365 DAY PROJECT: WEEKS 39-42…

Bonjour!

I bet you thought I’d left you!

I bet you thought I’d given up! 

I bet you thought I’d hope you wouldn’t notice my lack of posts! 

Or… OH NO, maybe you actually didn’t notice my absence at all!

*welp* 

If this is the case, then I hope you’ve been off doing some pretty fantastic things instead.  Things like eating chocolate gateau, drinking champagne, dancing like a maniac, laughing so much that your stomach muscles hurt the next day, kissing all manner of cute people and things…and dressing up in ridicous outfits, well, just because you can!

IMG_9934

But, well, yeah there’s no escaping the fact that it’s been a month between posts:

  • It’s been a month because it’s been very busy. Fun busy, though. And when fun busy happens, I’m having to tell myself to let go a bit and just enjoy it…because fun busy times aren’t always around, and when they are, they cannot last forever. Then, when they are over there’s a shit load of time to fill. You must keep busy throughout these voids to stop you getting twitchy and blue. That time is when you catch up on your posts, admin and homework. This is, I feel, the way it should be.
  • Once it got to around  two weeks without not only posts, but not even uploading and sorting my photos (*gasp*), I have to admit, I sort of lost my usual dilliagent count of where I was at with photos.  As it has been, for most of the year, the whole “photo a day concept” ebbs and flows. It’s just the way it is. Some days I just don’t, or can’t find opportunity, whilst other days I might find myself in several places where I’m surrounded by nothing but potential, inspiring subjects. So I like I said, I’m learning…no, actually….I HAVE learnt to let go of self imposed guilt on this matter….
  • I found that I was beating myself up about not fitting in with the criteria of the project. Then I realised that, hey, actually, this is MY project, MY criteria, MY rules. I’m not being paid for it. I’m not getting in trouble or fired for being a late. Noone will be more disappointed with myself than ME for not completing it. And it’s a project that I started and continued for the sole purpose of MY creative and personal growth. So on that basis, why was I stressing? I’m at a point where I know I’ll finish it. I’ve simply come too far for quitting to be an option.
  • Y’bloody know what? As it turns out, after 300 days, this project has become a habit. It’s always in the back of my mind, and as a result, tonight when I sat down and went through the painstaking process of sorting, editing and labelling all the photos, I’m actually bang up to date. Phew!
  • Sorry about all the dogs this month. It’s really IS meant to be a people project. But I met cute dogs, with cute names, and who let me cuddle them….and sometimes dogs are just easier and nicer to deal with than people (and they can’t say NO to my request, when I’m feeling fragile and tired)
  • Speaking of ‘No’… I think I had three no’s in this photo set. That brings me up to approx. fifteen no’s for the total project. Of 300 images. That’s a positive and valuable lesson right there.
  • I hope you can see from the photos what a busy and fun month it has been: markets, a Festival of Transitional Architecture, a trip to Sydney, Zinefest…all things that I have contributed to or earned in some way or another through creative and career based efforts. It was a month of payback.
  • What you can’t see, however, are all of the amazing people and friends I spent the month with, old friends and new, from Christchurch and beyond. You can’t see the dancing. The hugs. The gin. The food. The Skype sessions across the world. The outfits. The playlists. The swoons.
  • I have ALSO been freelance writing for The WIRELESS
  • A lot of my subjects have been asking about my project, what is is, why I do it, and how long I’ve been doing it for. And in recent weeks, I say “Since Jan 1!!!”. And then I think “WOW. THAT’S ALMOST A YEAR AGO. A YEAR! I’M ALMOST THERE!!!!” And I am. Two months to go. And as we enter daylight savings, longer nights, and the social calendar opens up, I know I can do this. I got through those horrible few months of winter where I’d drive the empty CBD streets at 5pm, in the rain, on my way home for work, as daylight vanished, desperately seeking someone, just ANYONE, to take a picture of. Those days are over, dead, gone, behind me. Dog days are over! There is literal light ahead. Woot!

365 DAYS OF STRANGERS: WEEKS 39, 40, 41 AND 42…

As always, you can view and follow my entire 365 Day Project right over on Flickr.

Okay kittens, until next time – be good, stay happy.

xo

36 DAYS: WEEK 34, 35 & 36

Three weeks since my last photo post, you say? Three entire weeks? Oh shhhh….let’s not ruin a perfectly lovely Sunday by talking about such frivolity, honey, it will only lead to an argument.

Instead, you have 21 lovely photos to devour. Since that will take some time – I will quit trying to deflect the attention from my tardy posting habits and leave you with the gallery…yes?

