Archives for posts with tag: images


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.


closet maid

The other day I installed a clothes rail in my art cupboard. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the two bits that hold the rail. Aren’t they happy?

nuddy swim

So, Lil’Dede Mole has taken off with all the robes. This was a real blow for the Dedes and needs to be investigated. They have now become so accustomed to their clothes that they feel extremely self-conscious without their proper attire. But for now nothing could be done about it so they wondered what else they could do on hot summer’s day. Well, you can go for a swim in the nuddy they thought, and off they went to the beach. Unfortunately, what looked like an inviting sparkling blue ocean turned out to be a sea of plastic. “No birds here either” said Clown disappointed. This has to be investigated too.

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Monkey was intrigued by Loudmouth’s experience and being such a ‘me-too’ puppet he wanted to meet his doppelgänger as well. Out he ventured into the garden, though the best place to find a monkey is in the jungle. He searched for the thickest growth. Luckily I was there and could prevent him from taking to it with a machete. You can imagine his disappointment when I told him he was actually sitting between the lettuce and the tomato plants in the vege patch. He scratched his head and then his eyes lit up. “Ah, I know where I have seen my doppelgänger. Follow me!” And with these words he ran into the house, straight into the bathroom and blew kisses at the mirror. “No, this is your reflection,” I lectured him. I could see his frustration. “This must be it then,” he said and pointed to the cup from dededesign zazzle store.”Please do me a favour and look up what dopplegänger actually means!” I said, before he could grab a pen and draw his face on something.


I though I’d share this page from the Artstation Term 2 Programme with you. It promotes my upcoming course. Kit Lawrence, the photographer,  has captured the essence of my art extremely well. Being a puppet artist suits me to a T. I love being in the background and happy for the puppets to have the limelight. They are such amazing creative tools. To be honest, the only difference between an object and a puppet is imagination. For me personally, having a sound imagination is extremly helpful in navigating modern life.


fat legs clipping

The local rag did an article on the film. I guess this is another milestone. Note, Lizzie has the wrong head, she looks really scared here. She will have a bit of a break for now, while I work with the new munchkins.

foxy exhausted

Thank God it’s Friday. At least that is what Foxy Lady seems to think. We have to give the little printing press back today. So Foxy Lady was frantic all week, day and night, coming up with promotional material and printing flyers. It is starting to pay off, slowly but surely. However, the poor little thing is totally exhausted now. I am not surprised.

Sidekick, the alien, was very keen helping Foxy Lady in the beginning, but the novelty wore off quickly and he wandered off home. Cath O’Brien has send me this image of her creation. He must have felt pretty smug about his achievements last week.



Why did I start the year with a picture of ducks?

I want to tell you a story that has kept me pondering since Christmas and I can’t solve the riddle about what life is trying to tell me here, and what the moral of the story is supposed to be.

When we went to the farm this Christmas, the ducklings had hatched. Fourteen of them. By the time we arrived there were only eleven left. Three disappeared during the night without trace. The next night was fine, the family was okay, but the following night the numbers were decimated, leaving five, and the day after Boxing Day all the ducklings were all gone. Isn’t that sad? I look at their lovely mellow faces, so content and clueless. Oh, dear!

But this is not the end of the story. While the duck and the drake had a full nest of eggs, the old chick in the pen next to the ducks tried to brood some eggs as well, but to no avail. The whole affair was rather doomed, as there is no rooster about. Still, she was sitting on these duds for ages, not wanting to admit defeat.  Luckily the duck had actually laid sixteen eggs, but wasn’t big enough to cover all of them. So two were given to the old hen. The dud eggs were replaced and the hen continued sitting on the duck eggs instead. Sure enough, when time came, these ducklings hatched as well though they shouldn’t be called ducklings, but rather chicklings. Mother hen was clucking around them and like every good mother tried to teach them all she knew about life. Like how to scatch for food (pretty difficult with webbed feet) or having a sand bath. While a couple of feet away the duck family was happily paddling ab0ut in the plastic pond. At night though, the chicken took the chicklings under her wings and that is how they survived. I wonder at what point they will find out that they are not chickens and whether they can survive life with the experience that is handed down to them by their surrogate mother. I certainly hope that the story has an equally happy ending like in the fairy tale by H C Anderson: The Ugly Duckling.

caL_mel yarra

Yes, Calamity and I are back from our short stint in Melbourne. You might wonder why we didn’t update you while we were there. Well, there’s two reasons: firstly I don’t own a smart phone and secondly there was absolutely no time to.

This little trip will be covered by a few post. There is so much food for thought and more and more stuff is emerging. Today I will only give you a brief run-down on what happened over the three days.

Friday we had to get up at 5am in the morning to catch the flight. It’s not my favourite time of the day, I can tell you! But it is amazing how much energy excitement can rustle up (Excitement is a puppet I don’t have yet!). It didn’t take long for Calamity to start embarrassing me. He showed up at the airport with a plastic bag for his spare robe and a large piece of bubble wrap as an extra blanket. Can you believe it? Doesn’t he know how to travel in style?

cal_mel leaving

He could have at least borrowed Mouse’s little pink suitcase. He said Mouse offered it to him but he didn’t want to be seen dead with pink. An exchange of words between us ensued which ended only when he wrapped himself up in his bubble wrap and rolled into the big plastic bag so he couldn’t hear me anymore.

Anyway, we arrived in Melbourne mid morning. This gave us the entire day together, as the course started at 6pm that night. I instantly fell in love with the city. It has such an amazing arty feel to it and it is just brilliant how you can get around by public transport. To top it all off, the weather gods blessed us with a mild, spring-like day. We just couldn’t get enough of looking around and taking in all the people and places. Calamity, though, felt a tad self-conscious. He had this nagging feeling people were staring at him. I had a hard time convincing him it was all in his mind.


But I think he never really believed me.

At night I went to the course. It was a weekend puppeteering course run by Gary Friedman, who is a very experienced puppeteer and holds courses all over the world nowadays. In the late eighties he was the instigator of “Puppets against Aids” in South Africa, followed by other educational projects such as “Puppets for Democracy” and “Puppets against Corruption”. If you are into puppets, his blog  Puppetry News is a treasure trove to rummage through. He also has a face book page, which he says is updated more regularly.

The course was brilliant, really worthwhile. I’ve learned heaps. It was very intense and started off on Friday night with the introduction followed by two days of full-on puppeteering.  I will write about the course tomorrow, but I can tell you, by Sunday night I was eeex-haaaaausted! Two full days without downtime makes my engine splutter big time.

Last night we had just enough time for a quick dinner before we had to head back to the airport and we arrived in Auckland at 5:20 this morning totally shattered.

But back to Calamity in Melbourne. On Saturday he was to explore the city by himself. Unfortunately, the weather had packed in and he couldn’t take many pictures. He hasn’t tired telling me of the wonderful time he had and how much he enjoyed himself. It’s a pity there aren’t any photos to prove it. I have yet to see one of Calamity with a smile on his face.

Of course Calamity was curious about the workshop and pestered me all Saturday night to get me to take him with me on Sunday. He was adamant he had seen everything there was to see in Melbourne anyway. Yeah right!  He is really annoying when he wants something badly and I caved in and took him. The verdict is still out about whether this was a good idea or not. I will tell you about this later as well.

For now I have to catch up on some sleep!