The Auckland Art Gallery’s children’s floor

The Auckland Art Gallery has a floor that is aimed towards children, with a room that allows children to play or interact with a changing series of displays and there is a larger area next to it between the two sets of stairs that has things like the school holiday arts and crafts programs. Or the interactive Lego display where people could change a city made out of white Lego’s called “The Cubic Structural Evolution project, 2004”.

The new set up is history based and includes examples of Curiosity Cabinets set up along one wall! 🙂

I have taken more photos of the displays but I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with them in relation to this site just yet… (I’m also painfully slowly working on a background and history page of Curiosity Cabinets so these photos would easily work as photographic examples I can use for that, as it would be very good to have photos I’ve taken myself for it).

The rest of the room had boxes of costumes the children could dress up in and old photos that could be used as backgrounds for their caregivers to take photos.

CoC categories

I have decided how I am going to categorize the pages of Cabinet of Curiosities – finally! I don’t want to have categories that are about what the thing is, i.e. Art for street art or sculpture, as I can picture having an unruly number of categories and some categories having a tiny number of posts compared to others or having a small more manageable number of categories and having a ridiculously large number of the posts ending up in a “random” or in a “other” category.

So I’ve decided to have four general categories, (or five at most if I can of five I like), that are based on the way I think or feel about each of the posts. At the moment my list is “Pretty”, “Interesting”, “Like”, and “Happy”. I’m not entirely happy with the words I first thought of – “Pretty” in particular – but basically the concepts they represent.

“Pretty”: for things I think are attractive, beautiful and of course pretty. This can be a simple reaction to the thing with no real thought or interest beyond that basic reaction.

“Interesting”: for things that I find thought provoking on a number of levels. For things that interest or challenge me mentally on deeper levels than just randomly liking or thinking something is beautiful.

“Like”: when I like something but can’t quite explain why.

“Happy”: For things that just make me happy. An example of this – which are what caused me to think of the “Happy” category, but which I’m not planning on looking here are the Christmas boxes that are around the central city in Auckland, which have clear panels in them with dioramas of things that are a part of a New Zealand Christmas in them. They also have sensors in them and start playing Christmas music whenever someone comes up to them and for some reason they just make happy. I’ll include three pictures of one box below…

Textile display

Textile Display

Most of the cabinet is shown in this photo – so it is very small.

I talked about a display looking at weaving and wool based art in a previous post, (the display included other types of textiles as well but I had focused on the wool based ones as I thought they were the most interesting). I quickly took four photos of the textile section of the display – there were sections on things like New Zealand pottery – as I thought it would be interesting to be able to give a basic idea of why I liked them enough to mention them.

Textile Display

This is one of the more interesting wool pieces.

As the display for the textiles was just a small cabinet with photos of the work rather a proper display with the works themselves in it I’m only going to be posting the photos here in my blog rather than on a separate page on the main page. I thought have a page that was little than photos of someone’s photos didn’t quite work but did like the work themselves enough to want to have a record of them and the types of things I would like to look at further.

Textile Display

I liked this one in particular.

I am actually mildly disappointed that I wasn’t able to see a display of the original pieces, and not to be able to take a few photos of them, but to be able to see the whole works for myself given that a number of the photos only showed parts of the larger work or showed the larger work without showing any close ups of the details. But they are part of a series of simple displays at the Public Library in the central city in Auckland, New Zealand. (If anyone is interested they are on the top floor that the public is allowed to go to and are usually in the general area between the Sir George Grey collections and the family history sections – usually with display going down the wall from the newspaper reading room, past the family history entrance, and into the general seating area).

Textile Display

“ANZ Picket Fence”

I’ve added the second set of photos I took yesterday to “ANZ Picket Fence“. Which is one of the few remaining remnants of the 2014 Devonport Arts Festival. Which means I’m starting to get content up!

I’m not happy with the layout on the main page at all, though I’m putting off playing around with it more until I have more pages up so I’ll have more to work with… It doesn’t help that I have very limited ideas of how I want to have it look at the moment. I keep thinking of things and then deciding that they won’t work for various reasons – like being too complicated or being an ugly or bad color scheme… Or unpractical or too hard for someone who doesn’t know what I’ve done to use… I have to be very careful as I’ve found that what I think is an easy website to use in fact isn’t obvious to other people when I get them to try the site out for me.

I’m also going to have to work out I’m going to sort all of the individual pages once I’ve gotten too many to solely list on the main page, which I have been putting off thinking about let alone working on until today… My current big problem is that I don’t want my categories to either be set in stone with a small number or to get out of control over time as I keep adding new ones or to have a reasonable smaller number of them but have an “Other” category that slowly becomes the ridiculously large catchall if I don’t come up with a well thought out list to begin with.

Meaning that this is going to be a lot more consuming both in general and in finding new things for new pages than I was expecting over the next few weeks to months.

First Page

I’ve just added the first page looking at something to the main site – Lorne St Mural. I’m really not happy with the general layout and color or anything along those lines as I do think they look very boring – the pictures I have up on the Lorne St Mural page are all black, white and grey which isn’t helping any…

Not that I’m going to pick things to look at and take photos of solely due to this of course 🙂 But it is something to keep in mind overall. This just means that I’ve got a lot more work ahead of me than I was expecting originally…

“Change/Exchange”

This is the art work I was talking about in my previous post – the one that helped me come up with the idea for this website – that is currently on the ground floor at the Auckland Art Gallery. (It’s currently in the very back room in the main public section of the ground floor). It’s by Christine Heller (1947-) and is called “Change/Exchange” (2008-2016).

Change/ExchangeChange/Exchange

It is a lot bigger than I could in my photos – I had been hoping to take a photo of the whole piece but there were people looking at it so I was only able to take a photo of one end and another one focusing in on the detail of a few of the boxes she made between 2008 and 2016 to give people a very basic idea of what the whole work is like.

It’s made up of boxes she has filled with found things, like feathers, and things she has drawn/created some of which include the found items. It works very well and as I mentioned it does seem to have people spending quite a bit of time closely looking at the individual boxes!

The work helped to inspire the idea of an art based website that looks at things I think are attractive or are interesting/oddly interesting even if they don’t fit in with my idea of “real” or “proper” works of art. Street Art is an easy example of this course, as I’ve already mentioned, but today I saw a display of weaving and wool based art works that also fit into my definition of what I want to look at with this site.

Introduction

Cabinet of Curiosities is about things I find interesting, with a basis towards things like street art, art in general, books – in particular books about or created by artists -, oddities, and a few pieces about nature or events. It was originally inspired by an art work at the Auckland Art Gallery which was a wall covered by boxes filled with found objects and things made by the artist, which lead to idea of creating a site that looks at things I find interesting regardless of what they are but probably biased towards things that are art in some degree and the historical Cabinet of Curiosities.

An example of the types of things I will be looking at is the street art that is currently outside the Auckland Public Library in the central city.

Bansky Library

This is the street art outside of the Auckland Public Library that was inspired by Banksy.

This was created by Gabriella Lidstone White in September 2016 or very early October 2016.