happening including my 40th birthday. Rather than go into any detail here’s a few photographic highlights instead.

Walking at Zealandia:

Taking in the view

Taking in the view

Happy wee girl

Happy wee girl

Curious robin

Curious robin

Takahe

Takahe

Camping at Kaitoke:

Testing the bounce

Testing the bounce

The new Kaitoke arch

The new Kaitoke arch

Dragonfly girl

Dragonfly girl

DInner

Dinner

Kaitoke camping

Kaitoke camping

Breakfast

Breakfast

Chinese New Year:

Year of the Snake

Alayna was born in the Year of the Snake and Keryn is decorating a snake mask

Plimmerton fish and chips:

Plimmerton sunset one

Plimmerton sunset one

Plimmerton sunset two

Plimmerton sunset two

Walking in Wellington on my birthday:

Cricket highlights

Cricket highlights

Performance space

Performance space

The start of something

The start of something

Te Papa art

Te Papa art

Daylight flotsam Venice & The Drop

Daylight flotsam Venice & The Drop

Back to Zealandia:

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Exploring Zealandia

Exploring Zealandia

Tieke

Tieke

P?wakawaka

P?wakawaka

Korimako

Korimako

Night time at the Pauatahanui Inlet:

Pauatahanui night

Pauatahanui night

Stars and harakeke

Stars and harakeke

The Plimmerton kite festival:

Plimmerton kite festival

Plimmerton kite festival

Alayna's favourite

Alayna’s favourite

Killer whale encounter

Killer whale encounter

The Arras Tunnel

The area around the Wellington War Memorial is being remodelled into a larger memorial park and part of the work involves putting a section on Buckle Street underground. The new underpass has been named the Arras Tunnel in memory of the New Zealand recruits who were tunnelling underneath the town of Arras in France in the first World War. Many lives were lost during the effort at Arras and as part of the memorial symbolic poppies have been placed on the wall of the new tunnel.

And the band played on

And the band played on

The crowded tunnel

The crowded tunnel

The Arras Tunnel opens in a couple of days and is a vehicle only area so a public open day was held to allow the public to walk the length of the tunnel. There were hundreds of people when Keryn, Alayna and I walked the tunnel and there was plenty of interest in the projections within the tunnel showing the work that had been done so far.

The plans for the memorial park look interesting, I think this will be a good space for Wellington and based on what I’ve seen so far a fitting memorial for those who lost their lives in the great wars.

Colours and light

Colours and light

The Arras Tunnel

The Arras Tunnel

Poppies

Poppies

The 2014 Wellington Color Run

This year The Colo(u)r Run (spot the event that started in the USA) came to New Zealand for the first time and the Wellington event took place in Upper Hutt at Trentham Park. Thousands of people had signed up and ran or walked a 5km course which took in a number of colour stations.

Keryn, Alayna and I arrived after the first bunch of runners had set off and walked around checking our some of the colour stations and watching the happy runners. The whole thing was really well organised with no apparent issues, certainly we rocked up, parked and found our way to the course easily. The best area for us was the blue colour station which was right next to the forest which shadowed the wind and enabled the blue power to just hang in the air leading to great photo opportunities.

The blue station

The blue station

Running through the blue

Running through the blue

Blue done

Blue done

The other really interesting place was at the stage found after the finish line. Here there was loud, happy music and every 15 minutes or so the colour throws took place. The crowd was supplied with packets of colour powder and after the countdown the colour was thrown to the sky which resulted in a riot of pastel hues descending into a powdery fog churned up by the dancing crowd beneath. It was great fun to watch, the only issue trying to keep the camera gear as powder free as possible (small particles and cameras not going together very well). I did get dusted lightly, clothing and cameras, but thankfully don’t seem to have suffered any issues (for myself or the photographic equipment) as a consequence.

Lined up and having a good time

Lined up and having a good time

Trying to catch colour packets

Trying to catch colour packets

Colour filled balls

Colour filled balls

Party time!

Party time!

Acting up for the camera (their mum's camera I think, not mine)

Acting up for the camera (their mum’s camera I think, not mine)

Sensible and kooky attire

Sensible and kooky attire

The colour throw

The colour throw

Colour throw complete

Colour throw complete

Throughout Alayna was in her pram (other than when she was being fed in a relatively quiet location by Keryn) and she was largely oblivious to the surrounding activity. The following photo sums up her opinion of the event.

Alayna was not bothered

Alayna was not bothered

Maybe in future years we’ll go for a run with Alayna. There were plenty of kids and even some people running with their prams. I think we’ll wait until Alayna can appreciate the fun and take enjoyment from the happy mess :).