Monday, December 31, 2007

verge of 08

well, here we are on the verge of 2008. i've just been on a nice little road trip / work trip with lance that included a stay at my brother's holiday house north of auckland. very cool.

anyway, the intention - like last year - is to get some creative projects finished during my work holidays. that includes (somewhat dauntingly) a revamp of my website. it also includes realising some concepts i've had in mind for some time for visual pieces.

i'm working on a series (long-term) that incorporates grid designs done on my etch-a-sketch. today i finished the second of these pieces - 'plastic stag'. it's satisfying to complete this, because the idea for this particular image began to emerge very early this year when i took the background image at a music team retreat in the country.

here's the finished piece:

i'm immensely pleased with the final result as it truly incorporates all the aesthetic elements i like - the etch-a grid, iconography, text and photography. the photography itself has good colours and subject matter (i like switches and plastic forms). the text reads "plastic stag [bagged and mounted by a plastic huntsman]. barometer rising. safe little world."

meanwhile, to provide more background material for these pieces i fulfilled another long-term idea to go into town when it was quiet in the evenings and get some pictures of urban walls. the lighting was great and as well as the walls i was thinking of, i also found a few more nice ones. i had my work camera (a sony fixed lens that provides 10.3 mp images) at home so i used that.

here are a couple of examples:

so that's about the sum for now. happy new year - hope it's a good one.

on the headphones: 'rain' by fat freddy's drop, from the album 'live at the matterhorn'.

Monday, December 24, 2007

the story of stuff

please have a look at this little video. it's called 'the story of stuff' and it is an excellent summary of the whole consumerism, global economy thing and its inherent problems. the presenter talks to you a bit like a primary school teacher, but it's worth watching anyway (cool animation graphics).

here is the first part (5 minutes). the whole thing is 20 minutes long and you can watch it at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

what makes you so busy?

the workload i used to have and which i once thought was full-on now seems like something of a holiday since taking on quite a bit of extra work a few months ago. it's been good, but i'm definitely looking forward to a nice break and a chance to do some non-commercial creative projects (like getting up and running and doing some more artworks).

in the midst of all my busy work (which has also included editing, designing and releasing a new castle publishing book, completing work on the typesetting of a book for the salvation army, creating issue 3 of abb engineering's bimonthly product update, and various work for HOTmilk), here are a couple of quite nice looking projects that i've worked on in the last month or so...

reservegroup b&b website

this was my first project for my new web photojournalism job. i wrote all the content and took a lot of the photos for this b&b establishment. the guys at reservegroup did a beautiful job of the design. my first project went live a week or so ago.

a screenshot of the front page (have a nosey at the whole site here):

expanse christmas card

another cool project i worked on was a christmas card for my friend alex, who operates a town planning consultancy called 'expanse'. the brief was to create a card to communicate that expanse had purchased a dairy cow through world vision's 'gifts of hope' programme.

the first step was to create this hand-drawn / hand-painted cow (which i did with some reference photos, photoshop and my wacom tablet):

i then overlaid it on a stock photo of a city street at night (to bring in the town-planning aspect) that included christmas colours, making the image look painterly, adding a bright glow behind the cow and including the phrase "the cattle are lowing..."

the card was printed digitally on gloss stock and came up right nice.

on the headphones: 'call a cab' by lionrock.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the home of the future

i'm hoping to get a bit more time soon to make some more posts on my blogs... but for now a slacker's post.

here are a couple of videos about 'the house of the future' at disneyland back in the day (found via boingboing - which, by the way, would be the blog to choose if you were going to read just one blog a day). sponsored by monsanto chemicals it was made almost entirely out of plastic. what a safe little world that would be.

part 1:

part 2:

on the headphones: 'go it alone' by beck, from the album 'guero'.

Friday, October 26, 2007

safe little [sensory and art] world

recently when i lost my .com address by being scammed by my america-based web host, i resorted to so i guess you could say that the big bad cyber world was far too dangerous for my safelittleworld. but having the instead has ended up feeling like it fits the concept better. and i've begun to realise how much being in new zealand informs that idea.

people create safe worlds for themselves everywhere, but in new zealand it is part of our national psyche. it's a safe haven down in the corner of the world, so near the edge of the map that maybe bad things won't notice us. and our national anthem asks that God will defend us.

i'm also aware that the safe little world concept originally came to mind because i live in tauranga - a safer subset of our already safe nz world. it's a very bourgeois suburban place to live. a very nice place to live - a place that people move to for the lifestyle.

recently, police and anti-terrorist squads raided a number of locations around nz after a year-long investigation into activities that seem to have been aimed against the government and stability of the nation. the full details are yet to emerge. but there is talk of assassination plots, molotov cocktails, arms caches, and guerilla training camps in remote and formidable bush locations. one of these training camps happens to have been set in our province - the bay of plenty.

this is of course troubling news for nzers. but it also demonstrates the paradox of the safe little world concept. the camp in the bush demonstrates both the unsettling nature of social tension in nz and also serves as a metaphor for the fact that in nz the land itself can be a frightening force. the camp was situated in the urewera ranges (pictured) - one of the most remote and untamed parts of nz. i've discussed the threat of the land and nature in nz in an earlier post.

