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AUCKLAND

- City of Sails -

1500 x 1000mm

This is the first work of the series. Obviously I wanted it to be new and exciting, but I also wanted it to have a touch of humour yet still preserving the feel of my prior collection – PIN-UPS.  It’s  not only women that are blatantly heralded for their physical form, after all. Throughout history famous and anonymous men, the type you might check out on cover of ‘Strength’ magazine — from Jack Lalanne of the 1940s to Arnold Schwarzenegger of the 70s -  have been popularly depicted with oiled-up muscles, brawn-strutting pin-up poses in some miscellaneous activity that involves flexing and stretching. It’s cheesy. It’s shameless and I say, behold this vintage eye candy if you so fancy.   It’s the city of sails, so of course my Adonis  had to be a sailor. But I couldn’t put him on a yacht, then we wouldn’t get the see the harbor for the great big sail in the way.   I’d always been drawn to old fashioned launch’s in a mortified sense that it looked like someone had taken a classic james bond boat of the 70s and crossed it with a passenger ferry.  As it turns out, my grandfather used to build the first launches in Auckland.  So it was settled, a retro launch it was.  The decorative mast isn’t a symbol of religion, but could be perceived as the results of European colonization, the subsequent efforts of missionaries converting everyone to Christianity.  Each piece of this collection has a symbol significant to its location. For this work I chose the Muri Paraoa (Whale Tail )  a good luck charm providing safe passage over water .  Deciding on a viewpoint of Auckland was difficult, as I didn’t want it to be the typical west to east shot of the city, with Rangitoto Island behind.  It not only had to represent of my favorite part of Auckland (Devonport) but also to depict the feeling as if one was coming around North Head and seeing the city for the first time, from a sailors viewpoint.  Getting the shot involved kayaking from McHugh’s on Cheltenham beach out and around north head with a waterproof camera. To my disappointment the Devonport wharf blocked Northcote point and most of the bridge, destroying the vision of something I remembered to be quite different. So I took the good parts of the reality and used ‘artistic licence’ to turn the rest back into that memory.

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