Can we?

scrabble sculpture (03 Dec 2011)

scrabble sculpture (03 Dec 2011)

Can we? — quickly now!
— Can we just keep pretending
that nothing happened?

(07 May 2016)


The text here is something plucked indiscriminately, unresisted, out of my subconscious. “Reality is … a sum of all texts in various media, including action and thought” (Annette Lavers. 1982. Roland Barthes : Structuralism and After. London: Methuen & Co. [p171].

The last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas Shop

I wanted to write a nostalgic piece about the last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas Shop … but these photos I snapped on Sunday afternoon took the words right out of my mouth.

In June of this year, it was announced that “Troubled Wellington department store Kirkcaldie & Stains, affectionately known as Kirks, is poised to shut its doors next February.” Dating back to 1863, Kirks has been the capital city’s leading department store for generations, and is the oldest in the country still trading under its original name. The silver lining, according to Kirks chairman Falcon Clouston, is that the site would reopen as the first New Zealand store of Australian retailer David Jones, which aims to retain most of the 270 staff. (Adapted from a story by Catherine Harris, James Weir & Talia Shadwell (see Stuff link here))

Year by year, since I don’t remember when, I’ve been adding to my lovely collection of Christmas tree ornaments, and Kirkcaldie’s has been a major source. There’s also a lovely group of white plaster putti, and some elegant German glass (etched and cut), but that’s another story for another time.

It remains to be seen what David Jones will come up with next Christmas. In the meantime, the two red poinsettia flowers from the last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas shop look great on this year’s tree.

A photographer edits out our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

“Angie and me” by Eric Pickergill

Click on this link to read more: A photographer edits out our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

What would Barthes think of his Hermès scarf? – The New Yorker

“It is fair to say that there exists in our era a tragic discrepancy between the staggering richness of the visible world and the extreme poverty of our capacity to perceive it.”

word pond

” . . . world blindness, a disease described superbly by Robert Harrison in his book “Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition”: “It is fair to say that there exists in our era a tragic discrepancy between the staggering richness of the visible world and the extreme poverty of our capacity to perceive it.” The cure, Barthes knew, can be found in the study of literature, photography, and other art forms, optimal training grounds for developing the kind of attention necessary to see what surrounds us.” – Christy Wampole

What would Barthes think of his Hermès scarf? – The New Yorker

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Café culture

Athfield Havana Bond (19 October 2015)

Athfield Havana Bond (19 October 2015)

Architect Ian Athfield died on 16 January this year. In the New Zealand Listener (dated the day before), Diana Wichtel presented an engaging interview, first published in the Listener in 2012, in which Ath “talked about starting his landmark ‘act of defiance’ in 1965, and finally wanting to finish the place.” Interview: Architect Ian Athfield

My image shows an advertisement for Havana Coffee. The green Telecom Building peeping in at the top corner of the image, was, according to one NCEA student, “built in a boom period when New Zealanders had big ideas and wanted their cities to look like international ones …”

Mois de la Photo Montreal – Biennale 2015: The Post-Photographic Condition | LensCulture

The Post-Photographic Condition | LensCulture

word pond

0576c0cb-4a42-414e-aa99-b180d1abbd89-1

Mathieu A., 2005. From the series, “Autoportraits robots.” Courtesy of the artist and galerie UNIVER / Colette Colla, Paris. © Leandro Berra

“Post-photography is not a style or a historical movement but a rerouting of visual culture

Source: Mois de la Photo Montreal – Biennale 2015: The Post-Photographic Condition | LensCulture

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The Village Green on Civic Square

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

When I posted this image on my Facebook page yesterday, a friend asked, “What type of camera do you use?” When I told her, “An Olympus μ800 (8 megapixels … and about 10 years old)”, another friend (who I know has a liking for really old cameras) commented: “Proof that it’s the photographer and not the camera that makes a picture great.” Thanks, Steve.

This all connects with the ICC Cricket World Cup. For further images of the Village Green, go to this link on the Wellington City Council’s Facebook page.