One of my Aunties – in her face I see my mother so clearly!
Rotorua, in Aoteroa/ New Zealand, has one of those aromas that you can never forget and which is hard to escape. For me the strong smell of the sulphur is overtaken by an experience that has represented a watershed in the process of doing my thesis. Something I could never have foreseen.
The program in front of me has the words- “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,” and the speaker is described as an American born Anthropologist whose major study has been in the Mekeo of Papua New Guinea. The theme of the conference is “Arts and Spirituality” and I am presenting some creative writing and story telling workshops on the theme of personal and cultural identity.
I want to meet the speaker before he find out whether he knows much about the village…
Art in the city, not shut away in galleries, but everywhere you look.
It’s on power boxes, telegraph poles, railway station walls.
climbs onto walls and alleyways.
chalked, painted, sprayed, and poster papered.
It’s murals with messages from Martin Luther King
everytime I used to catch the bus in Marrickville
I’d see his face with an Aboriginal flag behind it.
It’s pieces that make you think, smile, wonder remember nature.
Driving past telegraph poles to the Gold Coast
we catch nature wrapping itself around telegraph poles,
birds and trees just in case we don’t see the real
they’re there in art.
I would love to go back and photograph these artistic poles.
I think of the artists commissioned or perhaps underground ones.
What are their names?
Are their signatures there?
Is there a guidebook somewhere to tell me the story of the street art?
This street art tells stories – it’s symbolic and straightforward
it’s naive and surreal.
It doesn’t advertise, it’s an invitation to think, as diverse as the artists in the city.
And when street artists paint, what is going through their minds about the setting
their work will live in everyday.
Do they look at the trees, and the walls and reflect what is there
Or do they represent a dreaming beyond walls beyond the boundaries
of the city and the forest ?
I want to write a spoken word poem all about the street singing forart
and the art calling out on the street,
maybe it would be be performed by a pied poet walking the street with a busking guitar
with people flash mob dancing in the streets?
This is another guest blog from my youngest son about his grandparents. Maybe we can persuade them to guest blog one day.
I asked Nana some questions and this is what she told me.
1) What countries are your relatives from?
Pieter your Great Great grandfather was from Natal, Sth Africa, great great grandmother, Florence Great Grandfather from Paris, Alfred born in Mt Gambier Australia, to colonial family, Great grandmother, Helen born Castlemaine Vic
2) What were your grandparents jobs?
Pieter, your great great grandfather was a coach maker, & interpreter (12 languages), Florence your great, great grandmother was a lion tamer in circus on arrival in Melb Vic., Alfred was a labourer, farm worker & Helen was a domestic worker.
3) Where were you Born?
Nana was born in Melbourne, Australia (Helen Sonia Grundy Perkins is her name)
My youngest son is guest blogging our family story at Following the Crow Song, this is from his year 6 family history where he asked his grandparents their story, he needs to interview his Poppy as well.