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.

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

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

Miniature Huts – Part one

Recently we heard about an interesting public art project in Wellington created by Kemi Niko & Co. Titled Miniature Hikes the project involves 7 miniature huts that have been placed in off the beaten track locations around Wellington. Each hut can be found after a short walk using the instructions found on the Miniature Hikes website so armed with this information we’ve been setting out to see what we could find.

Our first target was the Mt Albert hut named Portal. Joining us for this mini adventure was Pauline who we hadn’t seen in a few months so it was good to catch up while we walked. Possibly because of the catch-up chatter we missed the side path we needed to take the first time through and ended up walking for about ten minutes longer than we had to. This wasn’t a big issue as it was a beautiful day and there were wonderfully expansive views over Wellington from the ridgeline track we were following. Turning back we soon enough found the track we had missed, an overgrown gorse surrounded little path that was easy enough to bypass if not paying attention.

The Portal hut was sitting on the remains of an old concrete military bunker. Canvas flaps opened up to reveal a shelter containing a pinboard covered in notes written by previous visitors. There was also three jars, one each to hold a pen, some pins and some paper. We all inspected the contents and had a look around. We were soon enough joined by another family also out hut hunting so we left them to inspect Portal and headed back.

Portal found

Portal found

Pauline, Keryn and Alayna

Pauline, Keryn and Alayna

Inside Portal

Inside Portal

We took a diversion past an old reservoir and under a radio mast to another lookout and another bunker. Keryn, Pauline and Alayna had a rest and a chat while I inspected the bunker and checked out the view. There were more photos taken and then we were back on the move and walking to the car, our first of seven huts found and curiosity piqued regarding the remaining six.

Bunker robot

Bunker robot

Chat and a rest

Chat and a rest

Family portrait with a view

Family portrait with a view

Good friends, good times

Good friends, good times

The next weekend we headed back into Wellington for some shopping and then more walking with a chance of hut sightings. Our first target this time was the Trees Hut on Mt Victoria. With Keryn navigating we parked in a location that looked to be close and this proved to be the case with the hut hanging above a path only a minute from the car.

The Trees Hut was suspended from the branch of a pine tree. Constructed from wood with a metal façade on the ends and a metal clad chimney the hut looked like the home of a steampunk fairy. Underneath the hut was a corrugated metal weight and when viewed from underneath the hut itself was found to be a hollow shell with the suspended weight attached by rope to a pulley. Pulling the other end of the rope revealed a notebook with a pen for leaving a message. Alayna was very interested by this strange hanging construction and was trying to get closer for a good look so I took her over for a viewing. She was keen to play with the pen and paper so I let her have the pen for some pretend drawing.

Alayna trying to get a closer look

Alayna trying to get a closer look

Trees Hut

Trees Hut

The hidden notebook

The hidden notebook

Quite the chimney

Quite the chimney

Alayna tries to leave her mark

Alayna tries to leave her mark

As with the last hut there were other people out searching who arrived to have a look while we were still present. This couple were walking between huts and were obviously craft beer fans judging from the slogans on their clothing, out earning their beer today.

It was edging closer to Alayna’s dinner time but we had time to seek out one for hut so with Keryn again navigating we headed towards Mt Cook, home of the Aoraki Biv. The suggested starting point had no room for us to park so we headed up the road and found a good shady spot to leave the car before tramping off in what we hoped was the right direction. This was another walk with great views, Wellington Harbour gleaming sapphire under a clear blue sky with the Rimutakas in the distance shrouded under lenticular cloud cover carved by the blustery wind.

We found the Aoraki Biv, a much larger hut that was spacious enough to allow Keryn and Alayna to sit inside. Even better was a book of nursery rhymes so Alayna was quite content to sit in the hut and look through the book while I took the obligatory photos. Again there was a visitors book and this one had some blank pages so we allowed Alayna to doodle and then entered all our names as a record of our visit.

The Aoraki Biv

The Aoraki Biv

Alayna looking through the Nursery Rhymes

Alayna looking through the Nursery Rhymes

Keryn reads the guest book to Alayna

Keryn reads the guest book to Alayna

The view from Aoraki Biv

The view from Aoraki Biv

Taking in the view

Taking in the view

The information board

The information board

Once again there were more people out looking for huts who found this one while we were there, a young English woman with her two children and then the beer aficionados we had met earlier at the Trees Hut (they had walked from Mt Victoria so definitely deserved a pint or two once they got home). We left everyone to check out the Aoraki Biv and headed home ourselves, three hikes completed and four more to do before the huts are retired at the end of March.

Amanda Palmer Wellington Ninja Parade

Amanda Palmer is back in Wellington as part of a world tour and she decided to lead a parade around various Wellington locations, stopping here and there to entertain the following. The initial list of locations expanded as some of the more clued by places in Wellington invited her to bring her rag-tag army along for a visit.

IMG 3036Photo by Brendon & Keryn

A piano on the waterfront

Starting at Frank Kitts park at the harbour side piano belonging to the nearby Tuatua Cafe Amanda sang a few songs accompanied by ukulele and piano. With a decent crowd in attendance it was then off to the Wellington Library, everyone following a flag toting local. There were families, friends, musicians and the odd ninja all parading to the library in the evening sun in a ragged line, all wondering what would happen next.

IMG 3061Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Parading

We all filed into the library and most simply sat down as we waited for Amanda to come in. Once Amanda was with us she was presented with the (sacred?) blue Library ukulele. All of a sudden identical blue ukulele’s were appearing everywhere and the library one wasn’t seeming so special any more. With some tuning issues evident Amanda handed back the library instrument and then treated us to more songs playing on her own uke, including a quiet-cussing Map of Tasmania and a beautiful version of the Radiohead song Creep.

IMG 3074Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Presenting the library ukulele

IMG 3085Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Singing!

From the library the parade then headed to Te Papa. It was cold but with no wind and a low evening light the walk was very pleasant and the harbour sparkled as we passed by. Arriving at the museum we got some quick guidance from our leader and then we all quietly entered, making our way upstairs to Our Space for more stories and music.

IMG 3096Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Parading again

IMG 3104Photo by Brendon & Keryn

More singing!

IMG 3119Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The long view

More songs performed and then a task was set for the audience. Everyone was to draw something on a piece of paper and after 10 minutes or so it was outside where everyone lined up so Amanda could look at all the artwork. Taking her time Amanda moved along the line videoing the whole way and getting a good look at everyones creative drawings.

IMG 3149Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The other long view

IMG 3165Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Videoing art and artists

IMG 3170Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Milling

Recording complete the parade reformed and headed for Cuba Street, coming to a stop at a stage just up from the Bucket Fountain and outside Ferret Bookshop. After encouraging the purchase of books there were more tunes followed by a signing of any books people had bought. It was then onward to the top of Cuba Street and the wonderfully named Laundry on Cuba, and unfortunately that was where I had to depart the parade. It was fun that far, and I imagine only more fun for the remainder.

IMG 3175Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Performing on Cuba

IMG 3200Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Singing books and more books

IMG 3210Photo by Brendon & Keryn

A final photo of books

Some more photos can be found on Flickr.