Silence is golden

Mt Eden (the suburb, not the mountain) is allegedly the “home of arts”, though having lived here on and off since ’98, it seems to be more the home of lost tourists and wide-load vehicles.

But to celebrate this artfulness, every year there is this Artists in Eden celebration. Various events happen, culminating in an auction from art by local artists. This year’s auction took place today and for the first time I went along to see what was happening.

There were artists sitting at tables making paintings, and that was about it.

I had a look at the paintings that were going to be up for auction and noticed that about 90% of them were landscapes of Mt Eden Village and/or Mt Eden itself. It typical way of doing it was to paint the mountain looking like a green bread roll (hey, St Patrick’s Day was yesterday!), and also common was some lettering on the painting of Maungawhau and/or Mt Eden, or some variation – yes, that includes the Garden of Eden.

It all reminded me of the local artists of Raglan, who mostly seem to paint variants on the harbour and/or Mt Karioi.

The one artist who was doing anything different was an artist by the name of Simon Shepheard, who made a series of signs about noisy cars and then hung them up around the nearby streets (here and here). Vehicle noise is a major part of life in Mt Eden for me – car stereos, street cleaning equipment, sirens rubbish trucks, wide-load pilot vehicle horns, and the ever-present hum of traffic. His works said more to me about Mt Eden than all the picturesque landscapes on display.

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