Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kiwi Design

Happy New Year! I have just come back from a wonderfully fun and relaxing holiday in New Zealand with friends and family and thought I'd share with you some of the interesting art galleries and design shops in Auckland I managed to visit when I was there. Plus two purchases (which were actually gifts for my recent birthday) which I am looking forward to finding a home for in the new house. I have already requested from our architect a special alcove in the living area to display such items.

First up, The Poi Room in Newmarket has design gems with a Kiwi theme that are neither kitsch nor touristy. It was here I found this Paua shell-inspired bowl by well-known Nelson-based potter Royce McGlashen. I was drawn to the shiny blue inside and textured outer. It can be used as a fruit bowl, a large soap display dish or as a decorative piece of art. Isn't it beautiful?

Then, in the Parnell Gallery in Parnell this adorable Kiwi bird made from a recycled 44-gallon steel oil drum caught my attention. Despite its industrial aesthetic, it looks cute enough to stroke! It was made by artist Louise Stobart who emigrated to Havelock North from her native Zimababwe and established the Birdwoods Gallery in 2005. Louise specialises in animal/bird metal sculptures - all of which I think I could find a home for, both inside the house and out in the garden!

Walking cranes

Large Ostrich
I would also recommend visiting the Mana Gallery and Essenze in Parnell; and the Waiheke Island Art Gallery half an hour by ferry from Auckland - all of which feature established and emerging artists and designers from around the country and will, like Royce and Louise ship overseas.

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