Robert L. Peters

18 November 2008

Back in Wanganui,

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Wanganui, New Zealand

Friends from W(h)anganui picked us up in Wellington last Friday (with an inspirational stop at The New Dowse along the way). It was great to re-connect with Vicki Campbell (thanks for the chauffeuring!), Andrès Salinas (and fiancee Claudia Borella), Hazel Gamec (recently retired) with hubby Harvey Coughlin, Riki Waitokia, and other Wanganuians I had met a year ago. It was also good to meet Betsy Berger, who has just taken over the reins from Hazel.

I’ve been busy for the past three days at the Whanganui School of Design as an external moderator for graduates in the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (Honours), and Master of Computer Graphic Design programs. As I’ve come to expect, I was rewarded by encountering some remarkable work and creative ingenuity (WSD has been at the forefront of graphic design in New Zealand for the past few decades)—my Bachelor students Joseph Salmon, Chet Leavai, Tom Lo, Regina Sadine, Kate Adams, Chan May-Yen (May), Mok Lew Luon (Calvin), Aaron Hunwick; and Masters students Chien Min Kee (Edwin), Wan Nor Raihan Wan Ramli, Kaye Davis, and Melissa Edmon. (Check out May Chan’s LMac Touch concept on YouTube here).

While I was in moderation sessions at the school, Ev was treated to gallery visits (Sarjeant Gallery, Chronicle Glass) and studio encounters with local artists Lynn Hurst, Andrea Gardner, and Ross Mitchell-Anyon. When it comes to creativity it’s safe to say that, pound for pound, Whanganui certainly does punch well above its weight.

Extracurricular highlights included a visit to the black sand beaches (where the Whanganui River empties into the ocean), and a delightful evening (and fantastic supper) at Hazel and Harvey’s sheep & deer station.

Images, from top: The Sarjeant Gallery, palms on the hill outside the Sarjeant, random wall typography at the WSD, the black sand beaches of the South Taranaki Bight, overlooking the endless green valleys en route to Okirae, and Harvey (along with trusty sheepdog ‘Girl’) rounding up a sheep for Ev to pet.

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