arts, culture, and lifestyle of dunedin and otago, in the south island, new zealand issue three: april - june 2015
n w o
jackie ballantyne writers festival
corwin newall taste nature
Welcome to Issue Three Down In Edin Magazine
8 The horizontal format of Down In Edin Magazine is to enable maximum viewing for all electronic devices. The publisher offers a choice of being able to view the magazine as a double page spread or one page at a time, as well as a choice to view full screen, which is the best way to view Down In Edin Magazine. There is also a small checkered icon which pulls up a small viewing box like a film strip so you can see multiple pages and where they are. You will most likely find these “buttons” at the bottom right hand corner of the on screen layout when you have opened the magazine, or on some computers at the top of the screen. Hyperlinks will either be automatic, or a trio of small icons will appear and the “chain link” icon will link you to the email address or web site. Issuu.com also offers some small devices “apps” for better viewing as well. 2
Arts and Culture
In !" Issue
The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival 2015 Page 68
Jackie Ballantyne ~ Life and Literature: A Writer’s Story Page 9
Claire Beynon ~ Persephone and A note on Flutter Page 25
Hagen Bruggemann ~ Hagen’s Insight Page 72
Jeremy Mayall ~ Beyond the Bounds of Definition Page 28
A Brief History of Electric Vehicles Page 84
Tony Bridge ~ Part One: Blending Worlds ~ South and North Images and Reflections of The Maniototo, Central Otago Page 38
ReScape ~ A Touch of Eden Page 96 Carrick ~ Organic Wine from Central Otago Page 102
Migoto Eria ~ Curator, Ambassador and Diplomat Otago Museum, Dunedin Page 54
Taste Nature ~ A Hearty Bowl of Soup ~ Organic Shop and Eatery Page 110
Matariki ~ The Pleiades, and The Māori New Year A few words with NASA & Hubble Images Page 59 Please like our FaceBook page Corwin Newall ~ Corwin and a Symphony in G Minor Page 62
FaceBook ~ Down In Edin Magazine
All works, stories, articles, photographs cannot be reproduced without permission of authors, artists, and photographers. Please contact the Editor at Down In Edin Magazine for any queries. Copyright Down In Edin Magazine © 2015 All rights reserved. Contact the Magazine and Contributors at: 3
Contributors for this issue: Pauline Durning, Claire Beynon, Daniel Buchanan and special thanks to Jenny Campbell and Dan Inglis 4
Autumn, Dunedin Botanic Gardens Photo: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
A note from the Editor
Welcome to the third issue of Down In Edin Magazine. I am deeply appreciative of all those who are sharing their stories with us and those who are reading and sharing DIEM. These are not just stories, they are also glimpses into the soul of humanity, the unique workings and pathways of individuals that help create a more interesting, beautiful and diverse world. I recently viewed the BBC TV production of “Eroica” - the story of the debut of Beethoven’s Symphony No 3 during the summer of 1804. I couldn’t help but think of all who participate with Down In Edin Magazine who share their backgrounds, their journeys, their soulful thoughts and creative lives and therefore how they become who they are. Visual arts, music, writing, creations of vibrant landscapes ~ caring for the earth and therefore each other, choosing the road less travelled, living thoughtful heart-full lives and living their passions of the heart and soul are all profound gifts to humanity. During the climax of the film “Eroica” as Beethoven’s epic score plays onward to its
finale, Joseph Haydn (Beethoven’s former tutor, played by Frank Finlay), responds in a brief conversation between Prince Franz Lobkowitz and Princess Marie Lobkowitz (Jack Davenport and Fenella Woolgar), who were Beethoven’s patrons at the time: PFL: “What do you say Herr Haydn?” Haydn: “Very long, very tiring..” PML: “Unusual though wasn’t it?” Haydn: “Unusual?! He has done something no other composer has attempted. He’s placed himself at the centre of his work. He gives us a glimpse into his soul - and I expect that’s why it is so noisy. But it is quite quite new. The Artist as Hero - quite new. Everything is different from today...” The conversation was played out quietly, but it was a beautiful and powerful moment in the film. Beethoven was not bound by the constraints of definition of what a symphony was supposed to be. He was moved by something far greater than standard structure. Beethoven understood the form of the day, 5
but he also worked with a much deeper part of himself and wasn’t afraid to express that element which took him and his willing audience beyond what is normally expected and accepted of an artist. And so this goes for all who are standing on the edge of social norms and taking us, their audience, along with them, aiding all of us to see beyond the routine world and to feel our heart’s beat, and along with emotion - as energy expressed creatively - move us to live lives with inspiration and thoughtfulness. Thank you for gifting us with so much of yourselves, your heart, spirit and soul. Otago is in the throws of Autumn. Crisp cool air, the end of harvest, and a glorious golden canopy to be found everywhere. The leaves fall - creating carpets of bright reds, orange and yellow before they fade into brown and crumble back into the earth. May all those in the Southern Hemisphere stay warm and well as we turn inward and for those in the North - may this Spring bring you much joy as life renews itself and you step outward. Caroline Davies, Editor, DIEM
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Life and Literature: A Writer’s Story Interv ie w and Photog ra p h s ~ Car ol i n e D av i es
“Look at the ordinary world around you and find the extra-ordinary. Listen. Watch. Read widely. Write.”
Dunedin based writer, Jackie Ballantyne, is author of two wonderful and celebrated novels How To Stop A Heart From Beating and The Silver Gaucho. Authors have poetic stories of their own profound lives too... The adventures and experiences that make up their rich lives, astute perception, and lively imaginations are some of the ingredients skillfully brought into play that weave engaging stories and carry us away from the mundane world. Well penned archetypes we identify with can shift our thinking, give us life lessons to contemplate and learn from, and inspire us to make massive changes in our own lives. A good read can make us laugh, make us cry, evoke compassion and awareness, take us on an edgy roller coaster ride, and move us out of our own personal limitations. Jackie began writing fiction while she was working in advertising in Australia, but the essential elements for her story telling had already been well formed, percolating just under the surface of her consciousness, ready and waiting for the perfect time in her life to “let it out”. Sometimes in life we might wonder “why” we make a radical change or move, only to discover at some point in the future and when we are able to look back that “it” all makes perfect sense. 9
A Pi ct u r e o f F a m i l y Li f e
“A young character in an early piece of my writing says this: ‘My family’s really demonstrative in public. when you leave on a train or get off a bus from somewhere significant there’s always nearly all of them gathered for the occasion. they jump about and wave madly, yelling out across platforms and waiting rooms. And they never worry who hears or sees.’ That much is autobiographical. My family could be absurdly demonstrative in public. If I ever felt embarrassed or self conscious about their antics, it didn’t last. The sheer energy and enthusiasm they generated swept me along in whatever direction we were headed next. We often moved en masse. I was the second of four daughters who grew into four diverse and positive women - different, but complementary; each with pieces of our parents in our make-up. My parents were generous people. We had no money, but they shared their time, skills, knowledge and talents with others in need. They also shared our home. Over the years of my
Photo: Caroline Davies © 2015
childhood and teenage years, we frequently had others living with us – a young girl who had “made some foolish choices” and needed a new life, two small boys whose parents were having a difficult time financially, a visiting Canadian professor, and an unwed mother who needed a non-judgemental place to live while she waited for the birth of her child. At times our house would be jam-packed with people. I remember it as a warm and wonderful ever-evolving home. My story ‘I saw them make sausages out of Aldo Falzone’s horse’ draws on a time when we lived in a dairy farming area in country Victoria (Australia). My parents befriended and assisted a group of Italian men who had been brought out specifically as labourers to put in the sewerage. The town we lived in was at the end of the sewerage network. At this point the job was done. The men were paid out and were expected to make their own way from that point. But they spoke little English, had no local knowledge, and only labouring skills. It was no surprise when my parents befriended them and stepped in to help. My father arranged housing in Nissan huts, land to
set up small farmlets and guaranteed loans at the bank. Our lumbering old family car travelled up and down to Melbourne to meet wives and children who eventually arrived with massive bundles of bedding. My mother made clothes; gave impromptu English lessons, organised household necessities. So began an entwining of our lives with people from another culture – an exotic, delicious, rich and colourful example of life.
amateur theatre and worked to bring adult education to the area. She read widely and was interested in everything she read. She was also a hoarder. In those days The Age newspaper included a Literary Supplement on Saturdays and Mum kept them all. I have wonderful memories of Mum reading to us by the fire. She loved stories by Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant, O’Henry and fables from La Fontaine and Aesop. I am forever grateful for her literary choices.
Until I was 13 we lived in the country. But we were not farmers – my father owned a cafe and cooked hearty meals for the farmers on market day. He also catered for balls, weddings, parties – any grand occasion in the Memorial Hall would most likely be catered by my Dad. I have magical memories of boxes of leftovers on our kitchen table on Sunday mornings. Éclairs, cream puffs, sponges, trifles – we referred to those breakfasts as pig’s picnics. And as long as we kids were content to be filling ourselves with cake and cream, Mum and Dad could stay in bed.
Which subjects did you like at school? I loved school, especially history, geography, social studies and English – in fact anything to do with finding out (research) and making up (writing). We also had subjects like Civics and Codes of Values which formed the basis of my adult view of the world, especially when I set off for Australia’s Northern Territory.
My mother was a teacher at the high school. She was heavily involved in Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
What drew you to Australia’s Northern Territory? Do you think there might have been inklings of the writer back then? Can you see, now later in life, how purposeful and connected that time was to the present time, as well as the material it gave you for ‘The Silver Gaucho’? “The most revered books in my collection are early editions of A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. I read the novel as a teenager and loved the concept of ‘the outback’, I loved the characters and the sheer adventure that the plot entailed. I had read swashbuckling books for boys, but here was a Girls’ Own adventure story. Beside me now, is a Pan Books paperback edition from 1983 (23rd printing!). It is annotated and marked with 30 or so faded pink sticky notes. I do that with books that change my thinking. My first year at university was a washout. I spent far too much time dreaming about Jean Paget and Joe Harman. At the end of the year I left home, travelled north on The Ghan bound for Alice Springs. I had known for some time that I was compelled to live out the novel. I took a flat in town, worked in a milk bar (dairy) and worked on looking
like Jean Paget. I was also casting around for the ringer Joe Harman – or a substitute with similar attributes.
What I didn’t know then was how influential this period of my life would be on my writing.
But fate intervened and I set off to write my own story. I became a governess on a cattle station 400 miles north-east of Alice. I had heard tales of palatial homesteads with breezeways and libraries, swimming pools and stockman’s quarters – but that was not my lot. We had a collection of corrugated iron buildings, bore water that could scrape iron off a teapot and no electricity. We had a coolstore, a generator and a small record player. We had two LPs – the sound track to Camelot and Johnny Mathis.
As I mentioned earlier, the mail plane came every Thursday. Having this as my discipline I began to write letters home. Each week I sent a day-by-day account of my life as a governess. As the months passed, my dedication for letter writing increased and what began as two pages of scrawl morphed into pages and pages of detail about life on a cattle station in the 60s. My mother kept every one of my letters in her music case. We found them after she died.
For the next few years I lived and worked on a property that bordered the Simpson Desert. We were a day’s drive from anywhere. There was a mail plane that came once a week and the Bedford truck was driven into Alice Springs three times a year for supplies. Six months into my life as a governess I knew that it was not so much A Town Like Alice that got under my skin, it was the central deserts of Australia. I somehow knew that for that time, I was absolutely in the right place. 12
When I began writing The Silver Gaucho I knew that I had a goldmine to plunder. I discovered that I already knew a lot about cattle mustering, horses and the life of the cowboy, or stockman or Gaucho. In fact I have been to Argentina three times and each visit has reinforced for me the similarities – terrain, climate, farming practices and the isolation that often entails. I can still conjure up the dust and heat, the smell in the mustering yards, the catcalls from men on horseback and the camaraderie around a campfire.
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
“Here, on a clear day under a cobalt sky you can see right through to eternity. Or so it might seem. If you stay there long enough, the desert will find your still-point.” J.B. 13
You love deserts! Are you able to articulate what that connection might be and how it moves you and makes you feel? “I am always excited by the expanse of a desert, the seeming nothingness and endlessness - the colours that abut the sky and the contours that only reveal their secrets when you stop. Here are some words I wrote in 1997: ‘There is a kind of peace in the desert that truly passes all understanding. It is a peace that sinks in through all your senses and wipes away the need to perform. Here, on a clear day under a cobalt sky you can see right through to eternity. Or so it might seem. If you stay there long enough, the desert will find your still-point.’ I once saw the most astonishing sight out there in the desert. We had been in drought for some years. The ground was crusted and wasting. Dust storms were plentiful. The cattle were sold off and the few remaining often had to be winched out of mud holes that had once been sizeable dams. It was a grim time. And then the rain came – rain unlike any I
have experienced since. The noise on the corrugated iron was thunderous. But we were jubilant. We pranced around in the wet, loving the smell and feel of rain water. Bliss. And within four days green shoots began to shadow the cracked and pitted earth. A week later swathes of new vegetation sprouted. These were followed by a flowering that still gives me goosebumps when I think about it. I learned from the desert that even the most barren places have unimagined potential.” What took you into, or inspired you to go into advertising and create your own agency? Advertising can be incredibly creative and beautiful; did you enjoy the challenge and coming up with ways (and visions) to help promote products? “I began my life in advertising as an inhouse copywriter for Georges store in Melbourne. I was one of a team of four who shaped and moulded advertising messages that reflected the quiet style and prestige of the goods on offer. I learned about high fashion – couture – and European designers. I was amazed to discover that shoes could also be designed. I had come in from the central deserts and landed in a place equally as 14
extraordinary, and more than a trifle baffling. Twelve months after commencing work in Georges Advertising Department, management bought a chain of four retail department stores and appointed me Advertising Manager of Ball & Welch. I was 26. The youngest executive ever appointed, I was told at the time. I left the Georges organisation when our daughter was born and worked freelance for a time from home. The business grew and we moved to a business premises. There we went through iterations of Mrs B Advertising, Jackie Ballantyne Advertising and finally The Ballantyne Company. Our clients were diverse – high fashion Figgins Diorama -‘the essence of global chic’, shoe stores, Doc. Martens, Swedish glass designers and projects for the Melbourne City Council were on our list. It was a busy, exacting and rewarding twelve years.” I read that the most challenging thing about transitioning from advertising to writing stories for you was going from five word sentences in advertising copy, to writing for novels, how did you overcome this?
