Workshop One

Book 1There was a whole heap of busyness happening in the Gallery today.

Book 3Lynn Taylor was tutoring the first print poem book workshop.

Books 2Six ladies spent the day beavering away with impressive results.

First classI thoroughly enjoyed their cheerful company!

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With a lot of help from my friends


My exhibition openings and events wouldn’t happen without my friends’ help.

Starting at the Top Left and working clockwise

Jenny Longstaff designed the posters, the catalogue, the postcards, loaned me tables, and chairs, and was the ladder climber when it came to hanging all the work. I’m more of a ground floor person! She also provided food, and made the sangria for the opening and calls in regularly to see if I need anything. She has been my right hand and my left hand person!

John Bellamy lifts, lugs and delivers much-needed exhibition items for me and has unlimited patience.

Sheryl is a ‘two houses up’ neighbour, one of the artists and a superb cook. She turns up at our house with exhibition food, no fuss, no bother, no worries. It’s not a problem Ruth, it’s  nothing is her most common comment.  It is something, it’s a kindness that is very much appreciated.

Barry is my supporter extraordinaire. He looks after all the practicalities at home while I’m at work or flitting around town preparing and looking after exhibitions. He arrives at the gallery with lunch, hot drinks, minds it while I go to the library to collect books and turns up every evening to help me close up. Not many people would feel comfortable telling their  boss to do the dishes or replenish glasses and plates! My boss Julie turns up to every exhibition opening  wanting to help. She’s pretty cool.

Noela provides food for my exhibitions, lends a hand in the kitchen and keeps an eye on the food and drinks to make sure the tables are full. We are so looking forward to November when we’re planning a day trip out-of-town.  Our regular jaunts have been postponed this year because of my busyness at Olveston, at work, and then preparing for this exhibition.

What sort of food and what numbers are you expecting? That’s my friend Elspeth talking. I’ll give her my best guesstimate and an idea of savoury or sweet and leave her to it. She always arrives with beautifully presented food and just gets stuck in organising the kitchen.

Kay is a PitWR trustee and is beginning to realise it involves taking on the not so glamorous roles at times, like taking photographs at the Opening. Thank you Kay, I owe you big time!  Kay also introduced the poets for me which involved research and a fair amount of work.

Pauline turns up before I even know I need her. She delivered carloads of artwork to the Gallery, gave me lifts home, provides hot chocolates and is a wonderful support. Kay caught us catching up just prior to the opening.

DSC03147Last but not least is my next door neighbour Murray. He turned up to help Barry transfer 60 seats from the Art Gallery down to the Community Gallery, organised the Sound System for the Four Poets reading and then came along the next morning to help Barry take the seats back up the hill again. Jan and Murray are great neighbours. They’ve featured in several poems  – one about Jan is in the A Palette of Poetry exhibition.

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Home comforts

Annie Lambourne's sculpture in the foreground with the much sat upon chairs and sofa behind

Annie Lambourne’s sculpture in the foreground with the much sat upon chairs and sofa behind

I love the comfortable sofa and armchairs in the Gallery. The sofa is my office ( in other words, my reading chair) but the armchairs are there for anyone to use. One lad came in, sat down, pulled out the footrest, made himself comfortable and asked me to tell him a story! Three friends arrived separately one day, all with their lunch, and plonked themselves down on the chairs and sofa. I felt like renaming the place, The Gallery Cafe.

Sheryl McCammon's painting "Rock'n roll."

Sheryl McCammon’s painting “Rock’n roll.”

Sheryl lives two houses away from us. She not only provided food for the opening, and the poetry reading but also came knocking on our door tonight with food for our evening meal. We live in a great neighbourhood. Jan and Murray, our next door neighbours, feature in several of my poems. Often we’re chatting away and they must see some look pass over my face as they immediately say, oh no this is going to appear in a poem isn’t it?

Jenny Mehrten's ,Burning Question.

Jenny Mehrten’s Burning Question.

Jenny’s sister Kate and her Aunt Jane called in to the Gallery this afternoon so I enjoyed a natter with them both. If people walk in and do a quick circuit then I just leave them to make their escape. But if they stop to really look at the poems and art work, take their time making their way around the Gallery then I know they’ll probably approach me with a comment and we end up chatting about Poems in the Waiting Room, the artworks and life!!

Motorcycle Ballerina - Katy Buess

Motorcycle Ballerina – Katy Buess

Katy delivered Motorcycle Ballerina to our place which was great as it gave me the chance to show her how well her last year’s exhibit, Green Tea, had settled into our home. Apologies for some reflections caught in the above shot.


Homeward Bound – Kevin Dunkley

Kevin’s postcards of Homeward Bound have been scooped up. Now we’re just waiting for his painting to be scooped up as Kevin hopes it’s not going to be Homeward Bound in his direction.

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Art and the media

Anne B

Anne Bannock’s response to After a Rainy Day

We received a brilliant review in today’s Otago Daily Times   which was a great start to the day.


Wanaka Holiday – Anne Bannock. I caught several reflections in this shot, apologies.

I then spent a wonderful 40 minutes this morning with four clients and their helper from the Sherwood Centre in Green Island. We sat at the card table and spelled out their names with the letters Lynn Taylor had made. Then the guys had a wander around the Gallery looking at all the art before leaving with a colourful Palette of Poetry poster each.


