Sunday, June 6, 2010

Public Art

I wonder if there are any hidden artists amongst the farmers who live in my area?  I immediately think, “not likely”  but artists come in all shapes and forms, don’t they?  Quiet, unassuming Roger is an unlikely artist but his creations are indeed beautiful works of art.  


You’ll find his factory in the industrial area of Ruakaka, not far from his playground, the surf beach.  The sign pointing the way, is hardly artistic.

If you’ve been reading my blog lately you will know Roger is the boss artist at Surfline Surfboards.  And if you’ve never thought of surfboards as works of art, you’ve never seen a Roger Hall surfboard.

He has recently crafted a beautiful long board from cabbage tree wood (in the U.K. they are known as Torquay Palm).  I always thought of cabbage tree as being extremely fire-resistant and that their leaves make good fire kindling.  I remember that because they seem to prefer to grow in swampy land.  Doesn’t make sense, does it, that’s why I remember it!  Early settlers brewed beer from the root, too.  Strange the things you remember.  Maori used the cabbage tree for all sorts of things – food, fibre and medicine (to cure diarrhoea and dysentery) and the leaves were woven into baskets, sandals, rope and rain capes.

But I’d never imagined you could use the wood to make a surfboard.  And what work of art it is!

Here it is in various stages of creation (thanks for the photos, Roger):
the ugly stageWhat they call the ugly stage and a lot of work went into getting it to this stage

getting there surf board     getting there

surf board shaped-4
looking good
and still it's not finished!
More loving care will go into it before it is ready for the public to witness this artwork.

So, next time you are on a surf beach keep an eye out for the public art, right there in the surfboards.

Generally I like public art to be a little quirky, made of unexpected materials, like this: dancing sticks

Or the public toilets at Kawakawa:kawakawa loos

Or these: crocodile
head and plinth

I appreciate when others make an effort to add an artistic touch where it is least expected, like at our local garbage dump:

The craftsmanship of Maori carving is always wonderful to see.  This fierce looking chap repeats all along the side of a Maori war canoe:maori art

So, that’s it for this week’s FSO on Public Art.

I'll be scheduling this post to appear on my blog on Friday as my friend, Chris, and I are off gallivanting (love that word).  We are heading north armed with cameras to see what we can find in the way of old churches.   Maybe any old buildings, who knows!  Oh, and probably we will be on the look out for rocks for next week’s topic.  Don’t know where we will be staying, we will let what we find dictate the schedule.

Thanks, Doreen, for doing the link for me.

Why not pop over to here to see what public art the rest of the team has found.
Thanks to Barry (the King of Bloggers) and his lovely wife, Linda for this week’s topic.  I enjoyed it.  (And I hope you are feeling better, Barry!)


  1. Great post Pauline, enjoy your jaunt with Chris. Happy Days.

  2. Great captures. Love that stone that is in a form of a croc ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

    Public Art

  3. Great photos! I enjoyed looking at all of them.

  4. New Zealand has the best public toilets anywhere. And like you, I like sculptures to be a little quirky too, so I like those musicians and dancers that you have here.

  5. I always thought the surf boards are made of fibre glass. My son has a boogle board, and I never looked to see what it is made of.

    I was asked about the tongue in the maori culture. Just this wednesday, we had a Maori teacher coming to teach the kids Hapa Kapa. he stuck out his tongue and stared with his eyes. then he told the kids, it is not a laughing matter.

  6. I, too, love the stone turned into a croc with a few dabs of yellow paint. And the wonderful work in the toilet stall. And of course the surfboard creation!

  7. I have a thing for quirky art as well, maybe it's the sense of fun that goes along with it. Being fro Canada we don't think about surf boards much, but you certainly proved your point about their being a work of art.

  8. Who could not appreciate the junkyard art right along with the detailed surfboard art. Sounds like a fun trip with ideas for the next Friday ShootOut. Love a Quirky Post!

  9. Great shoot-out post. Fun and quirky works for me.

  10. Loved the croc. Very interesting and informative for me as I know nothing of surf boards.

  11. Hi Pauline, great choices! I'm going to take a look at more of Roger Hall's work. Have a great weekend.

  12. Yes, there is art everywhere if we only look! I love unexpected finds!

  13. the surf board is definitely a work of art! beautiful. the info on cabbage wood is also interesting, never heard of it before. the red guy at the end is a little scary.


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