Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Emily Allchurch

Photomontages that look like famous paintings, but with subtle differences. Emily Allchurch recreates landscapes that never existed, and gives them a lived-in look. Fascinating! You can see a few of her works here, and her wonderful Tower of London is here.

Radio new Zealand downloads

For all those who don't know, Radio New Zealand now offers almost all their programmes for downloading as MP3s. Catch up with exactly what you're interested in, whenever, wherever! Awesome. And you can also listen online if you prefer.

Lost and found

The BBC has pictures of a few of the 1.3 million animals which were presumed to have been killed in the conflict in Southern Sudan, which have been rediscovered.

Why space exploration is so expensive

One of the funniest Onion stories ever.

Friday, 15 June 2007


If you are looking for contemporary New Zealand craft, art, or craft art, look no further than Toggle! There's something here in every price range and to suit every taste. Particular favourites of mine are the gummy-bear earrings, the Crown Lynn toki, the button necklaces, this amazing photography, beautiful kete, and the "brickwall" cushion by the incomparable Judy Darragh.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Edward Burtynsky

This Canadian photographer documents the massive transformations of the Earth by heavy industry. From opencast mining, quarries and railway cuttings; to oilfields, refineries, dam building and coal depots; to vast factories, shipyards, recycling depots and rubbish heaps, Burtynsky's large-scale photographs are panoramas of human endeavour.

The images have a brutal grandeur, recalling Piranesi, Gustave Dore, and Franz Kafka.

This site has more information on Burtynsky and examples of his work.

There is a documentary film, Manufactured Landscapes, showcasing his work and exploring some of the bizarre places he has visited.

Burtynsky's own website is here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Welcome to the South Seas: Contemporary New Zealand Art for Young People

Welcome to the South Seas: Contemporary New Zealand Art for Young People

This book is pitched at young people but it's so clear and readable most adults would enjoy it too: it's art appreciation without the artspeak. Gregory O'Brien has chosen one work each from 45 contemporary New Zealand artists, and he outlines his thoughts on each one, in a fun and breezy style.

Story of a New Zealand River

This novel was written in 1914 and I expected it to be old-fashioned and dull. In fact it's quite a page-turner! Set on Northland's Otamatea River, it describes the journey upriver of an English immigrant to a remote logging settlement; her personal development in this alien setting is chronicled along with the development of the prosperous mill town.

The story has a number of features in common with Jane Campion's The Piano, and there have been allegations that Campion was heavily influenced by Mander's novel, and never acknowledged her debt. To me, there are a lot of differences between The Piano and Story of a New Zealand River...but you can judge for yourself.

I think Story of a New Zealand River may currently be out of print, but it's available from libraries, and you can read it online or download it as an e-book, here.

There's more information on author Jane Mander here.