On sleepless nights, I tell my boy stories about our cats. Stories are a great way to distract sick children and they work better than movies. Hoomins often project personalities on to their pets, and their habits on to ourselves.
In some stories, Chewbarky is a vampire – the great Count Chewbarkula! He was a courageous Crusader hero that fought against the infidel but sadly, lost his way. Now he wants to drain the life force from any can of jellymeat he can sink his fangs into.
Freddystein aka Freddy, had a second chance at life when he was reanimated by a discarded cheezburger…it was electric…! Now he hunts his way through the frozen voids looking for the perfect fries (see what I did there).
Mz. Peyonce glides through the night skies on her broomstick, hailing the dark forces in her true, diabolical Witchypoopoo form. Don’t leave your Type O Negative dvds lying around! She’ll sacrifice them!!
We still can’t decide which famous monster Fatty Catty should be… Elvis or Wolfman…? Only time will tell…
You can view colour vector versions of these fabulous monsters at the Aotearoa 666 Red Bubble store .
Part of our glorious Kiwi culture involves sheds. They are important places to have. While I was growing up The Shed was a place you could clear out and have birthday parties in. Paint cars. Fix cars. Store tools. Build things in. That sort of thing. So it’s little surprise that I like to use mine as a studio space.
This wasn’t always the way with Shed. Oh no. Shed had become a storage space for items last seen in Island Bay in the early 1970s. Record players that used to belt out ABBA tunes to keep four year olds amused. And then the records, and everyone else’s unwanted records. At the start of this year, my brother returned home from Australia and he cleaned it all out. It was amazing. I helped some, well, very little actually, but I am incredibly grateful to my brother for completing this momentous task. Thank you!!
So here is a small collection of photos of things I keep in my shed. Please excuse me while I ruminate some …
I’ve got the rest of my Ngā Moemoeā (Dreams) series hanging along the western wall. The first one in the set was sold to the H.B Williams Library here in Gisborne. Then there’s a photo of a collage that used to be on the fridge in Queens Ave (my old flat in Balmoral), and the next photo shows a clock I added frilly bits to and an old photo from The Blooding. Haha, what is the time indeed. Next, a nun and her drunken goat army (because every nun needs one), positioned right next to Maleficent. The evil Disney Queen from Sleeping Beauty. Mmmmm… feeling goth-stalgic yet?
Because I am.
Then there is Cernunnos. I had him made for me, and he watches over All. At his feet sits Elvis, a surprise gift! Then there is an old bottle with Siouxsie lyrics on it. You can see some old paintings in the background. And finally, the Hank Poster from Black Chrome‘s first gig.
So there you go – a quick twirl around the shed. If you fancy a real dance one night, come over for a visit.
Treat me nice, treat me good, treat me like you really should…
So sang Elvis in Wooden Heart. I thought of that song while I was painting this, but the whakataukī I used has an entirely different meaning!
Last year, in my teaching work we were using small A5 sized pieces of ply and drawing on them in pencil. I took this idea a little further when I came home and sketched a picture of a heart (I have a medical model of one at home, a gift from a friend many years ago). I added the ribbon and whakataukī He kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea. This is the last part of the Māori proverb that runs –
He kohonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea
The corner of a house can be seen, but not a corner of a heart.
Basically I understood this to mean that you can never know someone’s intentions, or what’s truly going on in their heart, or what their motivations are.