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 34, 35 & 36

As ever, you can review and follow my entire project, to date, over on Flickr.

Now get outside, breathe in the fresh air, kiss some puppies, hug a cat, and eat an ice cream.

(or just stay inside browsing novelty socks on ASOS, drinking coffee, listening to The Cure…not that I would ever do something that*)

xo

* always

365 DAYS: WEEK 33…

Week 33!!

I’m really excited about this week of photos. I stumbled across this amazing mix of people who are full of life and character. They all have “swagger”.

However there’s one photo I want to give special mention to today – mainly because it involves my Father. I was on the phone to him earlier tonight, and all day I’d been thinking “I must remember to tell Dad this story, I must not forget.” But then we talked about dogs, work, films, all the usual stuff, and the story completely slipped my mind.

But I know that he reads this. He always tells me that he keeps up with my life via Facebook and this site (or my Mother throws her laptop under his nose when he’s trying to read the paper in the mornings, whether he likes it or not). Therefore I will now tell this story, to my Dad, but it’s okay, you can read it too – because feeling like you’re listening in on a conversation can be quite fun and I’m all for providing you with many of life’s weird and varied experiences:


 

Hey Father. The other evening, I was walking the dog, or “Mister big head” as you like to call him, in town.

We went around the park, then past the museum, as we usually do. As always, I’m acutely aware of whether I’ve gotten my photo for the day or not. At this stage, towards the end of our walk, I had not yet achieved my photo. The streets were emptying and things were looking bleak on the old “character” front.

Just as I started to think “oh bloody hell, I’m never going to find anyone,” I noticed a man, hovering around a large bus, which was parked at the Christ’s College side of the museum. He was wearing a retro baseball cap, a bright pink scarf, and was carrying multiple plastic bags which were so full they looked about ready to burst. I wasn’t sure if he was associated with the bus, or just chilling on the pavement. But I decided he was the one for me.

As I always do at this moment, I got my camera ready, took a big breath, then put on the awkward facial expression that I do for any approach- a mixture of a smile and anxiously furrowed brow. It’s an expression that I hope conveys the message of  “hello, please don’t be mean, because talking to you takes a lot of courage, and I’ll probably cry if you yell at me. OKAY?”

So I approached the man, explained my project, and asked if I could take his photo. Thankfully he smiled, seemed flattered to be asked, and said yes. Once I’d got the shot, as per usual, I asked his name.

“Bernie.”

Now to those of you, who are not my Father (or Mother, hi Mother) let me explain this bit to you. Before my folks left Christchurch, two and a half years ago, my Dad worked at the Canterbury Museum. For most of those twelve years, even when I was still living at home as a teenager, my Dad would always recall stories about this guy that he worked with. A sweet, slightly eccentric guy called Bernie.

alan-partridge

Ofcourse, the penny dropped. It was THE Bernie. Bernie from the Museum!

“ZOMG! YOU USED TO WORK WITH MY DAD!” I blurted out.

We exchanged a few niceties. He asked after you, then, quite seriously, said this:

“You know. To tell you the truth. Your father and I didn’t always see eye to eye on things. But I’ve come a long way since then, and I’ll tell you what – I’ve bloody missed him since he left.”

To which I kinda just laughed and went “aww” at. Because though you never told me about any specific clashes, I can see exactly how you both would have disagreed on certain things.

So there you go Father, though this strange project, I met your infamous Bernie.

180814

180814

And even now, I’m still kinda shocked at how my project is making Christchurch smaller than I ever imagined (and, geez, I already thought of it as small). As the year goes on the strange coincidences and connections are increasing. Which is rather bloody wonderful.


 

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 33…

You can view and follow my entire 365 DAY project, to date, over on FLICKR.

*HUGS*

xo

365 DAYS: WEEK 32…

Hello and welcome to the 32nd instalment of ‘Miss-Creeps-a-Lot-Creeps-the-Strangers-Out’.

tumblr_m9yxyytmwH1rtc9of

What little snippets of life do we have this week, you ask? Well come closer, let’s take a peek:

