leaving Christchurch

I was on the early am flight when I  flew out of Christchurch to Adelaide via Melbourne.   We left Christchurch as the sun was rising  over the Canterbury Plains. 

The early morning  light flickered across the tops of the high country before as we fly over them before crossing  the Southern Alps on our way to  the West Coast of the South Island. 

I was very fortunate to  see the early morning light over the high country  though which the Waimakarri River flows on its way to Peagasus Bay in the Pacific Ocean.  

Re-Start, Christchurch

Re-Start is a temporary mall built from 64 shipping containers in Cashel St in the CBD of Christchurch, New Zealand. It was a response to the 2011 earthquake,  and when I was there in  early 2017 Re-Start --basically a pop up mall---was a very  successful, people gathering place.

The containers were bright and colourful and the place had a funky, vibrant  vibe.   It was such a contrast to the rest of the CBD. 

Re-Start's  days are  numbered. The place is due  to be closed down on Sunday, April 30, as  its role as a transitional space is complete  as  the new CBD retail spaces come on stream. I understand that there will be a  permanent Farmers Market. 

The story of Christchurch’s iconic transitional shipping container mall is being farewelled with with a farewell photography exhibition-- 61 Days to Re:START: An Exhibition in Photos. Unfortunately none of the photos in the exhibition are online.  

Christchurch street art

One of the notable characteristics of the CBD in Christchurch that I realised from my walking around the city was the amount of street art on the walls of the earthquake damaged buildings. I was also  surprised about how  good work the street art  was.  An example:

This eagle mural  (by DALeast?)  is one of the many murals that I saw around the CBD whilst I strolled around.  The quality of the work Christchurch suggested that  international artists as well as  New Zealand’s street artists.  Is that the result of street art festivals since the 2011 earthquake?

Merivale, Christchurch

In February, just before going to Tasmania,   I dashed over to Christchurch, New Zealand, to attend my mothers' funeral. She was 97. 

I stayed in a motel in Papanui Rd, Merivale with my sister.   In the early morning I would walk down to the local shops to have breakfast and  I would take  a few snaps along  the way. 

Merivale is one of Christchurch's  more upmarket suburbs. In contrast,  to say Sydenham,  it is where the old money is. It didn't seem to have been that badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake. Or if it had, then the  insurance money flowed in quickly to repair the damage to the buildings.  

in Tasmania: the Midlands

I have just returned  to Victor Harbor after spending  2 weeks in Tasmania.

The first week  was spent photographing on the south west coast of Tasmania whilst Suzanne walked in The Walls of Jerusalem National Park and the second week was spent being tourists primarily in the Tasman Peninsula, south-east of Hobart. 

Our base was in Tunbridge in the Midlands which I briefly explored between weeks 1 and 2. 

This building  was in Campbelltown which is about 20 kilometres north of Tunbridge on the Midlands Highway.  

salt ponds

One coastal subject matter that I had started to explore was the dried salt ponds among the rocks along the coast west of Petrel Cove. I had started to scope them with a digital camera. Then I saw the photograph of salt ponds  by Christopher Houghton made with a 5x4 camera and decided to photography the ones I'd seen  in black and white. 

I quickly found them to be very ephemeral--there in the morning, gone in the afternoon. So I spent several days on the various poodle walks looking for permanent saltponds  in different locations along the coast. I found a couple and I was ready to go back with a medium format camera. 

Then the rains cam after Xmas.   It rained  for several days and the permanent salt ponds that I had discovered were washed away.  A week has passed,  and though I have been back every day,  the salt ponds have  yet to return. 

kinda busy

The Weltraum  exhibition at Magpie Springs officially opened on Sunday,   11 September.  Although the Shimmer Photographic Biennale closes at the end of September,  the Weltraum exhibition remains open until early November--Sunday,  November 6th.   

I now start  preparing for work for  both the Abstraction  x 5  exhibition  at the Light Gallery, which opens on October 1st with its book launch;  and then the Mallee Routes exhibition with Eric Algra and Gilbert Roe, which opens  at the Atkins  Photo Lab gallery on Friday, October  7th. It's a case of one exhibition  down, two exhibitions to go, with the photography budget collapsing under the weight of the costs.   

Curating these exhibitions  has meant that there hasn't  been much time available for my photography;   apart from the odd moment here and there when I am away from the computer screen.  This image was from once such moment:

We- the standard poodles and myself--- just happened to be walking past this dead tree as the sun was setting,  whilst on a poodle walk. The roadside vegetation  along this stretch of road is thinning, and a lot of it is dying. No one cares for  the roadside vegetation--only the roads are looked after. 

Shimmering fog

On Tuesday last week I  drove  to Magpie Springs to start hanging Weltraum for the  2016 Shimmer Photographic Biennale , which opened on Friday 2nd September.  I encountered fog on the top of Willunga Hill and  Magpie Springs: 

The  last gasp of winter I wondered?  We finished the hanging on Friday morning. Weltraum opens on Sunday, 11th September, at 3pm---a delayed launch due to the various exhibition launches at the other  venues on the Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend.