“How many men at this hour are living in a state of bondage to the machines? How many spend their whole lives, from the cradle to the grave, in tending them by night and day?” – Samuel Butler.
Sometimes you go to the Gallery to see one thing, and you end up seeing other things in new ways… Louise Henderson’s ‘Addington Workshops’ (1930); Shane Cotton’s ‘The Haymaker Series I-V’ (2012); Simon Palenski, Tjalling de Vries and Peter Vangioni’s ‘Pathways of the Flats’ (after Samuel Butler’s A First Year in Canterbury Settlement) (2019) @kowhaipress #erewhonproject @christchurchartgallery
In our nearly 2 years working at Waldheim, Seven Oaks we’ve gotten to know the Waltham community better, working alongside them on recent events. Waltham is full of passionate people who care about community and work hard to nurture community spaces like Seven Oaks which we’re privileged to be able to share with them. We interviewed some neighbours about what their own versions of ‘Erewhon’ might look like. #erewhonproject #waldheim#sevenoaks 🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲 #homeinthewoods
“Sheep will be the one idea in your mind; and as for poetry, nothing will be further from your thoughts.... Were you to shepherd too long your wits would certainly go wool-gathering, even if you were not tempted to bleat”
Butler most likely wrote this poetic reflection in his hut by the light of this tiny candle stick. His sheep brand also took the motif of a candlestick. One allowed him to write, read and play music by the fire in the evenings, the other to make money during the day. This tension exists as much in Butler’s work as it does for artists now. Among the artefacts kept in Canterbury Museum, is a portrait by Butler of Thomas Cass. Thanks to Curator Julia Bradshaw for showing us the artefacts. #artistandfarmer #erewhonproject 🐑 🏔
"Sheep cannot be too closely watched or too much left to themselves. You must remember they are your masters and not you theirs; you exist for them, not they for you" - Samuel Butler, A First Year in Canterbury Settlement
Sheep farming in New Zealand was Samuel Butler's ticket to escape a career in the clergy that his father had planned for him in England. Last week Neville and Sue Sinclair invited us into their home in Scargill, North Canterbury where they have lived for 42 years, built their home, raised their family, created and collected art, and farmed their East Friesian rare breed sheep. Sue who grew up on a more traditional sheep farm, wanted to explore a different way of raising her sheep, which doesn't value them simply as numbers. They live almost entirely self sufficiently. While the fruits of their hard labour are easy to see, they acknowledge the huge amount of work and commitment involved in creating the lifestyle they believe in.