Tuesday, July 23, 2013

lights and shakes

Sunday night was the last of the newly established three night festival Light Nelson, which was held in Queens Gardens in the middle of the city.  We arrived soon after this free event opened at 5.45, and there were already a lot of people wandering around in the dark. Despite the full moon and all the lights from the illuminated installations, it was quite dark, and we wished that we'd brought a torch.
The first installation to greet us as we walked in the gardens looked like three clumps of spun sugar, was in fact made from fishing nylon. They were hung on wires across the pond with lights above to illuminate them. It was great how the reflections on the water and the gentle breeze added another dimension.

These small paper houses with candles inside them, were made by refugees based on their old homes. They had names and handprints on them, and were set in a quite part of the gardens, and were very moving  in their quiet and simple understatedness.
Another favourite was this large lotus flower installation that was constructed out of bamboo poles and fabric around the Victorian fountain in the middle of the rose garden.

I didn't manage to take any half decent photos of the walk through a rainbow. As we went across a bridge we grabbed an umbrella and were wowed by the rainbow produced by laser lights and a fine mist of water.  It can be seen on this video of the event. My camera and I struggled to take good photos, here's a link to the local newspaper, which has some much better ones.

It was a good place to quell post-quake nerves. We only just got to experience the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that shook the centre of the country at 5.09. If we'd been better organised we would have already left the house and been on the road. But instead we were in the garage going out the door when it rattled us. We then had to go back inside to check the computer to find how big it was. The drive into Nelson was a bit tense as it took the radio station almost half an hour to let us know that Wellington was still standing. There must be lot of people with raw nerves in Wellington and Blenheim as the aftershocks have been very frequent, and are still going.


  1. glad to hear you are all safe and well post-quakes. those houses are really special, i'm really quite taken with them. hope the sharpie project is progressing well x

  2. I'm glad to hear you are all safe (and apart from your nerves) unscathed.
    Light Nelson looks beautiful, "Spun Sugar" particularly so.
    Take care Sally.

    and btw I'll echo Max, how IS the Sharpie project progressing?

  3. Your pics look great and definitely give an insight into the event - makes me wish I'd gone along. The simplicity of some installations coupled with the stark constrast of light and dark are striking. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow that looks incredible and such talent to produce something so spectatular. I'm glad to hear that you were Ok after the earthquake is this the biggest one you have ever experienced? Take care.
    Sarah x

  5. Good news to know you are safe but I can imagine what the nerves must be like. I've only experienced a smaller earthquake some years ago and that was pretty scary with everything shaking around me (including me!)
    Fabulous photos, something very special. x

  6. Hope your nerves are beginning too settle! (Lovely festival, your photos are good too.....).
    Mia x.

  7. Hello Sally - great pictures :) its always a good challenge photographing illuminated art huh?! I really love the little houses. Also I laughed at your recent comment because I was going to title my post "doona - what the heck is that?" why do they call them that?? hahaha

  8. This looks so neat! I love all your photos. It can be hard to take photos in the dark, but yours turned out really great. So scary about the earthquake! I am glad you are ok but I hope the aftershocks stop for your neighbors. That has to be so terrifying.

  9. firstly the art is fantastic, i love this sort of thing, and secondly an earthquake! I am filled with terror just reading it! so glad you are safe, we have NOTHING like this to contend with in safe england...the most scary thing here are a few harmless flying ants!!!