Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Poem- the book of notes

Three bites from the book of 'Notes' by Haley Parkyn

I am an ancestor of the straight-laced.
I'm going to think of dalmations
and try not to fall over in my bed.


Sighs form solid from
my nose and mouth.
Numb fingers and cheeks.


And warmth is to lay in a pool of
cotton sheets for a time and soak up the splendor
of half awakeness.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Poem- Endeavouring

Nine years ago (can it really be that long?) in search of adventure, we packed up the house, the kids and the cat and went off to the U.K to live and work. We are all holders of British passports because it runs in the family- the majority of which are still in Britain having ventured very little further than Majorca on a summer holiday. I wrote this for my Next magazine column when trying to make travel plans to go and visit the family..


I have a Cornish aunty
And she’s the perfect parody,
Of the cautious British traveller
On the road from A to B.

If you mention for a minute,
That you thought you’d go to Wales,
She’ll recount outrageous instances
Of nightmare traffic tales.

“You shouldn’t go on Friday,
Unless it’s before seven;
The M5 will be hideous
With half term down in Devon.

There’s road works in Old Sodbury,
It’ll set you back a day,
So you’d best go via Chippenham
If you want to get away.

And Monday is bank holiday
I hope you didn’t plan
On finding bed and breakfast there;
You should have booked last Jan”

Now, if in 1768
My aunt was Captain Cook,
New Zealand would now be pom free, ‘cos
She’d have never gone to look!

For more Tuesday poems visit the Tuesday Poem Blog

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pecha Kucha

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love public speaking- put a microphone in my hand and I'm away! So I was very happy to be asked to give a presentation for Pecha Kucha  at Downstage Theatre, this Monday 19th April. There's a great line up of speakers and I'm talking about 'The Birth of Velvet' my Wearable Art piece from 2008; how I came to be interested in painting on velvet and how I made the entry. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for Chit Chat) is a great idea- 14 speakers have 6 minutes and sixty seconds each to present 20 images and talk about them. So there is no possibility of being bored to death by a presenter who just won't shut up! Not that there will be any possibility of that...just look at the line up!

Peter Wilson- artistic director: Capital E National Theatre for Children www.capitale.org.nz

Fifi Colston- author, illustrator: The Birth of Velvet, a wearable art  piece http://fifisart.blogspot.com 

Spencer Levine- designer www.spencerlevine.co.nz 

Gerbrand Van Melle- media designer: intercept > decipher > participate  www.gerbrandvanmelle.com //

Roger Walker- architect,car enthusiast: dancing with the cars

Sam Trubridge- performance designer/director: Drawing: the performing page

Briar Monro- arts consultant: Connecting Creativity

Chris Moller- architect: click-weave space-time sketching http://click-raft.blogspot.com/

Tommy Honey- Director film school: Street Crime

Ravi Kambhoj- photographer: Urban Fusion www.urbanfusion.co.nz  

Richard Aindow- Fish Head Magazine: about identity and toast racks

Tom Beard- urban designer: about a sentence by Baudelaire

Eric Dorfman- eklektusinc: The Affair of the Diamond Necklace, an interactive theatre event

Marcus McShane- designer: Self-powered stuff and being good

doors open: 6.30pm
start: 7.30pm
tickets: $9 cash only
Downstage, 12 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

Pecha Kucha-for content not profit!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Casting doubts...

I have a need to tell you a tale; of my quest for Plaster of Paris. Yes that wonderful stuff with which to make castings of anything from bear prints (if you live in Canada) to cup cakes which I am making and selling at the next Craft 2.0 at the Dowse Gallery in June.

Having used up my supply which I bought some time ago at an outrageously inflated price in Masterton (where they had me over a barrel- I was doing a residency and I needed it NOW and local hardware store sensed my desperation) I set out to buy a bigger, more cost effective lot. It makes fiscal sense not to go to a craft shop or art store for this sort of purchase where you can pay a solid $10 for a piddly 1kg bag. So off to Mitre 10 in Lyall Bay my son and I went (because it’s close to us and he loves a hardware store) But… sacré bleu! there was none to be found on the shelves of New Zealand Biggest Hardware Men (come on, sing it with me).

‘We aren’t allowed to sell it’ said the not-very-big-at-all-man at the counter ‘because of its chemical constituents.’

This was news to me and indeed to my son who is somewhat of a 19 year old chemistry expert in anything that is illegal to make from common house and garden supplies. It had him foxed and wondering what in the plethora of fireworks he’s concocted in the past, he’d missed. Perhaps people snort it I said. He shook his head, ‘no, that would jam up your nasal septum’.

