Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quickly Christchurch

On Thursday afternoon I flew down to Christchurch for a very short visit to attend my sister's graduation - she is now a fully fledged primary teacher. The ceremony was pretty long and boring but not too too long and counting the number of people with the middle name 'Jane' (of which my sister was one) kept me entertained. There were 39 - it seems that it was a very popular middle name in the late 80s/early 90s! Other contenders were 'Marie', 'Frances', and 'Louise'.

While in the city we went to this crazy little time-warp grocery shop - there were two white haired men in white dust jackets running the show, shelves bulging with tins and packets, toffees, boiled sweets, and chocolates in old fashioned packaging, and a ladder to reach the uppermost corners. I asked what something I could see on a shelf was and the man behind the counter replied, 'Ahh, that's a Faberge egg, it comes filled with lollies. Although look at the date for me, I think it might be a bit past its best'. The best before date read some time in 2009; his response: 'Never mind, it'll be fine' as he put it back on the shelf. Mum bought some Earl Grey teabags (because I always complain when I'm down there that there's only Bell tea) and as he was ringing up the purchase he said, 'Now these are bit past their best before date but they'll be fine, tea lasts forever, especially packaged up like this.' So it seems the style of the shop isn't the only thing in a time-warp.

I had to buy this chocolate because I liked the wrapping, luckily it hadn't passed its best, although it did melt in the car.

We also visited the Ron Mueck exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery. I had been looking forward to this as Ed saw it when he was in Melbourne earlier in the year and there have been posters all over Wellington warning that the exhibition is showing only in Christchurch. It was definitely worth the $15 entry charge - so many things about the works are surprising and confronting. The detail is amazing - hair follicles, veins, freckles, moles. Everything is so realistic, yet the scale is often either much smaller than life-size or massive.

I was especially excited to see 'Two Women'. They remind me so much of the characters Georgia and Emily in our show Tea for Toot. I was expecting them to be life-size, though, so it was a surprise to see that they aren't.

(I am carefully standing outside the white line like a good exhibition-goer)

While it was great that taking photos was allowed, it was also kind of annoying because there were quite a few people there and everyone had their cameras out so you felt a bit in the way wherever you were standing trying to look at the sculptures. I mean obviously I was just as much a culprit as anyone else but it highlighted the good and not so good aspects of allowing photographs in an exhibition, especially one as popular as this seems to be.

It was a nice but brief visit and SO HOT on Saturday. I was glad to get back to Wellington where it's muggy but not quite so scorching. I managed to squeeze in some cupcake knitting for Christmas presents and Christmas card making - get ready for some photos from the production line this week...

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