Archives for category: workshop

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Here some impressions from the puppet making event at the Storylines Familyday in Auckland yesterday. It was absolutely amazing. I think the faces of the kids speak for themselves. They simply loved it. We had a steady stream at the table. In the end we had to pinch a few paper coffee cups from the cafeteria, because we had run out of items to use for bodies. :)

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There is no inspiration without Groucho…. Today Liar showed us his favourite quote, which was sent to the Dedes by  @renfieldwantsmore  “Who is that Groucho Marx guy” called Top Dog from behind the curtains “he copied that one straight out of my book! I will sue him.”

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Then Top Dog came out of his hiding place and walked straight up to Liar.  “You and I are definitely cut from the same cloth,” he said, “do you want to be my campaign manager?”

This didn’t go down well with a few instagram readers. Sorry guys, it is out of my hands. The two seem to be the dream team.

I am not sure if I get round to updating you tomorrow as I have a full-day gig making puppets from trash at the Auckland Storylines Family day. The puppet making is themed healthy eating. Munch and Kin will be the baddies that need to be fought off.

I was busy all week sifting through surplus and left-over material and whittled it down to two boxes full of rubbish to take. This is a job that takes ages, as I easily get sidetracked with making things myself. I also had to remove oodles of rusty pins, so the kids don’t injure themselves when they comb through the treasures. I love these workshops. I find it amazing to see the kids being totally engrossed for an hour or so and come up with their gorgeous creations. I hope I will get some good pics, but I might be too busy running around with my glue gun, helping to stick everything together.

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Here is one puppet I prepared earlier, to give the kids an idea what to do. Not that they need it, but had fun making it.

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Now that Pinkpok is already old news, the Dedes continue with their inspirational quotes. Calamity showed the one she tries hard to live by. But she is adamant in her picture the shadows definitely outweigh the highlights. According to her, she can’t do anything about it no matter how hard she tries.

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“Who cares about inspirational quotes anyway” said Munch to Kin, “all I care for is junk food.” These two special characters came out of the closet for the weekend. I made them a while back to promote my friend’s book about good nutrition. And this Sunday they will have an exciting outing. They will attend Storylines Auckland Familydays, where we will be making puppets from junk.

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Talking about the weather seemed to have been the cue for Top Dog. He jumped on stage waving a placard shouting “I can tell you about the wind and rain. Remember when the artist sent me into exile last year?” Devil sprang into action and wanted to shuffle the disruptive Dede off the stage, but the others formed a ring around him. They looked at the picture he was carrying. Here they could see raindrops all over his face. Furthermore, there was, undeniably, the hand of the artist knocking on his head. “What happened? Please tell us.” Now that Top Dog had their attention he wasn’t in a hurry anymore. “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes” “yes” “yes!”

He sat down and looked at the picture. Tears welled up in his eyes, but then abruptly he pulled himself together and said, “Yes, the artist is an evil character, don’t trust her.” He continued, and told the captive audience that last year around Easter time, the artist decided, out of the blue, that he would have to go to Beach Haven Siberia (the garden behind the house) and stay there until he is mush. “So what did you do to deserve that?” asked Milky Bar Devil. “Me?”  Top Dog was surprised .”Nothing!”

Devil rolled his eyes when he heard how Top Dog recounted the story.  He knows the other side of the story too well, as he was part of the team who begged the artist to get rid of Top Dog. It would take too long to recount the entire story now, but if you are interested,  here is the story, as told by the artists. It consists of four consecutive blog posts and then you can form your own opinion. In the end, Top Dog was saved by Flip’s Top Dog Training Centre (A real place and as far as I know an excellent training centre). They wanted to take the unruly dog in. However, the handlers never showed up. In the meantime I have come to believe Top Dog answered the door when they came round and he send them on their way again, as there was no need for further training (in his opinion). And so we still have the narcissistic Dede living amongst us.

