Dale Devereux Copeland
Assemblage artist from Puniho in New Zealand.

A blog - it's a weird concept. Like leaving your diary on a high shelf in a dark corner of the biggest library you can imagine.

But I kept a diary for years and years, and I guess this is no less rational than that pile of dusty books in a corner of my lair.

So, for what it's worth, here it is. A day (or more) in the life of an artist. A very occasional blog.

email me if you wish. At dale @ tart.co.nz (remove spaces)

The 2008 page, the 2009 page, the 2010 page, the 2011 page,
The 100-day project

Or return to the current page.

Sunday, 6th January, 2008.
Almost a year later, and here's a tiny bit more.
The barbecue which I so proudly built a year ago (it's at the very bottom of this page) had, of course, become completely overgrown by weeds.

(Click on image to see bigger version, then use 'back' button)
Alby Carter - artist and friend - dropped off a big kahawai (that's a fish) that he'd just caught, so I uncovered the barbecue and we cooked it. Very nice.

The collage exchange of 2007 got to 188 artists!! At 13 collages each, that's a LOT of artwork. Lovely. And already 13 packages have arrived for this year.

And what else for 2007? I went with Mili Purpil (see her jewellery on milipurpil.com) to take the Cities-of-Art exhibition - the work of 21 Taranaki artists - to show in Port Moody, Vancouver, Canada.

And I collected more than 50 wedding rings and got Mili to make them into a 'chain of lost promises'. Interesting .. some people see it and see a lot of gold, some see the shine and tinsel and top-of-the-Christmas-tree nature of it, other shudder and ask if the original owners are dead and others, like me, see the ineffable sadness of such a collection of things, each of which symbolised something which was to last forever. Till death or divorce do us part. Anyway, I'm very fond of it and wear it often. The chain of lost promises.

(Click on image to see bigger version, then use 'back' button)

I ran a Global Artists for Peace exhibition and made a calendar from 12 of the images. You can see it here:

Paul turned 50 on Friday. I made him this:

There were lots of visitors, but in a free 20 minutes he painted
Self Portrait caught in the act of turning 50 .. you can see it on his blog on postcardfrompuniho.blogspot.com

Sunday, 18th February, 2007.
Reality strikes, along with the realisation that adding to the enormous pile of unread information available on the Net is not a worthwhile activity. Nothing to say, and no-one to hear. So I'll stop leaving this diary on high shelves.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2007.
54 collage packs now.
Paul came back from walking the dog on the beach and gave me a flower. A beautiful thing. Yesterday he brought back two small fishes .... lovely silvery blue things, herring-like. They were jumping out of the sea onto the sand. He tried to rescue them and throw them back but there were so many. So these two he killed and brought home to paint.
An odd bit of good news today ... a sonnet I wrote when I was 16 has just won a Highly Commended prize at the Shakespeare festival in Stratford!

Saturday, 10th February, 2007.
48 collage packs so far.
These long hot clear days ... after dinner we walked on the wild empty beach, and this is heaven indeed. I've never known the Stony River (Hangatahua) to be so easy to wade across, so we walked right down to the surfing bay called the Kumara Patch. Fergus found friends - it's a simple life that dogs lead. Coming back, with the sun going down on the Tasman Sea and not another person in sight, it's easy to be selfish and hope the resorts & condominiums never spread this far out.
Being mentioned in the February issue of the American Artist's Magazine brought a lot of emails from people saying they'd read it and would like to take part in the collage exhibition/exchange this year. Now I've just been told that there's another mention, in the March/April issue of RubberStampMadness.

Tuesday, 6th February, 2007.
A friend, ex-pupil, came. She designs & makes clothes. Does anyone else feel so hopelessly inadequate when trying on changes in the outer skin? Approaching self-loathing?

Monday, 5th February, 2007.
I cleared up Toby's room, ready for sorting collages. Had the thought that it's sort of like farming ... something with a calendar of actions. You know, getting ready to plant swedes or drench sheep or make hay. Every year as it approaches March/April I clear out my lair and Toby's room. Once a year for housework ... that's not too bad.
Anyway, this is Toby's room, once a year.

Toby's back off at med school and flatting; I'll be finished with her room before she's back. And I'll show you another shot of her room in the midst of the sorting process. You'll be horrified!
Biked to the village. It's 5km (3 miles) away and there was a head wind. It's about 24oC, which is about 76oF for our friends up in the cold north.
Printed a couple of hundred invitations for Alby's show,

while listening to CDs of Romanian music which Liliana Rusu sent with her pack of collages. Nice.

Saturday, 3rd February, 2007.
43 collage packets so far. Some exciting work.
Taekwon-Do training, getting my new patterns a bit more polished.

Wednesday, 31st January, 2007.
I'm in House & Garden mag. Ha! Well, the Human Artefakts exhibition is. And that's as close as I'll ever get I'm sure.
Making the "Portaloo" into a sculpture that can go into a gallery if needed, instead of being just a pile of things held together by the weight of sand. So making a shaped wooden piece to go between, and support, parts. And I made a thing (block of polystyrene on a long stick) to go inside the glass globe on top and then down into the neck, to make it all secure and safe. I'll buy a couple of nuts & bolts, paint them white and 'twill be done.
Giving some more thought to the "Republic of Letters" ... the artists' books. I've got one book made, but now the concept of a community built around literary exchange is starting to take a visual shape. If there's time in amongst collages ...
Late at night, put new exhibition on. Paul's Postcard from Puniho. Lovely things. Tired.

