Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Here's the press release:
Graphic Design : 2007 Spectrum Print Book Design Awards winners announced
Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand, written and illustrated by Audrey Eagle and published by Te Papa Press, swooped away with half of the awards on offer in the 2007 Spectrum Print Book Design Awards. "The judges unanimously agreed that this magnificent two-volume set easily met, and indeed surpassed, the criteria by which the entries had to be judged," said convenor of judges Denis Welch.
Designers Neil Pardington (Base Two) and Robyn Sivewright (Afineline) won Best Illustrated Book, Best Cover, and Best Book overall for their work on this landmark publication. This is Pardington's third consecutive win.
Audrey Eagle's botanical drawings were first published in 1975 by William Collins (New Zealand) Ltd; with a second volume following in 1983. As well as all of the artwork from the previous two volumes, the new volumes contain over 170 new paintings and drawings by Eagle, and showcase every presently known tree and shrub in New Zealand.
The treatment of Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Pardington (covers) and Sivewright (interiors) has also helped to earn Audrey Eagle and Te Papa Press a nomination for Best Illustrated Book at the Montana Book Awards.
Brief Lives (Auckland University Press) won designers Sarah Maxey and Katrina Duncan, along with artist Brendan O'Brien, the Best Non-Illustrated category of the awards.
The other winners were Cheryl Rowe, awarded Best Children's Book for Legends of Ngatoro-i-rangi (Reed Publishing), and Rose Miller, awarded Best Educational Book for Te Kete Kupu (Huia Publishers) – the first children’s dictionary completely in te reo Māori.
"The high overall standard of the entries indicates a publishing industry in remarkably good shape," said Welch, who was joined on the panel by bookseller Beth Davies and William Chen, founding Art Director of Metro and Art Director of Cuisine.
The book design awards have been run annually since 1997 by the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Secondly was These Girls, quite a short documentary focusing on the life of a bunch of girls living on the streets of Cairo. These are different to our streetkids though - vastly different. The law does nothing to protect the girls from rape and kidnapping - the local guys make a habit of this and leave the girls scarred on their faces as a sign they have been “marked”. The girls bring up their babies on the streets. It was pretty grim, but getting to hear the girls’ stories made you realise that life on the streets is preferable to being beaten by their fathers back home.
Lastly, experimental film by Leighton Peirce. Explorations of Folded Time is a collection of painterly domestic macro-moments – slices of small moments of beauty, slowed down and repeated and lush with emotion. His children are observed in small detail - hands in water, small gaudy indistinct figures running down the back stairs. Sound is amplified and detailed. I smiled often during this screening, with the sweetness and beauty of the unfolding images. Just gorgeous. Quite a few people walked out. Why do people go to experimental cinema and not know what they are in for?!
Phew - pretty tired now. A few hours of work now then off to bed. Three films tomorrow.
Tonight I saw A Mighty Heart, Michael Winterbottom's latest (starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, wife of murdered journalist, Daniel Pearl), then Head, the Monkees film from 1968. Apparently it was a box office flop at the time. It was really fucking funny. Loved every minute. Here's something I just read: Rumors abound that the title was chosen in case a sequel was made. The advertisements would supposedly have read: "From the people who gave you Head." Now that's funny, huh? I loved the Monkees when I was a kid. Of course, I never got the drug references. I guess they were there in the series - they certainly abound in the film.
A Mighty Heart was pretty affecting – the streets scenes in Karachi, the very believable Jolie as Pearl's wife, the fantastic cast - it all added up to a great film. I missed Road to Guantanamo last year, but have seen plenty of Winterbottom's films before. It was great to follow this with Head. I was feeling a bit emotionally wrung out.
I have three films tomorrow and a meeting at 9 am, so I'd better get to bed.
Oh, and just thought I'd add that Battles are coming. Fucking A, mate! I'm over the moon. 22 September at San Fran.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Well, life has taken some funny turns of late. I found out a wee while ago that I had been shortlisted for a design award. Freaky deaky. I'm planning to head up to Auckland for the awards dinner and see if I'm a winner. That would be strange. Just being shortlisted is a bit of a buzz.
