News & Events

Inverlochy has a New Caretaker (X2)
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Inverlochy has a New Caretaker (X2)

Inverlochy Art School's prodigal caretaker -  Michael Abbey - recently left his post after almost six years guarding the school from both students and tutors alike.

Mike was a fantastic caretaker and we are all going to miss him. We are sure he is a having a great time in Europe on his first big OE. That's him above in a robot suit he made for a fancy dress party and below with a dragon fish (complete with moveable jaws and LED lights) he made for the Batucada Sound Machine for their performance at the  Cuba Street Carnival.

After a long and extensive search the Art School has finally found what we are all sure will be a worthy replacement.  In fact it's not just one care-taker - it's two!

Nic and Rosie are a charming young artistic couple who have just moved into the caretakers flat and commenced their duties.

They are both very interested and involved in art, particularly live performance. Rose is a performance designer who studied at both Toi Whakaari and Massey University. Nic has been involved for the last two years in young and hungry as a lighting and sound boffin.  He also studied digital media at Massey University and works at the New Zealand Olympic Museum  Gallery.

This year the couple formed their own theatre company - Everybody Cool Lives Here - and recently produced their first public production 'Wally and Willmas Wonderful World (Stories for Kids)'.  The company aims to make work that brings people together, with an emphasis on productions involving children and the community.

They are both very excited about joining the Inverlochy whanau and hope  they will be able to share their skills and passions whilst caring for our most excellent building.

 
Rosie and Nic on their Big OE

 


Printmaking Exhibition
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Printmaking Exhibition

A new exhibition has just gone up in the  Tea Room here at Inverlochy Art School.

 

It features the work of Basia Smolnicki's printmaking class -

Judy Bryne - Kirsty Fyfe - Ian Gallagher - Kumiko Matsumoto  - Desiree Singer - and Basia herself.

 

Come along and check out their etchings any weekday (between 9am - 5pm) - from the 8th of November till the 18th, 2011.

 

 

 


'A Curious Nature' - Upcoming Exhibtion by Inverlochy Artist
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'A Curious Nature' - Upcoming Exhibtion by Inverlochy Artist

Two Inverlochy Artists are having an joint exhibition this month at Thistle Hall in Cuba Street between the 29th of November and the 4th of December 2011.

Rieko Woodford-Robinson is a regular student at the school and the artist called minu  recently taught  some classes in the technique of dry point etching. You may also have seen her work at the recent New Zealand Art Show!

 

'Rabbit' by Reiko.

 

Reiko and Minu welcome you to their show "A Curious Nature" and invite you to step inside the world of their creatures and creations.
 
The very old and much loved soft toys depicted in Rieko's portraits seem to be reluctant to reveal their stories. Her anthropomorphic animals seem to come from almost forgotten childhood tales. Her acrylic paintings are influenced by the pop surrealism movement while maintaining a romantic innocence. Reiko was born in Japan but now lives in Wellington.  This is her second exhibition.


For more information see - 
www.riekowoodfordrobinson.com


'Ducky Time Out' by Reiko
(NB. You may notice these are the stairs at the Art School)

Minu's creations are influenced by European folk tales and traditional book illustration, as well as the contemporary illustrations in pop and street art culture.  Originally from Germany minu now works as illustrator, print-maker and toy-maker in Wellington. Her work is known from her participation in several group shows in Wellington as well as her appearances at the New Zealand Artshow in 2010 and 2011. Her prints and toys are available in selected galleries and online. The show contains a selection of her prints from 2008 to 2011 as well as new work.

For more information please see - http://minu.co.nz/en_EN/



Dry-point etchings by minu.

 

Opening: Tuesday, 29 November,  6:00pm
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm Wednesday - Sunday.
The artists will be at the gallery Friday afternoon as well as Saturday and Sunday.



 


Inverlochy Haunting?
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Inverlochy Haunting?

Is Inverlochy Art School really haunted?

While some people have had strange experiences in the building others have lived or worked there for many years without incident.

But the building has a long term reputation for being haunted and recently it has been the subject of an ongoing paranormal investigation by local paranormal investigation group - Strange Occurrences.

Quite when the haunting started and who ghost is (or was) nobody is quite certain. In most reported cases it is not a ghost which is seen but rather objects appear to move by themselves.

However there has been at least one report of a person seeing the ghost of a young woman - possibly wearing Victorian style servant's clothing - on the first floor landing outside the Print Studio. This unknown woman is often credited as being the spirit which haunts the building but no one knows this for certain. There is certainly a rumour that a young woman died in a fire in this room at some time around the 1920s but no one has found a newspaper report which confirms this although some of the walls in the Print Studio do show signs of a fire in this room at some point. There is also some evidence that a young child drowned in one of the fountains at the front of the building around this period and 1999 a young man  sadly was beaten to death in the lane in front of the building.

The first reports of ghostly activities at Inverlochy seem to date from the late 1970s. At this time the house was split  into six self-contained flats (as it had been since the early 1900s) but in 1979 the residents were asked to move out because the building going to be demolished to make way for a new hotel.