[picture from here]


in other safe little world news: i was excited to see that the auckland art gallery have an exhibition opening up called 'making worlds'. from the gallery website:

"Making Worlds looks at the way artists invent worlds of imagination, speculation, wonder and enquiry. Like scientists they research, question and experiment. They imagine things and places. Explaining the world that we know, or that which is beyond, they use models, signs and miniature systems. They describe worlds that make us feel secure and happy, and others, which give us a feeling of dread."

i wish my concept was a bit further along in terms of artistic output, and i wish i was known enough to have been included in that exhibition! it just sounds so spot on - i'm amazed. maybe it demonstrates how universal the concept actually is - and that i've hit upon describing something that is truly archetypal to human existence. gosh, does that make me clever or what?

of course from auckland art gallery's point of view it is a chance to create an exhibition for all the family and encourage kids to interact with art. they are asking people to send in pictures of huts and dens that they've created (with sheets and chairs and things). maybe the opportunity is too good for me to miss... the kid part is all good, because i'm really interested in the make-believe aspect of the safe little world, toys etc. maybe we never stop making-believe.

[picture is of Here and There by morgan jones, from here]


today i was listening to the latest edition of 'this american life'. it was all about mapping and how we use maps to try and make sense of our world. excitingly this fits in with something i've started doing in my graphic art - incorporating map-like grids as a motif to show interconnection (see one on the temporary splash page of my website).

anyway, on this edition of the podcast they talk to a topographer named denis wood who has been creating all kinds of maps of his neighbourhood for about 25 years. he maps things like the pools of light created by street lights. you can see some of his maps here. great stuff.

In short, he's creating maps that are more like novels, trying to describe everyday life." read more here.

[picture is
a map of phone, cable, and power lines by denis wood, from here]


that's about the sum of it. i haven't made any more progress on my website relaunch. i've been busy - recently taking on a job in which i work as a photojournalist describing safe little worlds for tourists to visit.

on the headphones: 'take me to the riot' by stars, from the album 'in our bedroom after the war'.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


well, i've had some serious difficulties with my website (particularly the hosting - more about that later in an intraspace review). but now i am getting things sorted and that means an up-coming relaunch of the 'safe little world' website.

i'm taking the down-time as an opportunity to redesign some parts of the site - hopefully that won't take too long. stand by for more info.

meanwhile, i've been assisting roly on a photoshoot for the jamie strange album cover art. we had about a 15 hour day on saturday, starting with a dawn shoot at 5.30 am. there has been all kinds of strangeness (excuse the pun) as we transport a mannequin to all kinds of locations. and the adventure continues this weekend with more locations.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SP07: the souvenirs

i went to the semi-permanent design conference in auckland on saturday. it was great - i'll be reviewing the event on intraspace soon. meanwhile here are a couple of souvenirs i scooped up during the event. oh, and if you are trying to find my work, my domain is temporarily down and is accessible through the domain name

here's the first little bit of goodness. this is the annual semi-permanent book that comes out with the conference. they open it up for submissions from around the world, and this year one of my photos was selected for inclusion - you can see it there in the photo (the little bird-watching hut, not the dude with the dumbbell on the facing page).

the second little piece of goodness is this rather cool looking konica range-finder camera that i snapped up for $5 at the markets in aotea square in front of the conference venue. the thing has a metal construction and seems to be in working order. i'm looking forward to chucking a film in it and giving it a go soon.

always nice to come away with a few things to remind you of an experience like that where most of the impact is physically intangible.

on the headphones: 'nautilus' by loscil, from the album 'submers'.


in the strange but true file...

we had a few running jokes on our brothers' road trip recently. one was based around the camo jacket that i bought from the warehouse prior to the trip. i love camo, not because i'm a redneck but for more fashion-orientated reasons. however some folk see camo differently. i was accused by my brothers of causing a cafe proprietor to look down on us because i was wearing this jacket. my brothers said it was because i looked like a bushman just back from pig-hunting. "bowhunting," i replied.

i've long been struck (n.p.i) by the idea of bowhunting - the least effective but most rugged of all common animal-slaying methods. i'm also intrigued by the way evangelical christianity has become intertwined with gun and hunting culture in the usa - it's one of the most bizarre amalgamations i can think of. so you can imagine my excitement when, in reading an article on about how camo bibles are the topselling product from an outlet called 'the christian outdoorsman', i discovered that there is actually an organisation in existence called 'christian bowhunters of america'.

i quickly visited their site. currently they are holding a Spiritual Retreat Hog Hunt at Bowhunter Paradise, in Texas - archery only. i'm putting on my jacket and buying my plane ticket as we speak...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the great nz road trip (highlights package)