Another odd turn is that I have been offered a fulltime job. I should still be able to retain my current clients under this new regime, but essentially I won't be working for myself anymore, which means no more irritating tax compliance (goodbye, paperwork!) and a solid stable income. Not that it's been financially tricky too often, but this way it's far more likely that I'll be able to buy a house. That will be pretty cool. And there's some new challenges in the job too - some of them a bit scary, but I think it's time to bring some new things into my life. Can't have things getting too comfortable!
I've been doing my usual Film Fesitval stint (my ninth and, probably, final year). There's some great films this year, including a bunch of 70s films made by US maverick filmmakers. Most of them seem to be starring a young (and rather attractive) Jack Nicholson.
So. Watch this space. I'll fill you all in on this new job when I know more about what the hell I'm gonna be doing.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Here's my artist statement:
"I’ve been photographing light for a while now. I’ve always loved the dancing reflections of light on walls and ceilings. Capturing it seemed a fun thing to do, especially on my new digital camera - the results were instant. I ended up with a collection of abstract forms. I thought about light and shadow. About how delightful the play of light bouncing off a shiny object onto a ceiling could be. And then about how, as a child, dark shadows in my bedroom at night could be so menacing. I tried putting the two of these things together. The dark. The light. My light/shadow creatures were born. They’re not scary. But they have a slighly dark side."
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Yes, I'm about to be in a show. I'm part of the group exhibition – Vent – at Thermostat Gallery in Palmerston North. I'm nervous. I'm excited.
No preview of my work I'm afraid. I'll be uploading some images after the show. It opens on Saturday 30 June at 5pm.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Autumn is pretty much my favourite time of year. The air has a certain soft mellow feel that I love, and when the evening chill sets in I'm lighting an open fire but it's not so cold that I'm swearing and cursing while outside cutting the kindling to get the fire going.
It was still warm enough last week to go and lay around on the grass at Waitangi Park. This park has become our walking place - where we go when we are feeling a bit cooped up in the office. A quick jaunt around the park, or a quiet meander, depending on the mood. Mostly the latter really. For me anyway. Meandering is a good thing. Anyway, here's my office buddy laying around on the grass. Is that grass really green, or what?
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
The first step was to meet with my accountants and establish the debt - how much was owed. Then I worked out a realistic budget for myself. I used a really great website to do this - www.sorted.org.nz. I loaded in the actual amounts I've been spending. It exceeded the amount I'm meant to be paying myself from the business by more than I'm going to divulge here. It's embrarrassing to see how much I was spending. Then I plugged in some realistic targets. The next step is to set up an electronic budget so I can track everything and see how much I can spend.
I thought this process was going to be scary and unpleasant, as well as difficult, but now I have my head around it, it's actually quite fun.
I now have three to five years ahead of me to get my financial situation back to a healthier situtation. Yikes!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I urge you all to revisit this album!!
I've got a new way of living going on that means, unfortunately, less blogging. Now that I'm working from an office I'm living a bit more like the rest of the population, but that means leaving my Mac at work and doing things in the evening that do not involve the computer. I realised that I had been filling in the empty evenings since Dave left with work work work. NO more! I'm now being much more efficient with my time. This does, however, mean that blogging is happening less and less often. So be it. My life is a lot healthier these days since my decision to leave the computer behind at the end of the day.
I've been to some fun gigs lately. Hightlights have been twee pop Glaswegians Camera Obscura, pysch rockers Comets on Fire (supported in the most wonderful way by our own Birchville Cat Motel - I couldn't believe how magnificent this was), old school Flying Nun boys The Clean and noise legends, Dead C (see them here on YouTube).
On the movie front, World Cinema Showcase has just started and I have managed three films in the past week. The best so far has been Rampage, a doco about life in the "war zones" of Miami, focusing on the lives of a family stuck in the midst of gang warfare in "Brown Sub". Pretty shocking and depressing but so worth seeing. All I can say is, US gun laws are really really stupid.
