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During the early 1980s I visited the Govett-Brewster often. I have done so regularly, at least annually, since. Today’s visit is a little perplexing. I feel a tad out of the loop. Murray Hewitt’s works are interesting though Untitled (2007) and Spin works (2008) seem pedantic to me – Weeping Waters – I like along with – and I visit the strip mall at Waiwhakaiho (The Valley) to see it – 21 (2008). How I interpret this is beyond me – at present. Suffice to say after hearing many stories of Mitre 10 Mega store – there are apparently twenty-one about the rohe – my first visit to one – is well most captivating – it is huge. Kim Paton’s lichen-like instalation The Wal Mart Effect (2008) on ‘c deck’ is mmm. I just start thinking about the vibrancy of Taranaki and how much I am enjoying being here. Len Lye, of course, but so little. I am sure I can hear, in my memory, much more resounding bongs when Universe is activated. But I have enjoyed Wind Wand from a variety of view points – both by day and night. That just leaves Alistair Tong’s Meccano Rotary Cowshed – Taranaki.
Centre City and Puke Ariki sit side by side on the New Plymouth foreshore – the whole area is Puke Ariki. I visit the former for old times sake – it is looking deflated and somewhat tired – the foodhall, though, is humming. I wonder about having a haircut – I need one – but baulk at $25.00 and a wait. Puke Ariki itself grabs the attention, as always. It a favourite public building. I walk up the ramp and head for Taranaki Life only to be put off by the lighting when I try to read the captions in the glass cabinet featuring military uniforms. Mm is it just me? I head back outside and wander up Currie Street, along a deserted Devon Street West and back to the car.
Updated 20 April 2010: Hey there. When a 15 month old photograph suddenly begins attracting traffic there has to be a reason – and while aware of the surfing ‘tour’ and ‘controversy’ arising around some locals not wanting the attention – it has been surprising. If you do visit tread lightly and do check out the lay of the land first. It’s a special place. The flag and here.
Waitara is festooned with Pōhutukawa – there are hundreds – from the very large to modest youngish trees. They are everywhere – along the river – their fallen stamens decorating the roadsides and pavements with avenues of bright red.
Update 20/4/2010: A little flavour of street level Taranaki – New Plymouth as well as Waitara.
Jasmine flys from Brisbane, via Auckland, (temperature late 20s early 30s) to the comfort of 20 something here. Tells me about this.