“Copywriters compose short, sharp sell messages. In those days you had to include key details – size, price, label, colour etc. You wrapped these in two or three carefully chosen words designed to entice. So you finish up with the following in a Georges Spring Fashion Gazette – circa 1973. ‘You have to love dottiness! Veiling the body – pure silk Midnight Blue chiffon, snowed under with dots. Spring dottiness - pleated silk, strewn with coin-dots. Cut high, cut close.’
‘he preached in the barn on the other side of the road’. But when I was told that John Fowles had been a local, that he had written The Magus while living somewhere along the Ouse Valley, I was inspired. The French Lieutenant’s Woman takes a close second place to A Town Like Alice. Sitting in the little cottage in Pavenham, I began by writing poetry. Probably because of my years writing captions I wrote short, sharp poems that drew on my own experiences. In Pavenham They tell me Bunyan passed this door with his anvil and his stories and in the barn
When I began serious writing we were living in England. My husband David was making the transition from banker to academic. He was at Cranfield University and we lived in a particularly quaint farmhouse by the banks of the River Ouse. In time we were to learn the pathways connecting our village with others nearby, was ancient. Many people had passed this way before us, one of whom was John Bunyan who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. In fact, we were told,
not one hundred yards on the other side of the road, he preached his tales,
For here have walked the feet and passed the minds of many whose words have turned my thinking from the ordinary.
From poetry I moved to prose and short stories. My sentences lengthened over time. I compiled a work called Fractions of Forty which reflected on my life during that decade. It was read by family – who were possibly bemused by the state of my mind, and two poems were published in mainstream media in Australia. It was years before I realised that in 1991, $A100 was an excellent amount for 32 lines of poem. And just this moment I glanced across to read some lines by W. B. Yeats that precede chapter 1 of A Town Like Alice.
of Christian and his load.
“But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
I tread the ways of Bunyan, a sometimes Christian
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”
and a storyteller,
Perhaps I am a pilgrim as much as I am a writer.
I brood on the nature of the soil, the elements in these parts. 15
...”I have been recommending this book to all and sundry. It is beautifully crafted, introduces a cast of believable and interesting characters, has an intriguing plot, plenty of humour and a most unexpected ending. How to Stop a Heart from Beating is one of those rare novels which leaves you satisfied but still wanting more. Yes, that combination is possible. Somehow, Ballantyne, an Australian now living and working in Dunedin, has captured exactly the nuances and language of family life in sleepyhollow New Zealand circa 1960s...”
Allison Beckham, née Rudd The Otago Daily Times Jan 7, 2013
h t t p : / / w w w. o d t . c o . n z / e n t e r t a i n m e n t / b o o k s / 2 4 1 5 8 8 / portrayal-1960s-nz-family-life-bang
"Lockie Steele is a strong, complicated character, negotiating her somewhat damaged and fractured family and her own sometimes hard to manage discontentedness. There is a slight edge, a sliver of darkness to Jackieâ€™s writing, it points up the moments of joy in her novels, and underlines her charactersâ€™ everyday lives, without ever falling into gothic angst. Jackie is particularly good at what she doesnâ€™t write, I really enjoyed the various absences in this book of characters who we learn about from other characters but whom we never meet ourselves. Jackie is also masterly at surprising the reader, planting the odd sentence or idea that is revealed as devastatingly important many chapters later. I loved the originality of this book, I laughed often and was taken by surprise and tears at least once..." Bronwyn Wilie-Gibb The Silver Gaucho launch at the University Book Shop in Dunedin https://jackieballantyne.wordpress.com/
Can you expand upon the defining moment in England where you had a great job all set up and waiting for you before you and your family moved from Australia? When upon your arrival the company unexpectedly closed, and so you found yourself moving through your frustration by writing instead. Was this an example of a crisis that assists us to shift our life course in unexpected ways that turn out to be marvelous twists of fate? “One day in 1988 we were sitting around the dinner table at our Carlton house. At the time I was 44. We had two great kids, I ran a vibrant, occasionally chaotic agency, had a wardrobe of designer clothes, an embarrassing collection of shoes and bags and went to the beauty therapist once a week. from Page 15..
David set about building a new working life on less than 50% of his former salary. The kids started new schools, made new friends and were quickly enfolded into the village posse. I roamed around our three hundred year old cottage by the river (along from the village that boasted one bus stop, two daily buses and no street lights), I had no income and no friends nearby. I wondered what I would do for the next three years. In fact I did three things that turned my life on end – I walked, I swam and I started to write.”
“So, why would you want to leave?” my friend said. “You have it all.” That’s when I uttered the words: “That’s right, we do have it all. But there’s no challenge any more, no pain.” One of my sisters stepped in to manage the business in my absence, we packed up and stored our belongings, rented the house and set off. But by the time we had moved en famille to England there had been a global financial meltdown. The company I had arranged to work for in London was in liquidation. I had no job. Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
You studied psychology... Have you found these studies broadened your understanding of the human condition and to be useful tools for writing? “Psychology has always been of interest. I studied Freudian based Psych at university. Later, as part of a social science programme, I completed a year of Applied Psychology. Classes were experiential; many of them involved placements in institutions. I was assigned to a maximum remand centre for 8-12 year old boys. Looking back it was horrendous. The place operated like a prison for hardened criminals and I was unable to make a difference. But I learned a lot.
Absolutely. The more I understand about things like human frailty, persistence, resilience, motives and personality, the richer my characters have become. Considering what I have written to date, I would have to say the resilience of women is something that runs through most of it.
Later I did a short course on Jungian Psychology with Monash University. I discovered that I am highly introverted (good news for a writer who likes deserts and isolated places). I found Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth. I read Jung’s Memories, Dreams and Reflections, again annotating and bookmarking as I went. It’s only years later, as I think about these questions that I realise how much I was influenced by the work of these men. Has this helped with my writing?
What drives you to write? What do you love about writing? What have you found to be the easiest and the most challenging aspects of writing? I am a binge reader and a binge writer. I’m also a virtuoso when it comes to procrastination. Put these together and you have a renegade writer with an undisciplined mind. I could tell you that for hours each day I’m in front of my computer. And I am. But I’m not always
writing. Dorothy Parker once said: Creativity means having a disciplined eye and a wild mind – the question is how disciplined, how wild? However, when I am working on a novel it’s always in my mind. It lives with me day and night. “
But the thing about writing is that, for me, it has become a synthesis of all experience. Often characters and words appear to come from somewhere else, some other head perhaps, but then I review what I have written and find traces of me and my past disguised in a fiction.
Photo: Caroline Davies © 2015
“Some of my stronger characters like Solly McKeen from How to Stop a Heart from Beating and Lockie Steele from The Silver Gaucho hardly gave me a moment’s peace. They rattled around inside my head for years distracting me, entertaining me until I had unravelled them and put them on the page.
Collect tangible visual references, mementos etc and keep them in a scrapbook. Holding something in your hand, feeling the weight and texture tells you far more than you’ll learn from a screen.
Why do I write? To better understand myself, to better understand my place in the world and to stitch together the myriad experiences I have been fortunate enough to pass through.
My theory of “electric thinking”
And on the wild side:
Read widely and write. Make notes. Listen. Travel by public transport and eavesdrop. Sit in cafes and bars and tune in to the conversations going on around
The easiest part of writing is saying “Hello” to a new character. The hardest part is writing his/her story. The Silver Gaucho took eight years to complete.”
you. Listen for topics under discussion,
What are your thoughts about creative "discipline" that can help a writer? “I spoke earlier about creativity requiring “a disciplined eye and a wild mind”. On the side of discipline, here are some tips:
people wear – and wonder why? Note
voices, colloquialisms, inflections. Read the trash mags in waiting rooms. Read widely. Watch. Smell. Feel. Note what their oddness – and wonder how you can use it. Look at the ordinary world around you and
Be astute about recording information – don’t rely on memory. Be clever about storing your information (unless your brain operates on keywords)
Watch. Read widely. Write.” What do you think of the idea in the writing process of "know your subject" or "write what you know about”? 20
“I have found that I don’t have to consciously write about what I know. It happens automatically. An interesting self observation is that the bulk of my writing has been done in Sweden. We have been to Umea for three periods of three months at a time. In 2006 I went prepared with a project in mind. I had the subject, I had done the research, written the synopsis – I was all set. But when I sat down to write about a French soldier who lived an extraordinary life on the Australian goldfields I found that I was writing about a gaucho from Argentina. Not only that, it was The Silver Gaucho, celebrity star of a soap opera. Three years later we were back in Sweden. Half heartedly I took the Frenchman along (electronically). Perhaps his time had come. But no, the first words I wrote were: “My name is Athena May Begley. It wasn’t always that, but it will do for now.” Nothing French in that. So now I have another strong female character living in my head. And once again I’m writing about resilience. We’re going back to Sweden later this year and the Frenchman will not be coming. “ Continued Page 22 Opposite Page 21: Visual memories of Argentina and Otago. Photography Jackie Ballantyne
What is it about Otago that inspires your writing? “We came to Dunedin in 2004 intending to be here for three years. We are now in our eleventh year. I have travelled much in my life and have sometimes experienced physical reactions to place. The north of Sweden, for example, I find calm and cleansing. We have often been there in winter when everything is white. The pathways are illuminated with candles and the sky shows off its Northern Lights. I feel insignificant – and inspired. Perhaps this is one of the few times when I experience a sense of inner order – as opposed to my usual chaotic head. It is the perfect environment to begin a novel.
Otago is different again. Wherever you look the landscape reminds you of the age of the earth and how incidental we are as we go about our days. I have become an avid hill walker here. On a daily basis I morph into the odd woman in the beanie and track pants charging up and down the Port Chalmers hills. I have seen people give me odd glances. Perhaps I should let them know that I’m actually talking with my characters, rather than myself. Aside from the landscape, Dunedin is peopled with a wealth of creative minds. It does not surprise me that the city has recently acquired a UNESCO City of Literature status. It’s possible it also has the credentials to become a City of Design, City of Music and Film, City of Culture or a City of Art. In this place I have found friendship, inspiration, toleration. I’m not leaving – yet.”
In Argentina I feel energised. Colour, smell, jaw-dropping terrain and larger-than-life people fascinate and draw me in. I barely sit still. And I come home with mementos – bus tickets, receipts, magazines, cut out news items – scrap book fillers.
Otago Harbour 22
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
Looking over Otago Harbour to the community of Port Chalmers from Larnach Castle 23
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Photo Credit: Daniel Buchanan ÂŠ 2015
How slight their quiet antenna tracing the contours of her face, her heart â€“ each passing wing an eye; each eye, a question hovering from Persephone by Claire Beynon 25
Photo Credit: Daniel Buchanan ÂŠ 2015
A note from Claire Beynon You caught me writing notes on my hand as we listened. Seldom without notebook or camera, I’d left both behind that night but skin – the body – makes an excellent and readily-available notebook or canvas! As the steel-stringed slide guitar keened and Julia Booth’s voice soared to the rafters, I jotted down a few thoughts. I was especially struck that night by the ways in which art and music animate space and alter both - architectural space, yes, but the rooms of ‘interior house’, too. In that unhurried dress rehearsal moment, composer, musicians, sound engineer and audience collaborated in a one-off, oneof-a-kind conversation with plants, soil, water, air and butterflies. You and I participated, too, simply by being there and listening. The enclosure-turnedperformance-space was impressed by flying lines of celebratory sound and, too, by some immeasurable ‘other’ – a gift, if you will, that belonged to no one yet was experienced by everyone. That space will continue to hold the memory of Jeremy’s music and I dare say each of us would have left the museum that night with something ‘other’ than we had arrived with. Much appreciation C.B
Dear C... Attending the dress rehearsal of Jeremy Mayall’s Flutter with you a few nights ago stirred a raft of childhood memories, Caroline - triggered, no doubt, by a combination of things; the bare-shoulders warmth of the butterfly enclosure, Jeremy’s exquisite musical offering, the performers’ open-heartedness and, too, the simple privilege of being in close proximity to flocks of delicate and ephemeral butterflies. There we were, at dusk in the Otago Museum - life and its cycles so viscerally present. Down on ground level - just inches away from Danny’s labyrinth of recording cables, musicians’ instruments, amplifiers and music stands - were darkened cubicles of pupating chrysalises; caterpillars undergoing their valiant struggle towards tansformation and release. . . With this as their unlikely backdrop, a handful of men and women worked and played, weaving together an accompaniment of unforgettable musical magic. It was an astounding evening!
Photo Credit: Daniel Buchanan ÂŠ 2015
Jeremy Mayall Beyond the Bounds of Definition Story ~ Caroline Davies Photographs ~ Caroline Davies and Dan Inglis
Composer, Performer, Soundscape Artist, Musician, Producer, Director, Collaborator, DJ, Sir Edmund Hilary Scholar, Mozart Fellow Twice, PhD & Marriage Celebrant Sound, sight, taste, touch, and smell. Five tangible senses combined to completely lift participants out of the mundane world and into an elevated other. A world of beauty and a world of dreams. This was ‘Flutter’ created by Jeremy Mayall. A gift of a multi sensory concert that’s been and gone, and now a strong memory of something experienced that was exquisitely beautiful for one night only held within the Butterfly Exhibit at Dunedin’s Otago Museum. This was my introduction to Dr. Jeremy Mayall, current Mozart Fellow for the second consecutive year at Otago University in Dunedin. It is a perceptive person that would be inspired to create a multi level experience of the senses that lifts one’s spirit and awareness to a completely different level. Jeremy has a freedom of expression, not contained within any one genre, that emerged at a young age and goes far beyond the bounds of definition.