  • Darkroom quiz nights so dark that I think we injured our eyes trying to see our answer sheets. But, meh, who needs vision when you’re successfully answering questions about obscure 90s TV shows, right?
  • CAPD Street Art exhibition opening, as mentioned a couple of posts ago…you can still go, it’s on for two more days!
  • The lady outside the Cardboard Cathedral was my second subject attempt for that day. The first, a lady just across the park, sitting on a bench, surrounded by 20 ducks (I don’t know how or why) REALLY yelled at me when I approached her for her photo *welp*…
  • …but, still, I think I’ve only had 10-15 rejections this whole project. That’s now less than 1%. Maybe I’m getting better at my approach? Maybe I can judge the situation better? Or maybe I’m just really lucky?
  • I love little more in life than a good cape, so I was delighted when I spotted Maisie at the Riccarton Farmers Market, and to think that I was still to I learn of her glorious Vadge Badge…
  • …not only was Riccarton Farmers Market great for photos, but it also sells the best early morning hangover cure know: pan fried dumplings and enough fresh, doughy, carbs to make Dr Atkins keel over in disguist.
  • Much of the past week, and the next ten days, will be spent at the cinema, as it’s time for the NZ International Film Festival. So expect a number of cinema goers to feature…
  • …my artistic contribution to the NZIFF this year is to Tweet a summary of every film I see in emoji form. Yeah, so that’s me, making profound, political and earth shattering contributions to the Twittersphere each and every day…well that, and my endless and critical thoughts on toast and David Bowie (@loumagooo btw, come say hi if you’re so inclined)

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 32


 

You can view and follow my entire 365 DAY project, to date, over on FLICKR.

Right. I think I know you well enough by now to be able to instinctively read you mind what what you feel like watching…I think you want a swoony new song by Ryan Adams, accompanied by great hair, better jackets and even better boobs. amiright or amiright?

Same time next week, then?

xo

HAVE TO FLY, HAVE TO FIGHT, HAVE TO CROW…

Well what fucking heartbreaking news….

It’s only when I look back, today (too late, as per usual) that I appreciate how important Robin Williams was to our generation.

Sure, he is largely celebrated for roles in Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, Popeye and Good Will Hunting – the films that everyone will refer to in the obits and articles that we’ll get flooded with in the coming week. However, to a whole generation of people born in the 80’s and 90’s, he starred in the films that helped shape our imaginations and film tastes.

Jumunji, Aladdin, Mrs Doubtfire and my absolute favourite, Hook, were VHS staples for any kid growing up in 90’s. Back then the kids’ films didn’t treat us like kids. They didn’t get hung up on dumbing down violence, swearing. They threw in our faces the heavy themes like death, divorce, the fear or growing up, and shitty parenting. These films served only to entertain and create alternative worlds.

And maybe that’s why everyone I’m encountering today, in my age group, is so upset and saddened by the loss of Robin Williams. I’ve heard three people in their 20’s say in the past hour “I don’t know why I’m so upset by this?” and I think it’s because it’s only now we’re realising how pivotal he was to us. It’s like we lost another tendril of our childhoods. The Peter Pan in us is being taken over by Peter Banning – the angry lawyer on a cell phone who is too stressed and busy to go see his kid’s baseball game.

Depression is a fucking asshole, man. A silent, numbing killer that gets too many good souls and yet, unbelievably, still carries something of a stigma in society.  It’s too true that the ones who entertain us the most are often the ones battling the hardest. Don’t assume that just because someone is loud, smiling and funny, that they are fine on the inside. Let’s all just look out for each other, okay?

Thanks, Robin, for the endless mornings before school, watching Hook on loop with my brother…I still think about that fucking cool imaginary food scene on a weekly basis…I mean, just imagine eating this brightly coloured goop that could be ANY food you wanted it to be?

Bangarang!

Buy73YDCIAAIuvd

xo

http://www.depression.org.nz/

QUIT YER BITCHIN’ – CHCH AIN’T BORING…

I have developed a habit of, when the subject arises, becoming an evangelical preacher of my city. I don’t mean to. It all starts innocently enough, a conversation about a restaurant, cafe or event, but then this wave of enthusiasm hits me and I can’t control myself. I can fill a good ten minutes harping on about what an exciting, vibrant, creative and utterly unique place this is to live.

I like to surround myself with other positive, enthusiastic and creative people who feel the same as me, so this point of view is not seen a alien or over the top. We’re all here fighting the same cause.

photo

But not everyone feel like this, and it still dumbfounds me.

Yes, Christchurch can be a touch place to get into. It’s sprawling geography is one reason for this. Think of Christchurch being car needy Los Angeles, to Wellington’s contained, pedestrian friendly Manhattan. And our city also has a reputation of being cliquey – you status being based on what school you went to and what suburb you grew up in. Well that’s bullshit (unless you’re trying to get in with some fucking right wing posh crowd who only talk of european cars and popping over to the Maldives for a mini break). I went to a state school and grew up in the East and I am doing just fine thankyouverymuch.

