Friday, August 12, 2011


It all started at my Grandparents house. Lots of significant things in life seem to start there. Perhaps it's the rooms full of hoarded memorabilia, old dolls prams and "stuff", or the peeling bright blue paint of the tongue and groove, or the red guard's van (yes that's a real life train caboose) in the backyard, that trigger an explosion of ideas. Or perhaps it's that this early 1900s bungalow, formerly my great Grandmothers house, is "home". It is an eclectic treasure trove of family memories, always with a hearty meal at the ready, a cup of tea and a good yarn.

Anyway anyway, that's another story for another time. So, what started at my Grandparent's house then? Not only my first creative venture when I was 8, and my life changing venture at the age of 20, Hapene Flax NZ Ltd. But the beginnings of Maisy & Grace, and the exhibition that came forth from what I would call a journey of self discovery - when rummaging around at the family 'home' I found things belonging to my Grandmothers, and great Grandmothers, and I was drawn to rediscover life as these women had lived.

What I found out about them inspired me. Their stories were real. Their living was simple. Times were tough and they were tougher! All completely different women, of completely different origins - yet their blood runs through my very veins, and in some respects, has made me the person I am today.

"Whakarongo ki to Kuia - Listen to your Grandmother" pays homage to four incredible women who have gone before me, who have influenced me in ways they could never know, and who I live to make proud.

Finding all these darling artifacts of old gives me goosebumps (not in a spooky way!) - my mouth literally waters, and my heart does flip flops - it's like I've been whipped back to the early 1900s and I can smell the kerosene and the lavender and the mothballs and the rose scented pillows.

Anyway, enough rambling, on with the show. It takes you back to washing by hand in the bath tub, making bread, high tea, preserves, simple food and long summer days in the garden. It's romantic but honest. My love affair with the things of old has begun. And long may it continue.....

(Well, this has been my very first blog post, and I'm having a little trouble with the images - I wish Blogger had a bigger 'window' to work with! Maybe Blogger does and I just haven't worked it out yet. So, I will publish this as my first blog EVER, and will share the actual exhibition with you in my next post. But here is a little sneak peek - I managed to get these images on the page in the right place yahoo!)

"Tartan Harakeke" - Homage to Nana Rata, of a Maori mother & Scottish father

Until next time, keep warm and happy (lots of cups of tea help)

Christall x

Exhibition photography by Ange Jordan-Earle Portraiture

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