Sunday, September 5, 2010

closed today... but not for long I hope

Yesterday's news of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand made me think of this lovely city that I visited in January. The City's Art Gallery still standing even if It had become the HQ for Civil -Defence.

Christchurch Art Gallery

This contemporary building fared well... unlike a number of the cities older stone civic buildings and of course the homes of many.

The foyer of the gallery today operating as HQ
Geographically a stunning region this map shows two extinct volcanoes and makes for incredibly picturesque travelling. Unfortunately the fault-line in the region is such that locals are mentally prepared for the fact of earthquakes... as much as one can be. By all accounts physical injury was not
great, but loss is significant and many will no doubt struggle.
The Govt turned away foreign aid saying the civil disruption is not at the same level of critical emergency some countries suffer despite the size and severity of the quake. It is spring there... but given Christchurch can turn on a freezing day in the midst of summer I know there will be a lot of people missing their warm cosy beds in this southern region close to the mountains and ski-fields!

Christchurch, NZ
aerial view
This map was found here.

In February I wrote a post on the wonderful Christchurch Arts Centre where I met some of the artists with permanent studios there. Read the post here.

Tapestry by Marilyn Rea-Menzies

Whilst there I enjoyed time in Marilyn's studio talking with her whilst looking at her extensive body of work - both tapestry and pastel drawing. Visiting on her blog tonight I was delighted to see the tapestry she'd been working on in January was being cut off the loom at a special studio party in August. Read that post here. It was great to see a celebration taking place - so much work goes into a tapestry needs to be "launched"!

Here's Marilyn on the left

Cutting the warp threads

the finished work!
More of Marilyn's work....

from a series of drawings on native new zealand plants.

Marlborough rock daisy I

native manuka - what manuka honey comes from

The Koromiko - a native NZ hebe

Iris berries

Go to Marilyn's contact page if you want to contact her (buy a work even?)

Im sure all visitors here would, like me, hope that Marilyn, Serena and everyone over there is fine and wish everyone our best with the work to get life back on track!

Serena Williams at work in her studio (see art centre post)
Whilst looking at the gallery site I found these works from the permanent collection of the Christchurch Art Gallery.

The Mamakus | 2002/214
Buck Nin: The Mamkus circus 1975

Nuka Lafalafa | 95/14
John Pule: Nuka Lafalafa 1994

Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is | 69/142
Colin McCahon: Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is 1958-1959

Triptych Landscape, Canterbury | 73/241
Bashir Baraki: Triptich landscape, Canterbury

Plateau 3 | 2000/05
Euan Mcloud: Plateau 3 1992


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Such a large earthquake...I've seen some recent photos showing cracks in the road etc. Thank you for reposting about this art center...a beautiful building with interesting artists but for now another purpose.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Maryann,
The photos dont look good of roads and city buildings do they!... I thought i'd best not post them and got quite carried away with enjoying the images from NZ artists instead.
Such a beautiful country and great people in my experience... very resiliant and multi-skilled - very handy traits at this time!

dosfishes said...

So sad an earthquake. So much going on this year geologically and weather wise all over. Glad the art centre was spared, hope the people fare as well.
Tapestry you shared is marvelous. Was thinking of
you as I picked up sea washed peach pits at the beach.
xox Corrine

em said...

earthquakes are so scary! i hope there is no loss of life. beautiful works you have shown us!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Corrine,
to date injuries have been reported amazingly as minor. The Art Gallery looks intact but the Arts centre is very old and likely to have have sustained damage.
That is misleading in my post Im sorry.
It was wonderful to see the tapestry being celebrated.
Peach pits... I do like trawling the beach too...its been a while since I did that though!
have a good week,

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Em,
Despite the severity of the quake people seemed to have managed to get to safety Em. However it did fill one hospital's maternity ward with very pregnant women who suddenly gave birth...21 babies born that day...and apparently that is a huge number in that hospital.

Maggie Neale said...

Sophie, how good of you to post about the Art Center in the earthquake hit city, its strength holding and the arts there. A reminder to us all of the NZ artists. I love meeting Marilyn and seeing her tapestries and knowing there was a celebration for the cutting off. The weaver in me celebrates!

Sophie Munns said...

I do have affection for New Zealand Maggie... I only went there 5 years ago for the first time.. then in January... and I tried to absorb as much as possible - finding the artists and their relationship to place very informing
.... with a strong pacific islander presence and the Maori presence historically and in newer ways commanding attention.
Locals from the south island always seem to say it pays to be a bit stoic and handy with a lot of things to live there. That character seem to be out in force at the moment.
lovely comments...thank you!

Mary Zeran said...

very informative as usual Sohie! My thoughts are with the people as they put their lives back together. I am thinking about the phrase "relationship between artist and place." Thanks for that!

Sophie Munns said...

Good news from NZ from Marilyn that her home was not affected really. She thinks her studio might have escaped the worst of it...but was anxious for the wait till about thursday to get clearance to go see how it did fare!
lovely comment....thanks Mary!