As an adjunct to the Wanaka Festival of Colour programme Art at Home arranged for 300 people to visit our home and studio last week as part of a tour of six homes.
Christy Rolfe did a great job of organising this in association with Wanaka Rotary who are raising funds for a community arts project in Wanaka.
There was so much interest one visitor even hopped across the stepping stones into my studio on crutches.
It was a great day, we enjoyed meeting everyone and getting feedback about our work.
The 25 minute film Delicate Canvas by James Blake and Joey Bania was shown in Auckland at the documentary edge festival. The film features our art practice leading to the exhibition Martin Hill-Fragile Canvas at Gallery 33 Wanaka.
Saturday was fine and sunny after a hard freeze overnight. We found that the ice on the tarns was thick enough to work with, so we quickly set about extracting a large sheet and carving it to shape to be placed in the centre of the tarn.
By then It was getting warm so we worked very fast before the ice melted. Just as I was carrying the sculpture into place it broke in half. We set to and made a similar shape from the largest remaining piece and quickly installed it in the shallow tarn. I had to cut a path through the ice and wade in to the middle of the tarn to get the camera angle I wanted. Although the sun was getting higher now the image worked and I made the photograph. The sculpture collapsed shortly after.
The fine weather was what we needed for completing the rock sphere and it was good to finally place the capstone and view its final spherical shape.
Sunday was equally fine and we had visitors arriving for lunch by helicopter from Whare Kea Lodge. We all dined on the terrace and then some joined us in walking up to the sculpture on the bluff where Philippa and I stayed to put finishing touches to it.
The day ended with a glorious sunset the clouds deep red beyond Mt Aspiring.
Most of yesterday we remained inside while the snowstorm transformed the landscape to white. Summer is over. By 4pm the snow stopped and the cloud began to lift. I headed up the snow covered bluff to work on the rock sculpture.
It was very beautiful with everything covered in fresh snow, but it made it more difficult to collect rocks and increased the danger of slipping and falling off the edge while working. As the sun went down through the swirling clouds around Mt Aspiring everything became golden.
A clear cold night brought a cloudless dawn today. We are off to work.
We have been up here on Albert Burn Saddle for a week now and feel quite at home. We are familiar with the extreme changes as fronts come through and then clear.
Yesterday morning it was -5 degrees C and there was a lot of ice in the streams, waterfalls and tarns. Of course this also meant our water system froze up. Under clear skies the peaks shone. A frozen tarn, with some coaxing, became a sculptural medium, while frozen waterfalls hung like stalactites from dark cliffs.
We had another visit – this time from Martyn Myer, a friend and a couple of young guests from Whare Kea Lodge who had been flown up to Dragonfly Peak and were walking back down the East Matukituki. They checked out our half built rock sphere on the bluff above the Chalet and departed after a cup of tea and a chat.
Walking across this rolling alpine highland is a joy with flowers and plants coated in ice and kea circling above. It’s such a contrast to our winter experience here when these mountainsides were all under metres of snow.
Working with rock and water is challenging but works are coming together for the exhibition in Melbourne. Today there is no wind so we will be attempting to complete the Rock Sphere up on the bluff. Correction: it is now snowing heavily with a strong southerly, more like winter.
f11 magazine has published a full profile and portfolio of my work in their April edition. f11 is a high quality online magazine for photographers and aficionados.
I am not strictly a photographer – the art I practice is sculpture and my photography is its documentation, but I am honored to grace the pages of this carefully crafted publication by Tim Steele that regularly features the work of local and international photographers with diverse portfolios.
Check it out and sign up – it’s free.
Ice Circle- featured on f11 home page
Day five and a southerly storm has grounded us again. After a clear starry night when everything froze creating magical ice patterns on the small tarns.
The wind and rain arrived mid morning as we were working on the rock sphere on the bluff. The wind gusted so strongly it threatened to blow us off the edge of the cliff on which we were handling the large rocks.
Yesterday was the only fine clear day so after a flying visit from our patrons Martyn and Louise Myer during which Martyn joined us lugging big rocks off the mountainside for more construction, we hiked over to explore streams and waterfalls at the head of the Albert Burn. One waterfall has several spectacular tiers and should make a site for a work when the weather allows.