John Stuart Mill
Friday, March 16, 2007
Here we are about to head into the venue to see La Clique.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Friday 2 March - Bonaparte - Bang Bang Berlin Live show - solo new-electro-trash-punk darling Bonaparte via Bern, Barcelona and Berlin and now….The Mighty Mighty, 10pm www.myspace.com/findingbonaparte
DJ Steffen Schoeler from Berlin’s beloved quirksters dwfb. He’ll be coming straight off the plane from Berlin to Cuba St central, 12pm
The infamous Bar 25 Vodka Slide - The hottest craze from the Party Capital straight off the ice. It’s a license to pash as well as being the most fantastic way to drink vodka! www.bar25.de
[Hmm, this Vodka slide sounds like it could be amusing... Apparently it involves vodka, lots of ice, and pashing]
Thursday 8 March - Micro-pop Queen Barbara Morgenstern (Berlin) www.barbaramorgenstern.de and Fred Avril (Paris) www.fredavril.com for a night of lush sounds with “The Society For the Promotion of A Fantastic Way of Life” who’s electronic music is drawn largely from German labels including Morr Music, Monika Enterprise, City Centre Offices, Alien Transistor & Dial Records." 10pm.
PPC from 5pm
Friday 9 March - Blood Sausage, Leather and Beer featuring
Kapitan Krautrock und Freunde with German beer and sausage specials for lovers of Tangerine Dream, Faust, Can, Amon Düül
Monday, February 19, 2007
I've taken an office in town. I've had to put all work on hold for a day to get myself into my office and I just started the gruelling task tonight of archiving my files. This is five years of files to sort through: bin what will never be needed ever again, archive into boxes what will be possibly be needed at some later date, and put aside the files I want to take to the new office. It's not a pretty sight in my dining room right now - so far there are three two-foot high piles of A4 paper that is the "bin" category, seven archived boxes of files and I'm up to T. So almost there. I'll get this cut tonight and then tomorrow is tidying day and then it's onto packing down computer gear and figuring what else I'll need to shift down to the office. Then at some stage I'll need to clean up the resulting carnage in my sunroom. I'll be glad when this is all over and I'm ensconced in my nice new office with my two friends (who are well organised and have already been there for a week). And then I'll be posting some photos, oh yes I will.
Oh and the highlight of the evening was finding something unpleasant that a cat had done behind the filing shelves. Nice.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
MaoriTV has been programming pretty good movies. I just watched Daytrippers, a film by Greg Mottola. (Although in The Listener this was attributed to Noah Baumbach!) A nice indie film about an unravelling marriage and a (slightly) disfunctional family, mostly set in a family stationwagon. A wife finds a love letter and goes to her family for advice. Along with her mum, dad, sister and sister's boyfriend, she goes in search of the answers and eventaully finds the truth. The whole event happens within the space of a day, so it has the feel of a short story. It was a really neat and satisfying little lo-fi film. I really do wonder how The Listener got its facts so wrong. Mind you, I don't mind, because it was the Baumbach connection that persuaded me to watch it.
I should tune in to MaoriTV more often for their film choices, obviously. Some time ago I saw another little gem, Heater, a Canadian indie well worth watching.
I got along to City Gallery today to check out the Prospect Show with Dave. There were some good works there (of course, some real shite as well, but that will happen...) Hmm, well, interestingly the navigation menu for the show doesn't work on the Telecom site I have marked for you just yet, but hopefully it will soon. After all, the show has only just started, and sure, Telecom is meant to be the national telecommunications provider... Go figure. It was a lovely day in Wellington today, and a chance to sit in the sun and drink beer. Oh, late summer!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Here are five things you didn't know about me (and probably don't want to).
1. When I was about five my brother threw a piece of coal at my sister. She ducked. I copped it in the eye. Some little chunk of the coat actually ended up under my skin beside my eye and I could feel the little gritty thing in there for ages while it worked its way down the side of my nose till it just disintegrated and disappeared. It was kinda freaky.
