Monday, October 21, 2013

Glenfalloch Woodland Garden

One of the odd things about the Internet is the ability to travel time. As I write this, I am already a day ahead of the majority of my readers. So, if you read a brand new post of mine, you should be reassured, because you will know that, after the shadows lengthen and the yellow disk of the sun slips from the sky, and your part of the world is wrapped in the the cool arms of night, tomorrow will come!

I am writing this in the knowledge that I am about to be extra confusing, because, whilst this is written tomorrow for most of you, the events took place about a week ago. Thus you will be taken magically forward and backward at the same time, so I hope that your time travelling spaceship copes with the stress!

One week and one day ago (for me), we had the pleasure of visiting Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens. Glenfalloch is situated on the Otago Peninsula not far from the city of Dunedin, and only two minutes drive away from Macandrew Bay where Bellamy's Gallery is located. You may have picked that "Glenfalloch", with its "loch" ending is a Scottish name.  Glenfalloch is said to be Gaelic for "hidden valley". Many of the place names in our part of New Zealand have Scottish origins, even the street names of Dunedin are based on those found in Edinburgh. This area was the Scottish settlers home away from home.

The garden was established in 1871, and rhododendrons, azaleas, and a delightful collection of woodland flowers and trees, mix and mingle with native species, the most ancient of which is a 1000 year old Matai tree.

Genfalloch has its toes almost in the waters of the Otago harbour, but its head rests high up the spine of the peninsula, and visitors to the gardens ascend meandering paths through woodland and sunny open areas.

We travelled to the gardens to take part in "Art in the Garden, a splendid event that the Otago Peninsula Trust hosted, under the direction of Glenda Bruce. Our good friends, Mark and Rhonda also wanted to take part, so we all journeyed in from the wilds of Waikouaiti, and set up our tables beside each other.

Rhonda and Mark
We were all a bit nervous, this being our first "Art in the Garden", but we found some familiar faces amongst the other artists and crafts people that were there.

We were joined by Jo Howard and her daughter Celeste. Jo is a fellow member of the Stuart Street Potter's Co-op, and it was fun to have her at a table on the other side of us. Further away, but in earshot, was another member of the Stuart Street Potter's Co-op, Suzanne. She spent the day carving Oamaru limestone, and it was impressive seeing her attacking a large pillar of soft limestone stone with an axe and various chisels.

Suzanne Emslie

Guess who ?? and Laura!
Laura and I had a table that mostly displayed an assortment of my pottery. Due to my ups and downs of the previous 6 months, I had not done work especially for this type of event, but it was nice being able to display some of the largish crystalline glazed pots out in the sunshine, as they always seem to look best outside in good light. Laura also had some cards on show that she has been making.

Mark had a display of some of the wonderful clocks he has been making recently from all sorts of discarded things, such as old plumbing fittings, bits of wire, and other mysterious metal objects. He also showed two of his lamps with beautiful stained glass shades.

Rhonda showed a selection of the clothes that she makes. Rhonda recycles old clothes, cutting them up, saving the good and interesting bits. Then gives the material a new, colourful and glorious life as part of one of her creations!

Rhonda brought her camera with her, and took photos of some of the other artists at work, and views of the garden.

Glenfalloch Homestead peeping out between the trees.

Of course, I neglected to bring my camera (but I did remember my ukulele!), but Rhonda has kindly agreed for me to pepper this post with a selection of the photos that she took.

The idea of "Art in the Garden" was that artists and musicians would make art and music in the garden for the day, and this is what happened.

Around many twists and turns of the paths, and behind various trees, people painted, sculpted, played or sang.

I brought my Ukulele

Elsewhere the Cantores Choir was making serious sounding music!

It was a delightful occasion, and we were all most fortunate to have good weather for the day, and a throng of happy people attending.

Towards the latter part of the day, I was able to catch up with Manu Berry, who is a print maker. Manu was printing a lino cut that had several individual colour "plates". I was impressed by his ease of printing quite a complex image on a trestle table out in the open air, with just a wooden burnisher to press the paper against the inked image. Manu also had hand printed tee shirts for sale.

Tee shirts printed by Manu Berry

Our sales for the day broke no records, but we covered our costs of getting there, having lunch, and buying two weeks supply of gourmet cat food for Nigella Stopit. We had an enjoyable day out, and were able to introduce some of my work to people who had not seen it before. It was also nice for me to be "back" at a craft table, it marked another step closer to recovery and being a potter again!

