Tag Archives: Walk

Sculpture in the Gardens 2013

Auckland Botanic Gardens
9 November 2013 – 16 February 2014

The beautiful flowers and nicely trimmed trees have been taken over by horses, rabbits, crabs, giant ants and a magpie. Nope, I’m not having bizarre dreams. The weird and wonderful world of art has appeared in the Auckland Botanic Gardens, with twenty nine sculptures installed for the Summer. These sculptures are set upon a two kilometre trail that meanders through the picturesque gardens.

They’ve even gone ‘techie’ this year. QR codes are available at each installation for you to scan and view videos on the art work, creative process or artist.

Opening day was bustling, with many families and groups of friends packing a picnic and making a day of it. Our group of four adults and four children had a blast, enjoying a gentle stroll in the sun.

Here is a run down of some of our favourite sculptures on display this year;

I believe that you should be able to touch and feel art. None of this admire from afar business. And, the kids in our group agree. So, they absolutely loved Oliver Stretton-Pow’s ‘Rooks‘. They could chase each other around the sculpture and pop their heads (and bodies) inside the pieces. Loads of fun! The big shady trees make this the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch and a spot of people watching.

CelesteReviews Rooks Oliver Stretton-Pow

Rooks by Oliver Stretton-Pow

Nearby, just waiting for the knight in shining armour to jump atop, is ‘The White Horse’ by Ben Foster. An angular creation of aluminium and epoxy automotive spray, I loved it’s stark contrast to the greenery surrounding the sculpture. I also love the intrigue this piece causes, as you can glimpse it in the distance from the main entrance of the Gardens and you catch moments of white between the trees as you walk the trail towards it.

CelesteReviews The White Horse by Ben Foster

The White Horse by Ben Foster

According to Bryan Verey, Magpies say “Quardle Oodle Ardle Wardle Doodle”. The beady eyed magpie sitting atop a rustic farm gate in ‘Over the Farm Gate’ brought back a lot of childhood rural memories. I was careful with my glittery jewellery as I passed!

CelesteReveiws Bryan Verey

Over the Farm Gate by Bryan Verey

A picnic in the park isn’t complete without some ants. Three giant bronze ants happily march along the patio of the Visitor’s Centre towards Jim Wheeler’s two ‘Regeneration’ installations.
CelesteReviews Samantha Lissette Sculpture

Part of “Atta Mediae” by Samantha Lissette

CelesteReviews Jim Wheeler Sculpture in the Gardens

Regenration: Oak Garden Fork & Regeneration: Oak Garden Spade by Jim Wheeler

The talented Llew Summers was invited to exhibit his work again this year, developing ‘Ariel’ from his fascination with wings. Be sure you also view his gorgeous ‘Butterfly’ bronze situated on the lawn in front of the cafe. It’s one of my favourites and is a permanent sculpture at the Gardens.

CelesteReviews Ariel Llew Summers

Ariel by Llew Summers

Croc Dundee would be proud of size of the knife served up by Michael Klaja and Gordon Smith. The hubby particularly liked this piece of art, aptly named ‘Carving up the Land’. (Image to follow – sorry, my photo was blurry).

My nieces (aged 4 and 6) thought the ‘rabbit and the crab’ were fun, but the crab was a little scary. Rabbit and Crabby have a great position, looking out over the rose gardens.

CelesteReviews Jamie Pickernell

Oh Crabby I do believe we’re rather last! by Jamie Pickernall

Clever use of woven corrugated iron and timber create ‘Home Sweet Home’ by Jeff Thomson. This fun installation is vibrant among the trees.

CelesteReviews Jeff Thomson

Home Sweet Home by Jeff Thomson

I would have loved to have been able to get up closer to ‘Flotilla’. I enjoyed Lucy Bucknall’s Otter piece on the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail in Snells Beach, so I was really interested to see this installation. However, set in the upper lake, you couldn’t quite make out all the animals and facial expressions that I’m sure make this sculpture delightful.

CelesteReviews Flotilla by Lucky Bucknall and Andy MacVicar

Flotilla by Lucky Bucknall and Andy MacVicar

Spring is a magical time of the year to visit the Gardens.  The smells and colour on show are a feast for the senses. Don’t forget to also take a peek at the permanent art works that are also on display around the property.