[picture: andrew (left) and dave getting rained on while walking on a jetty, taupo. picture by rob]

over the weekend i went on a road trip with my two brothers - rob and dave. i think this was the first time the three of us had been away together on a trip like this, so it promised to be an interesting social experiment. back in the day, when they were roadtripping as younger men i was only about 10 years old. 20 years later we set about planning to drive down to the central plateau of nz to see what we could see. and it turned into rather a good trip. here's the highlights package...

day one: south of rotorua we went to a place called orakei korako (aka hidden valley) - a geothermal area that is supposed to be pretty good. we shelled out our $28 per person (tourist prices) and went across a catchment lake (part of the waikato river) on a little ferryboat to the other side. then we looked at sulphuris formations and various subterranean bubblings. the highlight was a big open cave surrounded by native bush with a blue tinted thermal pool at the bottom.

stayed that night in taupo.

day two: we set out from taupo and headed to the famed horopito motors. weatherwise this was exactly the same type of day as when lance and i went there earlier in the year, except now it was winter - so it was about 9 degrees colder. horopito is always good. and afterwards we took quite a lot of photos in the surrounding landscape. from there we headed to ohakune.

in ohakune we got a brilliantly cheap lunch from the bakery and drove up mount ruapehu. at the top of the road, dave's 'snow warning' went off in his car. it was 1 degree outside and raining/sleeting. well you can't not get out and touch snow when you're up the mountain so we braved the stinging rain for a few minutes. back in the car we decided that the only sensible thing to do in weather like this is to go for a bush walk.

we went down the road a bit and found a nice track to some waterfalls (the waitonga falls to be exact). being in the bush was ok - wet but not windy - until the track crossed open tundra that looked like the marsh scene out of lord of the rings, but colder and without the faces and lights. we got lashed with more sleet and had to concentrate on not getting blown off the boardwalk. back in the bush we descended into a valley. the path ended far too far away from the actual waterfalls for these kiwi blokes, so we bush-crashed up the valley until we were standing right beneath the main waterfall. so now we were being thrashed by the waterfall as well as the rain - refer to mention of temperature earlier to appreciate comfort level - but it was exhilarating and literally breath-taking.

after 2 hours of being out in that charming weather we finally got back to the car and cranked up the heater, which did a surprisingly good job of keeping us warm in our 1 degree celsius rain/waterfall water-soaked trousers.

stayed that night in turangi after driving north up the desert road.

day three: we drove north to a road that travels up the west side of lake taupo. we stopped at an old jetty and took more photos (pictured above), getting more rain on us and spying a picturesque village across the water with a waterfall and church with a high steeple. we worked our way around the lake until we came to the sign to waihi village - the place we'd seen. anyway, further up the road was a big handpainted sign telling us to keep out. before the sign were a couple of great-looking little 1950s holiday cribs which i had to photograph for my safe little world stuff.

standing on the edge of the grass in front of the places, i had taken a couple of photos when i heard a vehicle behind me. anyway, to cut a long story short, it was lady telling me off for photographing private property - the locals clearly sensitive about outsiders in this area. i explained to her that i wasn't doing anything wrong. she told me i had to ask for permission to photograph the buildings. i said, "can i photograph the buildings?" she said, "yes" and drove off. the old killick charm clearly paid off.

then we went further north up the waikato river, taking in a couple of quite impressive dams until we came to arapuni and the enormous swing bridge that i had forgotten was there. we parked the car and walked across the bridge feeling like it was going to collapse at any moment and send us hurtling into the rapids over 50 metres below.

that night back to my parents' place in kaiaua, then back home the next day.

a classic trip accompanied by dave's rather eclectic ipod library (everything from audioslave to hot chocolate and portishead); and apart from one 'discussion' about politics, no arguments...

on the headphones: 'the underdog' by spoon, from the album 'ga ga ga ga ga'.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


quite a while ago i went on a road trip with lance to the central plateau, and in particular to a little place called horopito that boasts a particularly impressive graveyard of old cars.

the other day, i got back a roll of transparency film from the photolab. given the cost and hassle of getting film processed these days (they send film away for E6 processing - there is apparently no one in the bay of plenty or waikato that does it) i treat film very sparingly. so this roll had been in my lomo camera for nearly six months.

sadly i discovered that an on-going problem that i've been having with my shutter sticking is still going on. it is an intermittent problem, so i lost about 9 random shots out of the 36 exposure roll. anyway, among the photos i got were some dating right back to the horopito trip. a number of them were duplicates of digi photos i took the same day, but with the distinctive look of the lomo camera.

one of them was this photo of a skoda wreck:

one of the things i like about this photo is that it is a picture taken of a soviet-engineered vehicle with a soviet-engineered camera - and both pieces of russian technology are miles from home in a paddock in the middle of new zealand.

i scanned the image on sunday, and today, quite by chance, roly emailed me a photo he'd been working on. he had taken a picture of his late model skoda (yes, skodas are back if you haven't heard). the photo was taken in his driveway, and then to expand his photoshop skills he made the image look like something out of a car commercial - complete with beautiful orange-tinged light and motion blur to make it look like it was travelling through autumnal countryside.