2. I went through a stage at around the age of ten of pulling out my eyelashes. I don't think I was a maladjusted child, but it was a strange habit. I once had long curly lashes. They never grew back the same. I remember having bald patches in my lashes where I had pulled all of them out. I assure you, I grew out of this one.
3. I can't stand rodents. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice. They all creep me out, especially en masse. There's a guinea pig enclosure at the zoo and it makes me feel sick looking at them. I used to have pet mice as a kid and I put it down to the bad experiences I had with the little blighters.
4. My favourite pet was a goat that I got as a Christmas present when I was about 9 or 10. I loved that goat so much that one night I snuck out and curled up next to him and slept there. His name was Bilbo Baggins and when we had to leave him behind when we shifted up north when I was 14 I was pretty devastated. I would love to have another pet goat again one day.
5. I performed in an operetta when I was at primary school. I can't remember what it was called but I was one of the leads and I had to speak in a German accent. My parents thought I was great. Or so they said.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I was checking my blog stats today (not something I do very often) and found that someone in Invercargill looked at 43 pages. I don't think I know anyone in Invercargill. Maybe life is really boring down there. Maybe they were having a dull day at work. Anyway, Invercargill person, if you are popping back to see what exciting things I have been up to... well, hello there!
It's almost three in the morning and I have come to a grinding halt. I have a multitude of jobs to complete at the moment and I'm looking forward to a day of quietness tomorrow when I can get a big chunk done with no interruptions. What with it being Waitangi Day (link for the benefit of those non-NZ readers) and all, it's gonna mean no phone calls or email. Sweet.
Today I finally had my accounts guy over to get my 2006 tax return in (just a wee bit late!) I found that I had another boomer year for Parlour, but where the hell does all my money go! I mean, I don't do any overseas travel, I don't eat out all the time, I don't buy lots of fricking fancy expensive clothes. It's a bit depressing really. I'm just not a saver. This has to change! I hope to make this the year I get my financial shit together. My accounts guy has advised me to keep a log of all my spending. Now that could be scary.
Well, I reckon it's bedtime if I'm gonna have a productive day tomorrow (today?).
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Just got a nice surprise in the post today: my McSweeney's order. No actual McSweeney's Quarterly Concern yet, but since I subscribed to their package deal, I have the DVD magazine Wholpin and The Believer which this time round is a visual arts edition. Yeeha! Now I just have to find time to read the stuff…
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Tagged by Paintergirl!
Okay, I find the whole "favourite" thing really really hard, because I'm not very loyal to my favourites. I can change my mind about these things way too quickly and today's favourite becomes tomorrow's "oh, yeah, I used to like that quite a lot". But here goes for today.
Favourite movie - Donnie Darko
Okay - very mainstream and all, but I just loved this film and have watched it about three or four times which is very rare for me. It's a great whole package and the soundtrack took me way way back.
Favourite guilty pleasure movie - Nell
Syrupy sentamentalism, yes, but I have memories of watching this movie with my kids. They loved it and I loved watching it with them. It used to make me cry.
Favourite book - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Okay, this will change I'm sure. I can't think of any "classic" books that I know and love - there are just so many - so this is my favourite of the moment. I will try and devour anything by Dave Eggers and have just subscribed to McSweeneys.
Favorite guilty pleasure book - Snowflake by Paul Gallico
A book from my childhood that I pick up again every now and then. See the sentimental seam running here? Scary. I also love the cover. It's a slim little hardback novel.
Favourite song - "A Pillow of Winds" by Pink Floyd
Just a really beautiful love song. Makes me close my eyes and smile. Meddle is one of those albums that my big brothers listened to when I was about 11 or 12 and I loved it and listened to it so many times and still can. It reminds me of laying around on a summer's day in our lounge on the cusions in the bay window in the hot sun with the breeze blowing in... But a very close second is The Chills' "Pink Frost".
Favorite guilty pleasure song - Afternoon Delight by The Starland Vocal Band
I can still listen to this song and sing away - know all the words. But only in private. This one's just plain embarassing. I can't believe I'm 'fessing up.
