Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Otautau Three Churches Flower and Quilt Walk

Last year, the first Three Churches Flower and Quilt Walk graced Otautau. The best of our local flowers, crafts, and art were staged prominently in our churches and courthouse. The multi-faceted event was organised by Faimie McGlen whose passion for flowers, creative arts and inclusiveness runs deep. Preparations are now well underway for this year's event which promises to be even better. Here is the media release.

Lacemaking demonstration.
After a successful event in 2012 in Otautau, where for one day, flower show meets art and lifestyle, it’s happening all over again. If you attended the first one then this year’s Otautau Three Churches Flower and Quilt Walk features plenty of different things to see. It will be held on February 9 between 11am – 4pm and will feature a quilt airing from the collections of the Takitimu Patchwork Group at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, along with lacemaking, spinning and millinery displays and demonstrations at the Parish Centre. For would-be brides the Western Floral Art Group plan to decorate the Union Church with a wedding theme. Competition and display-only entries of flowers, vegetables, photography, baking, as well as children’s art along with craft stalls will be in The New Life Church. The St Andrews Scouts will provide a continuous morning tea there as part of their fundraising efforts.

This is a show where there are no trophies but all those who provide entries will go into the draw for prizes donated by local businesses and SBS Bank. Having a great show is highly dependant on receiving entries and while this growing season has been challenging, it is hoped that there will be plenty of support. It is a really good opportunity for new gardeners, photographers and bakers to be involved and every support will be given. Everyone is welcome, there is no charge for entries and there are opportunities for those who want to compete as well as a self sufficiency corner for those happy to just provide a display. There is a large section for children, and it is hoped local schools and parents will encourage their children to enter. Schedules are available from PGG Wrightson or phone Faimie McGlen, 03 225 8530 or e-mail Faimie to have one sent or delivered.

There is still room to accommodate more artists and crafts people who want to either display or sell their work as well. More volunteers are required to help out on both the afternoon of Friday 8 and on Saturday 9 – there is something for everyone to do, no matter your ability. Any groups or clubs who wish to use the event to promote their interests, membership or hold a fundraising stall are most welcome – the onus is on them to contact the organiser with their plans.

There will be displays and work for sale from local artists and crafts people at the Old Courthouse. The $2 charge will give entrance to all four buildings (as well as a chance to win a prize with a lucky ticket) and will help offset the day’s costs and any profits for the day will go to Otautau St John’s. A map is included – all the buildings (marked with yellow balloons) are a very short walk apart, three of them on Main Street; you can start from any building. St Joseph’s Church does not have a ramp and there are steps to be negotiated there. 

Finally, in addition local businesses such as Feral Forge who create wrought iron gates, garden and domestic iron work, BlackWinter Ceramics and Otautau Joinery will open their doors to let the public see their wares.

It sounds like a great event. Mark your calendars for 9 February, 11am to 4pm.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Tuatapere Fun Day

February starts off big with the Tuatapere Fun Day. Activities abound for all ages including the Waiau Art Trail where local potter, Mark McLean, will be showing his beautiful ceramics. For more information and to download a map of all the activities, see the Humpridge Track website.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Freak Show at the Courthouse

Quint Baker's new exhibition, Antagonist Freak Show, is unlike anything Otautau has ever seen. It is full of disruptive, edgy pieces like the mermaid pictured left. Unfamiliar, uneasy figures, video, graphics and an eery soundscape make for an experience that gnaws at and incites the psyche. 
Visitors and Quint (right) discussing a piece.
These pieces are not designed to please the eye and its traditional sense of beauty but to pose uncomfortable questions and move us to the edge of ourselves. Skin may be raw, eyes bulging, bodies made of disparate and incongruent materials. One piece that is particularly disturbing speaks directly about child abuse in NZ (not pictured).

Psychic Cat'z Golden Fleece
All art causes us to ask questions - why is the Mona Lisa smiling? What is Rodin's The Thinker thinking about? With every piece of art, traditional or nontraditional, there is no right or wrong answer. The artist can offer their interpretation which can be a good place to start from, but the rest is up to the observer - to find meaning and notice why it pleases or why it disturbs.

Quint's show antagonises the mind with images that one may soon not forget. The experience challenged me to accept rather than turn away and to see what I could relate to. And though there are no labels by each piece, there is a fair amount of local content represented if you look closely. I, unfortunately, didn't recognise it, but one photo shows the burnt down Wairio Church.

The show will appeal to audiences open to the unconventional and abstract, and those with an appreciation of the boundlessness of the creative process. Teenagers can probably relate to it easily.
The Antagonist Freak Show is open all day from 8am to 6pm at the Courthouse until 10 January.

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