Thursday, August 21

thank you, daniel blackball!

For Critic feature "Climaximum"
For Critic feature "Why I Hate Psychics"
For Critic feature "A House Without Books"
Whenever I went into Critic's office on a Wednesday afternoon I liked to watch Daniel Blackball at work. By the afternoon, with the surmounting pressure of that weekly deadline, Dan would be plunged deep into the creation of an illustration. I would watch him hunched over his keyboard staring at an intricate, minute detail. Often, after a minute of staring, he would press several buttons on the keyboard, click the mouse, and...something would have changed. Most times it was hard to tell what exactly - but I always knew something magical was being created. On Wednesdays I did not disturb Dan.

Five days later, when Monday came around, I would walk into campus, pick up several copies of Critic then head up to Radio One to help out with Critic's weekly show that Dan also ran. It was always a pleasure to see him but I was also excited about something else. Each time I sat down in that small studio and opened Critic for the first time that week, Dan's illustrations would take my breath away. They had depth, style and were intelligent - incredibly intelligent. And every second week, when one of those illustrations was paired with a feature I had written, it was like an artwork had been created just for me.

It's just over a week before I leave for overseas and one of the many things that I am already missing is those Monday morning encounters...and, of course, Dan himself! It's times like this, however, when I am so thankful for the Internet. Online I can find Dan's work and keep up to date with all his new projects. Now, I regularly check Dan's Tumblr and Behance...and marvel in the possibilities of what he might do next.


Monday, August 18

the freedom mission

Cover by Critic feature designer and illustrator Daniel Blackball

This week in Critic features...

1) The Freedom Mission by myself (Loulou Callister-Baker): "Bell Murphy’s eyes light up as she tells us the story about the homemade pumpkin wine, which had flooded the floor at Black Star Books when left to brew over a weekend. On the ground between Bell and I, a woman carefully paints a banner for an animal rights protest to be held in the Octagon the following day. Two more young, darkly dressed people arrive – one brings brioches from her work and offers them to everyone in the room. By the time Bell finishes her recount of light-hearted experimentation the whole room is laughing. The atmosphere is homely and relaxed. It feels like a flat, not the heart of Dunedin’s largest anarchist collective..."

2) Trans* Life by Lucy Hunter: "Gender identity is so ingrained in our culture that we often don’t think about it until we meet somebody who doesn’t conform to traditional ideas of a 'masculine man' or a 'feminine woman.' Even with advances, such as the legalisation of same-sex marriage last year, being trans* presents legal and social problems (which cis-gendered people don’t have to worry about) simply because their personal identity does not match our arbitrary ideas of 'male' and 'female.'"

3) Remote - An Island in a Sea of Startups by Sarah Ley-Hamilton: "When you hear the word 'remote,' it doesn’t exactly conjure up feelings of prosperity, abundance and opportunity – feelings that we are told to look for in our chosen career paths. However, for some of us, not putting on suitable office attire (or even pants) and logging on from the comfort of our homes is a reality."


Saturday, August 16

the attic singles club presents...

What's with all my friends doing great things? On a more musical update, The Attic Singles Club has recently (sort of) released its seven installment! This time, they have two wonderful songs by Anthonie Tonnon (one recorded live Seattle). The Attic's project is fresh and innovative. To listen out the other six releases, check out The Attic's Bandcamp here. What these kids are getting up to in the space underneath the roof is definitely raising my spirits!


Friday, August 15

chariots on fire presents...

Remember when I interviewed Oriana Reich? Well, Chariots on Fire are welcoming back Makoto Kagoshima with a new body of ceramics on the 24th of August. Keeping in theme with the international vibes of my previous post, if you're in Venice, LA...why don't you pop on by?


Thursday, August 14

the subconscious restaurant

AUG  16 (SAT)

On August 16th is the launch event of White Fungus' experimental music magazine in Beijing. I am not there int time for it but it'll be great fun. Hearing about events like this get me so excited for the move!


Wednesday, August 6


Cover by the wonderful, forever talented Daniel Blackball.

1) Cyber-chondria by Lydia Adams: "For those who aren’t aware, the medical condition hypochondriasis, more commonly called hypochondria, occurs when a person exhibits significant distress over an imagined illness. A large cohort of exaggerated, and often insignificant, symptoms usually accompany this distress. Most people have likely had their own experiences with a sore throat they assumed was tonsillitis, or a rash they feared could be the onset of leprosy, but these concerns are soon ignored and seen as a harmless, quirky, character trait. For hypochondriacs, however, this cute neuroticism quickly becomes a dangerous obsession."

2) A Case for Animal Rights by Lucy Hunter: "It is easy to assume that 'clean, green New Zealand' is a better place to be a farmed animal than in other countries. But the hidden camera footage recently released by Farmwatch from three New Zealand pig farms is as bad as a nightmare or a horror movie. In one farm, a sow lies on her side, alive but immobile, while a farm worker circles her with a gun. He fires a shot into her head, but it clearly doesn’t kill her. She is still breathing. So instead of using another bullet, he picks up a hammer and bludgeons her in the head."

3) Welcome to the Gun Show by Loulou Callister-Baker: "Standing in the kitchen of my flat, I turn to my flatmates and ask them how many firearms there are in New Zealand. One replies, “80,000.” Another - deciding to push his guess - replies, “about 100,000.” When I tell them that there are, in fact, approximately 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand they each react with surprise."


Sunday, August 3

a beautiful goodbye

Today I woke up to a wonderful breakfast (accompanied by a homemade cocktail) that my flatmates had made us all. We then wandered down to the waterfront to drink beers and watch the sea. As we sat, the most bizarre, nostalgic music filled the waterfront.

Before returning home again we had more beer and a bowl of wedges at a nearby, waterfront pub (where Hannah, my flatmate, cheekily and repeatedly called an older woman working at the pub 'Betsy' and got away with it because she is charming). Today was my last Sunday in Dunedin for the year and it was one the best days I've had in 2014. I am so, so lucky.