Archives for posts with tag: exhibition


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.


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.


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.  :)


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.





harvey lotto
The Dedes are getting on with their lives as usual. They all have their own ways of dealing with the current situation Harvey for example is dreaming of the big lottery win and Pig and Professor are out on the turps.

pig prof brain in bottle

On Sunday they woke up and wondered what the white residue in the bottle might be. They looked, turned the bottle, looked again.  Both agreed it looked suspiciously like a pickled brain, but neither of them wanted to admit that maybe the alcohol was taking it’s toll.  Gee were they reliefed when Top Dog came in and asked what they were doing with his bottle. Everybody knows that Top Dog has drowned his grey matter in the substance a long time ago.

top dog claiming brain

Meanwhile L’Artiste is preparing for an exhibition he is taking part in. Unfortunately Sunny, the wannabe artist, has broken L’Artiste’s jigsaw just when he needed it the most. Sunny didn’t apologise, he just grinned like an idiot – I assume because he felt really guilty – and quickly scuffled off

sunny broken jigsaw

As Sunny doesen’t have the money to replace the jigsaw blade L’Artiste said he has to help him with his preparations for the exhibtions – to pay for it. Though the master is not very pleasant at the moment. When it comes to putting the finishing touches to the work he is always unsure about everything. He wants to discuss the finer detail with Sunny. But the assistant with  his overly happy disposition believes everything will be just fine. He simply can’t understand why L’Artiste painfully deliberates over every little detail. “Who cares!” he says.  “It is not your heart, that will be nailed to the wall”, says L’Artiste disappointedly and continues deliberating.

This might explain why L’Artiste is the more successful artist and Sunny still a wannabe, eh.

lartiste critique

Just in case you are interested, here are the four works L’Artiste is putting into the exhibition.

down the road

Down the road from the fairytale gardens (2011)

Black and white photograph on 220gsm lustre paper, mounted and framed | Framed size 600mm by 440mm | Edition of 3 prints.

A walk down memory lane, this image is a homage to those who, for whatever reason, failed  to prosper in a seemingly nourishing environment. The dead tree is uncomfortably juxtaposed with the peaceful glade and the channel of light that symbolises hope. The image was taken in a nature park in my hometown in Germany.



Enigma (2014)

Composite photographic print mounted floating on layers of black paper. | Framed size 330mm x 330mm | Edition of 3 prints

A very personal description of a typical German baby boomer conundrum: the riddle of our parents’ generation’s inability to trust and communicate. It interweaves my mother’s Red Cross Helper’s badge with a well-used page of her cookbook. The swastika emblem on the rim of the badge painfully alludes to an undisclosed past negating the caring symbolism of the image. The red cross is placed on it’s side to look like an x in an official stamp, which loudly declares the key message of my parent’s generation: “Don’t ask!”

from a distance

From a distance (2016)

Mixed Media. | Dimensions 390mm x 390mm

Impossible and inconclusive ponderings on the refugee crisis in Europe from a distance. The white raft is approaching the rigid mainland and breaking its boundaries.

With this work I returned to my favorite symbol of ambiguity – the saltire (x). Depending on the viewpoint, it can mean “x marks the spot” like on a treasure map or it might mean “no entry”

absolutely for and totally againstt

Absolutely for or totally against it (2016)

Acrylic paint on wood | Size 295mm by 163mm

The work is a reminder of the possible and peaceful coexistence of conflicting opinions about the same issue. Concurrently, the thin separating line and parallel tracks stipulate the impossibility of converging these differing notions, even in the future.


accordion player

This is another shot from the opening. I love these two. They look like they have been playing together forever. But no, it was an impromptu performance. The man on the left is Fred and the little guy is one of John Rew’s puppets. The hand at the top belongs to John. I will have to write about him another time. He did these amazing puppet circus performances on the day. He is such a diehard puppeteer… While on break from the circus performances his puppets still mingled with the audience.

I was meant to write something about the Festival of Performing Objects. The Festival is really well received and we get a lot of attention. We even got a little write-up in THE art magazine of New Zealand. So I am taking the short-cut again and just publish what they have published.



FoPO Exhibition-4

The Festival of Performing Objects is opening tomorrow. It is an all day event for me. We have Market Day from 11am to 2pm with buskers and market stalls and puppet making for kids. Then later from 3:30 to 5:30 we have the exhibition opening with the artists attending. It was a very busy week setting up the exhibition, but Kim and I are very excited and pleased with the outcome. It looks amazing! As far as we know it is the biggest collection of puppets in New Zealand since the 1980s. What an achievement.

The picture shows Dragon by Norbert Hausberg, a Wellingtonian puppeteer with 30 years experience. Unfortunately, we only have his puppets as he himself is otherwise engaged. But his puppets are certainly something!

wooden spoons

At the Festival of Performing Objects we are going to have a Kid’s zone in the Gallery and we hope that the little visitors will take to an impromptu play. I bought a packet of googly eyes for $2 at the Salvation Army Shop, and the wooden spoons in the Everything-is-50%- off-sale at the 2-Dollar-Shop. My ethical conscience is cringing at the price, but as I am living on flour and water at the moment, I told it to shut up! For my workshops I usually make a trip to the North Shore Resource Centre to get material. This is a really good volunteer organisation that my friend Cath put me on to. They collect leftovers, recycled or surplus material and you can get a big bag of all sorts of goodies to create puppets (or other artworks) for a dirt cheap price.  The most expensive part of these characters are the squishy noses made from disposable ear plugs. Unfortunately, they only had orange ones in the hardware store.

Anyway, I got carried away embellishing them. The idea was that the wooden spoons should be really simple so that they are easy to clean. Ah well, the handles are still easy to wipe down and that is where you hold them.


lil princess and naughty boy

Since Lil’ Piggy and Farmer John were sold so quickly, the manager of the gallery asked me to bring some more puppets in. I like to keep them in pairs so they can tell a good story and I hope they find a new home together. When I told the manager I brought Lil’Princess and Naughty Boy along, she replied without looking, “Oh, I know those two”. Yes, I am sure they can tell a story!


When I went to Waiheke last week to look at the space for the upcoming exhibition, I had a new idea. It is more a display than an exhibition. The space is very limited. Don’t get me wrong, the Dedes don’t care. They want to be seen, but I have to select which ones I will show and how many. I don’t think I can have more than eight or ten. However, while I was there, I thought, small space, smaller Dedes! And immediately I envisaged finger puppets with a simple cloth body where the fingertip of the thumb and the middelfinger can be the hands of the puppet. Of course I wanted to see if it works and spent the weekend making these Lil’Dedes. They are not as elaborate as the real Dedes, but they are still cute.

I won’t give them names and they won’t appear on the blog much, though of course they would lend themselves to a film called “Paleface and the Seven Lil’dedes”, a rendition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Now I am getting carried away…

Anyway, this is Lil’Mouse, the first of the finger puppets and she is a very special one. I will give her to my friend who made the black robes for the Dedes. Lil’Mouse is basically a bribe, so my friend will make the dresses for the Lil’Dedes as well. Hope it works :)

twofaced2 copy

Two-faced and I are starting to get worried. The Dedes seem to have too much fun at the Gallery and we feel a bit left out. They definitely wooed the staff. Each of the Dedes tried to adopt a staff member, but there weren’t enough staff members to go round, so only a few got lucky. I will have a hard time convincing them to come home with me next week.

Here is a link to the Gallery’s blog, so you can see what mischief they are getting up to :)


Last week I was interviewed by the local newspaper and the article appeared today. I have to say, the journalist captured the essence brilliantly.

I just re-publish the article here.

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