Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Visit to Bellamy's Gallery at Macandrew Bay

It really is this beautiful at Macandrew Bay,  just a short drive from the delightful city of Dunedin!

A small collection of buildings, old and new, form a little settlement beside the water.

There is a general store, that also sell take aways ("takeouts"), and essential grocery items.

And right beside it, there is a gallery, Bellamy's Gallery, and on Saturday we were there to see an exhibition of poems and the artwork that was made to accompany them.

Artist Pauline Bellamy standing beside three of her prints. Pauline and John Bellamy are the owners of Bellamy's Gallery.

Poet, Ruth Arnison and Painter and Printmaker, Pauline Bellamy. Two really wonderful people.
Ruth Arnison is the originator and organiser of the Poems in the Waiting Room charity, and she also curated the Bellamys at 5 exhibition. There is some information about this charity on the Bellamys At Five web site, "Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) is a Dunedin based arts in health charity which prints and distributes free poetry cards (currently 5700) every season to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, hospices and prisons throughout the South Island and parts of the lower North Island. Our long-term goal is to offer the cards throughout New Zealand.  Our aim with the cards is to make people’s waiting time a little less frustrating/more enjoyable and at the same time introduce or reintroduce them to the delights of poetry." Poems in the Waiting Room also has its own blog which you might also like to visit to find out more about this interesting venture www.waitingroompoems.wordpress.com

I took photos of some of the work that is in the exhibition, you can see more on line on the Bellamys At Five blog.  In the photo caption I have put a short extract from the poem that the artwork accompanies.

Lynn Taylor - handmade books. (Poem) Haiku - Barbara Strang, "on a diet/she devours/recipe books"

Llew Summers - Embracing the Silence (painted slipcast ceramic). (Poem) Happiness - Meg Bateman, "Often have I seen them come together/ two old friends...." 

Kevin Dunkley (oil on board).  (Poem) Smoking an Eel on Holiday - Richard Langston, "..The fitful huffings of wood smoke/the sky draped with late light..."

Philip Webb - (acrylic & aquarelle pencil). (Poem) Penguins - Fiona Farrell, "When penguins come home in the evening/they clamber up onto the rocks./Then they climb up the hills to their burrows/where they take off their wet shoes and socks.//And they all settle in for a natter/about the events of the day/......."

Fifi Coston (pastel). (Poem) Dancing Lesson - Anna Woodford, "..they move a little closer and/ try out a salsa,/as though either of them/could put a foot wrong."
Lew Walsh (acrylic on canvas). (Poem) Another letter to Hone - Jan Hutchison, "The way you're/intimate//with the sun/and rain//these trees and/a ruffian wind.//..."

A book of poems and photos of the artwork is available for $20 at the exhibition. We bought ourselves a copy, and it has been a really great way of enjoying the exhibition. Some of the poems are quite long, and I found it hard to read them in their entirety at the exhibition itself as there were too many things to distract me, but it is good to be able to sit quietly and enjoy the poems in more depth. The book would also make a lovely gift for someone, as the artwork is nicely reproduced in colour and looks good accompanying the poems.

Laura has a painting in the exhibition, called "Flowers as Words" and was inspired by the poem "Flowers" by Wendy Cope, and here is a little quote from it..

"Some men never think of it.
You did. You'd come along
And say you'd nearly brought me flowers
But something had gone wrong."....

We enjoyed our afternoon at the gallery and it was a great pleasure to be able to spend some time with Ruth Arnison and Pauline Bellamy. 

Laura and I are both due to take part in a panel discussion on Sunday 22 September, 1.30 - 3pm at Bellamy's Gallery. The discussion will be chaired by Janet de Wagt, and will feature 9 of the artists that took part in the exhibition.

On Sunday 15th September 1.30 - 3pm Sue Wootton will be chairing a poetry reading event. Poets Kay McKenzie Cooke, David Eggleton, Emma Neale, and Brian Turner will be reading their own work.

I was amused to see that someone had put attached a speed camera sign to a post in the waters of Macandrew Bay. Somehow the unusual location transformed it into a work of art, and the combination of post, sign, and words seemed to echo the exhibition at Bellamy's Gallery in a delightful way!


Melissa Rohrer said...

It's really interesting to see the artists' responses to the poems. I'd like to see our local gallery do something similar.
Laura's painting is wonderful.

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing great art works and poems.
I love Laura's Flowers as Words...so very creative. Brilliant.
You people amaze me!

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a wonderful idea! I had been thinking along similar lines as of late and am so happy to see poets and artists working together in this way. My head is swimming with ideas now, and I thank you, Peter!

Love the water sign ... visual poetry it is.

Michèle Hastings said...

Love those handmade books! Looks to be a beautiful exhibition.

Peter said...

Hi Melissa,
Good to hear from you. It would be great if the idea of asking artists to respond to poems was taken up by others, it is a very interesting thing to be part of as a participant, and makes for a fascinating exhibition. I will make sure Laura reads the comments!

Hi Sue,
Lovely to hear from you. Thank you for your comments on this and the previous post. I was about to respond to your previous one, and then yesterday's storm hit us and the power went out for several hours!

Hi Teresa,
Keep those ideas afloat! :) You would have greatly enjoyed being part of this project I am sure. The sign in the water was great fun! The usual place of these is beside a road somewhere.. I am sure this one "walked" to its new location one night after the pubs closed!

Hi Michèle,
There is something lovely about hand made books. They really do celebrate the whole experience of reading, and the magic of words and pictures. I wonder if artists will hand assemble electronic reading devices in years to come with as much joy??!!

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so glad you showed Laura's work. I am a real fan. What a lovely show to combine art with poetry.

Peter said...

Hi Patti,
Lovely to hear from you. I think Laura needs to start signing autographs, she is enjoying the fan mail! It is nice when different arts come together for an exhibition, I think that a great deal is gained from it.

Armelle Léon said...

Nice post peter, thank you to share this very nice idea and the works that come together. Laura's painting is beautiful and so colorful. Where is your pot ?

Peter said...

Bonjour Armelle,
I was hiding my pot! Well, not quite, I put it at the top right of my main blog page, but it is a bit small to see properly there. I might put a better photo of it on the next post that I do.
:) P

Lori Buff said...

Cute town, the gallery looks really well done. I love the piece by Llew Summers.

Peter said...

Hi Lori,
Llew Summers does great work, in the past he has worked in stone and bronze, sometimes on a large scale. He lives near Christchurch NZ.