Capture by A photoblog

77

Tribute - Dr Chris Ward

by Philip Wilkie

PAS Regular Chris Ward sadly died last year of cancer. Earlier this year we received an email from his friend Philip, with a beautifully written eulogy to Chris. We thought it would be good to post a collection of Chris' photos along with this letter, and sought permission to do so from family and friends. Time and distance meant this has taken longer than anticipated, but we are pleased now to present this photo blog as a tribute to our friend. RIP Chris.

Chris Ward, by Philip Wilkie

My very old and much loved  friend Dr Chris Ward (PhD) passed away late December from melanoma. Some of the regulars here will remember him as ChrisW whose contributions, especially to Capture, were much admired.

Born 1952 in Auckland Chris was one of four brothers, all of whom went on to attain Doctorates in various fields. Drawn all his life to the natural world he attain his Masters in Geology at Auckland, and then went on to a most remarkable PhD at Otago. His field area was rough 700 sq km of Fiordland, north and south of Dusky Sound. The field trips were done pure tramping style up to six weeks in duration. No tracks, no huts and only food drops to support us. I had the extraordinary privilege of being his field assistant on several of these epic trips.  He was without any doubt the finest, most inspiring man I have ever had the privilege to know. Those months we spent in Dusky together are still the most vivid memories of my life. Most especially the impromptu geology lecture each evening in the tent, the poring over the maps and aerials, the keen observation, intellect, aesthetic sense and sheer masculine energy and intellectual confidence. Or the morning on the bank of the stream behind his house trying to convey to my limited mind the layers of detail his obsessively observant and analytical mind could see. And see where I could not.

Which made him such a remarkable photographer. I think his images were not intended for superficial consumption; they were meant to invite the viewer under the surface and emerge into a gentle, reflective contemplation on what only the inner eye might see.

Such a melange of contradictory qualities is rare in any person. And especially when they ran

so strongly within him. And yet I think he didn't waste too much of it on the frivolities of life; this was one serious minded man who has left his mark on many of us ... even if it was a discomforting, challenging one at times.

After nine years at Otago (one of the longest doctorates in NZ's academic history), he moved onto to serve most of his career with the Department of Conservation, in Wellington until 1990, and then onto a role as the Senior Conservancy Scientist and later Conservancy Advisory Scientist for East Coast/Hawkes Bay Conservancy. His interests and capacity expanded over the years, well beyond the bounds of geology.

Much of his life's work should be better known. Intensely cerebral, powerfully observant and the master of critical analysis, yet as the years went by his artistic, intuitive senses flourished to match.

Scientist, tramper, climber, photographer, poet and a wonderful husband to Gillian, father to Megan and Alex. And while I lay claim to only a small sliver of his rich and well lived life .. he remains a hero to me.

Those of you who knew him here at the PA community will have glimpsed, as best anyone can online, at the soul of a remarkable man. Chris would scold me for this sentimental note, but for myself I only rejoice in my memory of him, and hope to have shared a small part of it with you.

Philip Wilkie
Ballarat, Victoria

The Photos

These photos were selected by Chris' family, and the captions are the descriptions Chris sent along with the photos, as he reported on the progression of his illness, with hope and positivity.

You can see a lot more of Chris' photographs through the Capture threads. This link will take you to his list of posts.

It would be nice to have the thread itself become a photo tribute, so please feel free to post your own photo refections in the comments.

Capture away.

6

Sweet Jesus and Mary Chain

by Jackson Perry

Some Candy Talking: Powerstation 4 March, 2016.

When the concert was announced last year, I quickly bought tickets thinking, 'wow cool, those shoe gaze pioneers are coming back after 28 years. Ace. I went last time and...' then having a few conversations with friends who you thought were fans, only to discover they were underwhelmed, and didn't they have better things to do with their lives yet?

So on the night I went with fairly low expectations, and had I encountered a hot mess in the Powerstation gloom, I wouldn't have been overly surprised, or disappointed.

But then something weird happened. They were bloody good.

For once a legacy band, dredging up their seminal album to tour, exceeded my expectations.

Thanks The Jesus and Mary Chain. You just cost me thousands, as every time another 80s or 90s band comes down, I'll now wonder if they too can live up to the hype.

Full setlist can be seen here.

Bespin in support were also very good. Expecting big things from this band.

18

Auckland City Limits

by Jackson Perry

Nailed it.

I imagine there were a lot of nerves leading into the inaugural Auckland City Limits Festival, but let's get this out of the way early. Bloody excellent job everyone. The day was as chilled as any festival I've been to, and even the pre-loaded cash bands, made of a silky, satiny material, seemed to fit with the flow.

Deciding not to run from one act to another, I set a path through the day, that started with Che Fu and the Crates and ended with Kendrick Lamar 9 or so hours later, still feeling surprisingly chipper. My phone tells me I walked 10km during the day, and climbed 22 flights of stairs. That might explain the hip pain I guess.


My set list:

Che Fu and the Crates - great welcome from a home-grown, that kind of set the scene for my largely antipodian day.

Jarryd James - I like this guy, and he has the most photogenic bass player. That is all.

Ladyhawke - Warmed up, and bumped out the classics.

Broods - I've seen the Broods set a few times now, and while their travelling show has polished the act a lot, I'm ready for something new.

Action Bronson - This guy. I don't know, but the kids seem to like him. Eh Danielle?

TNAF - Like Broods, their show is well shiny, and roll on the next album.

The Phoenix Foundation - Such a great way to spend a few moments in the late afternoon, eating an ice-cream biscuit on the lawn.

Fat Freddy's Drop - Festival favourites all over the world. Nice to see them in a large venue at home.

The National - Based in Brooklyn, these guys are still flying the New York flag. I'm not tired of them yet, being a sucker for the deep voice, but I suspect some are getting there.

Kendrick Lamar - Man for the moment. The kids were euphoric. He seemed pretty humble for all that. Smiled at M when she literally bumped into him while we were walking around the site. Oops.

Thanks to the CRS Management team, and hoping this becomes a regular event. It is a worthy replacement to the BDO, and good to have another alternative to the indie kids festivals. :-)

Capture away.

2

Words and Guitars - Sleater-Kinney with Mermaidens

by Petra Jane

It's been ten long summers since Sleater-Kinney last played in Auckland. The band took a break from touring and recording in 2006 to work on other projects – Corin Tucker's two solo albums, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss's indie-rock supergroup Wild Flag, and of course Brownstein's acclaimed sketch comedy series Portlandia – before coming back with last year's No Cities To Love.

They returned on Monday night, weary and joking about jetlag, with a set that leaned heavily towards old favourites, a celebration of their iconic and often iconoclastic two-decade history.The performance was a bit subdued compared to their King's Arms shows in 2002 and 2006 (especially from Brownstein, who sipped tea between songs and opted for more low-key moves than her usual windmills and scissor-kicks) but they still managed to belt out a show that mesmerised the Powerstation.

This tweet sums it up far better than I could:

4

Laneway 2016 - Goodbye Silo

by Jackson Perry

The last, last Laneway at Silo Park. Ever. Pinky promise.

Auckland turned on a scorcher. We went early, and consequently ran out of steam before the bigger night acts, which is a trap for the, something, generation.

For a more detailed account, you could read Russell's run down here.

I'll let the photos tell the story.

Capture away.