to counter his rather air-brushed interpretation of skodas, i emailed him my skoda picture. within the hour he returned with this bit of genius:

beautiful. oh and, this weekend i'm off on a road trip with my brothers - back down towards the central plateau. maybe i'll get to see my skoda again.

one the stereo: 'none shall pass' by aesop rock. get it free here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hot milk

our friends roly and lisa ebbing (lisa in particular) found themselves in the spot light this week. lisa has an innovative range of maternity underwear that is designed to look good, under the brand name 'hot milk'. anyway they got accused by someone of using soft-porn to market their product (see the article from the sunday star times here). lisa and her business partner ange appeared on campbell live on wednesday. see video etc of 'hot milk' on the tv3 website... entertaining. meanwhile you can be the judge by visiting their site.

speaking of roly - his photography graces the front cover of
uno magazine. actually he's been quite a busy boy because in a couple of weeks he and i are doing a photoshoot for the album cover of jamie strange's forthcoming album.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

rumbling into print plus more

well, here i am rumbling into virtual print for the first time in quite a while. who has stolen all our time? it is actually becoming a discipline to create spaces for creative work - i used to do it for fun. all kinds of other things sap your energy. i think we have a basic energy pool - and different things require different energy but they pull that power away from other activities. so for example the energy you expend in your day job pulls power from the energy you use for creativity or the energy you use for caring about someone else etc, and vice versa.

i'm fond of saying at the moment that if i stopped my paid job today and just started working on creative projects i have in my mind right now, i would be working on those projects for about a year (without adding any new ideas).

it's been ages since i wrote a poem but the other day i did. i'm always trying to think of ways to combine my various creative interests, so i started thinking about how i might put that poem into a design-format. normally i would have put the idea at the end of the mental queue of other ideas that are waiting to be executed. but i decided to try and strike while the iron was hot and just get down and do it.

here is the result - the poem is based on the story in genesis about joseph (who wore a particularly colourful coat) getting beaten up by his brothers and thrown down a pit... (click on the image to see it bigger)

in other news: my friend jonathan nalder and cyber-friend nick landbeck have completed an audio-visual art project based on their 'everyday beautiful' concept. they are having a multimedia event in brisbane this weekend (and projecting some of my images in the process). to see more about the 'everyday beautiful' concept, visit their site.

on the headphones: 'among plants' by mosaik. nice ambient electronic - get it free here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

this american life

forgive my tardiness with regard to posting on this blog. there have been much goings-on going on at my other blog intraspace - which i heavily recommend you subscribe to.

here's a post replicated from intraspace...

podcasting is great. i mean, basically a lot of it is people doing amateur radio shows - kind of the radio version of blogging actually. but of course there are lots of 'official' podcasts as well - and some are by actual radio stations.

one of these is called 'this american life'. it is a radio show that has run on american public radio for over 10 years - apparently now it is also a tv show. but the part i love is that they release their weekly radio show as a podcast.

'this american life' is a very eclectic [liberal] show, but it has as its heart an examination of american culture. i personally think it is very useful for us non-americans to study the american culture in this way because it influences the rest of the world so much. i think it gives us useful insights into this dominant cultural force.

each week, 'this american life' has a seemingly random theme and then people are interviewed, tell their stories etc based on that theme. some recent themes include: 'road trip' (about the american road trip tradition), 'big wide world' (mainly about a young iraqi guy who works as a translator for the western media in iraq - excellent episode) and 'notes on camp' (people telling their stories about summer camp).

but the episode that inspired me to write this review was one about
guantanamo bay. i really and honestly think everyone should listen to this podcast - whether or not you think you are interested in the goings-on at america's terrorist prison. the episode is somewhat mysteriously called 'Habeas Schmabeas 2007' (all will be revealed when you listen to the podcast). it is a rerun of an episode that 'this american life' aired last year (i think), with some updates. in this episode they interview some actual past detainees of guantanamo bay and some of the attorneys that are representing current prisoners. it is very enlightening.

the original episode won a peabody award - whatever the heck that is (oh, here we go). which means, that is it very very good. a quick hunt reveals that unless you were a 'this american life' podcast subscriber (free, through itunes, or by using this link when the episode came out, then you can no longer download it for free - very sad. but you can stream it for free online. i recommend doing that at your earliest convenience my friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

sermonising: the questions God asks

early last month, i did a short sermon for the evening service at church... it was tag team preaching, i did the first part and my mate nathan miller did part two. we preached on 'the questions God asks'.

if you want to have a listen, the audio files are below. left click on the links to listen in your browser (files are 8 - 12 meg) or right click and 'save as...' to download.