Photo: Caroline Davies © 2015
Foundations You’ve clearly been supported to be who you want to be. I don’t see confines or limitations around you at all for your creative work: “Yeah, my parents are great, they have always supported me with music lessons, with getting instruments, recording gear or whatever I’ve needed. I loved performing and composing in high school - I was in a jazz band and a blues band but I didn’t take it seriously back then. After high school I enrolled in university to do law - that seemed like a sensible thing to do - but when when I applied for a scholarship and had to write one page on why I wanted to be a lawyer, I couldn’t even bullshit my way through after sitting with it for three weeks. When I said I’m not doing law I’m doing music never once was there any hesitation from my family - it was always yep - that’s cool, do what you’ve got to do.” Well, that made things clear... and doubly affirmed by being awarded The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship given for academic excellence, excellence in creative arts or sports, and for leadership from its inception in 2005 until leaving Waikato University to be the Mozart Fellow at Otago University in Dunedin for 2014 and 2015. “I went back to the drawing board and did a Bachelor of Arts rather than a Bachelor of Music so I wasn’t restrained by any kind of core pathway. I did music, theatre, and screen papers, and ended up doing a lot more papers than necessary for my degree but they were all interesting to me at the time and that is where I ended up meeting a lot of the people I still collaborate with today.” 29
Photo: Caroline Davies © 2015
“That was also when I started to take things more seriously. I would compose for my assignments, but I found other projects outside of university to do as well. I was learning classical music including notation and writing for orchestra but from the get go my work existed in different areas. I was also doing contemporary classical music, exploring tonality, learning about electric acoustic sound manipulation and outside of school I taught myself recording, DJ-ing with hip hop scratching kind of music. I was into hip hop dancing music, and played with a jazz fusion band, a big swing band and a German oompah band. I got into writing for films, dances and theatre. I did as much work as I could and collaborated with as many people as I could. I probably worked myself too hard sometimes, but I loved doing it, so it wasn’t work at all. I enjoyed studying at Waikato because they were quite happy with me mixing pop music with classical, and hip hop with the symphony, so that was very helpful for my PhD.”
One thing leads to another... A Mozart Fellow “My Professors at Waikato University were also really supportive. I studied mainly with Dr. Martin Lodge who was also a Mozart Fellow here at Otago University, so my connection with this place is interesting. When I was nearing the end of my PhD Martin suggested I apply for the Mozart Fellow and so I did. I knew from my application that I would either have a really good shot or no shot at all because of the stuff I do. It was going to appeal or not and there would be no middle ground. So when I got the phone call it was very exciting. Not everyone who is doing really interesting stuff in the arts get the support they deserve, and that underpins why it is so rewarding to have this position as Mozart Fellow. It is amazing to have this freedom to do whatever I want - it still surprises me. You can apply for a second year but you have to apply along with everyone else and you are assessed like a new applicant. It’s a two year maximum so after this year I will definitely be doing something else.” 30
A PhD ~ Dr. Jeremy Mayall “My PhD is a creative practice based thesis trying to find a systematic method for cross genre hybridity. Basically it’s all the work I’ve done before I came here. I existed in these separate realms. There was the classical me, the film composer me and the pop music me and they never really met. The PhD was finding a way of treating music as just music, regardless of what category it gets put in and being comfortable to draw evenly from anything that took my fancy basically. I came up with a method of doing that by breaking down the genres into key musical elements and then picking which ones would go where, how they worked together and then writing music based on that. Pieces like “Tracking Forward” which is for viola, backing track and video, “Norse Suite” which is viola and cello, or another piece called “Sketches of An Intergalactic Earworm” - a piece influenced partly by funk, psychedelic funk, and partly by James Brown and George Clinton, that are all fused into classical music.” Continued Page 32
Concert Chamber @ the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Featuring a range of world premiere performances of works created for a PhD composition portfolio for Jeremy Mayall. Presented in association with the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music ~ April 7th, 2013 Performers are: Chris Lam Sam (keyboards), Chris McBride (guitar), Lauren Grout (flute), Nick Tipping (bass), Adam Maha (viola), Yotam Levy (cello), Mike Booth (trumpet), Brad Thomson (drums), Jeremy Mayall (electronics), Set Design: Dan Inglis, Lighting Design: Aaron Chesham, Photography: Dan Inglis 31
Out of the Genre Box - Music is Music. You either like it or you don’t. “There’s this term I used called genre informed performance. With historically informed performances you listen to the musicians play on period instruments and will be historically accurate as possible, for example playing Bach with historically accurate tunings.
Photo: Caroline Davies © 2015
“I have a tactile love of sound. I see all sound as being inherently musical, and so it doesn’t matter if it’s coming from a musical instrument, a lawnmower, or a bird - I think they can all be used musically if you approach sound as a musician.”
that’s music you like and music you don’t like. Young people in particular are much more open and either like a song or they don’t and that’s based on the song regardless of what genre is attached to them. We are becoming more openly eclectic which is kind of nice.”
Musicians also have genre informed performance practice - sometimes they are aware of it, and sometimes not. If you ask a jazz and a rock musician to play the same tune they will play it differently based on their own performance genre practice. Taking performers from different genres and putting them together in an ensemble is something I have made use of in my work. Something interesting can happen by putting a classical, a jazz and a rock musician together and making a band of them. So genre labels are useful to a point and then become completely unusable after that.
Collaboration... “Collaboration is one of the big things for me - I like working with other people its easy to get caught up in this lonely composer thing where you sit in a room scratching away on paper or typing away on a keyboard, and then you give it to musicians and that’s kind of the end of it. You don’t really see people at all. There’s you and then there is this ego of the composer. You find that a lot in classical music where it’s all about the score - that ‘document’ and trying to recreate it as perfectly as possible and so the musicians hold back on their own interpretation of things by virtue of trying to do this thing in rhythm - my work is very much not that.
I think more and more people are starting to realize that music is music and there are only two categories, and
Even when it’s scored out, it’s scored in such a way that I leave some space open because I would rather hear what the
musician brings to it and how they interpret what I’ve written down. I don’t play those instruments, so I don’t know the best way of playing it. I have a general idea of what I want to hear and I write down enough that you can get what I want to hear but then anything after that is pretty open. Duke Ellington wrote for the guys in his band, he didn’t just write the music, he wrote for specific players, he knew how they played, he knew the type of gestures they played, so he wrote with them in mind. I try to do the same thing. I write for the people who are going to be playing the piece and that works for me. Maybe it has the potential to limit the number of future performances as it is written specifically for one person, but I don’t mind. I try to be open for opportunities to collaborate and if someone comes to me with an idea that’s interesting then I’m totally up for it. Just in the last year (amongst many other things) I’ve written a soundscape for ceramics artist Madeleine Child, the musical adaptation for a children’s book “The Song of Kauri” by Melinda Szymanik - the author
in residence here, several films, dancers, and worked with the lovely soprano Julia Booth who was here performing in Flutter - we also have an album coming out soon. I’ve really been getting into mixed media work combining visual and sound elements. When an idea comes to me it is always more than music. I also see an image and how it will all be presented.” You’ve also collaborated with the celebrated Dr. Richard Nunns, one of the countries foremost experts in taonga pūoro (traditional Maori instruments) - how did you meet? “Through Waikato University - he is a research fellow there. We were both very interested in each other’s work. One of the first pieces we did was where I played turntables and Richard played plastic watering cans like a trumpet, a flute and a percussion instrument with a friend’s film in the background. We had an instrumental conversation about the film as it played. Richard has an uncanny ability to play anything that has a hole based on his understanding of how the taongo pūro works. This includes pitted olives, pasta and other things like this.” 33
Above photographs: Dan Inglis
Communicating with an audience on more than one level, or two... “Every time I make a performance I want
that performance to be a spectacle and a communication. I’m not setting out to write music that’s going to appeal to everyone, but I am wanting to communicate something with an audience.
Not liking that communication is as equally valid a response as loving it. I know all the music I write and record is not going to appeal to everyone all of the time. Over the past week I’ve shared pieces online that go from really ambient soundscapes to really tacky and cheesy 80’s synth pop. Both were super fun to make. It keeps me excited about music and sound when I do different things.
It’s funny the way we perceive sound and how something can unexpectedly affect an audience. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve been performing where it was a really mixed bag of things. Someone is playing Bach, another playing Beethoven, and I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing at the time. Afterwards people have come up to me and said things like ‘I usually can’t stand that kind of music at all, but I really enjoyed what you did - it spoke to me’. It’s moments like that which make it so worthwhile and make it really exciting because you have affected someone’s perception on that type of music - you’ve communicated with someone - and unexpectedly. Perhaps that kind of music might be too technical much of the time, but when you are performing it live along with visual interpretations as well, gestures and movements can help translate the sound. The performance brings another level of musicality to the composition. That’s part of the reason why I have so many other visual elements in performances because they do provide ways to pull people in.
Photo Credit: Dan Inglis
‘Into the Nocturnal Sunshine’ was a contemporary art music performance piece I did with viola, flute, cello, drummer, a soundscape and an aerial silks performer. There was no real sense of tonality or tempo with three of the performers on stage. Then, as Aimee Cooper (now Aimee Newton) the silks performer dropped down, you started to see people becoming more engaged, we then brought the lights in and at the climax of the piece, the drummer and myself who had been hidden behind the big black curtain came in with a Kabuki drop... the whole room suddenly became bigger. There was an element of surprise in each of the visual layers. The year before I had created ‘The Birth’ at the same event. It was a spectacle with pyrotechnics, dancers, and video. I only had a fraction of the budget for ‘Into the Nocturnal Sunshine’ and had to come up with a way of beating pyrotechnics, so it was much more minimal and focused, but still visually engaging.” Evolution of a DJ “The first music I ever really listened to that wasn’t my parent’s was Blues. For a
thirteen year old white kid from middle class Hamilton that was a bizarre thing to have loved, but as soon as I heard it, it was the music I wanted to listen to. I used to spend all my money on buying Blues albums - Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Chicago Blues, through to British Blues like John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Peter Green. I just loved it. From there I got into listening to Jazz - New Orleans Dr. John, Allan Toussaint. Then I heard hip-hop. There was something about the music that really spoke to me - it had these interesting rhythms - and rapping was interesting and the sampling was interesting. I taught myself how to DJ after wondering about the scratchy sound from turntables and how they did that. I did some DJ gigs in night clubs although I never particularly enjoyed it as a job, but I was passionate about sharing music that I loved and that people might not have heard before. I then took DJ technology to control sound and just DJ’d with bands playing scratched stuff. I played with a jazz band, then a rock band and started to bring it into other work. I did a Symphony that’s been played by the 35
Auckland Philharmonic, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Secondary School Orchestra, Dunedin Youth Orchestra and the Wellington Youth Orchestra as well as other pieces I’ve written. I also did a piece for an awards show of a live re-mix of an operatic aria with voice and turntables with Julia Booth.” Inspiration and Opening the Mind... Where does it all come from? “I keep myself productive on many different projects and if I get stuck on one, there is always something else to do. In one week I can go from doing a film score to a classical piece to a rock song and not bat an eyelid - it’s really rewarding for me and I enjoy that. I don’t really know where my inspiration comes from - it’s reading things and watching things and getting out in the world and experiencing things and the ideas come first as concepts rather than concrete plans. I tend to typically mull things over in my mind before I start creating anything so for me the process of actually writing or recording can seem fairly quick but that’s not counting the
previous months I had been thinking about it before I started writing it down. Inspiration is random and I like that. I went through a really bad writer’s block when I first started working on my PhD and didn’t write anything for about a year. It was terrifying - I had nothing - I had nothing left to say - I couldn’t even play any solos in a jazz band. So I took up Transcendental Meditation and managed to find what I wanted to be doing and how I wanted to write. Since then I haven’t really stopped and the ideas keep coming from somewhere. I’ll keep going until they don’t I guess...” I meditate too and find it really helpful for my creative flow as well as other things in life.. “Yeah, I think it doesn’t matter which kind of meditation you are doing either. Just the fact that you are taking the time to be still and let things go. I was completely skeptical when I went into it and thought it was complete nonsense, but seeing as nothing else had worked for me I thought I would give it a go, even though I thought it was gimmicky I committed to doing it anyway. Then,
after two or three days into it, this amazing thing happened - I felt very different physically and mentally. Not expecting it to work, and then having it work was remarkable and that’s why I wholeheartedly encourage people to meditate. The process of making myself sit down and relax, let things go, and recenter myself - yeah - I didn’t expect that...” Can you tell us about you as a marriage celebrant? “I’m an independent marriage celebrant. I’m not associated with any kind of religion or anything, I got into it because some friends of mine asked if I would marry them and it seemed like a fun idea so I said I would look into it. You need to be a person of ‘good standing’ in the community and you need letters to support that. I also had to go to the High court and be interviewed. I went into it fully expecting not to be approved having been advised how difficult it is, but I was approved. It’s been really nice to offer this to friends I know and love and have their ceremonies be a really personal wedding celebration.”
Any thoughts about next year after being a Mozart Fellow? “I’ll go wherever the work is. It’s different having a family to take care of now where as a younger man it was easier to go wherever I wanted to go and when you are more willing to rough it. Now I want to be able to provide for my family and give my son all the opportunities that I can. He is a really interesting and unique little kid which is very exciting. Every kid has their challenges, but he’s not yet two and a half and he knows the alphabet forwards and backwards and can count to 100. He reads books and things like that and does stuff of a five year old. Watching him process the world and taking everything in is so amazing so we want to be able to make the most of that and give him as much as possible. So we will end up wherever the work is and if it’s a job here and we can stay around - awesome - and if its back to the Waikato then cool, at this point who knows where?”
