JEMposium issue of Overview – another great read

The latest issue of Overview is jam packed with reflections of the highly successful JEMposium held in Wellington in February  (select the link on my Home page to connect to their facebook group).  It certainly was a who’s who gathering of Contemporary Jewellers from New Zealand and overseas, the highlight for me being the pin swap where we got to mix and mingle.  Having been caught up in the Ted Noten Ring Swap bedlam, Sharon Fitness’s monologue of the Miss Piggy frenzy that ensued is spot on.  Thank you Jewellers of Greater Sandringham.

Finding the Narrative

Dorothy is a third year student at Unitec in Auckland, she enjoys finding a shared narrative or personal connection within the work she is making,  She is predominately working with metal techniques such as enamelling, casting and etching and this year hope to continue her exploration with experimenting with raising, chasing and repousse. She is currently involved in developing ideas and responses to the Rosebank Road collaborative project.

Rosebank Road Project (Heart of the Whau)

This project is a collaborative between artists, residents, business association, historical society and others.  My intent is to create a contemporary series of jewellery pieces as part of this collaboration  that will enrich understanding of a chosen site,  in this instance Rosebank Road,  and the importance of preserving its historical and cultral values.

Amongst my aims is to research the historical and cultural values held regarding Rosebank Road and in what ways can they be reinterpreted. Central to my research are two on publications the first,  Heart of the Whau: The story of the Center of Avondale is written and compiled by Lisa J Truttman and is a central resource to my projec t and secondly Rosebank Peninsula Thematic Landscape Study 2008-2010. By Endangered Gardens have both provided me with a huge amount of invaluable factual and ancetodal information.  It is also important to mention the Timespanner blog, another wonderful online resource.

Dawson Road Mural Project

I wanted to share with everyone this fantastic mural project , so great to see such a community project like this, overseen by Ema Tavola and the Otara Fresh Gallery. Well done Ema and all those involved….

This from Ema  “Kia ora friends of Fresh!

 I’m proud to share with you an exciting project I oversaw on the weekend, the Dawson Road Mural Project – a partnership between Manukau Arts, Parks, Libraries and Manukau Beautification Trust.

 With the help of 11 excellent volunteers (from Tangaroa College, Ferguson Intermediate, Macleans College and Sancta Maria) and 3 local artists, this impressive mural was painted over 2 days and one night with paints supplied by Manukau Beautification Trust.

And the Dawson Road Mural Project blog will be updated with ongoing documentation:

 Over the next week or so, Richard Misilei from Tupu Library and I will distribute certificates to the volunteers at their respective schools, to be acknowledged in front of their peers and the Macleans College student will also be awarded the school’s service to the community award.

 The mural is pretty gorgeous, so next time you’re in the Dawson area, I encourage you to stop the car and have a look! The design was developed in house by Nicole Lim and I, informed by a video project Manukau Arts commissioned in August, asking 50+ park and library users what they wanted the mural to look like.”

I have already mentioned this project while looking at Janet Lilo’s work (under Globalisation category),  where she has interviewed local kids about what they would like to see in a mural,  here’s the You tube once again.

Global Art

Global Art,   where to begin?  As new technologies emerge at an ever increasing rate, travel and migration become easier and cheaper,  the world seems to be becoming a much smaller place and the many, many different countries history, culture, art , ideologies, politics and economies are merging and influencing us all as never before.     This blogsite is just one example of  the new  ‘global mediums’ available to us,  once I have made my posts they will then be available virtually anywhere in the world.

For my assignment I have created a new Category ‘Globalisation’ , the postings here are:-

  • ‘Global Art’ – This introduction
  • ‘Globalisation and Cultural Identity’  an exhibition looking and discussing the effects of globalistaion on cultural identies and traditional art practices.
  • ‘McDonalds – the Global Invasion’  a collection of Youtube clips showing how universal this brand has become.
  • ‘Janet Lilo – Visual Artist’ –  a look at Janet Lio’s work using video, youtube and the internet as her mediums

For further interest and reference there are links within my posts and also a new Link  section ‘Globalisation and Art’.

Lastly, as this medium a public forum I have sent a facebook message to all my ‘friends’ for them to read these postings and leave a comment.  It will be interesting to see how many comments I get and if it leads to new ideas and directions.  The link to facebook is also found in the ‘Globalisation and Art’ Links section.

Globalisation and Cultural Identity

How can you define your cultural identity  when so many of us are now a real fusion of many different cultures?  Even though I identify myself as a New Zealander, I also recognise a connection to my English, Scottish and Irish heritage as well as now having a strong Pacific connection.    A Social Report issued by the Ministry of Social Development states ” Cultural Identity is an important contributor to people’s wellbeing.”  as well as ..” New Zealand -ness may vary from person to person.  A strong national culture or identity, and strength in artistic endeavours, can be a source of ecnomic strength and higher material standards of living.”

So which ethnic group should I identify myself  with ?  Well actually I don’t have to.  One of the best things about being a  New Zealander, or kiwi, is that I have  a sense of belonging  to New Zealand,  but it is OK  to identify with more than one culture and that those connections may even change, become more, or less ,important to me over the course of my life.   That it is one of the things that I feel defines me as a New Zealander in a multi-cultural society and makes me unique.

