Brick Bay

Today’s edition of Sunday Drives Around Auckland took us an hour north to Brick Bay Winery and Sculpture Trail. It was recommended to us by Alicia and was totally worth the trip.

We got there about 10:30 AM, but the restaurant was (supposedly) all booked up (although it never really seemed full). Nonetheless, we got seated outside and had a great lunch and a glass of the local cépage.

Then we paid the extra ten bucks to take the sculpture walk. There are almost 70 works of art along maybe two miles of path.

At first, I did pretty well at predicting the descriptions in the explanatory brochure. For the red folly above I got the dual nature of concealing and providing a vantage point. I got the juxtaposition of the natural and man made worlds, easy. Art words are a lot like wine words… you don’t have to have a lot of verifiable meaning. In fact, the less the better.

But soon enough i had to admit defeat. The brochure writer was clearly operating at a high level: the exploration of negative space flowed effortlessly into a field of dynamic energy, all framed by references to indigenous culture. The sublime was suggested in form, colour and movement, where I only saw one of those triangle snake toys you buy in the educational section.

There were sublime moments, like the medieval music projected into a grove of trees. My brain filled up rapidly, and by the end it was the work that subverted art world norms and challenged the viewers notions blah blah blah that I most enjoyed.

Including the kitchen sink

Yesterday we went to the big (biggest in Auckland??) Sunday market at the old Avondale racetrack. It’s part flea market and part produce / farmers market.

It was super crowded, and as white, English-speaking people we were definitely in the minority. But in ways that are hard to describe it didn’t feel like you’re gonna get your pocket picked or otherwise molested. Nice friendly New Zealand. There was some jostling… there’s a certain type of mostly elderly person who just wants to get their shopping done RIGHT NOW!

We invested in one of those little rolling carts that you use to go to and from the market and bought some veggies and tasty steamed pork buns.

Mosaic mosey

In glass class yesterday the teachers were talking about the exhibition of mosaics they’d been to the night before. So we decided to check it out for our Saturday afternoon outing.

It was held in Orewa, a sleepy-but-growing beach town situated right about at the limit of acceptable commuting distance from Auckland. The broad beach was gorgeous, with just enough waves for kids to have fun and try their hands at tame surfing. We did a little op-shop shopping, had a good meal in a cafe on the strand, and then walked to the exhibit.

We didn’t know “doing mosaics” was even a thing, much less a thing with its own juried National Exhibition… but it is. There were separate categories for 2-D and 3-D art, and a lot of really cool stuff on display.

A lot of the pieces had a strong element of fun, even while showing off a lot of craftsmanship. We could both imagine ourselves enjoying doing some mosaics… or at least imagine ourselves spending hundreds of dollars on glass and tiles and tools and patterns and…