Tag Archives: New Zealand

Making a New Home: Olveston, Linden, and the Jewish Museum of Australia

In 2002 I visited Poland for the first time. I took an overnight train from Berlin and arrived in Katowice on a freezing November morning. The skies were overcast, buses belched smoke, and the ground was covered in muddy ice and snow. In other words, it was miserable. And yet, as I made my way […]

New Art for a Migrant World: Brisbane’s Eighth Asia Pacific Triennial

Since 1993, Brisbane, Australia has hosted a remarkable and unique cultural event: the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. The eighth instalment opened in November 2015 at the venerable Queensland Art Gallery and its shiny young neighbour the Gallery of Modern Art. Two years ago I wrote about Brisbane and a spectacular exhibition of Cai […]

Cry the Beloved Prejudice: Reflections on South Africa

A few weeks ago I discovered an intruder in my back yard. An uninvited guest who had taken root among the natives. When I asked my gardener about the exotic foreigner who seemed so nonchalant about interrupting my peace and quiet (and views), he simply replied, “definitely not from here. Probably South African.” Strange. If […]

Moments’ Monuments: Laurence Aberhart’s “Anzac”

Every immigrant absorbs a new cultural matrix, some of which is predictable, some that surprises. When I moved to New Zealand, I thought I knew my adopted matrix pretty well: after all, I had read Erewhon, owned at least three Crowded House CDs, and admired the cinematic settings of Middle-earth. My aversion to Robbie Williams […]

Immigrant Woods

My mate Pete and I had just left our Saturday morning coffee gathering when we noticed a tremble of dark feathers in the street. A female blackbird (which in fact is brown) was not doing well. Unable to fly, she had struggled through the grass and stumbled down the curb into the road. I picked […]

Still Waiting

James Tissot’s Waiting for the Train (Willesden Junction) is one of the small treasures of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand. It’s a panel painting depicting a young woman at a London station about to depart for a long stay somewhere. Most viewers are immediately struck by her gaze: not haughty exactly, but […]

In the Fingertips

Ask a New Zealander about my hometown, Dunedin, and she might mention the beautiful setting, the stately old buildings, or the royal albatross colony. One thing she’ll certainly mention: the cold. It’s not really that cold here—we get two or three snowfalls a year, usually gone by midday—it’s just that it’s colder here than most […]

Coming In To Land

If you’ve ever arrived at Auckland International Airport, perhaps you’ve followed the green line: the strip of green-paint walkway that takes you between the international and domestic terminals in about ten minutes. Returning to New Zealand, I almost look forward to it. After the anxiety and half-sleep of a trans-ocean flight, the bleary-eyed queuing, questioning, […]