I went to the Waikato Museum of Art and History (yes, all that together under one roof). There’s an exhibit of some Len Lye stuff. The best things were the metal sculpture things. (I’m using the word thing a lot because I don’t know exactly what to describe it as.) My favourite one had a long thin piece of metal, about 50 cm wide and a couple of curly bits of metal attached to it. It was hung down from a black metal box which shook it and caused the metal to make a big loud noise, not unlike thunder (and “thunder” was in the name). It caused such a delightful ruckus that two women in their late 30s went to investigate the ruckus but quickly walking away, pulling “I’m not sure if that’s really art…” faces.
I miss the old Art Museum on London Street. It was like a boning 1960s office building but one floor had the museum. Yeah, an office building with a great big old Maori war canoe in it. And the old Art Museum had permanent exhibits about Hamilton’s history. There was a slick early ’80s slide show with images of Hamilton throughout the years. My favourite thing was the old post office franking machine. There’d be pieces of paper that could be franked and souvenired.
Now that building has many franking machines as it’s now the Waikato Mail Centre and in the late ’80s the museum got a new home in a classy building. The canoe now overlooks the river, well away from the old windowless room in London Street.
Hamilton gets better every time I return.
Oh yes, word on the street is that nicknames such as “Hamiltron” or “The Tron” are terribly passe and using it only makes you look like an out-of-town dork-arse who’s trying to be with-it.