AUT art sale celebrates 8th year

BY Anuja Nadkarni

17/05/15

Art enthusiasts gathered to view and shop for original pieces by Kiwi artists at the eighth annual AUT Original Art Sale last weekend.

Featuring work from more than 300 New Zealand artists, the three-day event attracted hundreds of people, starting with a gala night on May 14 at the Vodafone Events Centre.

The exhibition, touted as one of Auckland’s largest art markets, was laid out in a supermarket format, which enabled people to shop for artwork “off the rack”, Art Sale manager Sherrin White said.

“Since it’s [the artwork] constantly changing it confuses some people because they have a walk about and when they come back the piece is gone. You’ve got to be quick!”

Mrs White has been part of the event since it began in 2007 and says it has grown with every passing year.

The event seems to have become a platform for artists to experiment with their creativity, she said.

“It’s always exciting. Some artists do things one year and the next year you think they haven’t entered anything, but you find out that actually they’ve done something totally different.”

According to the event’s website there were more than 1200 entries from various artists, including students from AUT and several secondary schools.

At the gala night, 17-year-old Katherine Yang from Academic Colleges Group (ACG) won first prize for her piece Hysteria.

The self-taught artist said her artwork was a critique of “female hysteria” that she said was once used by doctors to diagnose any physical and mental deviances in behaviour by women.

Miss Yang said this was the first time she participated in the event and was “fascinated” by the supermarket concept.

“Art has no tangible value apart from the wood, the paint, the time – they’re pure purchases of pleasure.”

Another self-taught artist who showcased her work was Valerie Subritzky, who paints under the pseudonym Valenzky.

Ms Subritzky said the concept of the art sale is a great way for buyers to see multiple pieces by artists.

“It’s fantastic! You also get criticised but I don’t mind – at least people are talking about it.”

All artwork, created with a range of media including mixed media, was by emerging Kiwi artists and ranged in price from $100 to $5,000.

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The Great Wall of Kingsland

BY Anuja Nadkarni

29/03/15

A novel project by Kingsland residents has turned a big dull grey wall in the neighbourhood into a bold piece of artwork.

Last Sunday, the residents celebrated the official opening of the revamped flyover wall on Bright St.

The local residents-led project, called ‘The Wall on the Bright Side’, invited designs from several artists, and Kate Millington’s ‘Kowhai-Butterfly’ mural design was chosen to grace the wall.

“It was hard work. You had to keep yourself together, be nice to each other when we didn’t feel like it at times, but just had to do it and we got through it – and that’s the sign of a good community,” Ms Millington said.

The aim of the project was not only to transform the wall into an attractive piece of art but also to deter taggers and make the tunnel that connects Bright St to New North Rd safer, she said.

At least 80 people gathered on the day, according to the project’s Facebook page.

Albert-Eden Local Board member Helga Arlington said the project has brought “people out of their homes and finally speaking to each other”.

“The wall before was a complete eye-sore – now it looks so beautiful,” Mrs Arlington said.

The idea was pitched last year to the Albert-Eden Local Board, which supported the idea and offered a $2000 grant, but local resident Lyn Barnes raised a further sum to bring it all together.

“It was great to see all of the neighbourhood come to the bright side… And the best part is all the graffiti boys seem to respect the mural,” Ms Barnes said.

Residents from neighbouring streets also joined the event, which began with a few words by former Waitakere City Mayor Sir Bob Harvey, who spoke about being a former Bright St resident.

Thousands march against deep sea drilling

BY ANUJA NADKARNI

29/03/15

Thousands of activists marched through downtown Auckland on March 29 to protest against deep sea oil drilling.

Protestors assembled at Victoria Park before starting their march to the SkyCity convention centre beating drums and chanting “frack off”.

The Advantage New Zealand Petroleum Summit was being held at the convention centre and Energy Minister Simon Bridges was one of the speakers at the event.

Greenpeace senior climate campaigner Simon Boxer said the protest is an on-going global movement and that the people would not stop until the Government listens.

“The Government still wants international companies to come to New Zealand and do very risky deep sea oil drilling. We saw five years ago in the Gulf of Mexico – one accident is enough to devastate a whole area for a very long time.”

Hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ is a way of extracting fossil fuels through deep water drilling, which has prompted protests in California, Algeria and Britain in the past month.

According to Greenpeace’s Facebook page, about 6000 people attended the march.

Mr Boxer said New Zealand should follow countries like Germany and Japan who are going for “clean energy”, like wind and solar power.

He said the risks associated with deep sea oil drilling to New Zealand marine life are too big for the Government to not take action.

There are only 55 Maui dolphins remaining, according to the Department of Conservation.

Marcher Jo Bates said her message to the executives at the convention centre was to “reconsider corporate greed for the benefit of the planet and people”.

“It’s profit over environment,” Ms Bates said.

