The Year of the Snake

So I went with a friend to the Chinese Gardens and made another photo journal of the trip!

Blue skies and clear water

Blue skies and clear water

I’ve always enjoyed my trips to the Chinese Garden over the years, it was one of the first places I visited when I first arrived in Dunedin. This may be in no small part due to the Tea House, their set menu is a bargain, and the lychee tea is my favourite.

Lychee tea for two, perfect way to spend an non-windy afternoon!

Lychee tea for two, perfect way to spend an non-windy afternoon!

So if you have for some reason not been yet, by all means do. Stop in for a cup of tea, sample the set menu, enjoy the peaceful and tranquil spaces, play around in the rock garden, and have some calm fun!

The photo journal can be found here at the blogs imgur account

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Toitū & Immersing Oneself in the Past

Photo Journal time again! This time it’s Toitū, Otago Settlers Museum. Toitū was reopened last December, and has been a local success since.

Inside the entrance of Toitū

Inside the entrance of Toitū

With various displays, ranging from Maori explorers and first settlers, to what the future of this little city could be it’s quite the experience. It also features the latest in interactive museum exhibit technology, with touchscreen interactive displays located throughout the museum.

First Great City interactive display

First Great City interactive display

There is also a research centre where anyone can research Toitū’s collections on Dunedin and it’s inhabitants. There is even a small section on Creative Cities!

Creative Dunedin - The story of Dunedin's literary past

Creative Dunedin – The story of Dunedin’s literary past

All in all a fun place to go for an hour, or an afternoon, however much time you have! It can be a learning experience if you want it to be, or it can simply be a good place to immerse yourself in the city’s past.

The photo journal can be found here on the blogs imgur site

A Short Jaunt In The Gardens

Two ducks taking a nap at the botanical gardens.

Two ducks taking a nap at the botanical gardens.

The Dunedin Botanic Garden has been open for 150 years this year. It happens to be my favourite place in Dunedin, even if the weather is bad, as it often is. The gardens are massive, so I decided to do a short photo journal of my 40 minute long tour of the lower half of them. I thought I’d just put a few of my favourite images here though. This will be followed by a photo journal of the upper half of the gardens for my next post.

The Otaru Tien - developed to celebrate Dunedin's Sister City relationship with Otaru, Japan, and Otago provinces 150th anniversary.

The Otaru Teien – developed to celebrate Dunedin’s Sister City relationship with Otaru, Japan, and Otago provinces 150th anniversary.

The Otaru Teien

The Otaru Teien

Looking right as you cross the bride to the Teien

Looking right as you cross the bridge to the Teien

Water of Leith

Water of Leith

The Rockery. I think this is my favourite photograph I took.

The Rockery. I think this is my favourite photograph I took.

Overview of the gardens from the top of the rockery.

Overview of the gardens from the top of the rockery.

The imgur album for the photo journal can be found here.

Solo by Jon Thom

'Untitled IV'

‘Untitled IV’

As some on you may remember, I have already posted about Jon on this blog before. However, this Saturday Jon had his second showing at The Artist’s Room for his collection, Solo.

Solo focuses more on facial expressions and individual characters than Jon’s previous collection. Again, the calibre of his work allows you to connect with the individuals in his portraits. The deep velvet textures he creates from using pressed black chalk adds serious depth and feeling to his work, it feels like you have an immediate emotional connection to the portrait you are looking at.

Jon on the right with some fans of his work.

Jon on the right with some fans of his work.

The baleful eyes of his latest work, as they look directly at the viewer, make it feel as if you are having a kind of conversation with the subjects; particularly ‘Daisy’ aptly named after the subject herself, Daisy Lowe.

'Daisy'

‘Daisy’

Solo is on for the next two weeks at the Artist’s Room, and with three pieces already having sold before the opening I’d recommend getting there before the show wraps up. After the show concludes some pieces will remain, but Solo really should be viewed as a collection.

When I was there I think the best way I could describe how it made me feel was the montage scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where they are going round the Art Galleries (video clip here). A meaningful, if not completely understood connection happens when viewing Solo, I felt like I almost knew the subjects.

LEft to Right - 'Untitled III', 'Laugh' and 'Untitled IV'

LEft to Right – ‘Untitled III’, ‘Laugh’ and ‘Untitled IV’

A specially commissioned piece by Jon is also on display in the building, its a huge wall sized canvas painting, I heard Jon describe how tricky it was to incorporate the blue tint into his process, as the charcoal he draws with would get smudged by the blue paint. Knowing how hard he worked on that piece and the scale of it, it definitely makes you stop and think when you seen it. It’s located on the second floor of 2 Dowling Street, above The Artist’s Room.

'Laughter' 'or 'Smile'. Jon's largest piece of work in size to date

‘Laughter’ ‘or ‘Smile’. Jon’s largest piece of work in size to date

So to summarise, get along to The Artist’s Room to see some wonderfully evocative and velvet textured work from a young man with a real talent.

My Imgur album of the collection can be viewed here. The Artist’s Room facebook page is also here. Jon’s Artist’s page is also here.

Dunedin Midwinter Carnival

The Dunedin Midwinter Carnival has been held annually in Dunedin since 1997. This years theme was ‘Journey’s of Discover’ and the lanterns were simply amazing. I went along with some friends to watch the precession and soak up the atmosphere of Midwinter Solstice. We had a fantastic time, and the festivities were very enjoyable. The stalls that lined the central Octagon were selling food and drinks, all of which smelt amazing.

IMG_7151

HMS Endeavour Lantern

The Dunedin Medieval Society was offering Mulled Wine and Cider, and serving in costume none the less! Unfortunately I had driven and only had so much cash (I will be better prepared next year!). So we decided to just get some Churros, and they were definitely a winner for us.

I am always my happiest when I have food!

I am always my happiest when I have food!

After the precession had finished there were fireworks, followed by live music from Tahu & The Tahakes, all of whom were dressed suitably for the event and weather! There was also a fire poi performance, which was quite enjoyable.

Tahu & The Takahes

Tahu & The Takahes

For me though, I think my favourite memory will be all the kids from the precession running around, followed quickly by their parents, dutifully carrying their children’s lanterns for future posterity.

Sailing on to the next adventure!

Sailing on to the next adventure!

The album for my photos can be found here.

Jon Thom and Insiders Dunedin

So the most recent Insiders Dunedin video is on Jon Thom. Originally from Central Otago, Jon runs his own company Moodie Tuesday here in Dunedin, his works are mainly done in charcoal.

I was lucky enough to go see Jon being featured in the Artists Room here in Dunedin last year, it was a great opportunity to see his work in person. The textures his work contains are stunning and provide a wonderful feeling of depth to his pieces.

I was also able to attend Undone and Moodie Tuesday’s  Fashion Week Showcase for iD Fashion Week here in Dunedin. My favourites from the showcase were a pair of skull paintings that glowed due to the fluorescent lighting used at the showcase. Found here on Moodie Tuesday

Jon also works with Motion Sickness Studio (who made the above video), which has been open less than a year and already has contracts around Dunedin.

So basically, go look at Moodie Tuesday, Motion Sickness Studio and support one of our own if you can!

Jon’s personal website is also here.