Link s http://jeremymayall.com/ https://jeremymayall.bandcamp.com https://vimeo.com/jeremymayall https://www.facebook.com/jmayallcomposer?fref=nf https://soundcloud.com/one-fat-man and Flutter https://vimeo.com/123042072 Take a few moments to relax and imagine all your senses engaged in this beautiful multi-sensory work before you listen Sight: musicians, dancers, lights, video, hundreds of butterflies Sound: the music. (and a waterfall) Feel: walking around the very humid room. Smell: the smell of an enclosed rainforest. Taste: 3 custom-flavoured macarons from *The Tart Tin to correspond with the three sections of the piece. (green: lime and lemongrass ~ red: strawberry and chilli ~ blue: blueberry and white chocolate) *The Tart Tin is a favorite bakery of residents and visitors to Dunedin
Photo: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Maniototo, Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 38
Maniototo, Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 39
T o n y B r id ge Blending Worlds South and North Part One - South I was initially struck by the intense beauty of Tony Bridgeâ€™s landscape photography capturing all the elements that call me to love an image. A sense of place but not needing to know where that place is. A photograph that radiates the feeling of something beyond ourselves that makes this world such a special place to be in. Colour, shape and form, light and shadow, and a technical understanding of not only how to take a beautiful photograph, but how to complete the photograph in the process and printing stages and bring the details of a captured image out. The classical masters, such as Ansel Adams, understood that the print - the final outcome - is as important as the taking of the photograph itself. After taking in Tonyâ€™s photographs, I found a well of inspiration and resonance with his journey far deeper than I had anticipated. Tony Bridge - photograph by Martinhus Reties ÂŠ
The Artist’s Journey A Call To Meet The Soul In many instances of an artist’s life the delving in deep, listening for the voices of inspiration along with contemplation of “what is life all about?” will often bring forward communication with the soul. The questions of ‘how do I become authentic’, or ‘how do I expand in expression and ability’ (becoming more of ourselves) will inadvertently call forth a more powerful process and a much longer labrynth-like journey than we probably realize. In a way, the art form, no matter what discipline it is, becomes the tool - the ticket - the vehicle - to live a life with personal meaning and connection to that greater part of ourselves. And so it is with Tony Bridge - a man with a gift, coupled with an immense desire to understand himself and the world around him through his art. The vistas Tony is observing and sharing with us are just as vast, evocative and beautiful of the outside world to those reflected back to us from his inner world. Tony: “I think anything we do artistically, and for me it is photography, is a self portrait. The photographs I make are not really about making a statement for somebody else, but it’s a document of a conversation I am having for my own edification, and if somebody else wants to listen in on the conversation then that’s fine too. For me, the photographs of the landscapes are in some way, documenting my relationship with mother earth, Papatuanuku, and Ranginui. “ 41
Hoffman’s Dam, Otago ~ Tony Bridge © 2015
“One of the things my father taught me was how to listen to the
land and how to listen to the wind - especially to the wind and hear those stories carried by the wind that were pinned to the trees. So my photographs are really documents of my perception of the environment around me until it eventually comes to a point where you are the environment and you realize the conversation is actually with yourself.”
Cycles and Circles of Life “I was born in the Maniototo, back in 1953, when my father was helping manage the Naseby Forest, so I grew up in the shadow of trees, listening to their stories coming down the wind at night. We left when I was about four, and moved to a forest in Canterbury, which my father managed until he got a promotion into Christchurch. My earliest memories are of the forest, and the freedom to roam within it, although sometimes my little adventures gave my mother grey hair. I never really came back to the Maniototo until 2006, when my first marriage broke up, and I had nowhere else to go. I was lucky enough to get an artist-residents-position, which gave me a flat for six months in return for developing a body of work for exhibition in the District. I left in early 2007, but I have been back every year in mid-winter, to run photographic workshops. When my second marriage blew up in 2014, my friends told me to come home, and I moved back to a dear wee flat, to rest, heal and start over again.” Continued Page 45 Wedderburn, Otago ~ Tony Bridge © 2015
“It’s been a long journey that’s just beginning. When I studied martial arts and was moving up through the ranks I thought the pinnacle would be earning my black belt. But once you get there, you realize in fact, that it’s just the beginning.” Tony Bridge Image Above: Maniototo, Otago ~ Tony Bridge © 2015 43
“I have been drawn to the possibility of photography as a vehicle to explore and express my own world, both in and out of. As time has gone by I have become less and less interested in the outer world, and more guided and driven by the exigencies of my inner world.” Tony Bridge Image: Kakanui ~ Tony Bridge © 2015 44
“Photography has been part of my life ever since I was born, but it really only got into gear when I was about 30 and when I realised that I finally found the one thing I wanted to do with my life. From Page 42
Since there was nobody to teach me, I taught myself, making all the usual mistakes that beginning photographers do until one day, one of my colleagues, somewhat of a dark Angel, looked at my work and commented on how derivative it was. Of course I asked the obvious question, and he introduced me to the artist’s way. Not that I can draw, but it always seemed to me that the camera was my way of approaching the need to express and explore myself. I think there are two quotes that have guided me through the years”: Elemental2c ~ Image: Tony Bridge © 2015
‘The mission of photography is to explain man to man, and each man to himself’ Edward Steichen and ‘The greatest journey is the journey within’ Rainer Maria Rilke
“My dark Angel could not have come at a better time; I had come up through the ranks, believing that equipment and technique would make me a better photographer, even though I really had not taken the time to explore what that meant. He opened the door to seeing the medium in quite a new light, and seeing it as metaphorical and a vehicle for expressing my ‘self’.” 45
One of the things which is really attractive to me about photography is the fact that it engages both sides of my brain. It is really simply a technology, but one which can be used artistically. When I was at school, I really loved maths and sciences, but I was really good at arts, and seemed to have an aptitude for languages (I have studied six and am now on to the one I have waited a lifetime to encounter - te reo). The technical aspects of photography have always intrigued me, and I make no apology about the fact that I am a technical purist. I suppose that comes about in part from my love for Ansel Adams work. On the one hand Adams was an unremitting technical purist, but on the other he was a very gifted concert pianist, and whenever I look at his work I see both aspects present. Because I am a restless soul, and I have a very low boredom threshold, I am always looking to move forward. That has led me into all sorts of arcane technical areas, not so much because of what they would offer me in terms of technical prowess, but simply for the learning to be found there.” Continued Page 48
Ranfurly, Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 46
Ranfurly, Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 47
...South... “My mother was born in Southland, and grew up in a very white Anglo-Saxon Anglican community. Throughout her life she carried those English values, and a strong faith, and I guess she passed a lot of that on to me. Throughout my life I have been intrigued by the teachings of Jesus, but I really would not describe myself as religious or as any sort of adherent to a particular brand of Christianity.
Throughout my life I have had a strong sense that what my senses were feeding me were a set of labels that I had been taught, and that “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in [other peoples] philosophy”. In fact, the more I look at the world, the more I see something beyond what human beings have agreed to see.”
It has always seemed to me that I have been fed the party line, and that any answers I got to particular questions (can you please explain the Trinity to me?) were either condescending (when you are too young to understand that) or simply reciting something the speaker had been taught.
...North... “My father came from the opposite end of the country, from Northland, and he grew up in the Hokianga amongst a strongly Māori community. He never really talked about it, and it was not until I was 18, and we were having a family dinner, that I found out my Māori ancestry. Somehow, over the years, I have been drawn more and more into that world, and to the cultural and spiritual understandings to be found there. Thus, in a way, I have a foot on both islands. There is my mother’s white European world, and the wisdom that comes from that, and there is the mystery of my father’s world, which I am only just beginning to explore. A good friend of mine maintains that the greatest journey in our lives is getting over our parents, and I suppose, in a way, that is a path I am following.
At an early age I guess I was very aware that what I read in the Bible could not be taken verbatim, that there was something much deeper and profound and esoteric to be learned. My life, in many ways, has been all about trying to uncover those things. Wedderburn, Otago ~ Tony Bridge © 2015 48
It seems to me that part of my role is to take the labels off and to offer an alternative view, to say: here is another way of looking at the world-accept it if you will.”
“The more I look at the world, the more I see something beyond what human beings have agreed to see.” Tony Bridge Image: Coal Pit, Otago ~ Tony Bridge © 2015 49
Listen... “In the beginning, I moved between the world of the amateur and the world of professional. An amateur photographs for the love of it, while a professional is very tuned to the needs of the client. Over time the two have blended together, and my professional work of late has been a blend of both. Personal style, that which differentiates you from the herd, comes from overlaying one on the other. Thus, when I am working on a large project for a client, while attentive to their needs, I am looking at ways in which I can bring my own perception to it. My best work as a landscape photographer comes from being alone, on my own, and in the high, wild places, where I can come face-to-face and have a conversation with the land. Landscape photography is not about making pretty pictures of the land, it is about documenting the space between and the conversation. In other words, photographing my inner landscape. And that means being willing to listen and open to what I am being taught. The camera is merely an instrument to
record that lecture. Because we all live in the body of Tawhirimatea, in the space between Papatuanuku and Ranginui, we must learn to listen to the lessons we are given every day. Usually an intuition or perhaps a trick of the light and/or space will prompt me to stop and enter into learning. Over the years I have learned to shut up and listen, and sometimes that may take 10 to 20 minutes before I begin to see the relationships I am being offered. Photography is, after all, about the exploration and expression of relationships, both outwards and inwards. It is a form of meditation.
at once apart and yet complementary. And I am happy with following the journey. It seems to me that truly great photography offers me an insight into the soul of the person who made the work, and adds something to the sum total of the human journey. Of course all photographs are self portraits, and it seems to me that a picture which looks like anybody else’s is in away an indication that the photographer wants to either be accepted by the crowd, or to avoid standing out. No matter what they might say.”
I tend to think of my work as not being opportunistic, but rather of being the development of an Opus, containing a set of distinctly different and yet congruent Cantos. I certainly do not see it as a linear journey, of ticking off one box before I progressed to the next. All journeys are spiral ones, not the linear timeline fiction of the Age Of Enlightenment, where we meet the same challenges again and again, each time bringing the experience of the past to the challenge we are facing yet again. I guess my website gallery demonstrates this. The bodies of work are 50
Tony Bridge - photograph by Heather McLeod
Tony Bridge ~ South and North
Photo Credit: Ian Walls ÂŠ 2015 Courtesy Tony Bridge
Next Issue ~ Part Two ...North...
Maniototo, Central Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 52
â€œMy life began in the wonderfully sparse and isolated Maniototo area of Central Otago. Over the years I have returned to recover and begin again. Every time the vast bowl of the skies and the enveloping silence have conspired to heal and inform me. â€œ Maniototo, Central Otago ~ Tony Bridge ÂŠ 2015 53
MIGOTO ERIA Curator, Ambassador and Diplomat
Migoto with her son Tomoana, Otago Harbour, Dunedin 54
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Tāngata Whenua and the Otago Museum Migoto Eria recently arrived in
Dunedin having held the role of
Curator Māori at MTG Hawkes Bay for almost three years in her home town after earning degrees in Māori studies from Victoria University. Migoto was raised by her mother who is from Mohaka Marae and Ngāti Kahunguru Tribe. Migoto shares “I feel that everything I’ve experienced in my life, every Māori experience I’ve had, has contributed to my being here in this role to fulfill the needs of our People by being able to represent our Culture as well as respond to questions in terms of how our history is represented through these precious objects shown and stories shared in the Museum”. This is the first time Otago Museum has created a post specifically designated for a Māori Curator - a very positive shift forward for the Museum, constructing a new bridge between Māori and Pākehā for greater understanding between cultures, and ensuring the story of Māori history is shared with respect, and relevance. Migoto takes this responsibility personally, and intends to take the challenge of communicating through exhibitions with as much spirit and wisdom possible. Part of a diplomat’s job is to find harmonious ways to bring diverse perspectives together where each viewpoint can appreciate the other’s, expand the participant’s hearts and minds, and place light and clarification on that which was formerly shadowed or confused. This includes a broad expanse of individuals and groups - from local Iwi, to Museum staff and Board Members, residents of Otago, and visitors 55
Image: Caroline Davies © 2015
from all over the world.
It is a carefully
“The perspective of a
considered pathway, and an exciting one, that Migoto must walk as Curator and
beautifully carved whakairo (carved objects of wood), parāoa (whale ivory) and
Māori person is quite different to the perspective on a non Māori person.
therefore will require strong diplomatic skills to help us all come to a greater
pounamu (greenstone) along with other precious artifacts that have been on loan
Māori audiences are particularly challenging - they need to be present and
understanding and appreciation of Māori Culture.
from Kāi Tahu families and are currently displayed in the Tangata Whenua Gallery at the museum tell the story of Southern
they need to feel empowered. There are a lot of artifacts displayed where our stories have been misinterpreted, or the
Māori life and mythology and was designed with guidance from representatives of Kāi
integrity of the story has been lost. My job is to ensure the objects displayed are
Tahu in Otago. The current collection is beautiful, and often moving as you wander silently around and appreciate the intricate
empowered not only through an aesthetic in presentation but also with a story that is relevant to current audiences, respectful
carvings found on the large waka, whare, and whakairo, igniting a desire to learn
of Māori knowledge, and that all the translations are easy to read and easy to
more and gain greater understanding of the symbology frequently used from eons ago.
families whose precious heirlooms are held in light for the world to see. Those of us fortunate enough to view them will also
The current exhibit has been standing as is for 25 years. This means that young people haven’t experienced a different perspective
prepared to provide support and advice for this exhibition. It’s also a significant turning point for The Iwi in terms of
learn something new from the experience of walking through an exhibition of this kind.
on Māori Culture within the Museum. As the stories are made relevant for today’s
renewing their exhibition space and reinterpreting their stories. It is important
I might add that although the world is home to multiple cultures, at the heart of it - on
audience, new objects along with a contemporary presentation will be brought
to me to work with The Iwi and their stories. I want to see what they want first
the inside of it all, we also have much in common as humanity and that is where our bridges find strong foundations of
into the Tangata Whenua Gallery. Interpretations will be revised, and many of the artifacts being shown presently will
and then bring in all the other parts they didn’t expect. It is my job to do it right its very exciting!”
agreement, respect, and support which can
“take a rest”.
