Half Buried Memories

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‘Half Buried Memories’

No, it’s not the results of a New Zealand earthquake, but rather a sculptural piece in Auckland commenting (perhaps) on the loss of historical buildings, and that greater emotional loss which accompanies that process.

While I was taking the picture on the weekend, a colourful local approached and told me that he had opposed the sculpture’s installation years ago. A “waste of money” ,”not actually real”. Just attracted people wanting to take photos (“like me?”, I asked smilingly).

That was as may be, but there was no getting around the period in  the 1980s when developers, according to the bloke, were hell bent on pulling down old buildings and replacing them with new and shiny edifices, before new “heritage” planning rules prevented them doing so without some preservation measures being undertaken.

It is a burial site of a kind, even if “not real”, and evokes the feelings you associate with those places.

In the background, the newer high rise buildings of downtown can be seen through the trees.

There will come a time when they too will be demolished to make way for something “better” and more progressive.

And only memories will remain.




Listen To The Lion


‘ Listen To The Lion’


Lions, of course, are symbols of courage and bravery.

Courage features in the second part of The Serenity Prayer:

“Courage to change the things I can”

I think about that which I can change at the start of the day. Whether I act depends largely on whether I have the guts to do so.

Some leonine musical inspiration comes from Irish singer-songwriter in one of his more extended songs:


” I shall search my very soul

  for the lion

 inside of me”

(Mr. Morrison really rips loose with the vocal chords on this number; the repetition too, as he hits full trance and utters the phrase “listen to the lion” over and over again at one point in the song. It makes for one of his more challenging listens, but that’s possibly the point. I still marvel that Van, well into his musical work by then, was still only 26 or so when this track was recorded – it sounds like someone with way more time and miles under the belt).



The Strong One

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‘The Strong One’

” ‘Cause isn’t it hard

to be the one who gathers everybody’s tears

isn’t it hard

to be the strong one “

‘ The Strong One’, Bruce Cockburn

Some ruminations:

As to the photo image – the Stonehenge-like sculpture blends almost with the background of trees.

Truly strong people are sometimes unnoticeable.

They are always there – for others, to gather their tears (as Cockburn’s beautiful lyric states); constant and loyal.

Some mistake displays of dynamism, power and muscle-flexing for strong character.

The true strong ones of our world carry burdens without reward and recognition.

Maybe you are one of those that others rely on.

It is hard, to be the strong one.

Take time to take care of yourself too…


Monolith In Monochrome


After yesterday’s flirtation with neon in Eighties Palm Regret, it’s back to basics and a return to black and white.

The subject matter is a million miles from palm fans waving in the breeze, even though the the scenes in the pictures were only metres away from each other.

Water sculpted rock – pure, solid and immovable.

The shape is as fantastical as any by an abstract sculptor, all layers and angular beauty.

I was a little awestruck actually, but strangely reassured by the rock’s transformation over time by the elements.

I’d like to think that time and adversity sculpt us all into striking and unique entities.

Sphere Of Silver Ferns

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A magical sphere comprised of silver ferns hangs suspended in the Wellington sky.

Okay, not really magical in the conjuring sense, as the wires holding the sculpture aloft are clearly visible, but in the sense of fantastical art/sculpture.

That the silver fern is the national symbol of New Zealand/Aotearoa is an emblematic plus.

The whirl of symmetrical fern motifs reflects the sun.

And reflects our special place and the endless,unifying cycle of life here(well, to me it does but you might see something else…).

F**k, I didn’t plan to come over all patriotic at the start of writing this, but even if you’re not a Kiwi, I hope you enjoy this very cool lump of flying metal anyway!



Blue Moses


A full scale marble replica of Michelangelo’s sculpture Moses sits in an inner city Auckland park ( it came from Italy with a replica David but that statue sorta went missing years ago).

Theologians and historians still debate and surmise about  Moses’s achievements and even his existence.

All I know is that in this representation of the Jewish leader and prophet ,he just looks a little pissed off and, frankly, depressed.

Too long in the wilderness ,maybe…

…or possibly missing his buddy Dave?

Whatever the reason , I have made him up in blue to suit.

Makes me happy, at least…



Humiliation vs Humility


Please have a peek at my last post Making Humiliation An Artform ! if you haven’t already.

There,the great British poet Auden postulated out that art is born of humiliation.

I guess we want to believe that art comes from some more pleasant emotional or spiritual experience ,but he had a point.

We all suffer crashing humiliation at some point -god knows I have – when we find out in no uncertain terms that we are not as good, morally upright, desirable, intelligent or indispensable or whatever we thought we were before the axe fell ,leaving us split into bits of the real truth ,laid bare for the world to see.

Art might come from there, or the resolve not to ever have that thing happen again,or maybe the urge to be “better”.

So, humiliation can be a catalyst for change.

But it is not the same as humility.

Humiliation might give us humility ,but equally might cause self-loathing or resentment.

You can’t sustain humiliation as a force for change in your life or to create something new and  different, it is just a starting point.

Humility, however ,can give us those things. It is hard ,because subjugating our ego-driven selves to the uncontrollable is something we naturally are threatened by, and fight.

And the sharp blade of humiliation need not necessarily have to dissect us in order to find humility.

Getting  back to art, and using the beautiful and shining copper sculpture in the above photo to illustrate – copper is a soft metal and can be beaten (humiliating moments again!) and shaped into almost anything. Infinitely malleable.

We have to be that way too – responsive,shaped and trained into transcendent form by outside forces.

The world will remember that self we became, long after our moments of personal disaster are forgotten.