Skip to main content

Transcript of the Artist in Residence 2014 – Lynn Kelly video

[video: Title of the video display - Artist in Residence. Auckland Regional Parks. “A Different Land”. Scandrett Regional Park. 2014 Artist in Residence – Lynn Kelly. Auckland Council logo (Auckland Council text next to stylised pōhutukawa flower over water). The logo remains in the top right corner throughout the video.]

[video: Birdsong. Piano music. Text – A Different Land. A series of nature scenes - the view from the top of a hill overlooking Scandretts Bay, the view from the hill on one side of the bay to the hill on the other. The hills around the bay have grassed areas surrounded by wire fences, as used on farms. Outside the fenced areas bushes and trees grow. There are three buildings very close to the beach. The two on the left are brown with red roofs and they sit perpendicular to each other. There is a white vehicle nearby to them. The view across the top of the red roofs of the two buildings on the left shows tūī feeding from the flowers on flax spikes. One of the red roofed buildings sits parallel to the sea. It has a balcony on the side facing the sea, with two picnic tables and some chairs on the strip of grass between it and the beach. Across the bay are Tawharanui Peninsula, Rabbit Island, Mayne Islands and Takangaroa Island. White-faced heron strolls in the shallows. Behind the buildings is a clothes line with towels hanging from it.]

Lynn Kelly: I was stunned by the arrival, which is along the top of the hill side and coming from - when you come into this bay - you feel like you could be a long way away from anywhere.

[video: Piano music. On a desk is laid out drift wood, shells, dry leaves, dry seaweed, pebbles, rocks in different sizes, and some tangled fishing line. Sitting at another desk, next to the first, Lynn Kelly has a pair of plyers in each hand and is cutting and bending silver jewellery wire. There is a ‘snip’ noise each time Lynn cuts a piece of wire. There is a small clamp attached to the side of the desk and jewellery-making tools sit on the desk. The view behind Lynn, out the window, is of grass, bush and the trunks of some large trees.]

Lynn: I'm Lynn Kelly and I’m a jeweller, been a jeweller for 26 years. Before I was a jeweller, I did horticulture.

[video: Lynn inserting the end of the jewellery wire in a thin stick of driftwood. The two desks are pushed up against a set of wooden bunks. Sitting on the desk, leaning against the bunks, is a board with some photos, pictures and a map stuck to it.]

Lynn: The starting points, for me, are often nature and plant related. And it can go from - sometimes they are things that start at a plant and look like the plant at the end. Sometimes they start at the plant and you would have no idea that that's where they came from. And either of those I'm happy with. Sometimes they start at a plant and they're made from the plant and I kind of like that too.

[video: Lynn sitting outside the residence in one of the chairs by the picnic tables. Behind her is the beach, calm sea and a large flax bush. Text – Lynn Kelly. 2014 Artist in Residence. Auckland Council logo. On a table, next to two plastic tubs with large seeds inside, three long thin sticks have had their bark removed and each has a silver spoon head attached to the end. Next to them are a couple of black and white photos of the bay and a topographical map. A necklace made of large black plant seeds. A large tree stands next to the residency, the back porch has a table and chairs on it. Lynn walks along beside the residency and up the steps onto the porch. A tūī feeds from the flowers on flax spikes then flies away.]

Lynn: I'm very lucky to be here in Scandrett Park. I applied for the residency to see the contrasts. I've been living in Dunedin at the moment, and the contrast between Otago plant life and north Auckland plant life is massive.

[video: On a table in front of a window, black and white portrait photos of people stand in photo holders. Some of the photos are marked with people’s names and dates. One says George Scandrett I, 1834 – 1915, and it has handwriting on it, across the top and bottom and along one side. Lynn’s desk, covered with jewellery pieces, black and white photos and the topographical map. Behind them, on the desk, is a hand drill and two boards with bits of stick, rock, seaweed, etc. attached. Above that, on the board leaning against the bunks, are copies of two of the photos from the table in front of the window, one is the photo of George Scandrett, the other has Grandma Scandrett written on it.]

Lynn: Also, the Scandretts, once I’d read a little bit about the Scandrett family. George Scandrett came to New Zealand from Northern Ireland and my family are from, my parents were from, Northern Ireland and sort of looking at coming to a different country.

[video: Piano music. Two silver oval pendants, one has the photo of George Scandrett set into it, the other has the photo of Grandma Scandrett set into it. A hand points to the same two portraits in a notebook, with writing below them and pencil drawings of their clothing on either side. The photo George Scandrett tipped on its side so the writing on the side is the right way up.]

Lynn: The one of George here, obviously quite a bit smaller, but I enlarged it and on the side of it, it says, ‘One of the best’. That's been written on, which I think is just fantastic.

[video: Lynn, at her desk, holds the two pendants in her hand. A pendant, on a black cord, has George Scandrett’s portrait set into a black oval that sits on a black rectangle. Over one corner of the rectangle a sash-like piece of silver, embossed with the words ‘One of the best’. A second pendant, also a black oval on a black rectangle, has the photo of Grandma Scandrett set into the oval.]