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Another one of our instagram followers,  from_delphine sent in a question last night. She asked: “Dear Dedes… do you like to go outside and feel the wind on your skin?” Lapdog wanted to cry when she heard that question. She would just love to go outside and romp around the garden. But all she could do is jump off the stage and look out the window. Okay, it is raining heavily today, but that is not the main reason that holds her back. “To feel the wind would be amazing” she said dolefully, “but we Dedes are very sensitive to the sun and we have to stay out of it as much as possible.” Then she admitted quietly, “sadly the only wind I feel is the one that rumbles in my tummy.”

 

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It was a sad day for the Dedes. They had received no questions whatsoever. No one, absolutely no one wanted to know more about them. Mouse and Detail conferred with the external consultant Millie again. She was adamant, that the show must go on and suggested the floor should be open to the other Dedes to ask questions.  This morning Devil rounded up all the contestant on stage. They are supposed to work as a panel this week. Any one of the contestants can answer the questions if they feel like it.

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“Here is a question for you” said Devil “what are we actually doing here, if no one wants to know more about us.” He had hardly closed his mouth when all hell broke loose. The contestants got agitated “OMG” said one, “Oh dear, we are still no bodies” the other. “There is no base for our exist….” the next. Granddad Max found the reactions too emotional. “Shush. We will discuss the question” he said and then turned to Devil “and we will come back to you.”

Then he shuffled everyone off stage into the kitchen for lunch. It was a very loud and long lunch.

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Finally they came back onto the stage. They had decided Granddad Max, the eldest, would be their spokesperson. He stepped forward and of course the audience expected to hear their reason for being there. Granddad sighed and said “To be honest, we have no idea! The question is one you have to ask the artist!” Devil wasn’t happy with their cop-out. “You have to do better than that! The artist is not in the competition. I can’t ask her.”

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Milky Bar Devil is a caring sort of guy. He loves to work in the kitchen, cooking, baking, and of course making a mess. So for his skill performance he baked his famous hamburger buns and brought them to the stage. They are so easy to make and take all of 40 mins from start to finish. He has done them so many times and they always have been popular. Devil, the MC, was not impressed: “That is such an old hat” he said sneeringly “We all know you were the poster boy of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook*.” Milky Bar Devil was surprised “No one told me it needs to be a new skill!”

Ah well, the others ate the buns and didn’t complain.

*The Dedepuppet cookbook with recipes from flour and water is available from Amazon.com

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This week is skills week and the name of the contestants are pulled randomly out of the hat. As fate had it, it was poor Chambermaid whose name came up first. She complained to Mouse. “That is so unfair. I was on on Friday, had to work all week because of the party and now I am on again.” Mouse isn’t particularly flexible when it comes to schedules and suggested Chambermaid should simply show some creative ways of cleaning. Chambermaid threw her arms in the air and said “there is no such thing! Give me at least until lunch time.”

She really only had two hours, so she went off to rummage through her belongings hoping to come up with a brilliant idea. Finally she found this little man she had felted earlier. She wanted him as little helper but he never worked out. At least it showed she had some creativity in her. So she took him on stage and showed him to the audience.

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“I made this little man to help me with my chores” she explained to Devil. “But it never worked out. He simply can’t see the dirt!” Devil looked at the poor creature for a little while and commented, “how can he? You have forgotten the eyes.”

At this point I want to let you know that next week is question week. If you have any questions for the contestants please write a comment!

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The first week of the competition had taken it’s toll. Devil desperately needed a sleep-in on his day off. He is a little disappointed about the calibre of the contestants this time. In the last Super Dede Competition the contestants were much more willing to talk about themselves. This bunch here seems to be quite withdrawn. Devil had to find out the hard way, that the job of MC is much more demanding, when the contestants are not forthcoming. So yesterday he put his sleeping mask on and stayed in bed all day, not caring what else happened in the world.