Top Tip: It’s FREE to visit the Auckland Botanic Gardens, so pack a picnic and make a day of it.

In a Nutshell: A wonderful way to spend a Summer’s Day.


Carnivorous Zombie Ladybirds

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

The trail

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail
Arabella Lane, Snells Beach

Did the title catch your eye? Well we will get to that part soon… It was a humid, soggy morning, when we set off on the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, map in hand. The track starts from the architecturally designed Glass House, perched on the edge of a lake. Through bush, around lakes and into small grassed areas, we meandered our way along the 2 km trail admiring the interesting contemporary works of art.

I was armed with the camera, taking photos and trying to keep up with the hubby, while he read the artwork descriptions from the trail map. Yes, a man who used a map (now that’s a work of art). He was also great at locating the hard to find installations, as although most of the pieces are positioned in obvious spots (grassed areas, on water, high on hills), there are a few hiding up trees. During our trek, the hubby and I had many an interesting ‘discussion’ regarding these descriptions and trying to define what constitutes art. Combining two of my passions (and since this is my blog, not his), my belief is that art is like wine – everyone has different tastes, and the same glass/artwork will taste different or mean different things to different people.

Brick Bay Sculpture Walk

Brick Corkscrew – Peter Lange

Here are some of my highlights:

Artful Wine – Wine and art do somehow seem to complement each other. Some of you may even remember a previous post I wrote about visiting a sculpture display at a Carterton Vineyard. I’m a big fan of both, so I was impressed by the large corkscrew sculpture made with bricks. Aptly named ‘Brick Corkscrew‘, this piece was created by Peter Lange to blend together the art and wine found at Brick Bay. This artist is also the creator of brick Caravan, located outside the Museum on Hamilton’s Victoria Street, and the eye catching lounger on Karangahape Road, Auckland, that the Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret ‘girls’ perform on.

Play on Words – Visitors to Lorne Street, Auckland, will be familiar with the granite works of Mary-Louise Browne. Her installation at Brick Bay (Meteorol) is in a similar style, with steps that lead you from the words ‘RAIN’ to ‘MIST’, with one letter changing on each step to create another word.

Awaiting Transportation - :ucy Bucknall

Awaiting Transportation – Lucy Bucknall

Thought Provoking – Both hubby and I thought ‘Awaiting Transportation‘ by Lucy Bucknall, was the most thought provoking artwork on the trail. Created in phosphor bronze, it speaks to immigration and displacement created through war, depicted through Mr and Mrs Otter, dressed in their finery with suitcases at their feet. I really liked the placement of the installation, at the end of the crisscrossed boardwalk.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, Awaiting Transportation Lucy Bucknall

Close up of Otters

Look Up and Look Down – You have to remember to not just look at the path. I loved the finish of Chris Hargreaves’ ‘Artificial Stations for Preceding Atmospheric Movement‘. The box kite hanging in the trees is decorated with clouds and sky. While ‘Mahoe‘ by Jeff Thomson, provides a colourful installation of corrugated iron Mahoe leaves on the bush floor.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Artificial Stations for Preceding Atmospheric Movement – Chris Hargreaves

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Mahoe – Jeff Thomson

Brick Bay Sculpture Tail

Incendiary Artwork – David McCracken

The Kids Will Love – Here are three pieces of artwork which should keep the kids interested along the walk.

David McCraken’s shiny bomb ‘Incendiary Artwork‘ and rocket ‘Squeeze Me (Offensive)

Three bright giant windmills, that reminded me of going to a country fair as a child – ‘The Memory Windmills‘, by Leon van den Ejkel

Honey I shrunk the sheep – loads of little sheep wearing numbered jerseys. Gregor Kregar’s tribute to the Rugby World Cup, ‘Matthew 12:12 Cup 2011

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Matthew 12:12 Cup 2011 – Gregor Kregar

Mirror, Mirror – Gregor Kregar is also the artist of ‘Fragmented Interactions‘, a towering stainless steel sculpture that reflects its environment – bush, sky (well, grey clouds on the day we visited), and you, as you walk by.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Fragmented Interactions – Gregor Kregar

Loo with a View – Tracey Tawhiao decorates an out-house with bright graffiti-style Wairuaatua symbols. Further around the track there were also similarly decorated spades and garden forks hanging through the trees.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Wairuaatua – Tracey Twahiao

Using Your Head – My sixth form art folio focused on bodies as landscape forms. So, I quite liked the huge corten steel face of ‘Tor‘ by Richard Wedekind.

