How – and why – does life sometimes manage to get so busy?! The photo below is of a place which is truly timeless, both in the sheer beauty of the dramatic landscape, and because it’s a place where all sense of time disappears, just you and immenseness of the land, the crashing surf, the sun on your skin and the sea breeze. A complete contrast to the previous post here on foldedcranes, getting lost in the wonder of an untouched edge of the land like this one is an ideal balance to the bustle of life in the city. Capturing it in a photo – and being able to take it home with you, to get lost in, every once in a while, is a great thing to be able to do, too.
Photo by CIA at Te Henga – Bethells Beach, West Auckland, New Zealand, March 2013.
Public spaces like this – which are beautiful both by day, and night, should be encouraged, in our increasingly urbanised planet.
A pretty place to be, I think you will agree. Recently, I learnt that the square was designed by visionary Wellington architect Ian Athfield, whose brilliant and sometimes odd work scatters the city (seek, and you shall find Athfield creations in Wellington’s many corners!), enriching the urban landscape. I don’t think I will ever tire of the eclectic mish-mash of buildings, old and new, which shouldn’t work together but somehow do, interesting public art, patches of soft green space, around a fully accessible multi-level square, crowned by Neil Dawson’s wonderful sculpture, Ferns. I love to spot Ferns’ shadow, at different times of the day as it dances around the space. Whether I am passing through en route home, or sitting leisurely on a bench in the sun (or, let’s face it, wind!), Wellington’s Civic Square is a fitting heart to the city which I am thankful for.
– Photo by CIA, Wellington Civic Square, March 2013. Around the square from left to right: Wellington Town Hall and Civic Chambers, The Majestic Centre (tall tower in the background), Wellington City Library, and the City Gallery.
Something we miss about Europe is the feeling of turning a corner, and seeing something medieval.
Dom Toren, Utrecht, at night
Photo by CIA, Utrecht, the night before we left the Netherlands. What is it about where you are (or where you were, or where you want to be) that makes it special?
These window-shutters – spotted during the course of our meanderings in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, earlier this year – take the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ to a new level. In fact, they weren’t the only heart-shaped window decoration I spied in Switzerland during our first trip there together this past May.
Perhaps the Swiss figure that putting a little more love out into the world can only be a good thing?
Photo by CIA, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, May 2012.
Tui, looking south, Mt Victoria Lookout
Tui, looking north, Mt Victoria Lookout
Photos by PJD, Mt Victoria, Wellington
Oddooki by Seung Yul Oh, Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008
Back in 2008, on the Sculpture Terrace of New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, overlooking the sparkling turquoise ripple of Wellington harbour, PJD, Occasionally Travelled and I ran into some Oddooki (see photo at left). “What are Oddooki?”, you might well ask, as we did, that sunny day. Well, Oddooki are the creation of Auckland-based (until recently!), Korean-born multimedia artist Seung Yul Oh, and they are fun, they are playful, they are everything that interactive sculpture should be, and they are surprising.
Oddooki sketch by Seung Yul Oh, Te Papa Tongarewa
Egg-shaped birds, sculpted in high-sheen vivacious colours, Oddooki are eye-catching and engaging. Give an Oddooki a little push, it will roll from side to side, making a gentle chiming noise as it does. Oddooki have endured in each of our minds since we found them that day, and they remain some of the most interesting and innovative sculpture that we have seen. Definitely, sculpture for enjoyment and access by all ages. So, it was with great excitement that PJD and Occasionally Travelled last week checked out some new Oddooki, on show in Auckland at the Gus Fischer Gallery.
A lot of people go to Luzern (or, Lucerne, for the Francophones) to see the famous wooden bridge (Kapellbrücke). And indeed, we saw the bridge…but Luzern has other things to offer the intrepid explorer. Not that much exploring is necessary. The directions were clear.
Luzern is an old city, strategically located, surrounded by its lake, and mountains. The city quickly developed an independent identity, and as with all medieval cities with an independent identity, it quickly established a need for walls. The canton of Luzern was one of the original members of the Eternal Swiss Confederacy, and its importance as a trade centre meant that it has long been an important regional hub, a role that continues today. Of course, such cities are often the focus of rivals, seeking greater influence, and it is Luzern’s city walls which we climbed to on this beautifully sunny Swiss day.
In the weeks leading up to Wellington’s most recent world premiere, I was getting pretty excited, to be part of the spectacle (as a spectator!) and to soak up the atmosphere of the whole “Wellywood” celebration. But then work decided to rain on my parade and notify me that I would be needed in Auckland on the day of the premiere. What?! Nooooo! Disappointing, sure, but at least I got to experience it vicariously via PJD’s most excellent coverage here on foldedcranes. Seeing the way the city got into the spirit of the occasion and the joie de vivre shown by the city’s people has had me reflecting (from afar, up the island!) on what a truly lovely city Wellington is, and these photos, taken during the course of a long walk that we took together last weekend up Mount Victoria (one of the best vantage points from which to view the city panorama – and incidentally, a Lord of the Rings location site!), are a reminder that Wellington has a whole lot more going for it than just the odd world premiere or two. But those sure are cool, when they do happen. So, keep bringing it on Wellington, the world’s coolest little capital city for sure.
Halfway up Mount Victoria – looking towards Oriental Bay
Picnic in the long-grass? – further up Mount Victoria, looking towards Newtown, Brooklyn
At the summit – looking towards our compact little city
Look at that harbour! Beautiful.
Photos by CIA, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 November 2012.
There’s more to the Middle of Middle-Earth than Hobbit-related paraphernalia and activities. So, to continue our series of found street art, here’s some graffiti from the skate park nearby. A little Middle-Earth graffiti I guess…