Some of the tenants loved the old building and thought it should be preserved. They refused to move and began ‘squatting’ in their flats. After all you can’t knock down a house if there’s someone inside it. One of these people was architecture student Martin Hanley - a tenant in the upstairs flat where the caretaker now lives. One night in the early 1980s him and his partner Anna  were wondering if it was safe to go out (and leave the house 'unguarded') when a large mirror appeared to ‘leap’ off the wall of its own volition before hitting the wall opposite and sliding  slowly (and ‘unnaturally’)  down to the floor. Surprisingly they both took this a sign not to leave the building that night!!!

In the early 1980s the tenants – with the support of the local community – won their fight to save the house.   It’s long-term future was secured when the owners – Williams Development Holdings – kindly gifted the building and its grounds to the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts for use as an art school – the Williams School of Art at Inverlochy Incorporated. After some renovations the art school opened its doors in 1985 and has been running successfully ever since (although it is now managed by a separate Trust). 

Since the beginning the upstairs flat has been the home of the art school’s caretaker and in the late 1990s this position was held by Sva Brooke White. He had a number of strange experiences while he was living there. In one incident a large bucket full of paste in the Sculpture Room was apparently thrown by an unseen force and another time he had just nailed a large sheet of wood across the door to the room when it was suddenly and forcibly removed by another (or the same) invisible agent.  A strange smell seemed to linger in the room and shortly afterwards the building was blessed by a Catholic Priest and later by a local Kaumatua. After this things seemed to calm down and the most recent caretaker, Michael Abbey, says he experienced nothing unusual while he lived there between 2005 – 2011.

But other people are convinced there is still something strange going on in the house. Some people feel uneasy in both the upstairs Print Room and the downstairs Sculpture Room and at least one local medium is definitely convinced the house is still haunted by the spirit of a young woman.

In late 2009 Print Tutor Basia Smolnicki reported a strange experience in the Print Room.

 ‘One day, I was working on my own, upstairs in the print studio, applying a liquid ground by painting it onto a zinc plate in preparation for doing an etching. I left the plate alone because the ground needs to even out and dry. (You then draw through the hard, waxy surface to expose the metal underneath, which is then etched with acid.) Anyway, it’s a process that takes time so I busied myself cleaning the used brushes in the adjoining room, three metres from the bench withthe zinc plate. Minutes later I returned to the bench to find myplate had been interfered with. A Craig’s jam jar had been placed on top of my waxy ground, leaving a clear impression of the serrated pattern found on the bottom. ‘I was really annoyed about having to repeat the process, and thought the incident very weird. Who, in such a short spaceof time, had chosen a silly jam jar to inflict such mischief? And why?’ ('Spooked - Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand' -Page 122)

Two days later Bruce Mahalski was cleaning up the downstairs Lecture Room after a class. He left the room for a moment and when he came back somebody or something had taken his empty tea cup and pushed it down onto the mouth of a wet clay sculpture of a devilish looking head before placing the cup back down on the table (see photo below). While he admits that someone could have entered the room and done this he did not hear anybody else downstairs at the time and would be surprised if someone – even a child - would attack and deface another person’s artwork at the school.

This photograph was taken as soon as the damage to the head was noticed.

It is interesting to note that in both cases a round object was used to damage a wet piece of art. There was definitely no-one in the building the second time who knew about the first incident other than Bruce himself.

In the last year the Strange Occurrences Team has seen some unexplained shapes in the dark and got unusual readings on their EMF meters. These are used by ‘ghost hunters’ to detect variations in electrical or magnetic fields – phenomena which are often linked with paranormal activity.

 Team members, James Gilberd and Jo Davy, recently wrote a book called ‘Spooked - Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand’ (Random House, 2011) about paranormal research in New Zealand and their  experiences at Inverlochy feature prominently.

Of course the skeptical amongst us will always believe that ‘paranormal events’ are caused or made up by mischievous pranksters. Haunted or not what is certain is that no-one has ever been really frightened by ‘the Inverlochy ghost’ and most people seem to agree that if the house is haunted then the ghost seems to be a very benevolent one.

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=W1ed2aPP-Z0&gl=US

http://www.3news.co.nz/A-tour-through-Wellingtons-haunted-house/tabid/309/articleID/222539/Default.aspx

Strange Occurrences
http://www.photospace.co.nz/strange_home.htm

'Spooked' Book Launch and Exhibition at Inverlochy

http://www.mahalski.com/News/tabid/1303/ID/835/Spooked--a-book-about-paranormal-research-in-New-Zealand.aspx

Photos by Rob Wilson and Bruce Mahalski (www.mahalski.com)


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Inverlochy Art School
3 Inverlochy Place
Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Phone 04 939 2177
Email manager@inverlochy.org.nz

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The Williams School of Art at Inverlochy Incorporated - Trading as Inverlochy Art School. Registered Charity CC54321