A report released last year by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) said 10 permits were granted to explore New Zealand waters for oil drilling.

The report also said conservation areas are not auctioned off and organisations only receive permits once local iwi and councils have been consulted.

Len Brown: “the city needs more investment”

BY ANUJA NADKARNI

23/03/15

Mayor Len Brown is promising more cycle lanes, rail links and busses to accommodate Auckland’s growing population.

Auckland’s population is growing by “1.5 to 2 per cent a year,” says Mr Brown.

Mr Brown says the government has not invested enough money into transport for the super city.

“We’ve always under invested in Auckland… and I’m saying now is the time to actually stop this nonsense.

“The more we invest, the more people get on it.”

To accommodate the growing city, the mayor says the council is looking to support the $30 million investment by the Government to reach 1000 cycle lanes within the city.

Mr Brown says the only way to create greater investment is through road tax or regional petrol tax.

60 per cent of Aucklanders are willing to pay the $2 motorway toll in light of better transport for the super city so far.

Having the motorway toll will not only raise money but also force people to consider other options of transport, Mr Brown says.

“Whether they decide to go on the motorway or whether they get off, get on a bike or walk, or get on public transport. It helps de-congest.

The mayor says the investments have lead to a million extra city rail trips a year for 80 per cent of the city’s rail networks.

Mr Brown promises that once the city’s rail link finishes, which he hopes is within four years, there will be up to 35 million trips per year.

Nation’s fashion capital to get makeover.

By Anuja Nadkarni

10/03/15

Auckland University’s new campus on Khyber Pass Rd will bring a fresh focus on hospitality services to Newmarket, adding to its fashion image.

Following the completion of parts of the campus late last year, the Newmarket Business Association is looking at rebranding the industrial and commercial hub.

The suburb is looking to add hospitality and restaurant culture to its “glamorous” fashion image, says Margaret Mateo, marketing and events coordinator for the association.

“We don’t want to be known just as the fashion capital,” she says.

The association dubbed Newmarket the nation’s “fashion capital” in 2005, when its growing number of retail store members decided the suburb needed to be seen as more than just a convenient traffic junction.

The mix between the Westfield Mall and little boutique stores provides “the best of both worlds” for any shopping enthusiast, says Alina Tahoe, Recycle Boutique sales assistant.

Ms Tahoe says the increased traffic as a result of the new campus will help drive forward the image the suburb wants to create.

“The whole idea is that you can work here, shop here, play here and now study here.”

The campus, which is located at the former Lion Breweries site on Khyber Pass Road, is part of the university’s long-term development plan.

The university’s website says 200 staff and students moved to the new facility last October and more people from the engineering and science faculties are due to relocate in the year.

The man behind the ‘Humans of Queen Street’

An interview with Mike Wheelton

By Anuja Nadkarni

Mike Wheelton

What inspired you to start your website, did the Humans of New York play a part? 

I started my website before I knew about it (Humans of New York)…I got a new camera, and couldn’t work for some personal reasons, so I started taking photographs and then I realized with the more photographs I took, the ones that I liked were of the street people and people around Auckland. I found I got enough photos, if I kept my eyes open and my criteria was to find interesting people.
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Follow up with event coordinator Bevan + NZ herald feature, weekly question

Bevan had offered a followup interview incase there were any questions I had missed on the day. Today I decided to take up her offer as I did have a couple questions I wanted an answer to. The questions were how much the vendors are charged to set up their stalls as Bevan only mentioned that they are not charged full price but didn’t explain what the normal price would be. Also I wanted to ask her why the ‘wash against waste concept is used’ as opposed to using recyclable disposable cutlery that many food stalls and markets use- as the wash against waste concept has been criticised. The other questions I wanted to ask were about the Wise Women circle as well as if she was still the market coordinator of the event.

I decided to contact her through her cell phone, which I had successfully contacted her through before, however today when I tried, the number was no longer allocated to her phone as her network provider mentioned. The recent media attention she has received in relation to Auckland Mayor Len Brown may place me in a difficult situation to have a successful follow up with Bevan Chuang. Bevan Chuang has had very recent news coverage about her personal relations with Mayor Len Brown.

I contacted Auckland Council however, and they told me that the person in charge of the New Lynn night market is still Bevan Chuang.

This week’s question is “What does your photos/video add to your news story and your story telling?”

Video and photos add an interactive level to the blog. The viewer not only gets to read about the story but also see things about the story. In my case the video interview I did with Bevan had a very successful response. Due to the current media blowout regarding the admitted affair between Bevan Chuang and Mayor Len Brown, my video interview received further significance as it was perhaps the last media coverage of Bevan Chuang since the news broke.

One of my video interviews that I had uploaded on my YouTube page has been put up on the  video section of the New Zealand Herald website which can be found here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_cid=1&gallery_id=138459

Photos and videos add dimension to the story and allow for better understanding of the story, as the features may provide for more relatibility.