Friday, 23 October 2009

Two Year Anniversary of living in New Zealand: Day Two

Yeah, I know, this is WAY overdue...

We drove along the coast on Day Two, getting a gorgeous view all the way along.

Palliser Bay coastal road

Palliser Bay coastal road

We hiked up through a dry creek bed see the Pinacles, a sight that reminded me very much of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon in Utah:

pinnacles 1

Next we stopped in Ngawi for refreshments. This is a tiny fishing village, known for it tractors, of all things. Because the sea is so rough and the coast is so rugged, there is no harbour so they keep the boats dry docked on trailers pulled far up the long stretches of beach. These trailers are hauled by tractors. It's quit a site, these tractors lined up on the beach. I didn't get a photo, but I'll include one my Mom too last time they were here:

ngawi pink tractor

Mom's photo of the tractors

Loren and Me, Ngawi

Loren and I at the dairy in Ngawi

The area past Ngawi is known for its seal colonies. There's a 'bachelor colony' here that can be seen year round. You can also see mothers with babies the right time of year. (It was not the right time of year)

seals basking 7

These guys were basking just meters from the road, and completely unafraid of people.

Our last stop was the light house. We ignored the warning signs and braved the rickety stairs, though the were literally falling apart in places.

stairs down lighthouse2

The trip down was especially harrowing. But we were rewarded with a stunning view.

lighthouse lookout, base of lighthouse, clouds, ocean
View from the lighthouse

And that was pretty much Day Two. Where will we go next year? At the moment Nelson is on the top of our list of places to visit next.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Soaking in The Culture

I fell asleep last night thinking of my experience of Yayoi Kusama's exhibit. Artwork that you can walk into the middle of, be surrounded by, the outside world obliterated. I have a lot of fanciful ideas of what kind of art I would create, if I had a lot of money and time on my hands. I would love to make sculptures so big that they became architecture, something you walk into and climb upon and experience. I never considered you could create that effect with a a room, some paint, and a bunch of custom-made inflatable objects. I walked around inside "Dots Obsession - Day" until I found a vantage point where I could no longer see the door. I was floating in a little world of bright yellow that made the black dots look like endless black holes. Large amorphous objects loomed, floated, leaned against walls, in the same colour scheme. The yellow dots on black of "Dot's Obsession - Night" was a little easier on the eyes. Another piece was a room set up as a mundane living room, down to the tea cups on the coffee table, every surface covered with coloured dots. The only illumination was black lights - which made the dots light up with a pale glow. Walking through this room was peaceful after 'dot's obsession' but also deeply eerie.


(Image shamelessly taken from

My favourite piece was a room fitted on all walls and ceiling with mirrors, the floor was still water with a mirrored platform to stand on. From black chords tiny coloured lights hung at different heights all over the room - the only illumination. People were let in only in ones or twos, the door closed behind them for the full effect. The effect was that of floating in an endless world of little lights, like a starry night sky stretching in every direction. It was beautiful and peaceful. My two minutes was over too soon. I wanted a room like that in my home. When life got too overwhelming, I would just go in there and lie on my back, looking up at the endless sky.