Part 1: Andrew Killick

Part 2: Nathan Miller

safe little [bourgeois] world

i have just finished reading h.r. rookmaaker's 'modern art and the death of a culture'. i've reviewed it over at intraspace - check it.

one of the things that rookmaaker talks about is that modern art is opposed to suburban bourgeois culture. the point he makes is that christians should be opposed to it as well.

as i've mentioned before, my 'safe little world' concept contains a paradox and i love rookmaaker's critique of suburban life (this is part of longer passage):

"These thousands, millions live a normal human life. They play it safe. They evade any real problems. They are nice people living a nice life. They have their little melancholies, unfulfilled dreams of youth - but life is like that... So they live their lives fairly happily, even if not exactly adventurously, and look for fulfillment in their career, a nice home, a bit of affluence and some kind words at retirement." p210

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

my beautiful world

i should have posted this a few days ago... my mate malcolm (colm) is playing a live gig at the kings arms in auckland tonight. he is playing alongside flabotonum and mr slackjaw, for the release of a short film by shaun garea called 'my beautiful world' (click on the link to see the trailer and news clip about the film).

colm plays post-rock and i think this might be his first live outing for a few years (since the days when 'his' band humber were gigging). his work is featured on the film's soundtrack.

oh, and head over to intraspace - now called 'intraspace: the review lounge'. it is now functioning in its new expanded form. there is a new review of a book by brennan manning, a review of the new(ish) album from air, and a review of what it's like to be 32, by jonathan nalder. subscribe to it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

the dawn of a new blogging era

some changes are afoot at intraspace (my review blog). tired of just reading my own reviews of books that i've read, i've decided to open up the blog to other contributors and have also opened up the scope of the site.

so, now there will be reviews on all manner of things (books, films, albums, concerts... you name it) - well, that's the aim anyway. the majority of the authors will be christian in their worldview, although this won't necessarily be overt (sometimes it will be). we should end up with a rather interesting array of topics, opinion and content.

this is my first venture into team blogging so i suspect this will be an evolving process, including making a few adjustments to the site to make it more streamlined and suitable.

the best way to stay up to date with new content is to go to intraspace and sign up to the automatic email feed on the right. when a new review is posted, it will automatically be sent to your email. don't worry, you won't be inundated - i'm sure all our writers have a better things to do than post endless reviews to intraspace! and, if you find that you are getting too much email, you can always unsubscribe later.

on the headphones: 'angelica' by lamb, from the album 'between darkness and wonder'.

Monday, April 09, 2007


and now, for your viewing pleasure, you can head over to youtube, and watch some amazing b-grade (c-grade? d-grade?) footage from a film i had a hand in back in 2000.

the film ('bytemare') was directed by my mate john butterworth, and i think my initial roles on the production were: "director's assistant" and "cinemagraphic advisor"(?!) - however i'm not sure what i am listed as officially. in the end i was only present for about half the filming because i took off to the uk for seven weeks.

the amazing thing about bytemare was that it was shot in 2000/2001 and has been in post-production ever since. but word on the street is that it will be released one day.

i would tell you what the film is about, but maybe john b is still guarding that secret, so i won't.

there are three clips on youtube: a behind the scenes (in which i make a brief appearance), a trailer, and montage thingee.

enough talk! go here for the clips.

Monday, March 26, 2007

fascinating book

i've just finished reading a fascinating book called 'no god but God: the origins, evolution and future of islam' by reza aslan. i've written a bit about the book over on my review blog, intraspace.

the review. check it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


my 30th birthday party went down last weekend. it really went off and i think everyone had a good time.

i set up fluorescent tube lights in the trees as a light installation that lit half the lawn. we also strung up lights in the garage which was cleared to put the food tables in.

in the lounge i set up an exhibition of some of my artwork, printed up as A3 and A2 posters, and had a slide show of my photography on the computer screen.

from an artistic perspective it was a complete 'safe little world' production - having trialled a few things here, i hope one day i'll get to stage a bigger installation.

thanks to everyone who came to the party and to those that helped out with various stuff.

go here for flickr set that shows the shenanigans at the party.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

the greatest game ever...

jonathan emailed me from australia yesterday to see if i thought that nz's victory over australia in hamilton was the greatest game of cricket i'd ever seen...

on tuesday i drove over to hamilton in my father-in-law's little green barina to go to the cricket with jamie. nz had already secured a historic series victory over australia with their wins in auckland and wellington in the days before. so i was off to see if we could do the impossible - make a clean sweep of the series. of course, when jamie and i got our tickets months ago we had no idea that this would be the scenario.

in the event, australia batted first and scored an enormous total - 346 - featuring a history-making innings of 181 n.o. from matthew hayden. this set nz a target well beyond anything that has ever been accomplished in nz before. nz lost early wickets to be 4-41 at one stage - not a dream start. but incredibly, the remaining batters got up and we defeated australia in the final over. craig macmillan's 117 was something special. the highlight of the game was when brendan mccallum hit a 6 off the first ball of the final over - giving nz 5 balls to score just 1 run - which we did.

the crowd went absolutely ape - there was dancing and hugging and kissing everywhere. 3-0 in the series.