Lynn: There's a lot of items that I've found, on the beach particularly, that have influenced what I would like to be making.

[video: The view along the beach toward the residence. The view from the beach up to the picnic tables and the residence behind. Inside the residence, in front of a window looking out to see, a table is covered in four large plastic box lids. The plastic lids are covered in found items from the beach, and a notebook. Lynn stands at the table, picking up items from lids. The items on the lids include pebbles, shells, seaweed, fishing net and driftwood.]

Lynn: These are some of my daily collections which I… Each day when I go out on the beach and I find things that interest me. And it makes me happy and I want to take them home for a day or two, and they tend to be a great mixture of things. This one here was one that was very early in the piece, which I guess is seaweed. I just find the mixtures and the oddities fantastic.

[video: Piano music. A black cord necklace with a round piece of round white seaweed on it. A necklace of black round beads and one piece of white coral. The silver join in a necklace made of small driftwood sticks. The driftwood necklace is made up of a series of small sticks connected with silver loops.]

Lynn: I've made, got the mock-up, or the beginnings, of a necklace out in the workshop using these pieces.

[video: Lynn pointing to and picking up some of the fishing net from the plastic lids. Two black cord necklaces, hanging from the bunks, with bundled fishing net around the cord.]

Lynn: I've been picking up the tangled pieces of net that somebody has cut off when they've had trouble with their nets. But I started picking those up to save them, the birds, getting caught in them and actually found myself with those as a part of a necklace at the moment.

[video: Lynn sitting at the picnic table, talking. Lynn stands at her desk pointing to a map that is attached to the board leaning against the bunk. A black and white map showing Kawau Island. The map has rectangles of a coloured copy of the map sitting on it. On each of those is a small black tub with a clear lid, inside which are items collected from the beach – pieces of seaweed, shell, etc. Lynn sitting at the picnic table, talking.]

Lynn: So it's… Coming on the residences I find a fantastic thing for allowing myself enough time to have playtime. And I haven't got my bench there with all the things I could just, oh, just sit down and do that thing you usually do, Lynn. It makes me take the sidestep and experiment more and say oh well, I wonder if I put this with that and look more carefully at it.

[video: Lynn stands at the table. She is flipping through the pages of her notebook. She picks up the fishing net from one of the plastic lids.]

Lynn: I've just been working, actually, in a much more… Allowing myself to experiment.

[video: Piano music. A series of images of a necklace made of black textured beads intertwined with fishing net. A round silver disk with a photo of a building set into it, a small silver branch is attached to the bottom of the disk and that has some shell and fishing net sitting on top of it. A tray sits on a table with collected items on it – pieces of plastic, pieces of string, the plastic cartridge from a cap gun and a plastic letter E. On another tray on the table, found items are being grouped together to form the shape of a curved point. The board that leans against the bunk has a photocopied map on it of Mullet Point, which is the same curved point shape that the found items are being made into. Text on the map says ‘Land purchased by George Scandrett 1864 Records book 1B:510’. Text on the map marks Mullet Point, Mullet Bay, Flax Bay, a boat yard and a well. Part of the map is marked as ‘Land retained by Garland’.]

Lynn: And what I've found just recently is - working on images of the maps of the district - Mullet Point is a very particular shape. But to be able to combine them where, if you happen to know that was the starting point, that would give you that idea. But you could look at these as a group of pieces that happen to go together, and not necessarily know that they had to be Mullet Point. I like that the starting point can be an extra, as opposed to a requirement. You don't have to have read the book to get the piece.

[video: Standing at the table, Lynn opens her notebook and points to a page. The notebook, open to a page with a pencil drawn map, sits on the tray next to the formed shapes, showing that they are the same shape. One of the formed shapes sits on the photocopied map of Mullet Point from the board. Lynn, sitting at her desk, flipping through the pages of her notebook. A page in her notebook shows pencil drawings.]

Lynn: I've been keeping, amongst other things, I've been keeping the diary of the things I see that are starting points. Whether it be textures or whatever it is but I realise what I was doing was collecting pieces, as you can see, every day.

[video: Series of images of jewellery made from found items including driftwood, shells, dried leaves. Wood or bark pieces linked like a chain.]

Lynn: And so what I realised was that I was going to keep a diary, but of visual collections.

[video: Lynn opens out a strip of small photos that has been folded like an accordion. The photos are of found items including interesting pieces of wood, plant seeds, stones, leaves, and bark. Photo of a silver ring set with moss. Photo of a silver disk with a photo of a building set into it, next to a small lump of concrete with tiny stones inside it.]

Lynn: And I've really enjoyed doing that. I've enjoyed it, going for my daily adventure walk and what the collection will be today, had I been… We went to the see the kauri on this day and this was a beautiful thick piece of kauri. The bark off trees. A piece of stone that may well have been the concrete that the Scandretts used to perhaps build the, one of the original buildings.