And you know what? The people bitching and moaning about Christchurch being boring and bleak are not those who have moved here post quakes – the ones who I could empathise with if they said it’s hard to meet new people – surprisingly, the folk complaining are usually those who have been since before the earthquakes.

And I admit, that if you are here, trying to live like you did before earthquakes….well excuse me whilst I nod off in a puddle of my own drool. Prior to 2010, Christchurch was a mall city, with a dying CBD. Most people went to town for two reasons: Ballantynes department store – a mecca for Merivale mums and nanas in twinsets and pearls, buying up on Lancome and le Creuset. Or on a Saturday night to crawl along ‘The Strip’ a block of a dozen or so bars, like you find in any city, choking in 2 for $10 bottles of vodka cruisers, big screens playing the rugby, and vomit splattered pavements at 2am.

The rest of the time most would just go to the mall. I’m not going to get into a psychoanalysis and cultural reasons why the Westernised world is fighting the mall, and why they will always dominate, you know the reasons why, and yeah, I get it. If you do want to see a good short film about mall culture, i recommend you watch THIS which was recently produced by The Wireless. It does a great job.

So maybe the problem isn’t snobbishness or geography, more that re-education is required.  A lot has changed since pre eq, and whilst the malls are and always will continue to thrive, there is a whole other world popping up.

Like I always tell, people, in my “pro chch” rants, I admit that it’s not always easy to know what amazing stuff is going on – but if you keep your ear to the ground and utilise social media – you very quickly get hooked into the right circles and subsequently in the loop. Christchurch is small and the people making the good shit happen are all very supportive of each other. We all like, attend and share each other’s work and events.

And you know what another big thing is? Just saying “YES!” and leaving the house. I tell a lot of people about things that are happening, and invite them, but not many bother to act on it.


 

So why am I writing all of this, now?

Well, this weekend has been a great example of these things cropping up – events  that are unique to Christchurch.

Well last night I was lucky enough to attend the opening of CAPD Street Art Exhibition in New Brighton. It is a fantastic display of NZ and International street, graffiti, and stencil artists.IMG_8509

I know that at the beginning of the year, everyone in Chch lost their shit about some mass produced Banksy prints being displayed in the Canterbury Museum…yup…I mean, I love Banksy, but a Banksy exhibition of prints that some rich dude paid hundreds of thousands for, and now is making money from touring them kinda misses the point of Banksy.

Whereas CAPD, well it’s the real deal.

The exhibition was the brainchild, and put together by my fellow market pal Clint Park of PORTA – Stencil Art. Clint really did such a stellar job, from the exhibition layout, variety of artists, publicity, music, food and beautiful ice cold beer from local brewery Cassels & Sons.

I got really excited by last night, it had such a cool vibe and one of the best exhibitions I’ve seen in Christchurch for some time. It displayed a lot of really exciting new talent, in a top notch, invigorating way.

I was lucky enough to nab myself a copy of this panda print by Devos One.

IMG_8510

…I don’t want to sounds like a pseudo hipster but it really felt like the best of Bushwick had come to Brighton and yet another example, of how if you know where to look, there’s some bloody exciting stuff happening in this weird city of ours.

Here is the event page on Facebook, and if you are in Christchurch should go.

Also this weekend hospitality mecca, Stranges Lane, opened, boasting three new bars and restaurants – including Orleans and Lower 9th Diner, whose waffles and soft shelled crab I am dying to get into.

1559590_819934804690338_1622378479_n

Auricle opened in new Regent Street, a world first concept gallery and wine bar. Attached to the Auricle’s sonic arts gallery, is what is believed to be the world’s first dedicated wine and sound bar. Every month, a leading New Zealand wine writer and sound artist will curate a wine list matched to the exhibition and the music playing in the space. Whoa.

The New Zealand International Film Festival opening this week and will be playing a huge programme of local and international films and documentaries for the next two weeks. I have managed to get my list down a to twelve films, starting tonight with Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days on Earth.

nick_cave_20000_days_on_earth_650

As I write, the sun is out, and spring is lurking – if I had my choice I would be in Hagley Park with my strange dog, instagramming the shit out of the blossom, daffodils and a latte. Alas, I must work, as the next hot arts event of Christchurch is looming – Lost and Found Market – on 23 August. This Queen needs to stay inside and get creating some fresh works to sell.

IMG_8305

So, yeah, quit your moaning – go gout in the sun, grab some chicken and  waffles, take a walk in the park, go look at the Street Art then head down to the film festival.

If you do all of that today and STILL think that this wonderful, weird little city of ours is bleak and boring, well then we’ll need to have a serious talk…you fun sponge.

Abrazos xox