Undeterred, and unbelieving, we went to Placemakers. They had 2kg bags for $12, but I want to make hundreds of cupcakes and this would barely ice them. I mentioned Mitre 10’s reluctance to stock or sell it and they were scratching their heads. My son suggested that maybe our PM. John Key had accidentally poured some plaster down his toilet, blocked his drains and decided the nation should be more careful. One of the salesman thought that maybe the Finance Minister, Bill English wanted to get rid of art; after all, we artists are hardly going to raise the tax take. The other one thought that perhaps Mitre 10 just wanted to get rid of us so they could go and have their morning tea. They couldn’t help me out with a bigger bag, so off I went to the place we all go as seekers of knowledge and truth (also lies, gossip and dissemination) Google.

I found a site for art and craft supplies that provided big bags of plaster for a reasonable cost but you had to register with them before you could order. I did that and am still waiting. People who don’t maintain their websites are as irritating as people who sign up to facebook and never use it. What’s the point? Like having a cake in your pantry and never eating it (unless it’s a plaster one like mine). I then found that the same product was available from Winstones, so off I trawled to Petone. But they couldn’t sell it direct and I had to order it through Mitre 10. Do you see my dilemma? A 5kg bag would cost me $12, the same price as a 2kg bag and only $2 more than the 1kg bag. I had a sneaking suspicion that somewhere there is a Plaster Lord making huge amounts of profit from this white powder…

Later, over a glass of wine I spilled out my casting anguish to someone (can’t remember who; it was a big glass of wine) and they said ‘Why don’t you try the Plaster Warehouse in Thorndon Quay?’ Who would have thought there was such a thing? I slurred my thanks, and in the sober light of day called them up. And they are my heroes…a whopping 20kg bag for $15! This artist will survive after all, and her cupcakes might even make a tiny and delicious profit.

So what have I learned from this plaster purchase awareness week… to shop around? Let your fingers do the walking? Spend more time on the internet?

No. I have learned that drinking wine gets you plastered, a lot cheaper.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Velvet rides again!

I'm exhibiting my Velvet Bucks at Scotty & Mals in Cuba St this coming Tuesday. Jesus and Clint sold some time ago, but these boys are up for grabs. Scott and Malcolm are a wonderful couple who run a fabulous bar with the best cocktails. I'm very thrilled to be exhibiting there. They've talked about a microphone for me on opening night- they might live to regret that! Here is their press release:

Our latest exhibition opens Tuesday 13th April at 6.30pm, "The Velvet Touch" is a series of gay themed portraits and tattoos, painted on velvet by the extremely talented Fifi Colston (of Good Morning fame) - this is one not to be missed, we've previewed the work and guarantee that they'll sell. Please note, they are all one of a kinds, so if you don't make it on the night, chances of purchasing may be slim! Fifi will be taking commissions, should you want a similar piece of her fabulous work. We're really excited about this one, don't miss out!
Complimentary bubbles on the night supplied by Shingle Peak (Sparkling Sauv) - a big thankyou to them! The pieces will be on display until mid May.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tuesday poem

Last year there was a competition for a Wellington sonnet. I sat down earnstly and wrote a bit of romantic twaddle about taniwhas and so forth, whilst my daughter, amused, dashed off this one in an ad break. I think it has just the right amount of cynical wit for a 22 year old... (the illustration though is mine!)

Untitled (Everybody in Wellington hates Wellington, but like hell they’ll ever leave.)

Sometimes you smell like the sea at night
But you’d expect that living in a harbour.
Go! The Cuba Street drinking posse –
Ain’t nothing like seeing the masses pants-down
In the afternoon.
Let the bus drivers go on strike again
I don’t care about standing in the rain.
The friendly cries of Boy Racer’s burnouts doesn’t keep me awake at night
I live on the other side of the hill.
Yesterday I said ‘let’s go sit on the beach’
But the sand is hard and the wind slices me like death.
I get hungry in Newtown when the bread factory is in action
Until the burned toast smell becomes a little bit suffocating.
Oh Wellington, you sly dog, you.
Haley Jean

For other Tuesday Poems go to the facilitator at O Audacious Book, claire beynon   harvey molloy  tim jones  helen rickerby   ilikesweating  paradoxical cat   kay mckenzie cooke penelope todd  cilla mcqueen - nz poet laureate - who posts monday, wednesday, friday
and these overseas poets:
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