Praise for Ralph Hotere

Ralph Hotere, one of New Zealand’s most notable artists, passed away on Monday. Hotere explored some of New Zealand’s most controversial historical events in his works, such as the infamous Springbok Tour and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, which perhaps explains his common appellation as the “warrior artist.” The grandeurs of Hotere’s paintings shall continue to be admired not only in New Zealand but in art circles all around the world.

On a more personal level, Hotere’s raw depiction of his subjects, his minimalistic use of colour, and the addition of poetry to many of his works, makes him one of my favourite and beloved artists of all time.

Below are some of photographs of Hotere and his paintings. I always find photos of artists equally as captivating as their actual artwork – seeing the world from a distinctly artistic perspective allows artists to hold themselves in such a way, that any photo with them as the subject should be deemed a work of art too.

Praise for Ralph Hotere.

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Social Media: A love/hate relationship

No doubt you have heard yourself saying something along the lines of…

  • “I Instagrammed that picture”
  • “I Googled it”
  • “I Facebooked him”
  • “I tweeted about them”

What started out merely as brandnames – Instagram, Google, Facebook and Twitter – have transformed into words in their own right. This brand-to-word culmination is the epitome of absolute success for the responsible company.

The likes of Instagram, Google, Facebook and Twitter, have provided avenues to instantaneously share our experiences with the digital world.

We are now increasingly under the impression that a happy moment must manifest itself in pictorial form and be instantly uploaded to Instagram; a quirky one-liner that is conjured up must be immediately tweeted about; attendance at a notable location must be promptly “checked in;” and information worthy of sharing must be swiftly corroborated in the form of a “status.”

As per Monet’s quote that preceded the digital era, we are increasingly obsessed by the need to render what we experience.

The insidious effects of social media have blurred the lines between genuine, bona-fide happiness on the one hand, and happiness that is supposedly only real if shared to the digital world on the other hand. In a world saturated by media sounds and images, there is no turning back to a distinctly analogue world. On a more positive note, the ubiquity of social media has allowed for new levels of unprecedented human engagement around the globe.

Whether we like it or not, social media is the way of the future. I therefore chose to get on board.

The Great Men Series – 6

Meet Terry Walker.

For years now, I have  often seen Terry strolling into Hawthorne, chatting to the staff, smiling at the patrons, ordering his coffee and sitting down to read. Terry is one of those rare people with eyes that smile. With that in mind, I have always been intrigued as to where he came from and what he has done with his life. This morning as he walked out of Hawthorne, everyones’ favourite local cafe in my home town, Havelock North, I decided to quell my curiosity and ask him everything I wanted to know. Just as I had imagined, Terry was the calm, lovely man with a story of his own that I had been yearning to listen to for all of these years.

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“I grew up in Wellington and lived overseas in London for a number of years, working for a pharmaceutical company and the a medical equipment company. Then I came back to New Zealand. I lived in Auckland for a few years when I came back, but now I live in Hawkes Bay. Hawkes Bay is very, very quiet compared with Auckland – if you don’t have to live in Auckland, then Hawkes Bay is a better place to be. I have two daughters, Nikki and Kylie. I came back from London with medical equipment but have since retired of course. I go to Hawthorne for the coffee and the nice people that run it; they always have the nicest people serving. 

London is a fascinating place, I did a whole mixture of things there. I did love the pubs of course, but sadly they are changing quite radically in style these days, they’re not “pubby” anymore. I’ve returned to London to visit my daughters and grandchildren who live there. 

Good luck with your day and good luck with your life. Just get on with it. Take it as it comes and just get on with it.” 

– Terry Walker

2012: The year in film

My top 3 films of 2012 – 

Moonrise Kingdom 

Once again Wes Anderson has succeeded in creating a satirical film that transcends all ages and pleases all viewers. Set in the 60s on New Penzance, a New England island, 12 year old Sam Shakusky and his pen pal, Suzy Bishop, run away and fall in love. The film follows Sam and Suzy as they hike over the island to a secret cove, as well as the Bishop household, the Island Police Officer, Sam’s foster parents, the summer camp from which he escaped, and Social Services who want to put him into juvenile refuge. Surprisingly the film only takes place over the course of two days. The zany nature of the film is done in a way that only Anderson could execute, and you don’t find out the relevance of the title until the last shot in the film, namely that Sam and Suzy named their secret cove “Moonrise Kingdom.”

This song, Le Temps de L’Amour, is testament to just how amazing the accompanying soundtrack is.

Moonrise Kingdom

Take This Waltz 

It certainly takes a clever and gripping story to make one question monogamy. Take This Waltz does just that. Here, Margot, played by Michelle Williams, is happily married until she meets and falls deeply in love with her neighbour on a flight. Not wanting to hurt her precious and adoring husband, yet unable to ignore the unexplored passion and curiosity with her neighbour, Williams drags the viewer to her pinnacle of despair as she agonises over both men.

Take This Waltz

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

An adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie in his freshman year at a suburban Pittsburgh highschool during the 90s. Previously subjected to cruel bullying and rejection, Charlie is welcomed into a group of adolescent misfits. The film captures the spirit of highschool years in a way  that is so funny and real, that you almost wish you were one of the misfits and you kick yourself for not having written the script yourself.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Saved for a rainy day – 

  1. The Intouchables
  2. Les Misérables
  3. Argo