And what  made me start thinking about these identity issues and how I felt about it ?   Art, of course.

This work was created by Artist and Curator  Ema Tavola , started in 2005 in Auckland and finished in 2008 in Suva, Fiji.

Identity, Complex, Identity'
Identity, Complex, Identity' (An homage to Aotearoa), 2008

The following work is a response to what I see as the cultural influences in my life and what I identify with.

Scottish Kiwi
Island Kiwi
Fijian Kiwi

It was also interesting to note that the importance Cultural Identity plays in Traditional or Indigineous Art.   Globalisation is both good and bad, giving on one hand the freedom to explore contemporary styles and techniques with a traditional flavour, as illustrated by the Red Wave Exhibition of a Collective of Artist from around the Oceania region…

 Epeli Hau’ofa explains  ‘We are not interested in imitating (western art) and asking our artists to perform dances for tourists.  It is time to create things for ourselves, to create established standards of excellence which match those of our ancestors…The development of new art forms that are truly Oceania, transcendent of our national and cultural diversity, is very important in that it allows our creative minds to draw on far larger pools of cultural traits than those of our indiviual national lagoons.  It makes us less insular without being buried in the amorphousness of the global melting pot.”  (Epeli Hau’ofa. James Harvey Gallery, Sydney. September 2000) 


But perhaps the bad is the dilution of the traditional styles and the loss of some unique skills,  although there are many artists that aim to ensure these skills shouldn’t be lost altogether.    

The following except is from anIranian online Art magazine ‘Tavoos’ ,

“The West knows only too well that what it means by “global art” is not an art which has its roots in various cultures, but rather, one that has been formed through the arts and artists of the world, embracing it completely. It also knows that “global art” means taking advantage of the talents of other countries and imposing changes on the styles and tastes of others. Finally, the West understands that “global art” is an art which must take shape within a cultural domain and is one of the methods of cultural colonization.”

The continental shift iran
a Work from ‘The Continental Shift’


If these are a taster of the work coming as the result of Iranian Global Art, then it can’t be all bad surely…

McDonalds the Global Invasion

As one of the most  universally recognised brands in the World,  McDonald’s is a leading global fast  food retailer with more than 31,000 local restaurants serving more than 58 million people in 118 countries each day.   What first got me off down this track was a group of kiwis singing their McDonalds order, it’s very cool.  This clip has had (at time of posting) 389,950 viewings ……

The YouTube that started it all… created right here in New Zealand by Random Acts, the original

Kajung Style

Singing your order in America

Here’s one from Hong Kong

America – McDonalds Big Mac Drive Thru Rap

McDonalds Rap Healthy Version

An outlet in Iraq…



Janet Lilo – Visual artist

I have mentioned to a few of you these very cool YouTubes done by Janet Lilo,  here are a few of them…

‘Let Love You’ & ‘So Sick’ , Janet Lilo

Looking at the social networking site bebo and what people are putting a private image of themselves in a public space..

Dawson Road Mural Project

A new large scale outdoor mural for Ferguson Oaks Park onDawson Road Otara.  Commisioned by Manukau Arts, Libraries and Parks  in partnership with Manukau Beautification Trust.   To find out their ideas forthe mural and what  it should represent a series of interviews have been undertaken with park and library users from the Otara community…

Janet Lilo Sapporo Artist in Residence Vlog5

As artist in residence in Sapporo, Japan… Mall Dancing

Len Lye

I just had to document these brillant short films by Len Lye, amazingly created in the 1930’s  for the GPO as an early informercial type series.  Why can’t today’s infomercials be as creative (no more barbie presenters telling us “but wait there’s more…”   enjoy  !!

A Colour Box, Len Lye (1935 )

Rainbow Dance, Len Lye (1936) 

Trad Tattoo (1937)

Vinaka Vakalevu Fiji

Thank you very much Fiji for the wonderful experiences we had…

I have compiled a few youtubes and slideshows that I relate to the time me and my family spent there.

First up a slide show I put together from a fantastic day we spent at Prince Charles Park, Nadi.  the Kaji Rugby and Netball Tournament  Western Division is held every year and kids come from as far as Savu Savu, Lautoka, Ba as well as all round Nadi.  Tom was in the under 12 Nadi side (spot the Kavalagi ).

Still on the subject of rugby the Flying Fijians are Huge, national hero’s even. The interim prime minister here said if it was down to him there would be a new public holiday declared (after their World Cup win 2007). At this stage I think this idea has been quietly down played. Anyway, on Fiji TV we have some great ads, in particular the fmf biscuits doing the fijian cibi(pronounced thimbi), which is a fijian meke (dance), pretty much an equivalent of the maori haka. See what you think.

A flurry of patriotic fervour insued after the 2006 coup,  this video played every night before the news.

 One of my favourite bands, Black Rose (Rosiloa) …… 

Local Hip hop artists Sammy G and Mr.Grinn take a look at the real streets of Suva..

to be continued ……