Inside and Outside the “Dark Forest”

  Gurmon Sup (translated into English as “Dark Forest“) was an extraordinary installation at Te Uru Gallery in Titrangi by Jae Kang, an Auckland-based Korean artist and passionate  tomato grower.  She used recycled irrigation materials to create sinuous snakes and coils, piles of black polyethylene tubes, pipes and fixings invading rooms, hanging down the handsome golden spiral staircase […]

New Voices

All four sessions we went to at the exciting annual Going West (Books + Writers Festival)  in the Titirangi Hall last Sunday morning were stimulating. Barbara Brookes talked about the writing of her recently published A History of New Zealand Women, a wonderfully inclusive and thoughtful work, turning many common ideas about  our nation’s story (especially regarding women’s […]

Turning the University Inside Out?

We were delighted recently to be invited to the inaugural Cumberland lecture at the University of Auckland on Thursday 15 September – especially as it was on this provocative topic, and to be given by an outstanding woman –  Professor Wendy Larner, Provost at Victoria University, Wellington, . 1n 1946 Dr Kenneth Cumberland moved from Christchurch […]

Joan Macdonald

For the last month we have known that a dear friend, Joan Macdonald, was dying. We saw her on the morning of Friday 12 August. She was sleeping deeply; we talked quietly to her, saying our goodbyes, and spent some time with her daughter Beth before we left. Joan died that night, peacefully. On Friday […]

Treasures in the Hokianga…

  Toi Te Rito Maihi, one of our favourite artists, is having a retrospective exhibition at Village Arts Gallery  in Kohukohu until 26 June, so we decided to spend a few days in the Hokianga.   Her exhibition is inspiring – she is so talented in many different media- drawing, writing,  poetry, painting, print-making and , of course, […]

W.H.O Celebration

On Saturday 30 April, W.H.O (Women of Hope: Helping Ourselves) invited Ranui residents and others to a celebration in the newly renovated Ranui Community Centre.  Beginning with a processional dance by Congolese  and Burundi women, the evening continued with a PowerPoint presentation of their activities so far (gardening, driving lessons,  establishing a play centre for the […]

The Auckland Writers’ Festival…

…last weekend, offered an abundance of wonderful literature read by authors and others, and some excellent interviews and presentations.  We indulged ourselves this year, going to nine  sessions together and a couple separately. We’re filled with admiration at the efficiency of organisation, fine sound systems, diversity of literature.. The most wonderful session for us was  Spirit House: Foreign Soil, a […]

The 1980s – the forgotten decade that changed NZ forever

On Tuesday 17 May, Charmaine spoke at one of Ika’s Salon evenings… Laila Harre, the owner of Ika Bar and Grill,  asked Charmaine to describe some of the huge changes in Auckland and Aotearoa in the 1980s, their effect on her personally and politically, and on the students and staff of Auckland Girls’ Grammar School […]