Brick Bay Sculpture Walk

Tor – Richard Wedekind

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Mine – Laura Marsh

Outside the Box – The weirdest ‘art’  installation for me was Laura Marsh’s ‘Mine‘. A huge wooden box, with a swing door, with the word ‘Mine’ subtly displayed inside. But, once again, each to their own.

Shhhh, Listen!  The art on display was not all visual. There were also a couple of audio artworks on the trail. At the top of the Kauri Climb section, there were three sets of large brightly coloured trumpet shapes which you put to your ears to listen through (‘Listen – Stop‘ by Phil Dadson), as well as a thirty voice choral interpretation of Amazon frogs, that starts when you walk onto a jetty (‘The Sex Choir‘ by Sam Hamilton) and a scary male voice that whispers through the trees at you when you are walking through a thick bush area (‘Spoken Indexes‘ by Dean Roberts).

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

The ladders in your stockings go up to your suspenders – Antionette Ratcliffe

Not ‘actual’ art, but artful, none the less, we were also treated to the melodic tunes of the native tui during our walk, and saw many fantails flittering along beside us. As we emerged from the bush, we discovered one of my favourite installations on the Sculpture Walk…

Carnivorous Zombie Ladybirds – Yes, you heard right!

Antionette Ratcliffe’s ‘The ladders in your stockings go up to your suspenders‘ was one piece of art that both hubby and I agreed was very cool. Dozens of painted ceramic ladybirds (complete with fangs) taking over an oak tree. See, they never show you what happened to the ladybirds on The Walking Dead, so now I know.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

Carnivorous Zombie Ladybirds

I dare say I’ll come home one day to find hubby has glued plastic animals to our tree trunks to make them more interesting. Should be fun.

The trail takes about an hour and is an easy walk, although the Kauri Climb makes for a good step aerobics routine. There are plenty of benches dotted along the path should you need a rest stop, and take care if it has been raining, as the wooden boardwalks become a tad slippery.

The sculptures change on a regular basis, and all the art work is for sale.

Admission to walk the Trail is $12 per adult and the last entry is 4 pm.

Top Tip: Wear appropriate footwear. Make sure you leave enough time for a coffee or wine from the Glass House when your walk is finished. You will have earned a treat by then and I can highly recommend their chocolate brownie.


Zigging and Zagging in Hanmer Springs

Conical Hill Walk, Hanmer Springs

Conical Hill Walk Hanmer Springs CelesteReviewsLast week, we were lucky enough to visit the magical town of Hanmer Springs, Canterbury.

Thanks to the twins, gone are the days of lazy holiday sleep-ins, so bright and early one stunning morning we decided to tackle Conical Hill.

This walking trail starts at the top end of Conical Hill Road. The slope of the road is a good indication of what lays ahead.

Conical Hill by CelesteReviews

Wide Shady Path

It’s a steep climb to the summit, with twelve long zigzags on a wide, pine needle covered track. That’s six zigs and six zags, and trust me, you’ll be counting each one by half way. The tall trees provided much required cool cover in the Summer morning heat.

I’m certainly glad that I wasn’t pushing our double pram with two bonny babies up the hill, however, I’m sure the husband enjoyed the work out. Except for a low zigzag fence, which I presume is to stop people taking bikes onto the track, the trail is stroller friendly. We have a ‘side-by-side’ Mountain Buggy which wouldn’t fit through, so we just lifted our pram over – easy!

It took us a leisurely 40mins to reach the tussocky summit (550m above sea level), and our efforts were rewarded with stunning 360 degree vistas of the area.

Conical Hill Walk CelesteReviews

Gorgeous Views of the Area

Conical Hill Summit Hanmer Springs CelesteReviews

Looking back down the trail from Summit

Our descent was a lot quicker (20 mins). So, all up, the 2.5km walk was an hour round trip.

Top Tip: There is a large picnic table at the summit, so pack morning tea or lunch and enjoy the view.

In a Nutshell: Great exercise, and a rewarding way to view the area.