30 April – 6 May ’11
Te Manawa – Our City Museum
From the Museum’s website
Te Manawa is a regional cultural centre where art, heritage and science themes dominate. Our exhibitions explore the past; seek to inform today and pose questions about tomorrow. We host international touring shows and home grown exhibits.
For over a year the museum buildings have been under renovation, most of the exhibits in storage. Saturday was the Open Day to welcome the public back to our museum. We took the kids along for a look.
The new sign at the entrance. Perched up on grassy knoll this sign just cried out to be climbed on. So they did. I had only taken my 50mm, thinking I was going to be shooting inside in low light. I couldn’t get far enough back to get the whole sign in one shot. I took two and hoped I could stitch them together when I got home. In the computer upgrade process I’d lost my regular stitching programe, but I had a feeling there was one in the Canon software that had come with my little P&S camera. A bit of searching and playing around and hey-presto, Te Manawa panorama! I also converted to B&W as I felt that the background colours were too distracting. And the sign’s black anyway. The kidlets are rather squinty, it’s far from an ideal shot, but I like it.
The weird shiny thing on Billy the Kid’s face is in fact a passing bubble from the nearby bubble machine.
One of the new exhibits is Te Awa, the story of the river.
Again from Te Manawa’s web site:-
Meet the mudfish, frogs and wētā, and explore the cave and climbing wall in Te Awa – The River, Heart of Manawatū. This brand-new exhibition tells the story of the Manawatū River – the heart of our community. Water is crucial for life, and Te Awa – The River celebrates the Manawatū River as a symbol of the interdependence of all living things. Learn about the properties of water, come face to face with live – and long-dead – creatures, and see what happens when the river bursts its banks. Perhaps most importantly of all, discover how your actions affect our river and the lives of all those who depend upon it.
The kidlets had fun playing with the interactive ‘water cycle’ display, and looked on as some tiny children learned what happens when a flood washes over sand castle farms built with plastic fences and animals. Sadly the mudfish, frogs and weta were not in evidence.
But my favourite part of the whole Te Ara exhibit is the carpet! The whole large room in which the exhibit resides is carpeted with a Google map of the Manawatu. It’s 3 or4 paces from Ashhurst to Palmy, and another 9 or 10 along the course of the river to the coast. For some reason this just took my fancy. 🙂
A number of giant-sized games had been set up in an atrium. Jake and Billy the Kid played a couple of rounds of game that would be called ConnectFour if it were not for copyright laws. They gathered a bit of an audience as the battle raged, you could almost feel the cogs turning as they worked out their next move. Later on Cat and Jake decided they’d have a go at the life-sized game of Snakes and Ladders.
Hmmm. Jake 12yrs, Cat 14 and he’s almost a head taller than her already. I really wish he’d put a brick on it.
Inside the Te Ara exhibit we found a computer set up with a powerful little macro camera attached. The device had a bright light inside it and a focus wheel on the side. Place the camera over an object, and on the screen you could see every tiny detail. Finger print ridges, some nasty dirt under Jake’s nails, the weave of a sweatshirt, and a remarkable network of scratches on Cat’s glasses. Billy the kid found some plants and bugs set in resin blocks to examine with fierce concrentration.
We went up stairs to check progress on the new home of the Rugby Museum. So far just the entrance and the outer wall are complete. Peering through the door we could see that work is underway. The city’s Rugby Museum, the only one in the country, has moved premisis several times over the past decades. This refurbishment of Te Manawa means that finally the rugby memorabilia will have a permanent home. To my shame I must confess that I have never visited the Rugby Museum in any of its former guises. I will make the effort to go and have a look at this shrine to our national game, once it opens in about eight weeks – in time for the expected influx of Rugby World Cup visitors.
It’s rather ironic that it is Billy the Kid’s reflection that I caught in this shot. The person in our family with the least interest in rugby, infact he has an overwhelming dislike for it. Mostly because he hates being dragged out in the cold on winter Saturdays to attend his brother’s games.
Overall we had a lovely morning. There’s work still to be done, many of the exhibit rooms aren’t complete. But it was great to be able to see the work so far, and know that the finished article is going to be something that we as a city can be proud of.
As an interesting side note, as we left the museum we bumped in the Andrew Wilson, the magician that had entertained the kids and I at the Taihape Gumboot Day. Small world!