Monday, 21 August 2017

Sam Melsor: Popular Social Mechanics at the Lakehouse Arts Centre


Popular Social Mechanics is not a workout at the local gym as you might think!
But an ongoing and participatory image installation by Sam Melser at the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna from  24 July 2017 - Saturday 26 August 2017 .

Come and take part. Leaf through the magazines provided to find an image that resonates with you, laminate it onsite and stick it on the ever growing collage on the wall!

Still puzzled? Sam's artist statement may enlighten you:

"Over the past few years I have integrated collage more and more into my work. Elements from pre-existing documents help build a hypothetical socio-cultural context that my work evolves  in. I started a collection of presentations of prehistoric man whilst writing my PhD in Paris many years ago and my accumulation/collection instinct has grown from there. Now, characters form art history, popular science  ands the media populate my paintings which have been reduced, more and more to theatrical "sets" , constructions of "special effects."

However the ambiguous nature of the forms in the paintings that float between the human, the mineral and the vegetal are in fact central to my concept of being. For me being is in-between.
To digest popular media such as magazines and at the same time academic  or scientific material enables the ambivalence of perspective. Where does information stop and entertainment begin? Why do we care why some wealthy American actor is having an affair? Do we come from Aliens, giraffes or Father Christmas? Does it matter?

The walls of this image installation suggest an archealogical metaphor of layers where sketches, diagrams and finished polished works exist on the same level and together help to create a mythological story of a fantastic beast. The viewer can get lost in this cave of human consciousness and help me, the artist, trace its silhouette."


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Matariki Kites over Ihumatao Pa: A Celebration and a Lament

'Matariki Kites over Ihumatao Pa'  a series of large paintings by Mere Clifford is on display at the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna. 

Comtemporary kites are often used to celebrate Matariki , the Maori New Year, and in these paintings they circle and embrace Puketapapa and Ihumatao Pa.

Playful  and joyous but they also invite us, in a non confrontational way, to think about  recent plans by the new owners Fletcher Residential Limited to build 480 dwellings on what is now known as  Special Housing Area 62. The 33 -hectare block in contention is immediately adjacent to the Ihumatao Pa. Puketapapa and the Otuataua Stonefields HIstoric Reserve , and threatens to destroy remaining heritage.

In her artist statement Mere Clifford writes:

' While the contemporary kites in these paintings are sweet, playful and vibrant their presence is haunted by an unseen but still felt history of heartache. This juxtaposition illuminates that while on the surface things like 'progress' and in this case housing development seem fine , acceptable and even necessary, underneath that same surface agonies of past injustices remain and must be properly dealt with.'

An action group called SOUL has been formed . If you would like to find out more and ways you could support the campaign to save this land  for us, and for future generations check out

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Peace is a Journey

On Anzac Day The Peace Poppy Project Photographic Exhibition opened at the Lakehouse Arts Centre in Takapuna. It represents four years of photographic /video documentation of the Peace Poppy Project.

The show celebrates the numerous children and families who created , shared and displayed hand made peace poppies to commemorate those who served

These poppies were used to create huge peace symbols in public places, one of which is the monumental  Peace Poppy displayed on the Lakehouse Arts Centre front lawn. 

The message conveyed through the Peace Poppy project is :
Peace is not something to fight for: peace is a journey chosen each day by every small action we take. Peace is something to take upon ourselves in the way we look after each other , our global community and  ultimately ourselves and the planet we all share. Projects such as this offer a quiet voice amongst the violence we are presented with every day through the media.

The Peace Poppy project and photographic exhibition were created by two amazing women: Christina Beth and Katharina Kercher.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

POPS's Games Park

Holiday fun for kids ! Spread out on the lawn in front of the Lakehouse Arts Centre in Takapuna these giant outdoor games will keep them happily occupied for ages. And while they play you can always sit out on the verandah of this beautiful historic old home with a latte ( as I did).

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

An Obsessive Pursuit

An Obsessive Pursuit: An exhibition of works by North Shore Studio Potters brought back so many good memories of the days when I was a member of the Pottery Co-operative Pots of Ponsonby and also spent time teaching teenagers on the Steps Programme at Auckland Studio Potters. 

I was familiar with the work of all of these potters at that time. Several of them exhibited at Pots of Ponsonby and Peter Collis was for a time a member. The quality of their work makes these pieces timeless.

To see their work brought together at NorthArt was a special experience.  

North Shore Ceramics
10 April – 3 May

The North Shore’s impressive ceramic tradition is highlighted in a fascinating survey exhibition that explores the local studio pottery movement from its beginnings in early 1950s, through the enormously productive 1970s – during which potters could barely keep up with the popular demand for domestic ware – to the present day as ceramics enjoys a resurgence.

Original pieces by Barry Brickell and Ian Firth, founding members of the North Shore Potters Society, the first of its kind when it was formed in 1951, feature alongside works by other prominent potters through the periods such as Graeme Storm, Merilyn Wiseman, Peter Collis, Peter Shearer and Campbell Hegan.

Poppies : Symbols of Peace for Anzac Day

It was lovely to see children becoming so involved in creating Poppies this morning. This hands on art activity is such a good way for them to create a symbol of Peace for Anzac day and to teach them to remember and honour those who served and their families.

Lake House Arts ( in Fred Thomas Drive, Takapuna) and the Peace Poppy Project are collaborating on a large 5000+ poppy display for ANZAC day 2017. They are having a free poppy making activity in the gallery during the school holidays and kids can either keep their poppy or add it to our massive outdoor display which will be unveiled on Anzac Day, 25 April.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Take Time to Play!

Rebecca Owen''s Merit Award winning quilt in the Auckland Quilt Guild's Exhibition at the Lakehouse Arts Centre. An artful reminder for all of us that play is not just for kids "It is an opportunity to practice, experiment and learn."