Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Here they are ... the two faces of Stranger Than Fiction!  Wearing the hat she made during Hoani Eriwata's Museum Madness workshop on Saturday, Adrienne Cessford - exhibition host for STF - poses with the poster girl of the show, Majesty.  Don't they look regal??!!

Majesty has proven to be an incredibly popular feature of Stranger Than Fiction.  According to Adrienne, she is probably the most written about object in the show.  Small children seem to think she is some sort of dinosaur mouse ... when asked why she's wearing a dress, they says she's the queen of dinosaur mice!  A totally logical answer if you ask me.

So here's a couple of our favourite labels for Majesty, in case you missed them in the show:

A big shout out to Adrienne, who has done an exceptional job with welcoming people into the exhibition and encouraging people to get into the spirit of label writing (backed up by on-call hosts Juliet, Patricia and Alice ... thanks guys!).  She has also done a brilliant job assisting with the STF events and capturing all sorts of useful statistical information that we'll be using to evaluate the exhibition once it's finished.

On that note, it's the show's FINAL DAYS!  The exhibition closes on Sunday so it's your last chance to have a bit of a chuckle over the labels and write your own imaginative offering.  Get down there and cut loose ... Ruru dares ya!            

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The ick factor takes over ...

Who knew Alice Franklin and Nicole Berry would be so at home in full body jumpsuits, playing around with eyeballs, exploding volcanoes and icky gloop??

Last Saturday (16 July), they treated a room full of young Puke Ariki visitors to an icky, mucky experience of a lifetime.  Inspired by Stranger Than Fiction's taxidermied and preserved specimens, they spent weeks creating all sorts of goodies that could be put into jars.  There were eyeballs, cauliflower for brains, amazing expanding balls and painted potatoes complete with pipe cleaner arms and legs.  Guaranteed to freak out any mother! 

After exhibition host Adrienne Cessford took the kids down into the show for a look around, they came back to the Education Centre and put their minds to the task of creating the freakiest looking jars they could possibly produce.  Looks like fun!:


There was even a paper mache volcano with plastic farm animals, fences and flowing lava!  It was made especially for the event by Discover It's own TeAo, who wanted to get in on the creative fun.  And the kids certainly seemed to be impressed:

Some sort of crazy, gloopy madness was served up in a paddling pool and the kids didn't seem to need any encouragement to get their hands dirty:

The workshop not only provided all sorts of hands-on fun for its young participants, but it also showcased the skills of the talented staff we have at Puke Ariki.  Nicole said it was fantastic to be able to put her early childhood teaching skills to good use, and the artistically inclined Alice said any excuse to paint potatoes was good by her!

Congratulations to the ladies for the tremendous effort put into their first Icky Things in Jars workshop.  Don't forget there is still a chance to get your young one in on the fun ... their second workshop is on Saturday 30 July!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make the most of it!

'Better Than Beatrice' hat making workshop seen through the wet specimen case

Stranger Than Fiction is just about to enter its final two weeks and they're likely to be busy, what with school holidays and all.  Visitors have been enjoying some fabulous hands-on workshops in the exhibition space, inspired of course by the wonders on display.  The Better Than Beatrice hat making workshop, run by local artist Dale Copeland, resulted in a Mary Rutherford one-off that definitely rivalled Philip Treacy's Royal wedding creation for Princess Beatrice!

Mary's unique headwear was made out of a straw hat and was given some incredible embellishments and fine feather touches.  Hat making was also the order of the day for the Museum Madness workshop, run by Puke Ariki educator Erin Flanigan, on 18 June.  Salvador Brebner and Daisy Johnson certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves as they created hats inspired by the exhibition and wrote accompanying labels. 

The hats from the workshop are still on display in Stranger Than Fiction ... pop over and check them out!

This Saturday's Icky Things in Jars workshop is filling up fast, but there is another one on Saturday 30 July if your young one misses out this weekend.  We also have a second Museum Madness workshop on offer on Saturday 23 July.  Tell all your friends!

Time is running out for Stranger Than Fiction label writing ... unleash those creative impulses and write us a story to rival all others!!!  And if you haven't already, don't forget you can check out some of the label highlights on Puke Ariki's Flickr account:

On other Ruru business, we're delighted to see that the I Digress ... scavenger hunts are getting more and more popular.  So far over 1,300 scavenger hunts have been undertaken by intrepid Puke Ariki visitors.  No doubt there are many a proud Ruru badge wearers out there in the community!  Your Ruru team is just starting to contemplate writing some new scavenger hunts, so watch this space ...