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Wildly manky to magnificent!

This is a story of domino kindness, generosity and collaborative creativity. It’s about how one act of generosity can inspire another.

Craig and Michelle Hunwick’s daughter, Bo, received life-saving treatment at Starship Hospital. As a result of this she is now a happy, smiling 3-year-old. Craig and his team from Nyberg and Nelson Upholstery generously agreed to let their highly creative inner upholsterers sneak out, upholstering a couch as part of WASA!® 2010 Wild and Sneaky Art Festival. Award winning interior designer and WASA!® director, Julia Kelly, went wild with the couch design which everyone loved, also at no charge.

WASA!® wanted to acknowledge Craig’s generosity, so Julia swung into action and raffled the couch to raise funds for The Starship Foundation. $530 was raised for The Starship Foundation during WASA!® Festival Week 2010.

A very delighted 4-year-old Bindi is now the proud owner of the gorgeous WASA!® couch. The couch has gone from being abandoned and left to die down in a back garden by three successive families to a wildly funky, colourful gorgeous piece of furniture that now resides proudly in the rooftop apartment of Bindi’s family. Her Dad, Ajay, from the Mid City Motor Lodge said that Bindi felt like she had won the lottery – and her Mum, Rhonda, said she would probably want to sleep on it tonight.


We should add that the couch was very sought after, with one person buying 10 tickets in the hope of getting it (…we would like to say sorry you didn’t win to Katrina from MoreFM! Despite her disappointment in not winning the couch, she generously offered to call up the lucky winner live on the air).

The WASA!® crew found it a little difficult to get five people and a couch into the elevator at once, however, it was totally worth it to be able to deliver the ultimate Christmas surprise to Bindi, send a cheque to The Starship Foundation and know the couch will be well loved.

Clearly, the moral of the story if you are a couch is that even if you are abandoned in a garden and filled with beer bottles and it seems like nobody gives a damn – don’t give up! You might just be the next centrepiece for an event and there is always someone out there who will love you!!!!!!!!


Ooo-ahh those lit-up houses!

Until this year I had never been to check out the wild, sneaky and astonishing creativity of the people who enter the Nelson light up your homes competitions. Thanks to my 6 year old god daughter for inviting me to check it out.

A house that looks like an everyday house by day comes alive at night, transforming into a wildly colourful 3-D canvas of epic innovational dimensions that brings wows and ooo-ahhs and smiles from adults and children alike.

People wander up cloaked in wonder, exchanging conversations with people they do not know on anything from lighting technology to what was there last year, to how it’s all done and where to get lights and who might win it this year.

I love the vibrant colour, diverse eclectic mixtures from large, jolly, air-pumped smiling back-lit Santas to delicately lit butterflies alighting in formation, gardens growing candy sticks, jovial reindeer and sparkling bejewelled clothes lines that add a whole new dimension to hanging out the washing.

This is such a generous act of creativity, because it brings delight to so many members of the public. When people let their creativity sneak out like this, it enriches our lives, puts smiles on faces and builds community.


Pig pen

No sign of chauvinists at this Brightwater property where the owners aren't taking anything for grunted.


Happy as sandboys

Imagination is the only requirement for good times in our beautiful region. Spied at Golden Bay's stunning Wharariki Beach this week. How could you resist?


Anything goes

Submitted by Kaye Marie Jordan

Since moving here a year ago, Nelson has exceeded all my expectations. There appears to be simply no limit to the wealth of creative potential to be found in this region. Last month an outlet in Motueka transformed itself into Sotheby’s, offering art lovers the once in a lifetime opportunity to buy artworks created by some very famous names. It was reported that some people did indeed enrich their lives by purchasing some gems. Then, later in the month, an art shop in Richmond transformed itself into the Louvre to offer art lovers (who perhaps can’t afford the trip to Paris or who missed the Motueka experience) another once in a lifetime experience to view such artwork. The connection wasn’t explicit, but we might presume the artworks at the Motueka auction and at the Richmond show were of the same infamy. At this last event, one artwork was even generously offered as a spot prize for art lovers who perhaps wanted, but couldn’t afford to purchase such objects of desire.