Monday, 29th January, 2007.
Put a new Taranaki artist on the Virtual Tart site. 50 now, looking good.
I've got the exhibitions for February AND March already written - consciously trying to clear the decks before I get overloaded with collages. 36 packs have arrived already and there are still a full two months to go. I know I can handle 200 but am a bit scared of it going higher than that.

Friday, 26th January, 2007.
Technology has its uses. Standing out on the cinder patch (only place with reception) exchanging texts with our daughter as she goes back to med school, doing all the organising that goes with moving into a new flat.
It must have been so hard before email & cellphones.
Finished (finally) the Colonial Taj Mahal.

I hadn't been happy with all the things I tried in the top right corner ... finally pleased with the old photo, the lock of hair tied up with an edge of linen, and the two bent old nails.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2007.
A warm but damp and soggy day, with a visit to the dentist. What a delightful change to find a guestbook message that starts: "Your artwork is just bloody marvelous." People are very kind.

Tuesday, 23rd January, 2007.
Writing the Virtual Tart website exhibition for February:
Postcard from Puniho, paintings from Paul's painting-a-day project.
Lovely things.

You can see the whole lot on postcardfrompuniho.blogspot.com

Sunday, 21st January, 2007.
Today was a good day to play. I pottered around amongst the piles of treasure ... started doing something completely different, but ended up with:

No prizes for guessing what it's made of.

Yesterday I worked on an assemblage - Colonial Taj Mahal.
The real Taj Mahal was built by an Indian prince distraught at the death of his favourite wife who'd died at the birth of their fourteenth child.
The architecture of a colonial settler's house may not be as grand but the feeling and the story is probably similar.
To come to a strange and untamed country, to clear a space and build a house. And then often enough to lose your love ... a hard life.
The finial and verandah decoration are from an old house. The lock of hair is held by a strip of torn linen. And the map is of the inland part of Taranaki ... a difficult place to clear and to try to establish a farm. All in a serving tray made in a boys' woodwork class.

I suspect that it isn't quite finished .... needs something dark, rusty, perhaps crossed nails? I'll think about it more.

Friday, 19th January, 2007.
Oh, I AM pleased. Best result ever. I'd asked the director of the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford (you can see it on http://www.percythomsongallery.org.nz/ ) about showing an exhibition called The Republic of Letters (altered books by an international group I'm in). I thought the gallery was all booked up until way into 2008. But I was around in Stratford today (delivering a trailer-load of Paul's big paintings for a show called The Big Picture) and asked again and .... tadah ... the gallery will show two exhibitions at once: Objectivity - human sized sculpture, and The Republic of Letters - an international show of altered books.

I'm doubly pleased as I've been invited to put a sculpture into the Objectivity exhibition too. When? 17th June - 15th July. Yay!

And last night we saw the comet again. I put the digital camera on a tripod and got this photo.


Thursday, 18th January, 2007.
Last night we saw Comet McNaught. Stunning. Too many trees around the house so we had to stand out on the road. One nice little story ... it must be haymaking time. While we were standing out there in the dark, four large tractors with huge spiky implements on the back and flashing red lights on top went past in convoy. Driving towards the comet. Bearing gifts, "following yonder star". Well, it appealed to me.

I've been working on the next book, to follow on from Assemblage Art. (You can see that one on the Puniho Press page). I'd made 100 of those, all handbound. This next one I thought I'd have a commercially published soft-cover version done as well as a limited edition of the handbound ones. Anyway, it's a long job. Much of the text is done but now I'm arranging, putting in all the images, doing the index. There'll be about 80 pages and I've finished only 30 so far.

Oh, the barbecue. I pulled it all to pieces and re-erected it a couple of metres to the left. So it's not right in front of the view of the mountain from our window.

And the 29th pack of collages just arrived.

Monday, 15th January, 2007.
I finished an assemblage I'm pleased with. Open Day. A house made of all gloss and show, no substance. With a gold coin inside to be the thing that's really on show.

The postie brought the 26th pack of collages for the 9th International Collage Exhibition/Exchange. I admit to being a bit worried that the numbers might become unmanageable. Last year there were 160 artists - a lot but I can manage that number. It was the end of February before I'd received the first 26 packs. This is only mid-January. Ah well, all good fun.

Today I built a barbecue! I love going to "our" beach and cooking sausages over a huge fire of driftwood, but now that Paul is doing a painting-a-day (see his daily paintings on postcardfrompuniho.blogspot.com ) he often doesn't want to stop early enough for a beach jaunt. So, using just concrete blocks that I'd found on a Hawera street on one of their big clean-up days, and some firebricks from when I'd pulled an old chimney to bits, and a couple of old ceramic pipes I made this:

It was too hot a day to be working at lugging concrete blocks around, but I finished it and cooked dinner on it. It works, although I'll raise the chimney opening a bit. (It's not cemented in place, just stacked.)

Judy Wray from Maine emailed to say she'd put photos from when she visited us last year onto the Net. So if you'd like to see some more pics of our jungle, just click here. They're great! (Thank you Judy)



The 2008 page, the 2009 page, the 2010 page, the 2011 page,
The 100-day project

Or return to the current page.

email Dale at dale @ tart.co.nz (remove spaces)


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