when nz were 4 wickets down, i text aaron to see what score he thought we'd get - 249 all out he said. jamie thought 300. i thought 180. i can't vouch for the other guys, but the reason i thought we'd only get to 180 is that when you demoralise a nz cricket team they often give up. well, at least, they used to. this season we have seen a nz team that doesn't give up. in the game early in the season where nz got thumped by sri lanka, craig macmillan refused to quit - i wonder if that was a turning point? i thought to myself then - if this team's form catches up with their new determination, we're going to be good. i think this latest series is the fruition of that. we are now watching a nz team that is playing like an australian team and beating them at their own game.

needless to say, nzers are celebrating this victory. it means a tremendous amount to us - every time nz scores a big sporting victory we know that we are a nation of only 4 million people that has taken down a giant. when we beat australia in the cricket, one reason we celebrate so hard is because of their perceived arrogance. nzers don't like arrogance and we harbour a belief that if you get too cocky your fall is around the corner. nzers like to celebrate those falls... at the beginning of the commonwealth bank series in australia (a tri-series between australia, nz and england), australia made comments to the effect that nz and england wouldn't provide any serious opposition and so they were setting goals against themselves - aiming to score 400 during the series. if that doesn't reek of arrogance i don't know what does. as far as nzers are concerned australia deserved to lose.

at the end of the game i secretly took a photo of every fan in an aussie jumper that came near me. i planned to post them on this blog with a little caption saying "disappointed aussie fans". when i got home and looked at the pictures, the looks on their faces were too sad and i couldn't bring myself to do it. one guy looked straight into the camera as i took the photo - it is actually quite heartbreaking... the formally invincible aussies have shown they have a weakness. having lost about 5 games this season, australian fans are beginning to know what it feels like to be a cricket fan the world over.

so, was tuesday night the greatest game i've ever seen? honestly, for me the best game was game one of this series - our 10 wicket victory over australia - a complete performance - catapaulting nz cricket into what i hope will be a new era.

pictures: jamie keeps hydrated in the hamilton sun; peter "two-metre peter" fulton fielding on the boundary; the lights on, nz batting and battling; victory - the black caps on a lap around the field.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

album art

this image (click to see it full cd-size) is the first in a series i am doing for jamie strange's album cover... the album is coming out maybe end of this year... the artwork will have about 8 similarly themed images.

we are still playing around with the concept - but yeah. (the photo was taken at the top of mount maunganui - on slide film - scanned in on my film scanner. i did the outline figure in illustrator and then overlaid, rasterized and filled it in photoshop.)

on the headphones: 'homesick' by the finn brothers, from the album 'everyone is here'.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


my grandmother was a very staunch christchurch woman - didn't take no nonsense, and didn't suffer fools gladly.

i remember one day when she was staying with us, i was giving her some lip about something, getting smart as teenagers do. when all of a sudden she looked me straight in the eye and said "yeah? well i'd like to see you do this:" right there in the middle of the lounge my 84 year old grandmother busted out a flawless charleston. i'm not sure what the charleston had to do with what we were talking about, but her response was definitive. and i never messed with her again.

for your viewing pleasure, he is some old footage of some guys doing a 1950s charleston set to daft punk...

Monday, February 05, 2007

music retreat

last weekend our church music team headed off to a farm outside of
te awamutu for a retreat. anyway, here are some digi pics that i took when we got up at 6.30am...

for the full set of 12 images, head over to flickr and feel free to leave comments... here!

on the headphones: 'should i stay or should i go' by the clash, from the album 'singles'.

redneck botox

did you know that for the oscars red carpet, some celebrities inject botox into their armpits to disable the sweat glands so that they don't get embarrassing stains on their designer frocks?

in other news: there is a website on the internet that will translate any web page into one of the following dialects: redneck, jive, cockney, elmer fudd, swedish chef, moron, pig latin or hacker.

entertainingly, if you click here, and then click the 'Dialectize!' button you will see the 'about' profile from my website translated into redneck.

click here to try a web page and dialect of your choosing.

on the stereo: 'first breath after coma' by explosions in the sky, from the album 'the earth is not a cold dead place'.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

slapping seagal

another gem of a quote found amongst the news items on

The martial arts expert [jean-claude van damme] insists he is a lover, not a fighter.

He said: "My last fight was more than 20 years ago. I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover. If somebody's going to speak bad about me, I will walk away.

