City Life

city life (29 June 2016)

city life (29 June 2016)

City Life is an apartment hotel
on Wellington’s Lambton Quay.
The yellow-leafed tree is
a ginkgo biloba.
I know nothing at all about
the white splotches on the wall.


Bond Street impasto

Bond Street back story

Between January and April 2015, Bond Street [in Wellington, New Zealand] was transformed with temporary changes to the way the street looked and was used to bring colour and energy to the area.

Bond Street is an important street for servicing local businesses, we wanted to make it a destination for pedestrians as well. To explore ways of making it work for both people on foot and businesses, temporary changes were made to the layout and use of the street before looking at possible long-term changes.

To catch people’s attention and bring vibrancy to the street, two outdoor seating areas and an artificial lawn area were installed. The road surface was painted with a bright red pattern and a shipping container was located on the site to host events. Urban designers call this type of project ‘Tactical Urbanism’ and there are many successful examples of these projects internationally and locally.

Re: numbering

space numbers (03 October 2014)

space numbers (03 October 2014)

Have I photographed these numbers before? If so, it was years ago.

As far as I am able to deduce, these time-worn stencilled numerals signify one of the spaces in a church parking area – a space which had been numbered 19c but was subsequently renumbered 20. My penchant for deconstruction renders the image endlessly fascinating.

According to the Popular Mechanics website, The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe include the universal gravitational constant, the speed of light, the ideal gas constant, absolute zero, etc.

The writing is on the wall

Rembrandt: Belshazzar's Feast (circa 1635-1638)

Rembrandt: Belshazzar’s Feast (circa 1635-1638)

“Belshazzar’s Feast is described in the Book of Daniel.” The Wikipedia article, Belshazzar’s Feast, gives only the barest outline of the story: “Babylonian king Belshazzar profanes the sacred vessels of the enslaved Israelites. As prophesied by the writing on the wall, and interpreted by Daniel, Belshazzar is killed and Darius the Mede succeeds to his kingdom.” But the article does include a comprehensive list of the many works of art and music which depict the story.

Wikipedia’s overarching article Belshazzar gives more detail, but you might also want to read Wikipedia: The writing on the wall, which explains that “As those at the feast profaned the sacred vessels pillaged from the Jerusalem Temple, a disembodied hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall the words, ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin’. The visionary Daniel was summoned and interpreted this message as the imminent end for the Babylonian kingdom.”

The Babylonian ruler (co-regent with Nabonidus, his father) is killed and his kingdom goes to Darius the Mede … and the Israelites remain in captivity. The Jewish Encyclopedia provides details of the sacrilegious ruler’s death.

The phrase, “the writing is on the wall” and its variants have passed into common usage – usually indicating awareness of some imminent and/or inevitable stroke of fate.

I find the Belshazzar’s Feast narrative interesting in terms of its structure. Would it occur to the wealthy – feasting in plush restaurants while their gated fortresses and garage doors are bombed by taggers – that they, like Belshazzar, are receiving messages from the Hand of God? Probably not. By the way, there is an interesting twist: it is the feast itself – and not the writing on the wall – which constitutes the act of desecration.

The images presented below were captured on 25 April 2014. Three shots of the same tag, they do not pretend to the divine; on the contrary, they endeavour to do nothing more than deconstruct an inter-textual artefact – emptying out the conflictual aspect of the tagger’s having defaced a wall previously painted to advertise and promote Orchestra Wellington and suggesting instead a new set of “artistic” values.

on the wall #01(25 April 2014)

on the wall #01 (25 April 2014)

on the wall #02 (25 April 2014)

on the wall #02 (25 April 2014)

on the wall #03 (25 April 2014)

on the wall #03 (25 April 2014)

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is said to have been born on 29 September 1571 and to have died on 18 July 1610, although Wikipedia has question marks beside both of these dates.

Arrogant, rebellious and a murderer, Caravaggio’s short and tempestuous life matched the drama of his works. Characterised by their dramatic, almost theatrical lighting, Caravaggio’s paintings were controversial, popular, and hugely influential on succeeding generations of painters all over Europe.

The Supper at Emmaus (1601), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

The Supper at Emmaus (c 1600), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Two of Jesus’ disciples were walking to Emmaus after the Crucifixion when the resurrected Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but they did not recognise him. At supper that evening in Emmaus ‘… he took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight’ (Luke 24: 30-31). Christ is shown at the moment of blessing the bread and revealing his true identity to the two disciples.

The majority of the text presented here is adapted from the National Gallery web-site.

The image reproduced here comes from the Betty Baroque blog.

See also Wikipedia’s article on Caravaggio.

Roofers on Edge Hill

roofers on Edge Hill (23 September 2013)

roofers on Edge Hill (23 September 2013)

When I hear a noise I cannot immediately identify, I find myself instantly impelled to look for its source. A couple of nights ago, a rambunctious clatter turned out to be a painting falling off the dining-room wall. Painted on board, it had proved too heavy for the adhesive hook on which it had hung for the past eighteen months.

roofers on Edge Hill (23 September 2013)

roofers on Edge Hill (23 September 2013)

This morning, whilst I was sitting at my computer keyboard, living up to my commitment to “write every day”, a persistent ruckus began demanding my attention. Looking out and up from my back door, I saw that a pair of roofers were at work atop one of the old houses on Edge Hill.

Several more paintings have remained in their packaging since I moved to my Mt Victoria apartment (a year and a half ago), and I’ve been thinking it’s high time I hung them. A couple of them are largish and heavy … Hmm!

PS: The painting that fell was not damaged.

Numerical values

19c20 (04 April 2013)

19c20 (04 April 2013)



Since childhood I’ve delighted  in the shapes of letters and numerals – singly and in combinations – quite apart from their meanings and significances. Be they Roman, Hebrew, Cyrillic or Kanji, Arabic or Tibetan, typography or calligraphy, I’m hooked on alphabets and number sets.

In a primary school art class I once turned the ‘S’ of my first name into a swan (rather than a snake), and later came to adore the bizarre menagerie secreted amongst the illuminated pages of the Book of Kells.

“19c20” was snapped in a church parking lot ten days ago.

By the ancient pond

by the ancient pond, a haiku by Buson, translation by Jan Walls

古池の 蛙生ひ行く 落葉かな

(furuike no kawazu oiyuku ochiba kana)

"The Ancient Pond" by Master Haiku Painter Bashō (1644 1694)

“The Ancient Pond” by Master Haiku Painter Bashō (1644 1694)




by the ancient pond
a frog is growing older
among fallen leaves

(Buson – translation by Jan Walls)



Dipping into Word Pond today, I’m looking for something to spark my imagination. Splashes echoing: Bashō’s frog.


Acknowledgements: 1/ Donna Fleischer’s Word Pond; 2/ Happ·Stance Dep·Art