Museums have a great opportunity to help diverse cultures understand one another by the sharing of history through objects and examples, creation stories, cosmology, mathematics, arts, and customs. This kind of work requires a group of dedicated people to review historical notes, to dig deeper than previous colleagues, be open to new information, and to take into account sensibilities and sensitivities of individual
We have an advisory board who are
Tikanga in the Museum - Māori Customs Tikanga includes a general respect for people,
for their spirit, and
keeping them safe spiritually and physically. This can be as simple as making a guest feel welcome at the Museum - gestures such as a cup of tea and making sure they are taken care of. Migoto adds: “Its a little more intense working with Māori objects. They are likened to people, and likened to the remains of our ancestors because they are. They are a physical presence of our ancestors. They’ve been around much longer than we have and much longer than I will ever be. Having a formal Māori role in a museum is like being a gatekeeper. Tikanga is not something that is hidden, but we don’t particularly share unless we need to, generally speaking. Here at the Museum, it is important to me that staff are tuned in to what’s going on, and that they should feel confident with our Iwi. As the Museum has Māori objects, then the Museum needs to understand Tikanga so that the owners or descendants of those objects know it is a safe place to leave their treasures.” In the esoteric world there are certain spaces, places, and carvings that have been imbued with significant meaning that may be withheld and are sacred to a small part of that culture. The Māori term used is Tapu and as far as my limited observations have been, seem very powerful. “Yes, we have had a few of those objects. I’ve had a few experiences where I’ve thought that would never happen anywhere else but in a museum. These objects do affect people, the stories affect people, and they have an impact on the community. treasures that should never be underestimated.”
These are sacred Image Courtesy Otago Museum © 2015 57
Tr an s la tion s
Translations for our readers who live in other parts of the world.
Te reo, the language of the Māori is a very beautiful language to listen to. I particularly love the prayers offered at ceremonies, blessings, giving thanks, welcomings, and other formal and not so formal occasions - the singing voice of the Māori often gives me goose bumps.
( M āo r i l an guage) Aotearoa:
t o E ng lis h
Iwi: Tribe, The People Kāi Tahu: The southern dialect for Ngāi Tahu: Ngāi Tahu means “people of Tahu” and all Ngāi Tahu whānui can trace
I’m learning as I go and grow... I thought you might find these translations from the Te reo referred to in this article useful too.
their ancestry back to this man, the tribe’s founder Tahu Pōtiki
Māori: The indigenous people of Aotearoa
Marae: Traditional meeting or gathering place Pākehā: Nation other than Māori Pounamu: The beautiful greenstone found in Aotearoa Tangata Whenua: Host people/people of the land Tikanga: culture, custom, practice, way Waka: Canoe or boat Whakairo: carved objects of wood Whare: House
Otago Museum: 419 Great King Street, Dunedin 03 474 7474
Te Paranihi, the 17 metre carved Waka, Tāngata Whenua Gallery, Otago Museum, Dunedin Image Courtesy Otago Museum ©
http://otagomuseum.nz / 58
http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/galaxy/pr2005012a/ Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
“I think the cultural knowledge of tribes around the world is fascinating. Most civilizations had a language that was born out of the stars. For example the Māori have Matariki and the Romans have the Pleiades. It’s interesting to me to learn the star lore of different cultures because it gives you some understanding of that particular culture. You will also see there is a commonality to cultures as with the Pleiades, whether Māori, Greek, Roman, reflecting we are all different, but we are also the same. Humans like to see patterns in the stars, tell stories and draw pictures based on those patterns. Having a little bit of knowledge about the sky and living in different cultures gives you insight to the world we live in.” Dr. Ian Griffin, Director Otago Museum, Dunedin DIEM Issue Two
“The Pleiades are what astronomers call an open cluster of stars, meaning the stars are loosely bound to each other and will eventually, after a few hundred million years, go their separate ways. The cluster is prominent in the sky during winter months in the constellation Taurus, when viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. Often called the Seven Sisters from Greek tradition, this cluster of stars has been named by cultures the world over: Matariki in Māori tradition, Parveen in Persian; Tianquiztli in the Aztec tradition, and Subaru in Japan. “ 60
A color-composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey Credit: NASA/ESA/AURA/Caltech http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/20/
Matariki, the MÄ ori New Year, will begin this year on the 18th June, 2015 when Matariki (The Pleiades) will appear on the horizon in the Southern Hemisphere. This signals the beginning of the MÄ ori New Year. There are also some tribes that begin their new year with the rising of Puanga (Rigel in Orion). Celebrations will begin around 13th June and run through to 12th July 61
I’ve got a Bachelor of Music.—I hope I actually use it; get paid, even. That’d get my career and take a spatula to it. Flip it upside down. I vowed I’d never flip burgers, like other graduates. Clueless as to how I’d manage it; as of yet, it’s fruitless. I’m only cashing a few figures annually, but come on —I’d work for a song, I love music to pieces! But for some reason, people say, “Don’t clap between movements, it ruins the natural acoustic and it detracts from the music.” That’s a good standard, but for the fact that it’s stupid. New listeners turn up and just feel dumb, stared at and excluded! Sure, I’d be glad if you wouldn’t do it, flattered, but only when my Bach’s as remarkable as Angela Hewitt’s. (Cut me some slack. I’m a student.)
“Concert Etiquette” Lyrics by Corwin Newall
Oh? What’s with the code of silence? I just want to sing along with the violins. Suppressing the need to tap my feet just has to be bad for me, but, it’s concert etiquette. Trying not to sleep at opera seems impossibly difficult, but it’s the rules. It’s concert etiquette. Oh, you’d better not forget. It’s concert etiquette. It’s concert etiquette! Shush! The whole field is elitist. People dream up meaningless sequences of notes, write screeds of conceited prose about them, and no one doubts their genius. Did you know that composers aren’t even supposed to write pieces that sound nice anymore because it’s seen as weakness? This symphony is bound to make them (call me a) sell-out, but I’d love to sell out. If that much of a crowd turned up I’d be proud, wouldn’t make them shut up and sit down. Contemporary music’s carpeted in thick layers of garbage. Arbitrary paint splashes on canvas can’t be a masterpiece. This scene’s a disaster. Please. I just want to sing along. Oh, what’s with the code of silence? I think I’ll applaud in defiance. [Clap and play] Suppressing the need to tap my feet just has to be bad for me, but, it’s concert etiquette. Trying not to sleep at opera seems impossibly difficult, but it’s the rules. It’s concert etiquette. Oh, concert etiquette. It’s concert etiquette. It’s concert etiquette! Shush! You forget, once you join the “in crowd”, how the sound of only you clapping is a bit loud. Sit down, don’t cough, phones off, keep your breathing even! Even better yet, don’t even breathe. Have some respect for concert etiquette. Shhh!
Photo Credit: Jenny Campbell © 2015 62
Corwin Newall with Feby Idrus, Marama Hall, Otago University ~ Photo Credit: Jenny Campbell ÂŠ 2015
Corwin Newall In times past, and William Shakespeare’s “times past” and characters come to mind, the Court Bard (and/or Jester) was highly valued if they were seriously witty, perceptive, entertaining and clever enough. In some realms, if the Royal Bard was too witty, perceptive and clever, they also might have been hung or had their head chopped off for being so bold and saying/singing it as it really was. This might happen if their Royal Liege was erring on the dim witted side, had serious issues of insecurity and guilt for their murky rulings and hypocrisy, and if their egos were ironically on the fragile side. Recently graduated from Otago University, Corwin imbues this archetype (the perceptive Bard not the insecure King or Queen). Corwin is funny, witty, perceptive and sings the story of today’s social oddities with sharp lyrics created with foundations of classical music and composition. He has a wickedly good sense of humour, great stage presence, plays the piano with flair and alacrity, and now his new album Symphony in G Minor adds his storytelling/songwriting skills alongside his award winning composition skills
The short road to Dunedin... “I’ve heard that if you grow up with silence around you, at least for the first few years, it really tunes you into sound, what it is and that you appreciate it more. The noises I heard in Eglinton Valley were the mountains and the vacuum cleaner at lunch time, but nothing else. It is really beautiful there and it affects me every time I go. I was born in Lumsden - in northern Southland, west of Dunedin. I’m second generation from there but after three days my family, and me with them, moved to Eglinton Valley right by the Hollyford River out in the wops of Fiordland. It’s in the middle of two valleys. The sun would get up at ten and go down at two because of the mountains, or so I was told. I was only there until I was three and then we moved to Dunedin. “ A slightly longer road in Dunedin “I used to play with the piano at my cousin’s house and didn’t realize I was writing songs - I just did it. Eventually one of my grandmothers gave us a piano and my parents got me started with 64
lessons. I learned to read Beethoven and thought well if he can do that, then I guess I can too. I didn’t have any inhibitions about composing because I didn’t realize I was contending with all the artists that had gone before me. I just did it. I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life, my parents loved to listen to rock music. I went through a classical snob stage where any kind of music not written by white guys who died two hundred years ago wasn’t o.k., but then I mellowed out and worked out that all the other stuff sounds cool too. I got Sibelius (composition and notation software) when I was about 13 and wrote “Race Against Fire” when I was fourteen from just playing about and having fun. It was accepted for the NZSO/Todd Corporation Young Composer Awards - I think that was about 2006. I was the worst one there, but that was alright, it was a really good educational experience. Most of the others there were around 23 or 24 years old who knew their stuff but but could still learn something from it. The only person younger than me was Kate Oswin (a brilliant young violinist now).
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
I learned so many cool things from that first experience that I wanted to keep going. One of the regulations for the competition is you have to be under twenty five and I thought back then ‘right, I can be in it ten times before I’m not allowed to be in it anymore’. But after the sixth time two years ago they thought I wasn’t getting much out of it anymore and I felt that I had learned everything they could teach me. It was really a great privilege to have had that experience and it’s a great opportunity for young composers.” So why Otago University? “I was living in Dunedin and it was right there, and I had met Anthony Ritchie. Anthony had not only judged a competition I had won in year nine, but he also gave me feedback on other compositions every now and then.” Which competition, and any others you’ve won? “It was the centenary of The Otago Branch of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers in 2005. I won a hundred dollars in the senior section. That was the first competition I ever won and so I
will always remember that one. I can’t remember all the competitions I have won but I can say that I have had six compositions recorded by the NZSO (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra).” What courses did you take and where did you start, what courses pulled you in, how many years of studying? “I’m out after five years. That was awesome! I always thought I would do Music and Japanese, as I did that for six years at school. I had a Japanese scholarship and everything, but when I started doing it at University, although I loved it, I realized I should be doing Computer Science. I had been teaching myself programming in my spare time ever since I got Sibelius, and from there I had expanded into different programs. So I changed my degree. I was doing a Bachelor of Arts already, so just changed the major to Computer Science, and that was a lot of fun. I loved all my subjects though calculus, chemistry, physics, music. But it was music that really pulled me to university. I noticed the university 66
students would always win the piano competitions at the Hutton Theatre, so I thought I needed to get better and I needed to be with them. That wasn’t exactly right though - I had to practice. I learned in second year, after a really bad mid year that practice is what makes you better rather than not practice, so after that I practiced religiously for ages.” Who were your tutors? “I had Kathy Thompson teaching me who was the HOD (Head of Department) at Kaikorai Valley College. Kathy is a really good musician and was able to help me for a very long time. At University I had Terrence Dennis, Anthony Ritchie, Peter Adams, and Graeme Downes on occasion. The Chamber Music Festival has a composition competition that I won a couple of times and each time I had Michael Norris’s (Wellington based composer) feedback which was also really helpful.” What have you come out of university with? “A Bachelor of Music with Honours and I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. That is probably enough to be getting along with... “
So here you are - you’ve completed your degrees and off on a new adventure - where would you like to see yourself down the road? “I’d like to be back here (in Dunedin) because we are Gigatown and that will be good for computer science and study, and although I have found internet this fast in the Southern Hemisphere, its not been for an entire City.
Links Symphony in G minor https://soundcloud.com/corwinnewall/sets/symphony-in-g-minor 'This is a symbolic, melodramatic, symphonic, cinematic, proof-ofconcept, concept album.' It sums up how I've felt going through university life, growing up, seeing the world for what it truly is, through a geek's eyes.
My goal down the road is to have written some software that can create convincing music for a mood and a style that you want with out even having to specify the key structure.” Who knows what the future will bring in opportunities, but do you feel you would also like to continue performing? Do you love performing? “Heaps - more than anything else (well I love a lot of things more than anything else). I love composing, performing, and programming. Composition is a lot easier than programming for me, but I love programming too - when I’m having good days with it.”
It's shaped like a classical symphony / piano concerto: four movements, with three songs each. Allegro, Andante, Scherzo, Finale. Fast, slow, fun, intense.”
Race Against Fire Corwin Newall and Professor Terence Dennis Photo Credit: Jenny Campbell © 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eno1hxFI6T4 Caught in the Headlights Opus 5 No1
A CITY OF LITERATURE Literary greats from all over the world are gathering in this beautiful city at the beginning of May. Fiction lovers will be spellbound by Bangladesh born Zia Haider Rahman whose debut novel ‘In the Light of What We Know’ has the literary world buzzing. Foodies can enjoy the culinary wisdom of Stephanie Alexander, Australia’s food queen and author of the Aussie classic “A Cook’s Companion” and news junkies can get a fix with British investigative journalist Nick Davies who uncovered the News of the World Phone Hacking Affair. Alexandra Bligh, Chairwoman of the Festival says this year’s line up is a celebration of literary diversity bringing lovers of literature, ideas and performance all together in a collection of inspiring events. Acclaimed British memoir writers Damian Barr and Helen MacDonald, comic genius and classicist Natalie Haynes, Irish poet Vona Groarke along with New Zealand’s wonderful Patricia Grace and Witi Ihimaera, amongst others, will be discussing ideas, opening minds and taking us to new worlds. 68
Championing its own authors, New Zealand’s UNESCO City of Literature, draws on a wealth of literary talent including resident crime writers Paddy Richardson, Liam McKillvanny, Rogelio Guedea and Vanda Symon, who will take sleuth aficionados on a crime ridden talking spree.
