The upcoming Chinese New Year farewells the Year of the Rooster and warmly welcomes the Year of the Dog.
To celebrate the occasion, the Parnell Business Association has put together a wonderful exhibition event and we have been selected to host one of the unique pieces that make up the Year of the Dog auction.
Our gorgeous one-of-a-kind piece is 'Howling Celestial Dog' by Eric Ngan. In Chinese mythology, there is a dog named Xiao Tian Quan (literally Howling Celestial Dog). He is the trusted and most loyal companion to the Chinese God, Er Lang Shen.
Xiao Tian Quan is a heavenly warrior, therefore is represented by wearing a protective battle cloak. His fur is awash in heavenly clouds and his feet are astride the mountain ranges. His belly is tatooed with Taotie mask - which has the power to ward off magical attacks. His eyes are a galaxy of stars as he gazes into eternity.
The artist is Erig Ngan, a visual artist by trade and event producer by profession.
Online bidding will start on 16 February and will close on 4 March 2018, and the all pieces that contribute to Year of the Dog exhibition will be part of an exciting live auction on 8 March. All proceeds from all auctions will go towards the Starship Foundation.
We will update our Facebook page with details as the auction commences and continues. In the meantime, please click here for more information.
As a follow-up to our post about our wonderful Head Elephant, Lisa Caughey, we thought it might be a good idea to actually show you how the House looks these days. And if you're tempted by what you see, you should know that it's so much better in real life....
If it's been a while since you popped into the store, you may not have met our lovely store manager, Lisa Caughey. She's been instrumental in the recent changes and refurbishment that has breathed new life into the shop.
This is Lisa's story, in her own words...
Dreams do come true. Just sometimes not quite the way you imagined them.
For years I have wanted to do a roadie from Kaitaia to the Bluff. A slow drive roadie. No passing lanes, no google maps. I dreamed of stopping whenever I wanted to buy plums from roadside stalls, linger at artisan workshops, meet the people out there living their creative dreams and eventually heading back to the big smoke with a combi full of craft, art and memories.
As a single mum with two kids, how I was going to do a roadie wasn’t all that obvious. I am welded to school zones, timetables and the daily grind of bringing home the bacon. I have no sense of direction and can’t even find Brazil on the world map.
In 2016 I became the most recent Head Elephant at Parnell’s venerable Elephant House store. The Elephant House doesn’t actually have anything to do with elephants. For over 35 years it has championed, promoted and sold art, craft and wares made in NZ. The artisans and crafters that sell through the Elephant House come from Kerikeri to Invercargill!
Clearly I was on my roadie. For the last year I have lived, breathed and dreamed NZ art and craft. The Elephant House sells on behalf of the artisans and being in the store has brought NZ to me.
Last year we gutted, stripped, scrubbed and refitted the Elephant House, giving her a much needed upgrade to reflect the changing quality and improvement of Made in NZ. Opening Two Tusk Gallery in our loft space at the Elephant House to champion emerging NZ artists was a logical addition to our elephant sized desire to showcase the best of our country and support our creative talent.
Our doors are always* open for casual browse or a friendly chat.
*Not literally always, we have opening hours which you can check out here.
Mystical stories in wood, Eternal in the Past, Eternal in the future!
Geoff Irving is a woodwork teacher in Ngaruawahia. He lives and crafts his work in Hamilton and relaxes in Raglan.
He completed a three year Woodturning Trade course at the Ultimo T.A.F.E. in 1984 and a degree in Design at the U.T.S. Upon his return to Aotearoa, Geoff was strongly influenced by the wairua/spirit of Maori Art and Whakairo /wood carving.
When creating his sculptural pieces, Geoff likes to interweave this influence with the mystical writings of the 19th Century Persian Prophet Baha’u’llah, “The ancient Faith of the Maori was carved in wood and stone and will continue to shape the identity of all those fortunate to call these wonderful Islands home.”
The pulse of this ancient Faith is renewed from age to age.
Coffee pods are incredibly popular with those who take their coffee seriously, but think about all that rubbish!
Following a suggestion from a relative in Switzerland, Astrid Widmer has found a way of turning the empty pods into elegant adornments that anyone would look stylish wearing. Over the past two years, Astrid’s intricate designs have become even more ambitious and gets people doing a “double take” to figure out how on earth they are made from coffee pods.
Not having a Nespresso machine herself, Astrid is reliant on the generosity (and caffeine habit) of friends and supportive local businesses to provide her with the used capsules that she uses to recycle into her creations.
Astrid is proud that by using her imagination and skills, she can create stunning jewellery and gifts, while at the same time save thousands of aluminium pods ending up in the landfill.
Jo May produces her vibrant designs in Whangarei, Northland.
Inspired by New Zealand's natural coastal beauty, her original silk paintings depict native birds and beaches from all over the country in amazingly bright vivid colour.
These paintings are then printed, by hand, to make other products such as art prints, calendars, and many other gift items which are popular with both tourists and locals alike. Jo's most popular pieces are are the outdoor garden art range on aluminium.
Jo has worked full time on her art since 2000 and although her studio is private, she sells in exclusive outlets all over NZ and at local events and shows.
Elizabeth Kingston has retired from the work force, but not from her lifetime speciality of hand knitting gorgeous gifts for newborn babies.
Elizabeth was only nine when she began a lifelong hobby of hand knitting.
As time went on and more babies came into the world through her own family, friends and work mates, Elizabeth produced beautiful timeless hand knitted sets, comprising of Jacket, Hat, and Bootees for the newborn.
Elizabeth’s true passion is using traditional patterns, and modernising them for today’s Mums. Many are unique and exclusive and all are handcrafted for anyone who adores and wishes to pamper newborn babies.
Did You Know...
We've got more than just amazing products to share with you, we've got the stories about what goes on behind-the-scenes of what you're buying too