I don’t sew, but…

I had a great conversation this morning with Colleen, one of our technicians at college. We talked about the textile art stuff I did years ago, and what she does etc. It reminded me that although I don’t sew, thread and needles and fabrics are a big part of who I am.

When I say I don’t sew, I mean I don’t sew curtains or clothes or anything that requires straight lines or precise corners, unless it is art. I like to use my old Bernina, with the feed dog down and the foot off. Together we whiz our way, through paper, card, all kinds of fabrics, tomato puree tubes, you name it! I enjoy recycling stuff, adding layers to it’s life, and more words to it’s narrative. Even if the original is painted over, it is still there, and that matters to me. There is much more to history than we can see.

The previous sentence reminds me of another talk I had today with Klaasz, one of our tutors. I had an idea for a series of screen-printed T-shirts, for the Identity project. It was inspired by my thoughts of everyone else defining me. The concept was to have a silhouette of myself surround by images of others, other parts of my life, so that in effect, the images were defining my outline. The silhouette would be left unprinted. This series would slowly have the empty space that was me, fill up with new things about me as I discover them. I chose T-shirts because they are something most of us wear, and we also use them to identify ourselves, and what we believe in.

Anyway after talking to Klaasz, I think I have decided not to go ahead with that idea. I have somehow lost all the notes I made last week, they are in none of my sketchbooks or notebooks, so I am going to find them and go through all of my ideas and make a decision by tomorrow. We only have 3-4 weeks left and in that time we have to present stuff and do the PowerPoint etc.

I have my other courses just about in order I think… although I have the exhibition for Professional Practice and my seminar presentation for Visual Culture 3 to think about, and then there are two essays… de dum de dum de da…..

On that note, I will leave you with an image from my ‘learning to draw’ digital sketchbook…!


by raggedpoet



Looking Forward…

Tomorrow we have to show the PowerPoint presentation… it is ready… just! Jemarve and I did it between us, he is great at the animated stuff, and he made the most *AWESOME* 3D model of our building in Google Sketch. I just finished adding the final touches and getting the colours all in theme.

I have never been a fan of PowerPoint and I wish we could use Prezi or stop motion video for presentations, but maybe I just need to get better at this Microsoft stuff.

In the meantime I have been thinking about the next group project, (Light Nelson), and I have ideas brewing already. Something I would really like to do, with Leigh and whoever else wants to play. If it can’t fit into a group theme, I may propose it on my own…

Oh and I believe that we start a new individual project tomorrow… *EXCITED* !

Here is a shot from last year’s Light Nelson.





The Angel of the Broken-down Shack

I have a lovely old and dilapidated shack on my property… and as the iron I put on the roof to protect it, blew off in a gale, I decided it needed more powerful protection.

So…I summoned up some magic, raised my face to the heavens, and had a wee chat with Cecil Collins, a dead artist I am rather keen on. With the help of his “Angel of the Flowing Light’, my shack was blessed. Thanks Cecil.


Angel of the Flowing Light by Cecil Collins (1968)

Photography by Ragged Poet.



Man becomes mural…

While in the throes of finishing the project on time, I forgot to post about this guy. He photographs people in Banksy poses, acting out Banksy images. Hows that for Postmodern! It actually raises the question of identity, and what makes us who we are.
Identity is our next project, so it gives some food for thought.

Nick Stern/BanksyImage copyright Nick Stern

Do We Need Art?

I found this article  entitled  Art makes You Smart, on the New York Times website. It is written  by Brian Kisida, Jay P. Greene and Daniel H. Bowen, and  discusses how art can challenge us with a different perspective on the human condition.

I think this underlines why we need more art and creative pursuits in schools. I was shocked, when I found out that often in schools, art is something that they only fit in if they have time. Really our education system needs to step up in so many ways.

24GRAYsub-articleLargeImage retrieved from New York Times website 10/3/2014

Dreams Cancelled

I found this article on the World Crunch website, – another of life’s crazy paradoxes. In a nutshell; street artists beautify poor urban areas with their murals and graffiti. The street art attracts more artists and cool types. The area becomes trendy, and the buildings with all the art that drew people in the first place, get smashed down to built homes for the rich!


487545_566122590074215_444922006_nImage retrieved from Banksy’s Facebook page on 8/3/2014

Group Happenings…

Our mural group started with five members. On the second day there were only four, and now we are down to three. With the people issues, and because I am doubled up class wise on Mondays, it hasn’t been an easy project at all. But we have worked on and I have grown some spectacular bags under my eyes by staying up until the wee hours everyday. It feels that we finally have gotten somewhere in the last two days.