Mouse on the other hand wants to make the competition a success. Instead of taking it easy on her day off, she spent all day yesterday to organise a retreat for the management team. It was rather short notice, but Mouse thought the three should learn from the first week and apply their findings to the second week. She was overjoyed, when she managed to secure the external consultant Millie. Millie was hanging around a dysfunctional workplace for a long time and had observed the most outrages things there. She was bound to offer invaluable and unbiased advice from the outside.

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They met in the dining room. “Look a the contestants” said Devil to fill the cow in “There is a clown hiding behind his mask, a gender-fluid little dog, a sick old codger, a too gentle devil and an undervalued servant.” Millie listend, swaying her head a little and said “What’s wrong with that? That should make for a very interesting competition.”  Then she focussed on Devil and said after looking straight into his eyes for a tad too long. “Can I have a look at your neck, is it by any chance red?”

 

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Pig and Professor love the arts and I had to promise them long time ago that I will take them to the gallery as soon as possible so they can have a look at all the wonderful works. In the next two weeks all the participating artists are taking turns in manning the gallery and it was my turn last Monday. I will be there tomorrow and next Wednesday again, but Pig and Professor didn’t want to wait any longer. So here I can show you their first impressions. There is more good work on display in the gallery, so if you are in Auckland and in the neighbourhood of Mt Eden swing by and judge for yourself.  You enter through a narrow door and go down a flight of stairs.  The gallery is on two floors below street level.

When the two Dedes came down the stairs, Pig stopped in his tracks and turned in awe to Professor “This space is amazing” he whispered “We should have volunterred to take part in the installation.”  The images you see in the background here are by Sonja Gardien. It is a photographic series reminding us of the impact of climate change.

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Opposite Sonja’s image are Stacey Simpkin’s photographs of some of the old baches (holiday homes) on Rangitoto Island, a very well-known volcano located just outside the Auckland harbour entrance with a wonderful checkered history.

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Here Pig and Professor move towards Dorina Jotti’s amazing Photograph “Cross-Referenced”. This snapshot doesn’t do the image justice at all, as the blues look too light and washed out. In reality it is of a rich and dark colour, which is very difficult to reproduce with simple devices. The photograph was craftily printed on a ten-colour printer.

At the top right you see a display by contemporary jeweler Sarah Walker-Holt. Once again, the snapshot doesn’t do the work justice. Art is best viewed in original.  :)

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Another fantastic work by Dorina Jotti. This is a zen meditation exercise, an enso, which is a circle drawn in one uninhibited brushstroke to express the moment when the mind is ready to let the body express.

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The wonderful series “Brotherhood” was created by Kirsten Weir and depicts members of the Hell’s Angels in their headquarters. Pig didn’t want to get any closer, as he knows that Kirsten has to seek approval each time she wants to exhibit the images and Pig doesn’t want to get her into trouble. But you can believe us, these images are striking.

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The deer is another one of Carly van Winkel’s photographs. Her series is about animals that are raised purely to be released in front of hunters to be shot. Sad!

Carly is an excellent photographer and you might remember that she took the images at the launch of “The Artist’s Survival Cookbook”. If you want to learn more about how to take breathtaking photographs… Carly and I are running an “Intro to Photography” workshop at Studio 541 in Auckland on 4th June. She also does tell some hilareous story’s about the capture of her hunting photos.

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On the bottom floor you will find a series by Alice Ng showing dilapidated buildings in the Auckland area. There is a special aesthetic in such images, isn’t there?

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And then of course there are the Dedes with their mobile phones. Professor and Pig were so excited when they finally discovered their mates in the last room (they requested to be placed as far away from the entrance as possible) so they can do some work. Even now, they hardly looked up. That was a bit of a disappointment for the visitors.

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This was just a quick walk around the gallery. There is more work by Vicky te Puni, Julia Glover, Toni Mosley, Yvonne Shaw, Trish Campbell, Melanie Tollemache and Jessie Rolston  It’s worth the trip.