[video: Piano music. Lynn comes out of the residence onto the porch, carrying a large tote bag. She walks toward the beach where two people wait. Lynn strolls along the beach with the two female visitors.]

Lynn: The residency is for two months which is, seems like, a really good length of time. Both for getting to know the place and then getting ideas under way. I'm spending my days drawing and taking photographs and finding the items on the beach. The open studio has been at the other end just of the Scandretts Bay, from where been staying, and it's been in the homestead that George and Helena Scandrett had built.

[video: A flag sign in front of the Scandrett Homestead says ‘Artist in Residence, Auckland Council’. Lynn and her two visitors approach the homestead. Lynn goes into the homestead and lays a copy of the photos of George and Helena (Grandma) Scandrett and some of her jewellery on a table. Lynn stands with some people inside the homestead looking down at the table Lynn’s work is on, Lynn talking to them. They all walk out the door of the room, past a poster that has the title 'Ray Scandrett and family'.]

Lynn: And the homestead is open often in the weekend for people to just have a look through and there's a portion of history of the family in there. And I would go up with whatever it was that I was working with and just do some work up there for a couple of hours. And occasionally people who had heard of the residency would come and be interested to see what I was up to, or people who were just coming to look through the house, and I found it very interesting.

[video: Lynn and her visitors talk as Lynn and one of her visitors sit in chairs on the porch of the homestead, the second visitor stands near them on the porch steps. On a small wooden table in front of Lynn is an array of jewellery making materials and found items. Lynn holds her notebook and a pencil. Lynn flips through the pages of her notebook, showing pages of pencil drawings of found objects, jewellery, photos of the bay and beach, and the map of Mullet Point. The visitor sitting next to Lynn picks up the round silver disk with the photo of a building set into it and the small silver branch attached to the bottom of the disk. The three women look at the items on the table and some of the pages in the notebook.]

Lynn: Having the time to actually be thinking things through. I've been finding myself waking quite early in the morning and getting the solutions that often I have to sit at the bench trying to search for it. I think that it's been really nice, having come with knowing a little history about the family and a vague idea of what I thought I may do. But coming here with enough time and able to relax and look at things and slow down enough to look intently at things that I think, it's actually widened quite greatly the ideas that I have. I've been doing very plant related things in the past and I feel it's, it's widened that notably. And I'm really pleased about that.

[video: Lynn, carrying the tote bag, comes out the front door of the homestead and down the steps toward the white picket fence that runs along the front of the homestead’s front yard. She walks through a group of large trees toward the beach, stopping to slip off her shoes and pick them up before continuing onto the sand. Walking along the beach, toward the residency, Lynn stops and bends down, putting down her bag and shoes to touch items in the sand. Further down the beach, she flips something in the sand over with her foot then bends to pick it up. Further along, Lynn turns toward the residency and walks up the beach to it.]

Lynn: It's been lovely where ‘oh, there's the Kingfisher that always comes and fishes from those rocks’ and ‘gosh, there's that tūī that's still chasing that sparrow’. And I've really enjoyed the repetitiveness of that. Becoming part of the whole repeat process. The tide comes, the tide goes out. The tūī come and check whether the flax is opening yet. It's a very nice part, to feel part of that process. It now feels as though we're part of that, and I like that.

[video: Piano music. Fade to black. Text – Lynn’s residency inspired jewellery is touring NZ galleries during 2015. March 2015, Avid Gallery, Wellington. May 2015, Form, Christchurch. August 2015, Gallery 33, Wanaka. September 2015, Fingers, Auckland. November 2015, Lure, Dunedin. www.lynnkelly.co.nz. Next to the text are photos - two of the promotional posters giving details of the galleries the tour will visit, each with a photo of some of Lynn’s work. A photo of a black board hangs on a wall with some of Lynn’s necklaces hanging from it, the boards white boarder has Lynn Kelly printed onto it. A photo of Lynn and another woman standing in front of the board which has display shelves under it. A photo of the back of a woman with two pendants on black cord resting on her back, one has a photo of George Scandrett in it, the other a photo of Helena Scandrett. A necklace of seed pods, half of which are black, half silver, around a woman’s neck. A necklace of many strands of black textured seaweed with a large silver bead around them around a woman’s neck. A necklace of large white stone-like objects around a woman's neck. A necklace of silver loops, linked together like chain, around a woman’s neck. Text - Special thanks to Lynn Kelly. Thanks also to Desmond Dawson, Glenda Norris, Pam Plumbly. Photographs courtesy of Avid Gallery, Form Gallery and Michelle Edge. Portrait of Lucy Composer Alexis Messier. Director, Camera, Editor Kirsty MacDonald. Copyright 2015 Auckland Council. Auckland Council logo. Find out more: aucklandcouncil.govt.nz]