I have just been on an art and culture weekend to Wellington. Well, it wasn't exactly a weekend because it wasn't the weekend, but it felt like one. 2008, I had decided would be the year of design for me, and this was a great way to start it. I normally don't make much or any effort so see art exhibtions at home in Auckland, so here I certainly made up for lost time. I often forget that an art exhibition offers a decent dose of inspiration.
On Wednesday my mother and I went around the museums and art galleries in central Wellington. The city was so so quiet, as everyone was away on holiday and alot of the shops we shut (very good for my wallet!). In a typical Wellington fashion the day was a bit on the blustery side, but pleasant nonetheless. We began by walking around the waterfront near Te Papa, then checking out the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, which was interesting as neither of us had been there before. After that we ambled around to the City Art Gallery. The highlight of the trip was checking out the Bill Hammond exhibition at the City Gallery. Amazing- I have long admired his anthromorphic, stylized and ever so Egyptian like birds. Seeing them up close was fantastic. It was interesting to see how his work has progressed over time, and also to see the incorporation of print and pattern in a tattoo-like manner into the bird motif. After the art gallery we had short walk to Te Papa, where we had coffee and checked out the national art collection, which was also very inspiring. I often think that the greatest indulgence would to be an artist.
Yesterday was 'the shopping day'. We went around Lambton Quay and had a peek inside Kirkcaldie & Stains, which had some gorgeous art nouveau inpsired pieces of Moorcroft pottery. I nearly fainted at the pricetag, but then some unreasonable part of my brain started to calculate as to how I could accumulate a piece. Wellington also has the Shoe Connection chain of shoe shops, which has some great shoes, if you like to have fancy feet. I tried, but I didn't buy- I have learnt the hard way not to impulse buy shoes when away on holiday as I have often ended up with shoes the wrong size...
We then made our way up to Lower Hutt where we had lunch and admired the exhibtions at TheNewDowse. The main drawcard was the When Philip Met Isabella: Philp Treacey's Hats for Isabella Blow, which was amazing and well worth the detour out of the central city. The cafe at the Dowse is also worth recommending- quick service and good food.
I'm back home now, with only the real weekend left, then it back to work and back to the real world.