Hidden Words – Maxine Burney

This is only Day 5 of the exhibition and there are only three copies left of two of the postcards. We started with 24 copies of each so I’ve had great sales.

Night talking - Joanne Webber

Night talking – Joanne Webber

Dunedin’s Community paper, The Star, also had a great article about the exhibition today. We’ve been extremely lucky with publicity for this exhibition.

Motorcycle Ballerina - Janet de Wagt

Motorcycle Ballerina – Janet de Wagt

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Four Poets


At the Opening

Another busy day at the Gallery yesterday. It’s a great location with people popping in all the time. Between twelve and two was especially busy with workers out and about gathering lunch. Ruby and Renee came in with their Mum and Dad and headed straight for the table full of letters and wrote their names.  I enjoyed seeing Tohora again, he was at the Olveston opening with Kelly, filming and talking to the artists.  Roz and John called in for a quick look around and ended up buying Jenny Longstaff’s Deconstruction artwork. I’m posting it up to Auckland for them once the exhibition is over. A lady came and asked me about the poem and painting dedicated to Robert Weir Herron. I told her he was my uncle. She then told me as a teenager she used to go to Knox Church and she knew my Grandpa (Rev D C Herron) and Grandma. I so enjoy this part of the exhibition, meeting people and as so often happens in Dunedin, making connections.

Barry and Jenny

Jenny Longstaff talking to Barry behind the card table – business cards and postcards.

At four o’clock Barry and our neighbour Murray arrived to move furniture, and bring in all the chairs for the evening’s reading. Then Elspeth dashed in with food for the evening. If you’ve been to any of the events and enjoyed the food, then Elspeth, Noela and Sheryl should take the accolades. I have a very supportive group of friends. Even my boss turns up to all my events with sleeves rolled up ready for washing, drying dishes or filling up glasses.

Opening 3

Myrtle, seated, is visiting from Thurso in Scotland. This is the second Poems in the Waiting Room exhibition she’s attended. I’ll have to check her travel arrangements before I plan the next exhibition!

The FOUR POETS reading was a great success. Kay McKenzie Cooke introduced each poet and then they took over!

Sue at Four Poets

Sue Wootton

David reading at Four Poets

David Eggleton

Doc reading at Four Poets

Doc Drumheller

Pat at Four Poets

Pat White

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First day at the Gallery

Cat and me looking out onto Prnices St, a rainy day

The view from my chair looking out onto Princes St, a rainy Dunedin afternoon.

Today was my first day minding the Gallery and it flew by. Elspeth called in to see if she could get me a hot chocolate and while she was asking, Barry arrived in with one. So I was well looked after.  The Gallery was busy all day with a few people just cruising by the artworks, others taking the time to read all the poems, and others sitting down at the table making up words from Lynn’s lettering, once they’d done the circuit of artwork.

From my seat by the window

Looking down the Gallery from my window seat

I’m delighted to see the postcards are selling well. An English couple called in this afternoon and had a serious discussion about how they could send ‘the cat’ back to the UK. Malene, David and lads called in to say Goodbye before they headed back home to Christchurch. I popped Malene’s prints on a small easel, they were standing on a table and not very conspicuous. Two friends, Viv and Gai, called in so I gave them a guided tour around the Gallery providing background information about the artists. They loved it and want to return with husbands in tow!

View across the gallery from my window seat

View across the gallery from my window seat

Tomorrow evening is the FOUR POETS reading. Brian Turner has had to pull out so I contacted my friend Pat White this morning to see if he would consider coming down to read. Pat has recently moved from Wairarapa to Fairlie – and yes he said he would be very pleased to take part. A new line up but still FOUR POETS.

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A cat and a few other words

We had a wonderful exhibition opening this afternoon. One Lucky Guy  – a cappella group – set the tone and mood for the afternoon as their voices soared, harmonised and belted out catchy tunes. Feet were tapping as they sang, voices were humming along and hands were clapping at the end of each set. But the art and poetry were centre stage –  I’d positioned One Lucky Guy in the Gallery window so they were slightly stage right!  The weather warmed up, the food and drink were fine and the crowd was friendly. Oh, and we sold five artworks.

John HolmesJohn Holmes took my poem, Tall Poppies, and turned it into a beautiful card (with his letterpress printer) and handmade envelope. He made a limited edition of 10 and they are selling for $20.00 each.

Other wordsIf I had managed to capture the words around the corner you would have been able to read……of Other Words. Lynn Taylor made individual words from all the words in my poem Other Words.   People can stay and play with the words or purchase words ( $2.00 a word) to take away with them.

Make a poemAnd another Lynn  Taylor ‘play table’.  Have some fun at the Gallery creating words or pick out some letters and take them home. The letters are selling for $1.00 each.

Annie's catAnnie Lambourne’s cat is lapping up the attention from passersby on Princes St.   I can see I’m going to be cleaning the window daily as there have been numerous little fingers tapping on the glass at her, dogs sniffing against the glass and people steadying themselves as they take her photo.  Can you see an empty wall apart from a poem in the background? Well that has been rectified. Lynn Taylor arrived with the very last work this morning and because I had seen it yesterday in a semi finished state I had a perfect position all ready and waiting for her.

If you live in Dunedin, call on in anytime over the next fortnight between 10 and 5. If you don’t live in Dunedin then I think you should treat yourself to a trip to our wonderful city.

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