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12:16  The return of the Lyttelton Museum

Today marks the start of an ambitious 9.9 million dollar fund raising campaign for a new purpose built home for Te Ūaka Lyttleton Museum.

The former building opened in 1969, thanks to the efforts of its founder Baden Norris.  However it was forced to close after the September 2010 earthquake.

While 95% of the artefacts were salvaged, the building itself was demolished ten years ago.

Now, after making the decision to rebuild, the Museum Trust is now revealing the design for the phoenix that they hope will rise from the ashes.

Lynn Freeman talks to Peter Rough from the Museum Committee, and to architect Fiona Short.


12:29  New Generation stone artist Joe Sheehan

He started small, intricately carving cassette tapes and lightbulbs from pounamu.  But now Wellington-based sculptor Joe Sheehan works on big-scale projects that really take over a space.

He's working on three works for the upcoming Auckland Art Fair, including a hefty granite sculpture called "Invisible City".

In 2006 Joe Sheehan was one of the first recipients of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand's New Generation Award. 

He's repaid that faith in his skills by producing in-demand work, and by taking a chance when he moved from small scale to large scale art.

Lynn Freeman asks Joe about that switch, while he takes a short break from work at his Wellington studio.

The organisers of the Auckland Art Fair have announced that the 2021 event will proceed as planned at The Cloud from the 24th of February, subject to Alert Level 1 being announced for Tuesday. 

12:45  170 wonders from the Alexander Turnbull Library

From millions of items in the Alexander Turnbull Library, curators have chosen just 170 for a new exhibition to celebrate the institution's 100th birthday.

It's actually the 101st.  The Mīharo Wonder exhibition was delayed from last year due to the pandemic.

On show will be some tiny hand-sewn buttons created by prisoners on St Helena, ancient Sumerian tablets and a pocket-sized globe tracing James Cook's first voyage.

Alongside taonga from the collection is new artwork commissioned from Matthew McIntyre-Wilson, a collection of fishing nets he's made using traditional techniques.

Lynn Freeman spoke to Matthew, and to one of the show's curators, Fiona Oliver.  Fiona explains how she and Peter Ireland honed down the list from millions to fewer than two hundred for the exhibition.

The Mīharo Wonder exhibition opens at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington on Thursday, 25 February).

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews Korean-American drama Minari, Tom Hanks' first western, News of the World, and Ammonite, atrring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. 


1:31  More support for Tauranga's creative sector

James Wilson

James Wilson Photo: supplied

Tauranga may be growing rapidly but its city council has only now established a specific role to support the region's creative sector.

James Wilson is the city's first Manager of Arts and Culture.  He's one of the tens of thousands of people who've flocked to Tauranga in recent years. 

He moved there from Auckland in 2019 to manage one of the city's main venues, the Baycourt Community and Arts Centre.  Before that he was the Chief Executive of Auckland's award winning Q Theatre.

Lynn Freeman first asked James Wilson why he thinks it took so long for the Tauranga City Council to act:


1:46 The intricate sugar art of Tracy Byatt

Sugar is treated as the enemy these days in terms of health, but in the hands of a skilled artist like Whanganui's Tracy Byatt, it can also be used to sculpt extraordinarily colourful and lifelike bouquets.

This artistic sugar hit was wildly popular back in the European Renaissance when ornate centrepieces were sculpted for royal banquets. Even Da Vinci gave it a go apparently.

Tracy Byatt is about to put her own mini-masterpieces on show, but she says she has the same arch-enemies sugar artists had centuries ago - dampness, humidity, fragility and bees.

Tracy's show is called The Pattillo Project 2021 and they combine to offer an Impossible bouquet.

It's made from 22 different types of flowers, each one individually and painstakingly crafted from sugar.

Lynn Freeman asked Tracy Byatt about the history of sugar art.

2:06 The Laugh Track - Australian comedian Laura Davis

Laura Davis

Laura Davis Photo: supplied

Laura Davis seems to have a knack for being at the right place, but at not quite the right time!

The Australian comedian found herself shivering in a cold apartment in Edinburgh at the start of last year, while she watched her homeland go up in flames.  Then she arrived in New Zealand to begin a short tour, just in time to be locked down for the indefinite future.

But there's good news - for us at any rate.  The show she planned to debut in Edinburgh 2020 - If this is it - is about to be launched in the Edinburgh of the South, at the Dunedin Fringe Festival 2021.

Laura Davis is our guest on the Laugh Track.  Her picks include Tig Notaro, Fern Brady, Mitch Hedberg and John Mulaney.


2:25 Jeweller Jane Dodd is inspired by the natural world

"I want to look at issues of extinction and infestation, cruelty and conflict. I want us to feel that we are being watched and that stock is being taken. I want us not to get away with it." 

Those are the words of Dunedin jeweller - and former member of the Verlaines - Jane Dodd, whose more than 30 years of work are being celebrated in her first mayor survey show.

It's being held at Lower Hutt's Dowse Art Museum, as part of its 50th anniversary programme. 

There are more than 100 pieces in Jane's exhibition Wild Domain: The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery. 

Lynn Freeman talks with Jane Dodd, and to the exhibition's curator - and the Museum's director - Karl Chitham.

Wild Domain: The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery has just opened at the Dowse.


2:40 Novelist Susanna Gendall and the "Disinvent Movement"


Susanna Grendall

Susanna Grendall Photo: supplied by publisher

No caption

Photo: supplied by publisher

Imagine if you could disinvent things that really annoy you, things that also harm the planet.

The central character in Susanna Gendall's debut novel The Disinvent Movement endeavours to do just that.

The Movement that she throws herself into is also her way of escaping from her violent husband.

The book is made up of ultra short numbered chapters.

Susanna and her family are recently out of quarantine having returned from Paris, which is her second home.  

She reads from novel and talks to Lynn Freeman about the ideas behind The Disinvent Movement,  which is published by Victoria University Press



2:50 Time to remember two traumatic Christchurch events 

Janna Ruth

Janna Ruth Photo: supplied by publisher

No caption

Photo: supplied by publisher

A frantic rewrite was required during the lockdown last year by novellist Janna Ruth, who'd set her novel Time to remember in Christchurch throughout 2020.

The book's characters are mainly preoccupied by the 10th anniversary of the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake, but Janna knew she needed to include the pandemic once it took hold.

But in fact she'd started working on the novel back in 2005, well before both traumatic events.

Janna came to New Zealand from Germany to study geology, and she uses some of her memories from her university years in Time to remember. 

In it a group of university students bond and bicker, some of them still scarred by the earthquake a decade earlier.


3:06 Drama at 3 -  Small God by Jacques Strauss

In the 1960s scientists at Yale University carried out a series of now famous experiments designed to test what extreme tasks people would carry out if told to do so by a figure of authority. 

The results were profoundly disturbing as today's Drama reveals.  Small God by Jacques Strauss stars Stuart Devenie as the old Chris Johnson, while the younger Chris Johnson is played by Marek Sumich.