"But if a guy like Steven Seagal slaps me once, I will slap him twice as hard. Life is full of violence."

what an aging martial arts expert who colours his hair and wears pink jackets looks like:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

quality internet news content

you may have noticed from my posts that i read quite a bit. normally it is excellent.

but today i came across an article that was simply remarkable. it is about the unveiling of waxwork models of david beckham and posh spice in the usa.

the first reason it is remarkable is that it introduces two new words to the english language: "Tuesdady" and "Girlwife"... [note: the tuesdady error has been corrected since i first wrote this post]

"Americans got a closer look at Los Angeles-bound celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham on Tuesdady..." and "New York's Madame Tussauds museum put on display figures of the soccer idol and his former Spice Girlwife..."

so there's some hip new lingo for you. but the article also contains this beautifully insightful quote from rebecca ho, 14, of new york (please disregard the way the sentence confuses the reader about who was wearing the evening gown):

"Others knew who the Beckhams were but were unimpressed by the sight of Posh and Becks in a fashionable tuxedo and green evening gown. 'I only know them because they are celebrities,' said Rebecca Ho, 14, of New York."

what plastic, or wax, celebrities look like:


hmmm, my computer just downloaded and installed internet explorer 7.

i've been using firefox for quite a while now and it was vastly superior to the last version of explorer.

but i've been playing around with the new explorer for a few minutes and i quite like it - it seems to work quite quickly and i'm getting used to the interface - quite nice.

all this is a bit of a problem, because you're not supposed to like microsoft programs. what should i do?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

how to write propaganda

i'm still learning how to write propaganda. "gasp" you say. "why does he want to know how to write propaganda?!" thing is, if you know how to write it, you can detect it. and here's a grey area for you: the line between "persuasive writing" and "propaganda".

so because i'm still learning, i won't tell you how. but today i came across this interview via one of my favourite blogs 'conscientious'. it's an interview with professional conservative spin doctor frank luntz. the full article is here (on but this is a little taste...

Frank Luntz is a Republican word doctor who coaches conservatives to talk to Americans about "personalizing" Social Security instead of "privatizing" it. He urges them to promote "tax relief," not "tax cuts." Recently he recommended that "drilling for oil" be referred to as "exploring for energy," which goes down much more smoothly. Luntz is so reviled by environmentalists that one group has named an award after him for great achievements in doublespeak.

this is what a spin doctor looks like:

Monday, January 15, 2007

the 8 tribes of new zealand

came across this interesting insight into new zealand culture today. following is an extract from an article on about a book that has just been released in nz by two PR people, Jill Caldwell and Christopher Brown. '8 Tribes: The Hidden Classes of New Zealand' describes nz culture by grouping nzers into 8 stereotypes. the official website relating to the book is here (nicely done). brilliantly, you can fill out an online questionnaire and find out your tribe here. the full article that this excerpt is from is here...

EIGHT TRIBES: The hidden classes of New Zealand


The ambitious, hard-working, heavily mortgaged inhabitants of the great suburban jungle for whom keeping up appearances is fundamentally important. They survive in the jungle by constantly moving ahead, up through the ranks of job, car, house, street and suburb.
FOUND IN: Suburbs with concentrations of malls, nice cars and plasma TVs - especially north, east and central Auckland, north and west Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton.


The highly educated intelligentsia who value ideas above material things and intellectualise every element of their lives. Their most prized possession is a painting by the artist of the moment, they frequent film festivals, secretly wish they had more gay and Maori friends, feel guilty about discussing property values and deep down are uneasy about their passion for rugby.
FOUND IN: Bookshops, cafes and former working-class suburbs with concentrations of renovated villas - especially Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Pt Chevalier, Mt Victoria, St Albans, Otago Peninsula.


The round-vowelled children of privilege for whom breeding is the greatest virtue, manners really do make a difference, money shows class if it's old but is crass if it's new, and what school you went to defines the rest of your life.
FOUND IN: Leafy suburbs with concentrations of mansions, English gardens and private schools - especially Remuera, Epsom, Karori, Wadestown, Fendalton, Merivale, Maori Hill, Havelock North.


The tribe of the Kiwi heartland, the provincial conservatives, who see themselves as a source of stability and commonsense - solid, reliable and down to earth, but also deceptively smart.
FOUND IN: Small towns, provincial cities and any other area with a concentration of sheep, cows, and utes.

THE RAGLAN TRIBE: Free-spirited

The independent spirits who value the ability to live a life according to their own priorities, not what the boss or society says is important. They can be maverick entrepreneurs, or hedonists, spiritual journeyers, fitness fanatics, adrenaline junkies and adventurers.
FOUND IN: Professions where freelancers predominate, trades where free agents are well paid. Living in city suburbs in the midst of renewal, coastal towns and suburbs, near ski fields and lakes, or in a remote Kiwi bach.


The hipster tribe on the cutting edge of cool, where "new" is the greatest virtue, being labelled mainstream the greatest fear and self-expression the preoccupation. In the 1980s it was the vanguard of espresso, in the 1990s of body piercing and tattoos.
FOUND IN: Bohemian areas of our largest cities attending art schools and the coolest gigs.


Urban, often immigrant, often Polynesian, community-minded people for whom family is paramount and church is likely to play a central social role. The sense of belonging is strong as is the pressure to "do the right thing" and uphold appearances. In our grandparents' generation, many working-class Catholics fitted this profile.
FOUND IN: Areas with concentrations of churches and state housing - especially south Auckland, Porirua, east Christchurch.