Hey, this was fun! Cheers Paintergirl!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Paintergirl was doing an interesting exercise in nostalgia, taking a trip down the olfactory memory lane by recounting the perfumes she has worn over the years. I could immediately remember the scents I've worn over the years. My latest perfume was not even chosen by the scent but by the concept - I read about it in a magazine and thought "yep, that's for me". Good grief, don't I sound like the most despicable consumer. Anyway, here's the description of the scent. I've been wearing it ever since and have to send away for the stuff since I can't buy it anywhere in NZ.
Odeur 71 by Comme des Garçons
Stray from the traditional and opt for the extraordinary. This bold "anti-perfume" combines 71 modern and classic "odeurs" to yield a unique and provocative fragrance for men and women. This ultraurban scent spins together the cloned inorganic smells of modern daily life and mixes them with natural ingredients for a futuristic fragrance.
Moss, Bamboo, Bay Leaf, Willow, Elm and Birch, with Photocopy Toner, Dust on a Lightbulb, Electric Toaster and Ink.
A cool, contemporary scent for the modern man and woman.
Anti-perfume? Where the hell do they come up with this stuff?
Sunday, January 21, 2007
A friend of mine asked me last week if I'd be interested in sharing some office space. I went and checked it out and it's absolutely perfect. It's pretty lonely with just me and the kids, and even though it means I'll have to fork out some more money, I think it's worth it so I've signed up. Very exciting. It's in exactly the right part of town for me and is very handy to the Film Festival where I'll be working again this year. Yes, I know I said last year that I was giving it up, but I will need the money and really, I do enjoy it, even though the hours are stupidly excessive. I'm moving at the end of the month. I'll post some piccies when I get myself installed. Me and two friends who are web designers will be sub-leasing from a small film production company, so it'll be a whole floor of creatives. And there's even a shower there! Really looking forward to it.
I've been motivated enough lately to manage twice-weekly gym sessions. I'm not the gym type at all, but I know it's the only way I'll get any excercise and I really want to look after myself this year - lose some weight, get fit, eat healthily. Doing well so far...
I've been to see a few films lately. I saw The Valet last night. Fun French comedy. Pretty light, but entertaining. My fave film so far this year (although I haven't seen many) would have to be Sofia Coppola's latest, Marie Antoinette. A flirty frothy piece of girly bliss. Totally lightweight, but so gorgeous. I loved it. And then there's the soundtrack - I got home and downloaded immediately, and it's been on heavy rotation in my car. After listening to 'Hong Kong Garden' by Siouxsie Sioux, I will be no doubt revisiting some of her albums for more than nostalgia's sake. I forgot what an entrancing voice she has.
During some of my Soulseek downloads this week, I found a stash of images. Amongst them was a folder full of images of old Russian posters. The designs are so cool, I just had to share one.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Today I'm off to see a well regarded homeopath to get a constitutional remedy. More on this later. It'll be interesting to see how this goes. I envisage I will have a large list of questions to answer about my bodily functions and general health.
Work is going well, although there is an awful lot of it. I'm enjoying my work though. Very busy. It's good!
Friday, January 12, 2007
Okay, guess it's about bedtime, being 1.30 am with work waiting in the morning. Still, I have a nice massage booked for the afternoon. That's something to look forward to.
Now I have to decide if I'm gonna go see The Veils on Saturday night. And coming soon are Calexico and Joanna Newsom (playing with Smog). Too much!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I went to see Babel last week. Definitely worth seeing. I've really been seeing so many movies lately. It's a good way to keep my mind off other things, but of course, it's always great to get along to the movies. I'm heading along to Marie Antoinette tomorrow night.
I'm somehow managing to get through my work. I really am still quite behind, but I think I can wing it somehow.
I'm still feeling like I have a bit hole in my life, but I'm feeling stronger every day. Life goes on. It has to.
Friday, January 05, 2007
So, a new blog is not imminent. This one will just have to continue I guess until I have a bit more energy.