A memory

I remember the buzz of the millenium well. Pokémon was the new craze, Livin la vida Loca, Mambo #5, and Pretty Fly for a White Guy had heavy rotation on the local radio station 89.0 FM with Dwayne and Andy, our society was going to crumble due to the Y2K Bug and David Bowie was coming to town....
Sitting amongst these memories is the painting of these self-portrait tiles which were going to be put on display to the public. I was in my last year at Intermediate so only just made the cut as high school kids were not eligible to take part. I remember our class being excited to be involved until the day came and we put brush (or was it sponge??) to tile, the paints were so watery and difficult to use. Each student was given a small rag to wipe off their tile and start fresh if they made a mistake. I remember using that rag far more often than the brush/sponge. Also, we had a very limited colour selection, getting skin tones was difficult and is likely why you'll see a lot of blue, green or yellow faces along the tile wall. Regardless, I feel lucky to have been involved and look to the tile wall with great nostalgia every time I'm down at the wharf. If you need a great example of a tile well done, search for Graham Williamson's work. He was a prodigal artist from as long as I can remember (we met in kindergarten), I have no doubt even he was challenged by this medium but his work always stood out as being nothing short of awesome.

Something else

During my intermediate years I had fallen in love with music, I was dead keen on my electric guitar and performing in the school rock band, from memory we were the first Gis Int band to enter the Rockquest. You can never go too far in Gizzy as a guitarist without jamming blues with the local bros, which was the gateway to my infatuation with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley at a young age. Even though I was a nerdy looking pakeha boy who rocked skin tight school uniform pants, I was convinced that I would grow up to be more like my idols. The self-portrait on my tile bears no physical resemblance to me, however I think it accurately depicts what I imagined my ideal future self would be, or at least was a symbol of how I felt as a 13yr old. I can remember that I couldn't decide if my portrait should have an afro or dreadlocks and likely painted a few renditions of each on the day. I recall feeling rushed and not being happy with the final result but I guess that's par for the course with artists?... not that I’d claim to be an artist - this is the first and will quite possibly be the last public artwork that I’ll have contributed to. I actually did end up having dreadlocks and making a living out of performing Hendrix and Marley tunes in my late teens/early twenties so this tile ended up being a crystal ball of sorts.

My Vid's & Pic's