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Posts Tagged ‘Art

Charismatic Cisterns

We’re all used to seeing water tanks that look like these ones, particularly in New Zealand and Australia where they’re a common site on farms, although they’re usually no longer in use. These two actually don’t look too bad, probably because the sagging lean of their platforms has added some style to their image, courtesy also of a good photographer.

When it comes to our urban areas New Zealand lucks out with its hilly geography providing an automatic gravity-fed capability. Huge water tanks and cisterns can be buried on the top of hills, perhaps with less than half of the structure sticking above ground.

That’s a good thing because their basic functionality means that they are not pretty to start with.

In other parts of the world where towns and cities are surrounded by hundreds of miles of flat land, the townsfolk are not so lucky. Their water tanks, more correctly termed water towers, have to be raised on a platform to gain sufficient height above the surrounding buildings that they supply. When I first drove through the American Mid-West my attention kept being drawn to these water tanks, not only because I found such structures unusual but because they often looked like the following.

Butt ugly in other words.

Even more so when extra functionality is added by turning them into cellphone towers.

So it was with some pleasure that I discovered that as painting technology has advanced people are no longer willing to accept ugly-functional as the water tank/tower look. There’s even a competition to judge the best ones, Tank Of The Year, which you can view at your leisure by clicking on the link. But here’s some of my favourites

I don’t agree with all the winning selections of course, but here’s my favourite winner, from 2017.

PinInterest also has a nice selection of water tower photos , although it’s labeled “weird” for some reason.

Even the much older concept of cisterns can be prettier than water towers, even if they’re hardly ever seen because they’re underground, like this one in the Peniche Fortress (Forte de Peniche), Portugal.

Bulls Water Tower

Meanwhile back here in NZ, in the heart of the Rangitikei Plains, we’ve got one of our examples of the classic water tower, courtesy of the area being one of the few parts of the nation that are as flat as the American Mid-West.

Yes, that’s the famous/infamous water tower that greets travellers entering the township of Bulls.

I see that it has been de-commissioned because it’s not earthquake proof but has been saved from demolition by a public vote. I realise that architects probably will swoon over it as a classic example of mid-20th century Modernist building style, but I doubt that the old Ministry Of Works architects were thinking that when designing it.

No, it’s functional – and a butt ugly wart on the landscape. Perhaps, having saved the damned thing, the public could be inspired by the links above to apply some creative painting to it.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

Beauty and Terror

Right now we’re in need of beauty more than ever, so here’s a couple of photos to feast your eyes on, starting with one that looks like it could be an oil painting by Edwin Landseer or perhaps Winslow Homer.

The second has a similar quality to it, in this case something that could come from a number of the artists from the famous Hudson River School in the USA.

Meantime, after almost two months of quiet, harvesting season is upon us and I’m about to re-enter the grind of six day weeks and 15 hour days. Fortunately I won’t be driving my rigs anywhere like this. Photos taken at Dingleburn Station in the South Island.

H/T to fellow blogger HomePaddock for pics one and three.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 16, 2021 at 10:15 am

It’s Time To Kick Back …. and Relax


Menthol, Eucalyptus…. and Cocaine

More as an amused take on The Great War being turned into WWI by the even bigger Great War that turned up twenty years later, there has been Interwebby Thingy chatter about Great Depression II.

But focusing more on WWII and the sacrifices made caused me to come across this wonderful piece of American wartime art / propaganda below – possibly from one of the same artists who did Rosie The Riveter (they were all already employed by FDR as propaganda artists for the New Deal).

How true could this become? Of course in that situation the idea was to focus all resources on winning a traditional war, whereas a post COVID-19 NZ economy will be screaming for money to be spent in classic Keynesian fashion, so the exact opposite of “Me Travel?” is probably going to be recommended.

Meanwhile, here’s the great Norman Rockwell’s image of “Rosie the Riveter” from the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, May 29, 1943.


And finally, here’s one of that war’s sweethearts, Gracie Fields, singing about what she’s doing to build the Thingumabob that’s going to win the war.

Perhaps a ska version with Gwen Stefani, set on a vaccine production line is next?

Written by Tom Hunter

April 16, 2020 at 11:51 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with , , , ,

Is It Art?

From the blog site called Sad And Useless, comes a collection of photos of car mechanics. But these are not just any old photos:

Photographer Freddy Fabris had always wanted to pay homage to the Renaissance masters with his photos in some way, but he wasn’t sure how until he stumbled upon an auto-mechanic shop in the Midwest.

You can check on the link to see the full set, but suffice to say that it’s both clever and funny. I’ve included a few here, starting with ones that even I, with my limited Art History knowledge, can relate to the original Masters…

… and some that I can’t, although they look familiar. Art Critics are invited to connect them to the originals.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with