Archive for the ‘found art’ Category

the creative face of New Zealand

March 29, 2012


I haven’t shared many images from my recent travels in New Zealand – and there are plenty that fit into the eclectic parameters of Art out and About.  Like these delightfully modernist faces painted onto the cross sections where branches have been pruned off trees.  Like so much of this type of creative output, they were in something of a random spot.  Just a bit of a track beside the road where I decided to stop and take a few photos of the coastline, and I was rewarded with these faces.  I don’t remember a name for where it was, but it was just south of Dunedin.  I found many such traces of creative activity out and about in New Zealand, and often having taken on a greater significance when subsequent travellers (for it seemed like it was mostly travellers out on the roads in the South Island) would take their cue from an existing creative work of some kind and repeat it so the motif was displayed on mass.  Perhaps this will all make more sense as I share some more in future posts.  For now I hope you enjoy these faces of perhaps ambiguous expression.


found art – crochet

March 4, 2012

Found this delightfully low key installation on Noosa’s Hastings Street recently.  The ye olde charm of the crotchet doilies contrasted nicely with the bling and commercialism of Hastings Street, while the off-white palette was very much in keeping with the dominant fashions of the local ladies.  Multi coloured Guerrilla Knitting just wouldn’t do for Hastings Street.  If you haven’t heard of guerilla knitting, than please do check out the link – you’ll be astounded!  It’s an ever growing movement sweeping the world, and if you keep your eye’s open there is plenty of it about.

This is a more typical Guerrilla Knit installation – this one found outside the Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

For yet another variation of fibre enhancements of public space, this fence had dozens of these small wool wrappings inserted.  The variations suggested many different makers, but I don’t know if it was the outcome of some organised event, or an accumulation of later passersby deciding to add in response after one persons initial incursion on the dreary site.


December 26, 2011

I couldn’t resist getting a snapshot of this rather overdressed (for the beach) man as he clambered on the rocks.    There was something dramatic about the silhouetted figure against the bright seascape, dark overcoat flapping in the wind.  Then I realised why the scene, as unusual as it was, seemed familiar.  Nearly three years ago now I posted an image of an old favourite, The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Casper David Friedrich.  As well as the original, it’s an image that is often referenced or parodied as well.  A google image search for the title brings up plenty of contemporary examples.

These aren’t your average rocks of course.  They are the Moeraki Boulders, on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast.  One of the famous boulders seemed particularly happy that day.

more shelter structures

June 3, 2011

This temporary structure was found in the park beside Turner Primary School.  The litter of hats, shoes and other items recently discarded and forgotten confirmed that it was constructed by young students.

The authorship of this rather more sturdy structure is less certain.  Found on the edges of Canberra Nature Park, very close to residential areas and yet through the orientation of roads and paths and topography is a little pocket that few would visit.  Did someone actually camp here? (it wouldn’t be the first instance of semi permanent residence on Black Mountain that has slipped under the radar).  Teenagers expending their physical and creative energies happily out of sight?  The site doesn’t appear to have been recently occupied and seems little changed to when I first discovered it two years ago.  Whatever the origins, it sits quietly hunkered down in the woodland, proof of the desire to build structures from and within the environment.

clean art

January 1, 2011


Spotted this bit of public street art in Newcastle (Australia) recently.  Rather ingeniously created using plastic stencils and high pressure water  jets, the image is created not by adding, but by (selectively) removing grime and algae from a concrete retaining wall.  For more info and images of this and another site, see .  It’s a shame that at least while I was there the site of the chair piece was fenced off and a construction zone.


December 14, 2010

It has been a while since I posted some ‘found art’. Much of what I include under this heading is possibly not really intended to be ‘art’, but then that is what I find interesting about it really. The fact that once you start looking, you will find evidence left all over the place of people’s creative acts. anonymous, spontaneous, not leading to material or financial benefits – embodying the true creative spirit. Of course sometimes you have to look a little outside the well worn places, but you don’t usually have to go far.

The substantial structure above can be found in Canberra Nature Park – a collection of small nature reserves strategically scattered within Canberra’s planned urban structure. Mostly they occupy the hills and ridges, and are crisscrossed by a dense network of tracks and trails.  This structure has been built on one of the few hill tops not crossed by tracks, and only those exploring away from the paths would find it.

stick dome

August 4, 2010

I found this wonderful land art construction on a recent walk in Canberra Nature Park. It is quite large and sturdily made. I’ve no idea who by – I’ve asked a couple of people I know who I thought were possible candidates, but no. The partial dome, made entirely of Eucalypt sticks, is sited amongst the branches of a large fallen tree. This area, at the base of Mt. Majura, has a lot of dead trees through it. Big old Eucalypts. I suspect years of over grazing, first by sheep and more recently by kangaroos and rabbits, has left the soil compacted and less able to absorb moisture. With prolonged drought over the last 10 years, even these hardy native trees have succumbed.

public art ?

March 1, 2010

Does anyone know anything about this large “sculpture”?  It appears to be a piece of public art, though it looks more like it might have been designed by an engineer rather than an artist.  What makes it remarkable is the unexpected location, in the middle of nowhere beside a minor road. (Wilson Drive between Hill Top and Buxton to be precise).  There is a spot where a plaque was once attached, but that is no help to me now.  Embedded in the concrete are the letters SJE, the makers signature perhaps.

beach tripods

January 20, 2010

We humans just can’t help ourselves can we. We just love to make things. If we find some scattered raw materials, we just love to gather them up, re-arrange them and create some sort of order out of the previous dis-order, even if the resulting construction is entirely useless. We like to try to reverse the universes natural tendency towards greater entropy. For whatever reason, there always seems to be a bit of driftwood about on the beaches of the south coast of NSW, and mostly sawn timber rather than tree branches etc. (Or maybe the real question is why is driftwood less common on the beaches further north?). I’ve been to two beaches on the south coast recently, and both had these driftwood tripods on them. Above is Mimosa Rocks National Park, and below is Seven Mile Beach near Nowra.

roadway leaf stencil

August 23, 2009


This image was taken on a pedestrian crossing in central Canberra.  A leaf must have been lying in the roadway when the markings for the pedestrian crossing were sprayed on.  Of course the paint stuck to the leaf and not the roadway, and now this durable stencil is left, so no matter the season, there is always at least one autumn leaf on the ground!

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