Paris Parking

French car parks

French kiss: ultra tight parking is a feature on Paris streets. Note that the dust on the bonnet of the car has been rubbed off by pedestrians ‘going over the top’.

While I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania a Parisian post-Doc and his exotic wife came to the Geology Department to study with the renowned Prof. David Green.

My enduring memory of their short sojourn down under was the wife commenting on a parking mishap she had in Hobart when she tried to ‘bump’ the car in front to make¬† space and it didn’t move. She explained that in Paris you don’t park with your handbrake on so that parking space is maximised.

Sure enough when we eventually visited Paris, we were most impressed with this Gallic parking strategy which included not only the impossibly tight parking one sees, but the creative use of pedestrian crossings and street corners as places where cars can temporarily be abandoned. It was also amusing to watch the reactions of pedestrians to these obstructions; if the car was in the way, just hop over the bonnet and continue on your way. This was obviously routine everyday behaviour without rancour or malice.

In the process of digitising  old photographs I came across a series of images of Parisian parking which are now on my web site.

Posted in Observations

Put a Stake through Rodney’s Hide


I see that unwanted politician Rodney Hide continues to push his wheelbarrow of BS and is still getting away with it.

Rodney Hide doesn't want to listen to expert advice.

Climate denier Rodney Hide trumps science with his opinions.

The Auckland Herald for some strange reason seems to think that he has something interesting to say beyond his home renovations or new trials as a late-in-life father.

This time he rails against the shallowness of politicians and the lack of analysis and reflection in news coverage where “Who can be bothered with a boring report? Just give us the headline.” rules.

He is building up to one of his favourite riffs about the scam perpetuated against honest business people by that evil cabal of climate scientists.

In this case, late last year the British Met Office announced that global temperatures over the next five years “are likely to be a little lower than predicted” in their December 2011 report. This news was trumpeted in the Daily Mail and Telegraph newspapers as evidence of the demise of global warming.

Mr Hide took this same tack, but had he looked beyond the headline and actually read at what the Met Office had to say, he might have been better informed. Paragraphs 2 and 3 of their release are produced verbatim.

However, both versions [2011 and 2012] are consistent in predicting that we will continue to see near-record levels of global temperatures in the next few years.” and

This means temperatures will remain well above the long-term average and we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850.

Perhaps Mr Hide could take heed of his Croatian taxi driver and give us the real news, not his opinion.


Posted in Environment, Politics

The New Zealand Statue – Contemporary Figure Sculpture in Aotearoa

The sculpture Quarter-acre Weather-board Paradise

The sculpture Quarter-acre Weather-board Paradise stands out against the concrete panels of the Gallery at Zealandia Sculpture Garden.

A survey of contemporary New Zealand figurative sculpture curated by Robin Woodward is currently on show at Zealandia Sculpture Garden, near Warkworth.

The show includes works by: Paul Dibble, Marian Fountain, Hannah Kidd, Richard McWhannell, Terry Stringer, Llew Summers, Greer Twiss, Toby Twiss and myself.

The show will run through January and February 2013 and can be viewed by appointment by contacting Zealandia Sculpture Garden direct (09 422 0099).

My work titled Quarter-acre Weather-Board Paradise references the 1972 book The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise written by now British M.P. Austin Mitchell that celebrated New Zealand as heaven on earth.

My work hints that now, like everywhere else, there is trouble in Paradise.

Urban sprawl resulting from the Kiwi Dream of a weather-board clad house on a quarter-acre section is spilling over our hills and along our coasts.

The loss of productive land, traffic congestion, pollution are associated with the degradation of once pristine environments.

The lone, red painted, weatherboard figure of Quarter-acre Weather-board Paradise symbolises the process whereby man ceases to be part of the environment, but becomes the environment.


Posted in Environment, Exhibition, Sculpture

The Artist’s Garden

Stainless steel bust - Surf's Up

Two wall mounted busts stare off into the distance with the ‘classic’ surfer’s stare’.

My good friend and near-neighbour Kelley Diener  is starting a new venture.

On 19th of January she is opening her Orapiu garden (The Artist’s Garden) to the public.

She is showing outdoor art and sculptural works by local artists and has talked me into revisiting the back-catalogue.

I have two works with her:

Flight – a stop-motion series of bird silhouettes in flight and

Surf’s Up – a wall mounted, stainless steel bust.




Posted in Exhibition, Sculpture, Waiheke Island

Sculpt Oneroa – a sort of Salon des Refuses

Sculpture Pas de Deux

Two steel figures pass in an urban ballet outside the Oneroa Post Office on Waiheke Island. They are part of the Sculpt Oneroa show.

Oneroa village on Waiheke Island is to host Sculpt Oneroa, an outdoor sculpture show timed to coincide with the bi-annual Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition.

The idea is to exhibit work of local sculptors, many of whom have previously exhibited at Sculpture on the Gulf and Toi Gallery including: Chris Bailey, Leon van den Eijkel, Lyndal Jefferies Sally Smith, Toi-Te-Rangiuaia and myself.

A total of 17 works will be scattered throughout the village during the period 18th January to 18th February 2013.

The work I am showing is Pas de Deux (with hoodies) which was previously exhibited at Sculpture OnShore 2010.

The work comprises two figures in painted steel with overall dimensions of 2,000×1,200×1,200mm.

The work is for sale – $10,000 (inc. GST).

Posted in Exhibition, Sculpture, Waiheke Island

Zealandia Sculpture Show

I am off to Zealandia Sculpture Garden

Weatherboard sculpture (under construction).

Weatherboard figure (under construction).

tomorrow for the installation of my new work Quarter acre weatherboard paradise.


This will be part of the ‘Contemporary Figure Sculpture in Aotearoa’ exhibition to be held there over the summer.


I will post images of the installation soon.



Posted in Exhibition, Sculpture