What is real and who gets to decide? Is the artwork that you create, buy or win valuable because a particular person created it long ago, or because certain people from the other side of the world or an unquestionable thing called provenance says so, someone before you allegedly paid ten million dollars for it, or maybe you saw a strikingly similar picture in a book or movie?  Does it matter to you what the exchange of ten million dollars means or what ten million people think?

An artwork or concept may be qualified as appealing in terms of truth, beauty and innovation. But these terms are all subjective; it all comes down to the perception and perspective of the individual. What is true for one person is not true for another. All creation might be authentic to me, but you on the other hand, can render something false on any level that you choose. Same goes for beauty. All creation might be beautiful to me, but you can deem anything ugly according to you own aesthetic sensibility. Innovation is the part where truth and beauty are transcended in a way, because the form has no precedent. Something grabs hold of us and we can’t explain why.

An artistic person endeavours to maintain truth to materials and maintain truth to self, make something aesthetically or conceptually attractive and do so in a way that has never been done before. But the concepts of truth, beauty and innovation can be applied to any professional practice or lifestyle. Famous performance artist Joseph Beuys stated that:

"...every human being is an artist. I don’t only call artists those people who are painters, or who play the piano or who are composers or writers. To me, a nurse is also an artist. So is a doctor or a teacher. And so is a student or any young person responsible for his own development. The essential definition of a human being is that of ‘artist’. All other definitions of the word ‘art’ lead back to the idea that there are artists and non-artists, of people who can do something and others who can’t."

To live an artistic life is be true to yourself and find beauty where you can. And creating your own cliché is an innovative way to live. The art you make, buy in an auction or win as a spot prize is a Picasso if you say so. To someone else it might be a messy piece of paper. Picasso supposedly said that “art is a lie which makes you realise the truth”. This to me sounds intelligent and appealing and entirely plausible. Turning this statement around to “art is a truth which makes you realise the lie” sounds equally plausible. Or, what about “reality is a truth which makes you create a lie” or “reality is a lie which makes you create art”. If you can’t convince them, confound them. Basically, what I am trying to say is that anything goes, as long as it works for you. I just love the optimism and opportunism of the people in this town and in the little towns around it.



Billboard art

Loving this billboard art fabulously created by various local schools and on display outside the new Nelson NMIT Arts & Media building on Nile Street. Paints were generously provided by Resene.



Making a clear connection at Founders Park Nelson.


Your hand, m'lady

Submitted by Norman Ragg

The Lady of the Lake ...errr... Estuary presented her sword to WASA! last week, acknowledging that a new king of surreptitious art festivals is born. Sadly (and predictably), hand and sword are now gone… our Lady lasted only four tides before being swept out into the Tasman sea. True art is so ephemeral, lasting but a short time.


Wild & sneaky headlines

Can't help but wonder whether this teaser put out on Facebook and Twitter recently was an intentional pun by The Nelson Mail. It's a crack-up, or not, as the case may be.


Spring chickens

A pair of happy spring chickens enjoy the afternoon sunshine at Nelson's Botanical Reserve over the weekend, aged 73 and 7 years respectively. Smile and the world smiles with you.


Media bouts

Photography by Ricki Biggs

It's a precarious time to be throwing Wild & Sneaky out into Nelson's media ring. Word on the street is that the The Nelson Mail and Wakefield Village News have been going a few rounds, The Leader has a new rival opponent in Nelson Weekly, and More FM Nelson's Katrina Smith recently went head to head with a Fresh FM morning crew in a cheeky, bare-knuckled Facebook popularity fight, in which defensive clinch manoeuvres were seemingly resorted to. That pretty much only leaves media mogul contender WildTomato yet to skin the gloves. It's okay Jack Martin, we're just the corner man. Look, even our own Wasaroonians are fans...

If you are a local media organisation and wish to add your website link to Wild & Sneaky's neutral corner, drop us a line. Our promoter reckons if you wish to reciprocate, then even better. Ding ding!


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