This was a great way for the army to work with DOC. The army were also able to visit the local Te Kura o Waikaremoana School, where the tamariki/children put on kai / food for their manuhiri / visitors.
Having a go in the driver’s seat
The children thoroughly enjoyed the army visit, especially jumping on and in the Pinzgauer six-wheeler truck, looking at the weapons and eating the army ration packs.
Ko enei whakaahua, ko ngaa tamariki harikoa mai Te Kura o Waikaremoana, me nga hoea i awhi mai nga kaimahi a Te Papa Atawhai.
Felicity Deverell has left her home and studio behind her to embark on a drawing adventure in the New Zealand backcountry. She plans to draw about 50 huts to feature in an exhibition/book. Felicity writes about some of her challenges so far.
Drawing Mangamuka Hut in the Kaimai Range with my co-plotter Caleb
Drawing out in the wilderness is very different from in the studio. It has its difficulties but is very enjoyable on the whole. I love being outside, and I love drawing, so it was a great holiday for me.
Te Totara Hut in the Te Urewera National Park
The challenges of drawing huts abounded. In the first place, it was difficult to find a good angle to draw the hut from. It wasn’t just a question of which side the hut looked most interesting from, often finding one possible drawing angle was hard. Most huts were either closely surrounded by bush or long grass, so I had to find ways of getting around that.
Getting far enough away from the hut to get a good view of it, and to get it to fit on my paper, was a challenge, but I always found a way.
At Te Totara Hut in the southern Ureweras I sat up on a slip over the river from the hut. The hut was surrounded with tall grass so that was the only place I could get a proper view of it.
Sketching amongst the native bush
Before I began drawing the huts, I thought of just doing sketches of them, and working on larger more detailed drawings later, as the main thing to show at an exhibition. But I am now thinking that what I draw out there is worth more than what I could do in my studio. They have more interest and character to them, and capture the feel of the place.
Watercolour on location
For an exhibition and a book, all I really need is the material I get out there. But I still intend to do a few paintings on canvass and for those I will work on my studio from sketches and photographs.
More information on Felicity Deverell and her ‘The Art of a Hut’ project is available on her blog.
Not to be outdone by our Tauranga cohorts, our DOC/Dulux ‘paint a hut’ party also had a film crew — DOC’s talented Community Outreach Coordinator from Otago, Claudia Babirat. Makomako Hut was sooo stunning she just had to come and enjoy the atmosphere and film the astonishing efficiency of our Visitor Assets and Community Relations teams!
Our team was made up of Jade Connelly (Visitor Assets power ranger and team leader), three volunteers (Gavin Muir, Waitangi Tait and Hikurangi Rurehe), and DOCies Moana Smith-Dunlop (Community Relations Ranger) and Earl Rewi (Programme Manager Visitor and Historic Assets).
Left: Hiks and Wai painting the deck. Right: Gavin and Wai starting the inside.
Makomako Hut lives below Maungapohatu in the Te Urewera National Park, and along the famous six foot track. While we were there, there was obvious sign of deer in the area, and the hut clearing looked almost good enough to be a golfing green. With a forecast of three days of sun we launched into the painting with a ferocity that stunned our intrepid film maker.
Roof and front door: Porari
Outside walls: Tinkertown
Deck, windows and chimney: a beautiful shade of Masterton
By the end of day one, all our supplies and people had arrived at the hut and we’d completed the outside preparation and the first coat on the outside walls and roof. With the sun setting it was time to down tools, light the fire and get dinner going.
Day two saw the outside walls and roof finished, the first swathes of Masterton on the deck, the windows and chimney done, and the start and finish of the inside. By the end of day two all we had to do was a few touch ups on the outside.
Day three dawned clear, cold and full of promise that the end was near. So with that in mind, eating all the leftover food from the previous night’s dinner became our first task, as did teaching our southern friend the finer points of the northern lingo ‘chuurrr’. That done, we finished off the painting, cleaned up, packed up, kicked back and waited for the chopper to arrive to take us home.
Left: Moana, Jade, Gavin, Claudia, Waitangi, Hikurangi and Earl at the conclusion of the painting. Right: Makomako Hut sign.
A mammoth effort by the team! Go team Te Urewera! We could not have got through all the work without the efforts of our hard working vollies.