No doubt you'll recognise these familiar attractions along Napier's iconic Marine Parade. I've just returned from a weekend in Hawke's Bay, the place where I grew up. The weather was incredible, with the bluest sky and lovely dry heat, just as I remember it.
This is an image of one of the many Art Deco buildings that are the major tourist attraction in Napier. It's certainly in need of refurbishment, and it isn't one of the snazzier examples of Art Deco architecture the city has to offer, but I have a sentimental attachment to this old building - in it's former life it was the Central Hotel owned by my Dad in the early 80s.
The reason for my visit to Napier was to attend the opening of the Autumn season of exhibitions at the newly refurbished MTG, which reopened to the public last September. Two exhibitions were launched on Friday night: a survey show of Bronwynne Cornish's work called Mudlark and an exhibition of cleverly adapted op-shop furniture called the Transmogrifier Machine by furniture designer Katy Wallace.
Both shows are brilliant - beautifully displayed and wonderfully refreshing, so you should definitely go along to see them if you are planning a trip to Napier.
I've been asked to write a review of Mudlark for the 150th issue of Art New Zealand, so I won't write a great deal about the exhibition here, except to say that I'm a huge fan of Bronwynne's work, so composing 1800 words about the show will be a privilege and a delight for me.
I wanted to give you a teeny glimpse of the gorgeous publication that accompanies the exhibition. The book contains a series of engaging essays and photo-narratives by curators and private collectors that testify to the joy that Bronwynne's works bring to the lives of the people who own them. Her Oracles and figurines, temples and reliquaries have something magical about them, and it was wonderful to see so many of them in the exhibition, and then to see them in situ in people's homes in the photographs in the catalogue. Here are a few of the images from the book:
I'm a bit of a sucker for exhibition merchandise, so I couldn't resist buying a couple of thick cotton tote bags with drawings of Bronwynne's works screen printed on them. There are five designs in terracotta and blue. Stocks are limited, so get in fast if you want one!