Vogel Street Party

by Nick Duval-Smith

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We went to the Vogel Street Party on Saturday. Part of the Julian Temple Band was playing, well on form after their recent return from the States.

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Lots of the old buildings in the area, either under renovation or recently restored, were open for exploration. I was delighted to be able to show the girls inside the A. H. Reed Building (corner of Jetty and Crawford streets), which was owned for a time by my Grandfather, Donald Ritchie. He had his dental surgery in there, and later lived on the ground floor too. Jeffrey Harris had the top floor as a studio, and after he moved out, Brent Hargreaves and I lived there while we were at Art School (we moved in in ’89). Eliza McMillan told us there’s a cafe and reading room going in downstairs, so it’s good to hear there’s life in the old dear yet, despite terrible internal guttering.

The party was very well attended -I’d imagined two or three hundred people might be there, but there must have been more like a thousand.

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We got to see Motoko Watanabe’s show in the National Mortgage Agency Building (it’s the yellow one about four down on the right in the photo above). The show is on ’til the 31st, and well worth a look. Sculptures of fabric, organic shapes that appear to have grown around pieces of driftwood, and other pieces hang on the walls. All stitched together carefully to make objects that feel at once familiar and other.

We went to a puppet show by the Dunedin Medieval Society, in a warehousey space which really suited the fun and quirky wee show, which was well received.

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Then, downstairs in the same building, I finally got to go into Dutybound, the bookbindery of David Stedman. Been meaning to get in there for a while, and it was well worth it. Couldn’t resist a nice solid wee A5 notebook with a ruru illustration on the cover.

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