The wall was chosen before I joined, but it’s a good wall, and thankfully, given the shortage of people and time, it is small and manageable. We looked at the features and the surroundings and then measured and photographed the wall, and brainstormed some ideas.


We all agreed on giving another perspective to the  pedestrians walking towards this wall, and because of the cracks in the wall itself we thought about a hole, with another world beyond. This will hopefully change the visual, and mental perception of the viewer. This shows there are other possibilities, changes to be made, and beauty to be experienced for free.

We liked the idea of two ordinary workmen breaking through the wall, and leading the pedestrian into another view. Having one of the workmen step out of the scene helps to bring the viewer towards it. Roxy drew the workmen and then we chose to make them in a black and white stencil effect. so as not to detract from the view beyond the wall. Also we wanted to show that ordinary people, especially workmen who are often the target of a grumbling public, can change the city, as much as a council official can.

The scene beyond the wall is another part of our concept, that of bringing the outside in, the mountains and hills around our city and the gorgeous South Island rivers. It is a celebration of the beauty of New Zealand and the fact that we are never too far from that beauty, even in an urban area. The scene appears to flow out from the hole in the wall at the bottom, because that is how nature is. Nature wants to grow and flourish, and sometimes it is hard to stop it. This is highlighted by the tiny pink flower that we found growing out of the wall. The flower was actually a big part of our inspiration.

Having a katare, (New Zealand native kingfisher), as part of the mural was Adri’s wonderful inspiration. When we were playing with it in Photoshop I liked the idea of it appearing to be flying out of the view beyond the wall and into Hardy Street. This adds to the three dimensional effect. And yes… it is larger than life, because nature is larger than life and bigger than us!

I took the drawings of the scene and the workmen and played around with them on a photo of the wall that I took recently. We had to make a decision today, as much time has been wasted and we only have a week left. So, this is what we have decided on…

Drum roll please…


I had the idea of adding fragments of broken mirror to the water flowing in the river to give the mural some movement and life. The mirrors will catch the light and give a moving water effect, but this is hard to illustrate in Photoshop. I did make a mirror fragment brush but I had to leave the Mac lab quickly because of a class, so I may try and get it and experiment on Thursday if I have time.

I did half of the PowerPoint last night, and this evening I did costings. I am now looking at theorists, and urban art. Jemarve has been looking at some other mural artists, apart from Banksy, who inspired the stenciled figures. We are meeting later in the week to put our group proposal together and to finalise the PowerPoint. Jemarve is doing his part of the PowerPoint this evening, and he has made a fantastic three dimensional model of our building in Google Sketch.

So, now for all the other bits… and hopefully we will be all ready by Tuesday to do our presentation. Group work is so challenging. The worst part is that everything seems to take ten times longer, and there seems to be a lot more work than if you were working alone. It has been a valuable learning experience though. I think the most important lessons I have learned, are to get ideas thrashed out very early on in the process and to ensure that everyone knows their task. Having said that, I still think we did very well in the circumstances, and everyone pulled their weight.

Photographs and Photoshopping by Bobby. Drawings of workmen, and scene beyond the wall by Roxy.

Hey Johnny…

So there you are, walking along Hardy Street, feeling a bit down and pretty much imprisoned in Plato’s cave and woohoo…

‘Is that really Johnny Depp walking towards me out of that wall? And the White Rabbit…Oh, yes Alice, I don’t mind if I do…’


Ok well, maybe not Alice, but I like the whole, down the rabbit holes idea :) I quite like how the people in my photo were all interested in a photographing the blank wall for our project, and their reactions fit in totally with the Alice mural spoof. I like to see how people react with street art, which is something I would like to explore in this project.

‘Alice’ image from Alice in Wonderland movie, directed by Tim Burton.

ROA comes to town…

Belgium artist, ROA, has been hard at work in Nelson. A couple of local businessmen raised 10,000 dollars to bring the well known street artist to our city. We now have three huge critters around the city. You can see the squid and the seal from the third floor window of G Block and NMIT!.

There was an article in the Nelson Mail about ROA’s visit to the sunny city.

I took these photos on a walk around town this week.

This squid is on the side of the Hangar 58 building, there is a seal next to it. Very impressive even from a distance.

SquidThis laid back penguin, is on Bridge Street, I like him best.



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

This lab full of brand new Macs is totally gorgeous, to this particular beholder…