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Upper Hutt Leader : October 19th 2011
51 UPPER HUTT LEADER, OCTOBER 19, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Final word from bard of the bricks Low on letters: Russell Plume should eventually get his courtyard back, as his wordy bricks are running out. This one spells out ''Brevity is the soul of wit'' (from Hamlet). By KRIS DANDO A labour of love for a Plimmerton resident could see one of his liter- ary creations eventually become part of a rebuilt Christchurch. About two years ago, Russell Plume noticed the amount of brick and rubble on Plimmerton's beaches. One was shaped like a P, and he took it home but didn't pay it any further mind. Over time, however, the former geologist became more intrigued with the bricks, which were spread over a wide area from Hongoeka Bay through to Paremata. He speculates that they were washed down from the old Winstone quarry, which shut many years ago. Who knows how they really got there, but everywhere I looked, there they were, especially in the stream. I just began collecting them, and built up a substantial pile at home without really know- ing what I would do with them.'' A friend suggested there was almost enough letters'' -- the pieces of broken brick can form any letter of the alphabet -- to write the works of Shakespeare'', and Mr Plume was hooked. A fan of the Bard, his first phrase, using bricks fastened to tiles, spelled out The quality of mercy is not strained'' from The Merchant of Venice. Since the beginning of this year, he has pieced together nine phrases on tiles. Three of these now grace the Plimmerton seawall on the South Beach, while another ( All the world's a stage'') has been erected at Mana Little Theatre. No bricks were harmed in the making of his phrases -- Mr Plume has stuck rigidly to the view that it must be a natural process, so he has not broken or modified any of the bricks. He has made a special one for Christchurch, What is the city but the people?'' (from Coriolanus), and hopes to have it received as a gift from the people of Porirua. The city's mayor, Nick Leggett, says he has spoken to his Christchurch counterpart Bob Parker about it. We are waiting to hear when they can receive it.'' Mr Plume says it is a small ges- ture for Christchurch as the city looks towards its rebuild. One of the things I've found compelling is that notion of turn- ing rubble into poetry, so the idea of Christchurch rising from the rubble is the underlying theme. I'd love it to become part of the way people think, that it's not the city but the people.'' His stock of letters is coming to an end, however, with the Macbeth phrase that starts Double double, toil and trouble'' likely to be his last. I've got all the bricks. There aren't any more that I can see down there [on the beach], and I've looked. I guess there is poetry in that I can't do this forever.'' 'Priceless' time for waka carvers By JIM CHIPP CARE OF WELLINGTON'S WAKA Wellington City Council had commissioned a 14.5-metre waka, Te Raukura, in 1989, for use in the city's sesquicentenary celebrations and it was carved under the supervision of Waiwhetu carver Rangi Hetet. However, it deteriorated badly in the care of the council and was returned to Waiwhetu for restoration. When Wellington's $12.5 million wharewaka was completed, the Wellington Tenths Trust demanded a say in the care of the waka before they would return Te Ruakura to Wellington City Council. The dispute was resolved by the Tenths Trust retaining Te Raukura in Waiwhetu and making a cash settlement to the council, which funded one of the two new waka for the wharewaka. The second one was paid for by the New Zealand Community Trust. The building is closed to the public but the waka can be seen through the windows. Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the care of the waka was the responsibility of the Wellington Tenths Trust. ''Whether they let people go in and touch it or not is up to the owners of the building.'' Indigenous artisans: Whitireia Polytechnic carving tutor James Molnar, foreground, with carvers, from left, Nathan Rei, Terence Deverall, Arama Wineera, Crane Amaru and Jason Reynolds. They are pictured with the complete wakatete. An unseemly squabble over own- ership of a waka became a rare opportunity for Whitireia Poly- technic carving students. When the waka, intended to be housed in Wellington's whare- waka, was retained at Waiwhetu, Whitireia whakairo -- carving tutor -- James Molnar and his graduating class were com- missioned to carve two new ones for the new waterfront building. The dispute ended with the Wellington Tenths Trust funding one of the two waka in the new waterfront wharewaka. The students carved two craft, one a wakatete, which could tra- ditionally be paddled by either men or women. This is a fishing waka. This would be mundane stuff,'' said Mr Molnar. The other is a waka taua or war canoe, which could only be paddled by men. This would be We're on a mission here'. It's a different head space,'' he said. The students went to Northland five times to work on the two waka and would have done about 500 man-hours on each trip. The 700-year-old trees they used were pulled from a swamp after lying there for 3000 years. The carving is mostly in the Taranaki style of Te Atiawa, with some detailing in Ngati Koho style to acknowledge the source of the trees. Mr Molnar said the carvers received a koha for two waka, which covered the costs of the five trips to Northland and food. I wouldn't call it substantial, but the experience was priceless.''
October 12th 2011
October 26th 2011