There are nearly 40 events over six days including the Dunein Writers and Reader’s Festival Literary Lunch Series - free events running from May 5 - 8, providing greater community access. Children will be entertained on the popular Storytime train to Port Chalmers - serenaded by musicians, story tellers and stilt walkers. Young adults can speed date an author and there’s a host of writers’ workshops.
Poetry in the Pub will be a potent home-brew not withstanding a touch of Mexican spice. Poets Louise Wallace, Peter Olds, Kay McKenzie Cook and Mexican born Rogelio Guedea will inject ‘poetry’ into the watering hole’s license.
Dunedin has a great architectural heritage, and many of these events will be held in venues that include the Regent Theatre, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Athenaeum as well as Dunedin’s Public Art Gallery, Toitu Settlers Museum and the Glenroy Auditorium.
Dunedin fiction writers Laurence Fearnley and Jackie Ballantyne will team up with NZ novelist Emily Perkins on the Writers’ Panel chaired by the ubiquitous fiction writer, playwright and poet Fiona Farrell.
Tickets to the festival are available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin
We are also throwing into the mix a stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ by consummate performa Rebecca Vaughan, we are blending poetry with classicl music to celebrate Lilburn’s centennial anniversary and drawing on the talents of Otago University’s fabulous Music Department for ‘W.B Yeats Centenary Lecture Recital’.
For the full 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival programme go to www.dunedinwritersfestival.co.nz
Blueskin Bay, Dunedin, Otago 70
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Wind turbine and solar panels providing energy to Hagenâ€™s home and EVs
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Hagen s Insight Taking The High Road Story and Photographs
Electric vehicle conversion: removing all of the components of the petrol or diesel system - engine, fuel tank, cooling system, etc., and replacing them with an electric motor, batteries and controller. Being a fan of electric vehicle conversions and curious if they might be a viable business for some enterprising person I went to visit Hagen Bruggemann to get his thoughts on the matter at his beautiful sustainable home high in the hills overlooking Blueskin Bay just north of Dunedin. Hagen has a perfect set up. His well thought-out home was designed and placed to gain maximum sunlight for passive solar heating, and includes a solar hot water system, and a wood burner with a wetback system. It also has a good solid array of photovoltaic solar panels and a single wind turbine providing plenty of electricity for he and his family, as well as the ability to charge both his electric vehicles, a RAV 4 and a Honda Insight. They are also able to store some and sell some electricity back to the power company. During the daytime in winter when they have excess power from the renewables, Hagen and his family use a 1.2 kw heat-pump (power input) which is connected to the underfloor heating to heat their house that works really well.
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
My husband and I have been wanting to do an electric vehicle conversion for years. That would be my husband doing all the research and work, I would be the cheerleader and yes woman. 72
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Ten years ago when we had started seriously researching, planning, and holding out for enough time and money to do one, there weren’t any viable new electric vehicles available in California where we lived at the time as there are today. But you could work around that by doing your own conversion, i.e., converting a petrol powered vehicle to an electric powered vehichle. The optimism and hope to move away from fossil fuels and into the 21st century with the General Motors EV1 in California had come and tragically gone with the final crushing blow in 2002. We frequented electric vehicle shows in Los Angeles which were mostly disappointing, largely full of small cars with maximum speed ranges of around 30 mph and therefore not highway legal in the United States. I found this curious because I knew EVs could drive much faster than that as history had shown. Toyota had come out with their popular Prius, indicating there was interest and movement toward reducing use of fossil fuels, but I knew we could do better than the hybrids - and we need to do better as fast as we can.
The High Road
Hagen’s Home: Maximum solar gain by building into the direction of the sun. Solar hot water panels on roof. Wind turbine behind the house. Image: Courtesy Hagen Bruggemann 74
After a few hours of lively conversation that included electric vehicles, environmental and political issues, Hagen insisted (nicely) that I take his Insight out for a test drive. “Really you’ll let me drive your car?”
So off we drove with Hagen as passenger on this warm summer afternoon ascending the steep slope on the narrow and winding Blueskin Bay Road... “OH MY GOD” I exclaimed accelerating up the hill. I sounded like a teenage girl from the San Fernando valley in Los Angeles, this is ahmaazing!
guidance system, driving smoothly, easily and with fabulous pick up. The Insight was quiet, comfortable, and it was fun. I liked that I wasn’t belting out carbon dioxide as I glided up the hill. When I put my foot on the brake the battery would receive a charge - perfect for most of New Zealand’s roads.
Hagen’s Insight drove far better than I had imagined. This great little car hugged the road beautifully, accelerated like a dream with a feeling of being connected to an imagined futuristic magnetic
At the end of last year (December 2014) Hagen’s Honda Insight, the second car he has converted, won the efficiency race held by Evolocity in Christchurch. The course was a combination of open
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
Hagen’s Honda Insight
road and town driving just under 23 km in length that had to be completed within a thirty minute time frame. Hagen’s Insight was competing against other electric vehicles like the Chevy VOLT, Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi’s iMiEV, plus a myriad of home built conversions. Hagen’s Honda Insight, an excellent choice for conversion, with good aerodynamic design and weight, completed the course using 1.9 kwh (kilowatt hours) of electricity. The car coming in second was a Honda City conversion which used 2.1 kwh, followed by the Chevy VOLT. The Insight has a nominal range of around 200 km under normal driving conditions, and can easily go for 250 km if it is driven at 85 to 90 km per hour on the open road. Open road usage is 130 watt hours/km and town usage is 100 watt hours/ km. These are pretty exact figures from Hagen’s testing. Having a 30 kwh usable Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack in the car makes it possible. With two conversions up to this point, a Toyota RAV 4 and a Honda Insight, Hagen makes it clear they are not that difficult to do, but you have to have some basic knowledge of electronics, the tools, and the
space to work on them. There are resources available that give courses, workshops, training videos and online help, so for a determined person, a conversion can be done relatively quickly and easily. With all things like this though, success also means doing your homework and finding the right level of support and advice. Although relatively small in number, conversions are being done all over the country (and world). Drivers love them and for good reason. Its a great feeling to free oneself from the grips of oil addiction, the cost of petrol and the higher maintenance needed for combustion engines. Plus it’s always fun to be part of a movement bringing the future into the present. The electric vehicle conversions are one of the high roads to freedom. You can probably find mentors and resources not too far away, and at the very least find really helpful people through EV clubs, Universities, Poly Techs and even High Schools. You can find an ocean of information and resources available online and in local libraries. 76
Nuts n Bolts What are the parts and human resources at hand in Dunedin for someone who would like to do a conversion? Hagen: “Apart from batteries, motor and the controller everything is available in Dunedin. The Scott Drive and Packmaster, the heart, or better still, the brains of the system, are designed in Hamilton and are the best systems available for heavier cars for example, cars that are 1300 kg to 2500 kg. The Scott Drive converts the DC power from the battery pack into more or less AC power which can drive the electric drive train of the car and can power ACinduction motors or permanent magnet motors. The Packmaster looks after the battery pack and will be the "fuel guage" and safety system for the battery pack. It also has a DC to DC converter incorporated which converts the high battery voltage to 12 volts so you can run lights, power steering, and vacuum pump for brakes. The Packmaster can also control the battery charger charging the car. “
Hagenâ€™s RAV 4 Conversion 77
Photo: Courtesy Hagen Bruggemann
“There aren’t specific courses offered in Dunedin presently, but the EV Clubs all offer resources. There are books and videos available world wide as well. If circumstances avail, it is ideal to find someone else who has successfully completed a conversion and get some insight from their experiences. I really like the company EV-West in San Diego in California in the U.S. We buy special parts from them and they also buy the Scott drive from NZ. They are even more enthusiastic about EV Conversions and not only have meetings, but they also convert a lot of petrol cars to electric drive. They are very helpful, have a lot of experience, and offer a lot of resources from their web site.” Where would you have the old engine taken out and by whom? “You can do it yourself or ask a garage.” What needs to happen in NZ for Kiwis to understand we have the ways and means to move away from oil dependency? “A real price for the cost of carbon would fix it pretty quickly but we really have to sort things out ourselves and try as best
as we can to avoid purchasing products made from oil.” You seem really happy with the lithium iron batteries (note, not lithium ion), how are they lasting for you? “So far so good. It is very hard to get scientific data from independent sources. My own testings have been very promising. I have tested 8 year old lithium batteries which we now use for house storage as well as for our 12 volt system in the Rav4. All the cells still hold at least 80% of their original capacity for the house, and the ones in the Rav are more like 90%. The real test will be with the Rav's new batteries I bought 4 years ago that I’ve looked after myself. The batteries have done close to 40,000 km and are still performing really well. I’m going to do a test on the battery cells shortly and work out if the cells have deteriorated and if so, by how much. The battery manufacturer from China states at least 2000 cycles with a 20% deterioration but some tests in Norway have shown much better results than this due to real battery life usage over testing in the lab. 78
Two of the positive impacts on the real life-cycle of the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are the re-generative braking systems - introducing high reverse currents (charging the battery when you put your foot on the brake) into the battery and reducing the growth of the Solid Electrolyte Interface layer (faster build up seems to happen much more in lab battery life cycle testing). This SEI layer build up causes an increase of battery resistance over time. The other positive impact in a real life-cycle is the full capacity of the battery is not always used. That is to say, an electric car battery, in real life, is not always fully discharged and fully charged. You can’t go a long distance on only 30% capacity so you would need to charge the battery up first. And, vice versa, we don’t always charge the batteries to their full capacity to go somewhere close by if there is a lot of charge already in the batteries. The small amount of independent testing I have seen supports the theory that this type of lithium iron chemistry deteriorates less when not always fully charged and discharged. The life cycle
testing for the batteries in the lab only cycles the cells fully from a top to bottom state of charge.” What about recycling of the batteries? “A good way to reuse the batteries is to use them in a home storage system like we have done, although that is a lot harder with OEM electric car batteries as
there are too many wires, but this does give the batteries a second life. The manufacturer in China will also take them back and recycle them, but you do have to send them over to China of course.” What are the most expensive considerations for a conversion - there is the time it takes, the lithium iron phosphate batteries from China, the car itself - any other big items? “The batteries and the drive-train ( motor and controller) are the most expensive items. The car should be in good order but doesn't need to be very expensive. There is no middle man for the batteries themselves as they come directly from the manufacturer in China.” Have you had any difficulties registering or insuring conversion vehicles (in New Zealand)? “Not really, it needs to be built to the New Zealand Low Volume Certification standard. Its not that difficult and the people are nice.” One more thought to share - I think it is rather odd (and very typical human
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries
thinking about things), that one of the issues with batteries has been about range... but when you think about it, you could say the same about petrol tanks... they have a limited range too, they will only go so far before they run out of petrol. A major difference is that a petroleum based infrastructure was set up really quickly to accommodate filling one's tank up with petrol, (as in petrol/ gas stations). What do you think about the idea of the places being set up that can do a quick replacement of battery exchange for longer haul drives? Renault is doing something like this in Israel, called Better Place (like a gas station but replacing batteries instead and only takes a few minutes) and Tesla has had a very small battery swap experiment going on as well... “It is a possibility but would make the move to electric cars even more difficult as we would need a standard which all car-manufactures need to comply with, but worse, the very expensive, in good order battery pack, would be swapped with not necessarily an equal quality battery pack. It seems very complicated. I think the fast charging option at this early stage is much better, as we don't need a complicated battery removing
and installing mechanism in the car and in the battery swap station. A good power supply will easily charge a car in 30 min back to 85% capacity. We just need to set up a network which is very easy in NZ. Every transformer-station in a village could have a 50KW outlet, which would support a fast charging station. Of course it would be near a nice cafe.” Below: Hagen showing me how it all works underneath with the car up on the hoist. No oil leaks or drips and no nasty smells.
“What I think people need to know, generally speaking, is that an electric car can go the same distance as its equivalent petrol version with the electrical energy it takes to refine the raw-oil into petrol to propel the equivalent petrol car “ Most people do not realize just how much energy (electricity or other forms) is used to refine crude oil into gasoline (petrol). That is not to mention the large amounts of energy used in extraction, transportation, infrastructure, labour, as well as the actual refining process. Common figures mentioned by various sources are that it requires approximately 6 kWh (kilowatt hours, i.e. 6000 watts for one hour) of electricity to refine one gallon of gasoline from crude oil. Given an average of 24 miles per gallon for an average gasoline powered car, that translates to 24 miles for 6kWh of electricity used, which is in the same range as an average electric vehicle. But that is only part of the story because of the costs and energy use of transportation, etc., mentioned above as well as the cost from pollution, health issues, environmental disasters and economic calamities. 80
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
And so... As it turns out, my brilliant idea of what I thought might be a great small business is really borderline and not that practical in the sense of time and profit margins for EV conversions in New Zealand unless it was subsidized or bankrolled so a serious compact factory style business with an efficient set up and skilled mechanics/ technicians got the production technique down to a T. Of course customers would be needed to make this viable and we are a small country. Conversions can cost on average $20,000 to $30,000 in both NZ and the U.S. depending on the car, how many batteries you put in, and if you do it yourself. Take into account though that a considerable number of fossil fuel cars are sold each year with higher price tags than that plus the cost of petrol and maintenance. The lighter and more aerodynamic the car’s features are, the less batteries you will need for an EV. The cost is mitigated after a time as you are not paying high costs for petrol, with less impact on the environment, and if you are able to charge your car with electricity from wind or solar sources, then even better.