In the early evening we visited Bellamy's Gallery at Macandrew Bay, where there was an exhibition opening in full swing. It was nice to hear live accordion music wafting out the gallery door as we entered. The exhibition has a Celtic theme, in fact the exhibition is titled "Celtic Spirit", and features watercolours of Scotland by Ron Esplin who painted and travelled with his father, when he was still alive, and continues painting and travelling still; dreamy, haunting, and atmospheric recollections of Irish landscape by Pauline Bellamy, and also mono prints of Irish dancers that have managed to capture the gesture and movement of the individual figures; and jewelry and framed etched and patinated copper with Celtic designs by Chris O'Regan. The exhibition runs until October 27 and is well worth a visit if you are in the Dunedin area.
Bellamy's Gallery also has a very interesting series of work by Manu Berry on show.... and you should be able to see a small selection of my pots there too!

We are very thankful to Genda Bruce for organizing the event, and for all those people who made "Art in the Garden" at Genfalloch possible.

A big Thank You to Rhonda for the photos of the day we spent at Glenfalloch!

More about Glenfalloch Woodland Garden.


Mr. Young said...

I work in the future as well!
Looks like a good time was had by all. Wish I could have been there!

Peter said...

Lovely to hear from a fellow time traveller Mr. Young! We are pioneers of each new day!

Sue said...

It is most pleasing that you were most certainly encouraged by the day in the lovely Glenfalloch Woodland Garden ...

I hope you picked up on my terribly good accent just then... (William)

What a gorgeous place to spend time amongst such interesting folk.


Arkansas Patti said...

Phew, I got a bit of whiplash from the time travel:))
Seriously, that was just a beautiful place to have a craft festival. So glad you were able to make expenses and had a great time. I'd call that a successful and entertaining trip.
I played the Ukulele as a kid. A fun instrument.

Linda Starr said...

Oh what a magical place to be and bring your pottery to, any kind of art I think is enhanced by the gardens and visa versa as well. good to see you and Laura and especially you with your ukulele. I have to laugh at the gourmet cat food as I have now switched my cats to a food that is rather expensive but they eat less of it, it's called Katzenflocken and i think they are healthier for it.

Michèle Hastings said...

Wow, that is a beautiful setting for an art show. I wouldn't have minded being there even if I didn't sell a thing.

Peter said...

Hello There Sue,
Ha, Ha,...for a moment I had you confused with the helpful person from distant lands that was trying to fix my "Microsoft computer"! It certainly was a lovely day.

Hi Patti,
I bought my first ukulele when I was 16, but have really got keen on it again over the last 2 years after buying a really good instrument. I love the way the ukulele often brings a smile to people.

Hi Linda,
"Katzenflocken" is a great name for cat food, in my mind I see a vast mob of cats fluttering around a bowl of cat food on little cat wings..., like sea gulls around something yummy (for them!). I like the thought of feeding our cat something that I would consider eating myself if I had to! Some of her cans of food do actually look and smell quite tempting!

Hi Michèle,
It is good to find places to go broke with enjoyment and style! A garden setting certainly beats sitting in a dark community hall somewhere with only spiders for company, and that strange smell of decay and past events that old halls often have. We really enjoyed ourselves at Glenfalloch, and are so fortunate that they put on such a lovely event.

Armelle Léon said...

What a lovely garden I am seeing in the present time, he,he, I love the Picasso idea about ancient art still alive, and more alive when seeing in the present moment...

The giant fern is beautiful, nice to see you and Laura in such a beautiful market place.

I am trying my best to learn english and I am reading a new book in english : Animal farm by George Orwell, and I see how I have to learn and learn :-)

Peter said...

Bonjour Armelle,
"ancient art alive, and more alive when seen in the present moment", what a wonderful thought! I think that this "new life" is one of the truly great gifts that those who work with clay can bring, clay has been part of human history for such a long time!

I love tree ferns, and I am always happy when I see them growing so well! The garden at Glenfalloch seems an ideal place for them, it is sheltered from most strong winds, and has enough moisture in the soil.

Animal Farm....I think that our Nigella Stopit would say "Four legs good, two legs bad!" She is a natural leader, but I could not imagine her in charge of a political party, she is too much of an anarchist! :)

Laura says that she is doing her best to improve her French by reading the magazine, Art & Décoration (I suspect that she also likes to look at the photographs!).

Armelle Léon said...

When seen... oh! yes of course, I have to learn :-)
Nice to know Nigella is too much of an anarchist, ha, ha !
I understand why Laura improve her French reading Arts & Decoration, it's really more funny than reading Animal Farm. This book however is avaliable in the small library of Belle-ile, with a french translation, though no nice photographs.

Anonymous said...

Och Peter, the Glenfalloch day looks fab - great to catch up with your blog and be inspired as much by your literary creativity as by that of the pottery! Makes me want to set up my bodging lathe under the Springtime trees. James S.

Peter said...

Hellooo James,

Lovely to hear from you. I could see your bodging lathe fitting in very well under the trees at Glenfalloch. We hope to be there next year.., so, maybe you as well!!