Sunday, 15 May 2022

Town Basin

I haven't spent as much time along the Town Basin as I used to before I retired.  It was always a good place to fill in time or to meet someone for a cuppa or a meal.  It  has been a pleasant place to spend time but the recent redevelopment has made it even more so.

The most recent addition has been the Undertwasser Art Centre, a project dedicated to Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an artist, visionary and ecological activist whose work in Kawakawa we Northlanders have been familiar with for quite some time.  The common themes in his design are bright colours, organic forms, strong individualism (to say the least) and rejection of straight lines.

A cupola covered in $50,000 worth of gold leaf sits on top of the building.  I'm pretty sure I lack appreciation of art, I just can't see the point of it, to me it makes the whole structure look sort of comical. 
 
You can see the little red boat that took us for a trip down the harbour to Limestone Harbour last week berthed nearby.

 
 
Below is the toilet which I think was built first to prove we had the craftsmen capable of completing the creation. Maybe that is an urban myth but the idea appeals to me so I choose to believe it.

 
 
 



Beyond the structure below lay landscaped grass terraces leading down to the harbour edge, making a very pleasant seating option.  There is also an interactive water feature (where, last week,  several children were having loads of fun) and a children's play space.

 



I've always been a bit hopeless with Labels on my blog.  I know I've twice before shown photos of the Waka Wave, one of the sculptures along the waterfront.  Now I know this artwork is best viewed from the water.







Sorry about the large blank space.  I left the draft for a few days hoping I could fix it but ...

 

12 comments:

  1. I hate to criticize but it all looks a bit of a hotch potch to me. I guess it may look better underwater and the cupola would make the start of a Mosque. Glad you had a good day out.

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    1. Hi Adrian, It's certainly a very different building. I like the designer's other works and if this one attracts tourists I guess that is a good thing for the area.

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  2. I loved visiting his toilets at Kawakawa so I guess I would enjoy seeing this edifice as well. Although it may be a while before I get up that way again to do so :)

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    1. I love the toilets at Kawakawa, too, Margaret. They fit into their environment and the community have embraced the theme. This structure with its cupola dominates its environment. I think that's what I don't like. No doubt I'll grow fond of it over time.

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  3. When i see art that is not exactly what i like, i am thankful that we all have different taste so the world doesn't get boring. These designs will certainly keep the world from getting boring.

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    1. Ah mimi, you are a truly charitable soul, always finding the bright side of life. You are right, of course.

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  4. AS Adrian said, there is sure a mixture of styles!!

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  5. There sure is, Tabor. The designer disliked straight lines.

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  6. Odd-looking building, but it makes a nice water reflection! :)

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    1. I thought the same thing, Monica. That's why I took the photo, the first time I've bothered.

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  7. I've seen it last time we were in Whangarei and I wondered about it's purpose too, I saw a news story about it when it was completed and I think from memory the mayor was hoping to bring more tourism into town because of it.

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  8. Hi Amy, Yes, the council hopes it will attract tourists. I just feel strangely negative towards it for some reason, not sure why. I think it contrasts too much to what was already in the area which I thought was very nice as it was. I accept I could just be resistant to change in my old age.

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