Conversions are a great way to transition into electric vehicles and a great way to recycle cars especially if you have a love for older or classic designs, and want to spend considerably less than it costs for a new EV. Having gone beyond the problematic lead acid batteries is helping move things along as well. The cost of a brand new EV such as Nissan’s Leaf is around NZ$69,600 (used ones are available but make sure the batteries are in good shape), Mitsubishi’s iMiEV is around NZ$59,990, and significantly less than the current price-tag of a brand new Tesla (not yet available in New Zealand unless you import it yourself for a price tag of just under $200,000 for their top model). Some of the cost of the conversion could also be reduced if you already own a suitable car, perhaps this could work well for government bodies and companies who already own fleets of cars, and rather than buy brand new imports, hire the appropriate people to do the conversions over time using what we have instead of paying the relatively high price for new petrol based vehicles. This would give employment opportunities to those with the technical know how and ability to 82
build conversions, save money in the long run, and contribute significantly to improving not only New Zealand’s carbon output but the worlds. Transitioning to EV’s isn’t the only way we can reduce our use of oil on a daily level, albeit oil is used these days in just about everything there is. There are alternative products for most of those things on the market and we can reduce our use significantly. Even thinking about garden power tools - for example - electric lawnmowers are quieter and much more pleasant to use without the fumes of petrol wafting up into your lungs and out through the neighborhood, weed whackers, hedge trimmers and even chain saws. If not directly plugged into an outlet, these smaller tools can usually have their batteries charged up with just a small independent solar panel or two, not costing an arm and a leg - which, if your power is sourced from a coal plant, also deflects the problem of trying to fix one thing whilst adding to the problems of fossil fuel consumption on another level. Converting to battery operated power tools also gives the flexibilty to use in remote locations.
Resources and References The short sad story of General Motors EV1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1 The longer much more interesting and intriguing story of the demise of the EV1 http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com/ Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery Evolocity, New Zealand http://evolocity.co.nz/about/ Source for the Scott Drive in New Zealand http://www.scottdrive.co.nz/Products.html EV West in San Diego, California, U.S.A. Parts, great advice, support, and resources. http://evwest.com/catalog/ Another great E.V. Conversion source in Shasta Lake, California, U.S.A. www.EV4Unow.com
Custom conversions and workshops
My personal favorite web site about EV Conversions, not just for girls... http://www.electric-cars-are-for-girls.com/ The 6 kWh electricity to refine gasoline would drive an electric car the same distance as a gasser? http://greentransportation.info/guide/energy/electricity-to-refine-gallon-gasoline.html How much electricity do we use to refine crude oil in the UK? (it's quite a lot) Four minute film, worth the watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpX-9OyEr4 83
A Very Brief History of Electric Vehicles
...” So many other pillars of modern civilization have changed over the past one hundred and twenty years, but the one thing that still remains is the internal combustion engine. A hundred smoggy years and driving in cities around the world has become mostly a painful and frustrating experience. Driving on the wide open road is one thing, but sitting in traffic jams in the midst of thousands of other frustrated humans belching out carbon dioxide, sitting almost still in contraptions that were thought to make life faster, easier, more convenient, have in fact created the opposite - and whilst sitting in those traffic jams, frittering away and burning up one of the world’s most unrenewable resources. ..” Kenneth Cranham - “The Electric Car Revolution”
Scan by InsomniaCuredHere,flickr.com
Much of our knowledge of history depends on how well records are kept, who and what gets remembered, what is forgotten or long lost and who tells the story. This brief historical line is approximate, but you will get the picture (with very broad strokes)
kilometres per hour (unheard of at that time). As rivals, Jentazy and Laubat kept outdoing each other with land speed records until finally Jenatzy took his bullet shaped EV up to 106 km per hr on April 29, 1899. It was this keen competitive edge that helped move things along.
Two things to know are that electric cars came first - before combustible engines, and America wasn’t first.
America got into the swing of things around the beginning of the 20th century when New York City purchased a fleet of electric taxis. These worked really well for the city streets and distances, and were extremely comfortable with plenty of headroom for a lady’s hat and berth for skirts. Besides which, there weren’t that many paved roads in the U.S. at that time. In 1900 hundred only 10 percent of the 30,000 miles of road were paved. The early EV’s in America were The Baker, and The Detroit Electric.
It is said that around 1838 Scotsman Thomas Davenport built the first electric car, but his batteries weren’t rechargeable, so that was that. Then fifty years later or so, around 1888 a three wheeled electric car was made in Brighton, England. By late 1898 scientists had gradually improved batteries from the Thomas Davenport days and were able to go into mass production of electric cars. The upwardly mobile people in Europe became captivated with electric vehicles.
The advantages of electric vehicles back in those days were you could press a button and it would start, they were clean, quiet and pretty fast. Women preferred these cars and so the cars were marketed to women, which meant they looked nice, had comfy cushions, lace curtains and vases for flowers. You could easily recharge the battery overnight, ready for the next day.
Toward the end of the 19th Century, electric racing cars were doing really well in Europe and going really fast (for those times). This was frightening for a lot of people as the belief in the day was that you would die going at some of the speeds reached (not from crashing but just going fast). Belgium business man, Camille Jenatzy who was building electric taxis for Paris, was also a fan of speed and took up a challenge to generate publicity for his company from Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat who got his first electric sports car up to 93
Combustible engines needed cranking (not suitable for a lady all dressed up tightly secured in corsets and all). The combustible engines often back fired, were noisy, smelly, and disturbing and therefore dangerous for horses also using the streets. Men seemed to prefer these experiences or perhaps they didn’t like the lace curtains on the EV’s.
Sourced from Electric Cars are for Girls Public Domain, Author unknown
Above left: German electric car, 1904 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car "Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-1126-500, Kraftdroschke" by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1126-500 / CC-BY-SA. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ Public Domain
Above Right: Thomas Parker Electric Car http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Parker_Electric_car.jpg#mediaviewer/ File:Thomas_Parker_Electric_car.jpg">Thomas Parker Electric car</a>" by Unknown (Life time: Unknown) Original publication: Unknown, Public Domain
Left: “La Jamais Contente” ~ Camille Jenatzy’s Bullet Car (c. 1899) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Jamais_Contente http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jamais_contente.jpg
Detroit Electric Car - 1915 "http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1915_Detroit_Electric.jpg#mediaviewer/File:1915_Detroit_Electric.jpg">1915 Detroit Electric</a>". Licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a> via <a href="// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Wikimedia Commons</a>.
There were also steam cars - they were smooth and powerful, but it took about 45 minutes to get enough steam to make the car go, and still burned fossil fuels to make the fire to heat the water to make the steam.
Not really a turning point, perhaps more of a long curve: The 1970’s brought with it oil embargoes from the middle east in the United States. This was a turning point in American car manufacturing and consumerism. This is when you would see an emergence of smaller more gas efficient cars in the U.S. (Europe and the rest of the world were way ahead with smaller and more gas efficient vehicles, if not for anything else, the price of petrol alone has always been a lot more in other countries). Los Angeles, a car dealer’s paradise, was continuing to be one hell of a smoggy city though, and people started asking for solutions... Smog levels rose to a critical point in Los Angeles in the early 1990’s (this was not the first time). Exhaust emissions were having a huge impact on air quality in the vast urban sprawl roped together by crowded and often jammed freeways.
Steam, electric and gasoline powered vehicles were pretty evenly split for a while during this transportation transformation era. EV’s however, were rapidly establishing themselves as a reliable and easy way to get around the city. The Game Changer: In 1912 engineer and inventor Charles F. Kettering (and his team at DELCO) developed the electric charger for combustible engines by reducing the size of the EV battery. The rest is pretty much history. Gas powered cars had longer range, the problems experienced with using a crank to start the cars were made redundant, and as roads were being built and infrastructure secured, gasoline/petrol powered cars took over the market.
At last - a break through - just kidding: Legislation passed requiring every car manufacturer who sold cars in California to also sell vehicles with zero emissions. In 1996 General Motors launched a fabulous car called the EV1. However, they were not for sale. General Motors leased them to owners instead. About 800 were eventually distributed.
And off we went: So gas was cheap, there was plenty of it and nobody much seemed to mind the traffic jams, smelly air pollution and lung issues. Decades went by and cars just got bigger and bigger.
The people who had them loved them and were enthusiastic car owners. Meanwhile, GM along with other manufacturers and the oil companies lobbied hard to get Zero Emission Vehicle law repealed. California is one of biggest car markets in the world and ultimately manufacturers got their way and GM cancelled the whole project in 1999.
In between all this the occasional EV would pipe up, raise its head, and then disappear. Batteries were lead acid, limited and so had their drawbacks too. Distance was still an issue, and seeing as the infrastructure for gasoline was well and truly established there was very little hope for the EV’s anyway. Bless those who tried though. 89
EV car the the car EV
The problem was that most of the EV 1 drivers didn’t want to have their leases cancelled, they wanted to keep their cars but despite the protests from the EV1 lease holders and drivers, GM seized the cars anyway, and then got filmed crushing them... (what a waste - you should all be crying at this story)
Meanwhile, back in France, Renault had quietly been in the laboratory developing all sorts of alternative cars from small compact EV’s to larger commercial vehicles in the early 2000’s. However, the lack of infrastructure to support battery recharging, forced the company to shelve their projects for a short time. The Research and Development already done, has ultimately placed Renault in a good place. We haven’t heard much about it outside of France though. In 2008 Tesla changed the game (after almost 100 years) and raised the bar considerably in what you could expect from an EV, not only in flashy design but also great performance with up to 200 miles in range (depending on how you drive it). Tesla also released their design patent to the world in 2014. And now... 2015: Long established car manufacturers and oil companies are still dragging their feet aided and abetted by their fabulous PR teams amongst other things. “Problem what problem?” However, the tide is turning and hopefully 2015 will be a landmark year to be noted as a definite turn. We can only hope.
By EV1A014_(1).jpg: RightBrainPhotography (Rick Rowen) derivative work: Mariordo (EV1A014_ (1).jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/EV1A014_%281%29_cropped.jpg
Updates and improvements come in daily with today’s EV technology and although we may not hear about it on the news, developments are on the rise all over the world. Once you plug into the online resources and news networks for EV’s you will see a pretty amazing hive of activity going on around the world. The technology is here, the rest is up to us.
Toyota’s hybrid Prius emerged in Japan in 1997, hitting the world market in 2000. Toyota subsidized the Prius, selling the cars for less than they cost, opening the market for lower emission vehicles.
Additional Links ...”The U.S. Energy Information Administration figures released on 24th of June, 2011 that U.S. Oil Refineries consumed/ purchased 46,227 million Kilowatthours from electric companies in 2010. That figure easily makes the oil refineries in places like California the electric companies largest industrial customer, which also creates an interesting business relationship dynamic as the oil companies also provide fuel to many of the same electric companies.
Drive Electric “is an organisation at the core of the emerging electric vehicle industry in New Zealand. Motivated to help New Zealand realise the health, environmental and economic benefits from accelerated and orderly uptake of plug-in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure.” http://driveelectric.org.nz/ The Electric Car Revolution (Produced by Renault U.K.) A history of the EV (and a plug for Renault) Narrated by Kenneth Cranham... “With colourful stories, eccentric characters and evocative archive, this timepiece documentary charts the up and down 110 year history of the electric car.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44mFzZI1_r0#t=96
According to Kenneth Burridge (Editor-in-Chief of EV.com) "The EIA data confirms that quite a bit of the USA’s oil consumption, pollution and carbon emissions could be eliminated just by diverting electricity from the oil refineries directly to the garages of drivers willing to commute to work using any type of electric vehicle". He goes on the say "the electric bill of a refinery is only a fraction of the fuel they consume and all costs are eventually passed along to the consumer with every gallon of fuel they purchase. Oil refineries are basically middlemen that EV owners don’t need". In addition the oil refinery also uses a large amount of: natural gas, coal, petroleum coke, and millions of pounds of water/steam to produce gasoline and diesel fuel all of which would be not necessary if ICE’s could use electricity directly like EVs...”
Camille Jenatzy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Jenatzy Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaston_de_Chasseloup-Laubat
Charles F. Kettering http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Kettering
Found half way down the page from “caracalover Re: Oil facts compilation”
Early Electric Car Companies http://earlyelectric.com/carcompanies.html
h t t p : / / w w w. m y n i s s a n l e a f . c o m / v i e w t o p i c . p h p ? p=118182&sid=008b9fc100ed149807286f63310b419c#p118182
News and Reports on EV’s (and other things) http://www.greencarreports.com/news/electric-cars 91
T H E P R E S E N T
More and more models of new Electric Vehicles are coming out each year. The Tesla and the Nissan Leaf (opposite page) are just two examples of what is currently available on the market out of several types and models. Making a list can get confusing because of the number of countries making EV’s, as well as some marketing terminology - an EV - as in 100% electric with rechargeable batteries and what we are talking about here - is different to a hybrid that also utilizes petroleum besides the battery option, but I’ve seen some cars that are hybrids, marketed as EVs and you have to read the fine print really carefully. New Zealand doesn’t have any Tesla dealers, so Kiwi (New Zealander), Steve West, imported his Tesla Model S into New Zealand and drove it around the country to promote EVs. Story on link below... http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/64887614/ Software-developer-Steve-West-leads-charge-forelectric-cars Image Top Left: Tesla Roadster Sport Courtesy of Tesla Australia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster Image Bottom Left: Two Tesla Model S plugged in at a recharging station powered by solar panels. Courtesy of Tesla in Australia
Image: Nissan Leaf Courtesy Nissan New Zealand www.nissan.co.nz
Nissan Leaf owner, Craig Salmon (and also friends with Steve West), had a great drive in his Leaf and drove up and down both Islands to help people become aware of an alternative to fossil fuels in New Zealand. http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/326002/road-trip-shows-power-electric-alternative 93
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
The Dam that acts as the main water harvesting feature was built from clay from onsite, the excess material from the excavation was used to build a wildlife habitat for ducks. Â In line with Permaculture principles th ere is a l a rge fo c us o n re us in g a nd re c y c l i n g o f a l l m a t e r i a l s , n a t u r al or man made, n ot hin g leaves t he sit e.
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Story and Photographs Caroline Davies
Two years ago, an unwieldy seven acre plot of land spanning steep slopes in a Dunedin suburb began a transformation. Neglected and unused for an untold period of time, permaculture designer Jon Foote and partner Sanae Herd came along with a vision and the necessary expertise to create a productive and beautiful garden of Eden. Where once stood a large vacant lot, now a rich canopy of compatible varieties of cherry, plum, pear, apple, apricot, peach, crab apple, quince, chestnut, hazelnut, and walnut trees, even in their young years, thrive amongst thoughtfully placed shrubs including black and red currants, raspberries, blueberries, feijoas and artichokes. Windbreaks are made from Tree Lucerne, long standing Elderberry, Sallow Wattle, Italian Alder and Japanese Fodder Willow.
