Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Pause That Refreshes

One downside about living on a Wee Ridge of Island at the Back of the World is that it's a fair hike (and then some) to see art masterpieces. So when a lovely collection of Impressionist paintings comes anywhere nearby, even if it's the next island over, I'm making that trip.

It. Was. Wonderful.

I mean, yeah, the stuff I went to see, the art exhibit, was awesome. So was much of the public art scattered around town. (and Wellington has *plenty of public art, especially down by the waterfront.
(I think if you click on the pix, you might see bigger versions!)


But just as inspiring (maybe moreso) were the activities the Tiny Dynamo picked: an afternoon in a Victorian-era Botanical Gardens up on a mountain overlooking the city and a day at Wellington Zoo.



And the city itself is bloody interesting. Wellington is a city where you really feel the presence of a large, intellectual underclass.

I don't know if it's a matter of size, concentration or profile, but the bohemians in Wellies make their presence felt. Used bookstores abound, their shelves full of Ibsen and Kierkegaard, well-thumbed art books and Victorian sensation novels. Shop windows show few mannequins in pastels and beige, more in knuckle-duster-print jackets and tartan bondage pants. For the serious vintage shopper, the place is a gold mine.

And the grafitti: all I can say is, wow. There's plenty of adolescent tagging, sure, but there's a whole lot more serious work, sometimes whimsical, often political/philosophical in nature. I love the way these folks dig in and 'art it up' on their own!

Being in Wellington always kind of freaks me out. For years, this sort of William Gibson-esque grunge was my world. These little bohemias waited for me everywhere I went, and even today, they remain comfortable and familiar.

Nowadays, I surround my self with green spaces and gardens. I work in quiet, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. But every now and then, it's sure refreshing to get back to my roots.

9 comments:

Lisa said...

I can never get enough of those Water Lillies - I guess it's a good thing he painted so many! And -- what heartbreak! I'd never seen that side of Easter :)

liz fenwick said...

There is a special feeling when you 'come back' to a place/state of mind/sensation. I find it is often upexpected and catches me unaware as my life has moved on in so many ways. What I fins more intersting now is how feel when I return to the 'now normal' and what I have brought back or dug up...
lx

Barbara Martin said...

Love those Water Lillies. Very soothing to look at after a rotten day. I like green places and gardens too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely interesting photographs. I so envy folks who live in a literate society where there are bookstores everywhere. I miss them so much down here, and though I do enjoy the big chain stores there's nothing like wandering into new little store and searching for treasures.

Steve Malley said...

Lisa, that little egg-display cracked me up!

(no pun intended-- ouch!)

Liz, the thing struck me the most this time is how I so would not want to go back to that...

Barbara, Monet's work is a great pick-me-up on the good days too!

Charles, I hear you. We're not too bad here (I've been in *much* larger cities without half as many bookstores), but there is something to be said for those communities where the talk bounces on a higher level than the latest episode of The Bachelor...

Miladysa said...

I LOVED the angel and the woman on the rock :D

Sidney said...

Wow, great stuff!

Lana Gramlich said...

Fun-keeeeeeeey! I'm jealous of your experience in Bohemia!
You'd think an area with such a high concentration of artists would encourage creativity, but...you'd be wrong. <:(
I need to visit some truly creative people &/or places again soon. Perhaps even get out & see some cave paintings or something...

FANCY said...

Steve
The graffiti is amazing that is my favorite...I still have a duet to do with you ...What you say about "Paradise by the dashboard light"
*LOL*