Urban working people who revere physical prowess, don't trust anything intellectual, disdain "wankers" and are unwilling to think of themselves as better than their mates - the classic "state house and jug of beer" Kiwis.
FOUND IN: Suburbs and towns with concentrations of car yards, supermarkets and sports grounds - especially south and west Auckland, Hastings, Hutt Valley, south Christchurch, Tokoroa, Invercargill.

my tribe, according to my questionnaire results, is predominantly 'grey lynn' (no surprise there i guess), followed by 'cuba st' (cool), but then surprisingly, i am slightly more 'balclutha' than 'north shore'... something funny there. i would say that i would tend towards 'north shore' by birth - it would seem that life is eradicating that from me.

on the stereo: '0078h' by m83, from the album 'dead cities, red seas & lost ghosts'.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

horopito motors

on a wet mid-week day this week, lance and i set out from tauranga and headed south to horopito motors. located on the central plateau of new zealand's north island, horopito motors was the location for the 1981 new zealand film 'smash palace'. along the way, we stopped off at the whakapapa ski field on mount ruapehu. there was no snow as this is summer...

i can't begin to express what an impact the wrecker's yard had on us - it is astonishing in real life. like a kind of grave yard. but also the size of the place is mind-blowing. we took about 3 and half hours to get round it in drizzly rain.

for more photos, go to

on the stereo: 'bathe in the river (featuring holly smith)' by the mt. raskil preservation society, from the 'no. 2' soundtrack.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


so, the creative shenanigans continue. this is my latest piece (click to see it bigger, and sorry about the 'safe little world' watermark).

again, this is an idea i've had in the pipeline for ages.

i love technical / architectural drawing - especially when it has a retro aspect to it. last year i found a brilliant old book from the 1960s in a secondhand bookshop explaining the art of rendering with pen and ink. it has 166 illustrations, many of which i absolutely love.

the basis of my piece is an illustration out of that book. process was: (1) scan illustration (that involved unstitching the binding of the book to pull out the page spread, then 'mending' the crease down the centre in photoshop). (2) drop two of my original colour images into the picture. (3) distort the photo on the right so that it fitted the perspective of a frame that was already in the original picture. (4) scan in a picture frame from another part of the same book (there is no picture on that wall in the original). (5) fit the other photo to the newly scanned frame, and size and position the new frame and photo on the back wall. (6) tweak contrast. (7) add caption - made to look like the kind of caption you would find in the original book...

i named the piece 'realisation 1', but i could have called it 'visualisation 1' - the concept being that this is what my photography would look like on the walls of a 1960s office - 'realisation' being the 'realisation' of the concept that one day my pictures will be hanging on people's walls.

i won't go into the legitimacy of making use of someone else's illustration too much here. but suffice to say, i have left the original artist's signature at the bottom of the picture - i consider that he has provided me with an architectural context for my photographs. so i don't consider myself the artist of the entire work, any more than a photographer who takes a photograph of a building would consider himself or herself the architect.

on the headphones: 'swing your heartache' by young galaxy, from the 'swing your heartache ep'. here

Friday, January 05, 2007

incident at the motel

here is today (and yesterday)'s work. this is an idea that has been in the pipeline for about 2 years. i've always liked paper building models, and they occurred to me as a way to translate some of my 2d ideas into 3d. i found the pattern for this model on the internet for free about a year and a half ago. the idea was to take the model and add cartoon call-outs. i finally did this about 6 months ago. then i printed it out with the colour printer onto card. the other day i went and got some craft glue so i could put it together. i did that yesterday, and today i photographed it against a grey backdrop. i think it looks pretty cool.

the finished piece is called 'incident at the motel'. in effect, it is kind of a 3d cartoon.

on the headphones: 'at the edge of the world you will still float' by telefon tel aviv, from the album 'map of what is effortless'.

action man 2007

well here we are in 2007. i'm on holiday and i'm trying to do some creative stuff during my break. it's all a fine balancing act, because most of my creative stuff is computer-based and so is my work. so i'm trying not to spend too much time on the computer, as well as using the computer for me art.

to the left is a little piece i've recently completed using my action man as a model (the safe little world logo is a watermark - not on the original).

a bit about the process...

1. started with a digi photo of my action man
2. traced the outline and filled in detail in illustrator (creating an eps of the black lines) and coloured in photoshop (c. 5 hours)
3. vintagized - converted to cmyk and turned the colours into colour half-tone, then nudged them off register.
4. made the background yellowed newsprint colour (stole the base color off the website of the guy whose tutorial taught me how to do the half-tone stuff)
5. dirtied newsprint background using photoshop dirt brushes that i got off the net
6. found the butterflies while looking through the photoshop brushes (i don't know what they are doing on the 'finished' piece - but i thought they looked pretty cool - even though it is probably 'wrong' to use photoshop default brushes in artwork and design - and what deep significance butterflies have when placed beside a macho boy's toy, i'm not sure... perhaps because action man is striped of his battle fatigues, his gentler side is leaking out).

on the headphones: '7,4 (shoreline)' by broken social scene, from the album 'broken social scene'. here