A large swale, enhanced and formed from natural contours of the sloping landscape takes centre stage, and on a still day mirrors the beauty surrounding it whilst hosting local birds and insects as well as supplying water to the edible garden. A beehive, safe from pesticides and other environmental toxins in this piece of paradise, is part of the matrix in this perfect oasis of productivity. Ultimately this site will be host to a series of food forests, market gardens, timber crops and native revegetation. ReScape is a substantial boon to the community. For immediate neighbours the permaculture design enhances the outlook visually, and offers an opportunity to participate in community gardening providing fresh local food. For the greater community of Dunedin, ReScape offers a Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
place to learn how to make the best of the climate and landscape we have in our own environment maximizing local food growing and economy, and be inspired and encouraged to transition into a much more sustainable community by observing successful demonstrations and use of renewable energy, water collection, and conservation. The ReScape Resilience Education Centre’s vision is to provide support and training in developing skills around the three core aspects of resilience: growing food, alternative energy, and alternative building techniques. Just about every aspect of permaculture will be included and addressed in courses and hands on workshops held at the Centre. Diverse systems of food production such as stacking, guilding, hugelkultur and sheet mulch no dig beds will be taught, and importantly passive harvesting of water utilizing dams, ponds, and swales.
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies © 2015
ReScape has started the Organic certification process with Otago Organics and OFNZ (Organic Farm NZ). It is currently rated C0 which is the first year of a 3 year certification process. 98
Interview with ReScape’s Jon Foote What inspired you to create ReScape? Seeing the general decline in the climate combined with the industrialised food system and subsequent lack of resilience in community food systems we see the need for developing local food growing areas and maintaining the ‘local’ in the food system. The current food system has created a disconnect, people are detached from the process of growing, we want to create a place for people to reconnect. What has been the most challenging aspect of creating ReScape? Having to be patient while the trees and plants grow knowing what they will be like in 5 – 10 years time. How much have you planted and built so far? * Approximately 150 Fruit trees and shrubs, including berries. * 150 timber crop. * About 100m2 of market garden * 8 x 4m Tunnel House * Composting toilet
The basic principles and advantages of a Permaculture system The 3 Ethics of a permaculture system are: Earth Care – Take care of the earth People Care – Take care of people Fair Share – produce enough to be able to share
12 Principles: 1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation. 2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need. 3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing. 4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. 5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources. 6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste. 7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go. 8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other. 9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes. 10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides. 11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. 12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time. 99
How far away are you from being set up as a learning centre? We get closer and closer all the time, but the development of meeting areas have taken a back step this summer so we could concentrate on the Market garden. We are now probably at least 6 months away from having a set up meeting space ready to teach from. How can this holistic system support communities through changing times, uncertain weather patterns, and energy issues? With the imminent supply shortages of oil to come the ability for communities to be able to support and feed themselves will be extremely important. Our food systems rely heavily on oil for production, transportation and storage, therefore as oil prices increase so will our food supplies. Local sustainable food systems are like an insurance against a future of uncertainty. Added to that is the threat of natural disasters. With the earthquakes in Christchurch we have had a very clear example of what can happen with no notice. I recently spent time in the Photos above: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
community developing strategies for building resilience into their local food system in the wake of the difficulties they went through during the earthquakes. Can you talk a bit about your saving seeds project and how you envision this? We believe that seed saving of local varieties is essential in a resilient food system, therefore we hope to be able to make ReScape a part of the local seed saving initiative. Where did you train for permaculture? Trained with Geoff Lawton at Zaytuna Farm in NSW. Completed Permaculture Design Certificate and Earthworks Construction. What do you love about Dunedin? Dunedin is such a beautiful place, we love the laid back lifestyle, friendly people and all the great places in the landscape that are so close at hand.
h t t p : / / r e s c a p e . c o . n z/
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Carrick in Bannockburn - Central Otago “The long cool autumns with their warm days and cool nights create ideal conditions for the production of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Other grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris also thrive in Central Otago’s micro climate.”
A biodynamic brew maturing over winter â€œBlair Deaker, Viticulturist, returned to Cromwell and Carrick from Villa Maria organic vineyards and was instrumental in moving Carrick to its organic status. Blair is great with phases of the moon and brews for Carrickâ€™s compost (as well as people, hens, dogs, vegetable gardens, brews for our compost and of course vineyards).â€?
CARRICK Organic Wine from Central Otago Story - Caroline Davies Photographs - Courtesy of Carrick
Deep in the South Island of New Zealand between Dunedin and Queenstown, Central Otago is internationally recognized as a special place that offers up fabulous wines, particularly Pinot Noir, for which the climate and soil is particularly suited. Steve and Barbara Green, owners and creators of Carrick have a very successful organic vineyard in Bannockburn, along the Kawarau River, Central Otago. They have not only created an outstanding wine but also care for their land and grapes with specific attention to details of natural soil biology, organic and bio dynamic systems and have a great team of people working with them to ensure the highest and purest quality of grapes and wine possible. When I treat myself to a glass of wine, which is only on special occasions, I want it to be organic and I want it to be good so I’ve been on the lookout for a great local (as can be) organic vineyard to support when I do celebrate a special occasion and discovered Carrick. I mentioned to Barbara that I am a much better wine feeler than connoisseur of taste, that I judge a wine, not only on taste and bouquet, but even more so on how it makes me feel. I know that if I pick up the glass for another sip, it’s promising, and if I finish the glass I know it’s really good. I’m more empathic than intellectual when it comes to evaluating what a good wine might be, and my body’s unintentional response never fails me on judging that quality. I like a “velvety” (smooth and rich) dark red, and one that has not been inadvertently laced with unnecessary additives. 104
Above: Steve and Barbara Green enjoying one of their carefully produced wines in their restaurant. It’s a great place to visit.
Aerial view of Carrick ...â€œBannockburn is found deep in the south interior of the South Island of New Zealand in the wine region of Central Otago. Nestled at the southern end of one of the broad glacial river valleys surrounded by the Cairnmuir and Carrick mountain ranges, Bannockburn enjoys a continental climate with low rainfall and high 105 sunshine hours.â€? ...
Barbara, who, amongst other responsibilities on the vineyard, is involved in all the aspects of wine making gave me some insight into wine and why their wines taste and feel so good to drink. Barbara: “Firstly wines. All wines are a natural product. They rarely have any additives, although some wines are fined they should not have any detectable traces of the fining agent left (all wines are tested that are exported) and the fining agent is often milk or egg products. Wine making, at least in my experience is not a chemical process. It may be the natural tannins from the grapes or the amount of acid in the wine that doesn’t sit well with you. Velvety wines are generally wines made in hotter climates from very ripe grapes and some varieties have much lower acids, also age will tend to soften out the tannins. In making organic wines particular care is taken, all cleaning agents must be organic (there is a lot of cleaning in a winery). We use our own staff and machinery, all grapes are handpicked, and everyone who works
here understands our philosophy around
excited about the wines that were being
produced. There were only two vineyards in Bannockburn but we knew because of
What inspired you and Steve to start a vineyard? “Steve and I were living in Dunedin when we decided with some friends to buy a house in rural Central Otago. We all loved it and we decided we would like to be able to spend more time in Central Otago. We also decided that we would take the plunge and look for land to plant a vineyard, both of us had successful careers but decided that we would like to be responsible for our own destiny. Wine making in Central was in its infancy but we particularly liked Pinot Noir ( a difficult fickle grape to grow ) but which was looking as though it would be successful on the soils and with the Central Otago climate. Now Central Otago is the go to area for Pinot Noir, the climate is generally not suitable for other red varieties. As wine drinkers we knew about wine and Pinot Noir and recognised the potential of Central Otago. We knew some of the earlier pioneers and were 106
the documentation and soil and climate testing that had been carried out before Lake Dunstan was filled, Bannockburn was a potentially a good place for vineyards.
The land we chose was available as freehold land, it had no
responsible for our own viticulture and we have our own on site
plantings except for some rough pasture and a few merinos (sheep). With a local viticulture consultant the vineyard was
winery. The majority of Central Otago wine labels rely on contract winemaking facilities and some use contract labour on their
planned and laid out. Steve and I were totally involved, marking and laying out the posts, installing the irrigation,
vineyards. We have a winemaker, Francis Hutt, and an experienced viticulturist Blair Deaker, that means that the transition from regular
doing the wire work and planting the grapes.
viticulture to organic was easy because everyone on site was on board. Central Otago wineries are very collegial and winemakers and viticulturists readily share information and support.
A successful outcome and transition to organic production Central Otago has lived up to its promise, most wines from Central Otago are excellent. The quality comes from the particular climatic conditions, dry hot summers, long warm autumns but with cool nights. One difference Carrick has along with some other well established labels is that we are
Most producing Central Otago wineries are sustainable, and are audited. Being organic requires additional criteria, in order to call yourself organic you must go through a three year transition process, meeting all standards and be audited by a recognised
...â€?Mindful of the special nature of the soils, Carrick is farmed using only organic practices. In order to produce exceptional wines; pruning, shoot positioning, shoot and fruit thinning, leaf plucking and picking are carried out by hand. There is extensive use of cover crops to encourage natural biodiversity and useful insects and we are rewarded by the numbers of beneficial birds that live in the vineyards.â€? ...
organic body. Carrick had never used
inorganic pesticides so moving to organics some years ago was not a major
applications from around the world and it is not unusual to have qualified
issue. We also incorporate biodynamic practices. Steve and I live in the middle
winemakers from Burgundy, California and Spain at vintage.
of the vineyard so an organic environment is important to us.” Hand picked grapes and an interesting variety of vintages: “Because we are a smallish producer the wines have vintage differences and that creates interest, sometimes the vintage can be a little more challenging and sometimes we are rewarded with perfect conditions. All our wines are of a very high standard and rated highly by wine critics. Good Central Otago wines especially Pinot Noir or Chardonnay are expensive. Most work is done by hand by an experienced and dedicated crew. At picking time the grapes are hand picked and sorted and go straight to the winery where Francis has a crew of experienced winemakers. Central Otago is highly sought after by overseas winemakers looking to work a vintage in an area that is known for producing world class Pinot Noir.
A Fabulous Restaurant We also have a delicious menu focused on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We have two organic gardens and we use as much produce as we can from these. Gwen (our chef) has very good suppliers. She has recently become one of 10 national finalists in the Silver Ferns premium beef selection awarded for her entrée dish which is currently on our summer menu. We make our own olive oil but only make enough to use in the restaurant. Our wines are readily available in Dunedin and many other places. We encourage visits to the winery.” Carrick Wines Cairnmuir Road Bannockburn, Central Otago New Zealand +64 3 445 3480 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.carrick.co.nz/ 108
Above top: Excelsior is Carrick’s special vintage & only made in years when the season & quality of grapes are outstanding. This is the 6th Excelsior in Carrick’s 15 year history. The label displays renowned New Zealand artist, Grahame Sydney’s painting, “Winter at Kane’s Pond”. Above: Winemaker Francis Hutt, Grahame Sydney, Steve Green at Excelsior launch, Milford Gallery, Dunedin
...“There is a magic in drinking a wine where it is made. As an awareness of place and seasonality contributes to our wine drinking pleasure, so it is with food. Carrick’s restaurant that overlooks the spectacular Bannockburn Inlet has a menu created around fresh seasonal local produce.”...
Taste Nature organic shop and eatery Story and Photos Pauline Durning
A lovely warm place to find a hearty bowl of soup during our autumn and winter days is Taste Nature’s cafe found within the organic shop. Warm home made hearty soups made with as much local produce as possible, fresh crusty breads, and for a special treat something on the sweet side created with whole foods - and all so comforting - can cheer up even the wettest and coolest days of Dunedin whilst shopping for my organic supplies or meeting up with a friend for a tasty lunch. Mark and Rayna Dickson own and operate the one and only certified organic store in Dunedin. Impressed by the range and quality of the produce and products available at Taste Nature, I visit there regularly to see what’s in season and stock up on a variety of things such as gluten free products and nuts and seeds to add variety to my muesli. I usually know what I want so I’m in, I look, I select and I’m gone. BUT since speaking with Mark I realize I’ve been blind to so much more on offer at the store. I wasn’t aware I was such a creature of habit and that I’d stopped growing my knowledge and practices to improve my wellbeing and that of the wider community. 1 3 1 H i g h S treet
Du ned i n
03 474 0219
Taste Nature is a great resource centre for knowledge and actively aims to support awareness for those interested in selfsufficiency and sustainability as well as providing the perfect one-stop-shop for organic, whole foods and natural products for babycare, for gardeners, first aid, cleaning…you name it! The “healthy alternatives” they provide go well beyond edible items. Their website provides a very comprehensive list of useful links to other health promoting services as well as community events.
Zealand as a business of integrity. This has come about through a number of dedicated individuals committed to realizing this vision. Congratulation to Mark and Rayna and their fabulous staff for their willingness to provide our community with this essential choice. This enlightened and appreciative city now benefits from this highly valued service. I went in for a bit of lunch and a chat and came out with so much more.
I loved hearing about the history of Taste Nature. I could see why this service has such a positive reputation throughout New
next step toward improving my own and my community’s quality of life!
I’m inspired. My learning journey has begun again. On to the
Mark Dickson Photographs Pauline Durning © 2015 111
â€œThe difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.â€? Attributed to Jimmy Johnson 112
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2015
Arts, Lifestyle and Culture Magazine focusing on the brilliant people and places of Otago, on the South Island of New Zealand, Aotearoa. Inc...
Published on Apr 28, 2015
Arts, Lifestyle and Culture Magazine focusing on the brilliant people and places of Otago, on the South Island of New Zealand, Aotearoa. Inc...