Puppeteer Bridget Sanders with one of the puppets used in Boys With Wings.
The husband-and-wife team of Bridget and Roger Sanders have combined to make puppets through their company, Birdlife Productions Theatre, and to show them in hand-crafted sets.
Bridget established a career as a visual artist for
20 and more years while she was a librarian in Nelson. She became inspired as a maker and set designer and her passion lies in taking high quality work to children to help inspire creative artists of the future.
She enhanced her professional development with a three-month stint training with the John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne in 2019 and has completed several puppetry courses online.
Roger Sanders has a BA in Art History and is a storyteller, actor, musician, puppeteer and improviser with 30 years of experience. He was a founding member of the UK storytelling and music troupe, The Firebird’s Feather. He has collaborated with Japanese master puppeteer Akiko Myanmoto and has been involved extensively in Nelson’s theatre and festival scenes.
He teaches popular after-school drama classes for children and performs regularly as a storyteller and improviser.
The Boys With Wings show uses puppetry, songs and storytelling through the medium of hand-crafted sets that unfold out of boxes. It tells of a young man’s epic journey united with the miracle of kuaka/bar-tailed godwit migration.
It’s a counter to the screen time indulged by children, allowing them real-time to watch, listen and reflect. It’s a show featuring a kind of ornithological lecture in a comic, touching environment using the ageless wonder of puppetry.
It is designed specifically for children aged 5 to 9 years but is enjoyed by children of all ages.
Two shows are scheduled for Wednesday, April 5: 10am at Turner Centre, Kerikeri and 4.30pm in the Whangaroa Memorial Town Hall, Kāeo. The following day, April 6 it will be at Forum North, Whangārei, at 6pm.
New Gables Exhibition
Gables Restaurant in Russell is holding an exhibition of the paintings of New Zealand artist Peter O’Hagan.
He was born in Wellington in 1942 and grew up in Hawke’s Bay. He graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Auckland in 1977 and practised as an architect in the Bay of Islands for four years before switching to painting.
He specialised in watercolours and gouache, which is similar to watercolour in that it can be re-wetted and dried to a matte finish. The paint can become infused into its paper support, like acrylic or oil paints, which he also worked in.
O’Hagan had a sense of humour too. One painting he completed is titled: A struggling artist sends a letter to his bank manager from Hotel Villa D’Este, Lake Como (in Italy). It is watercolour, gouache and tinted gum Arabic.
He painted overseas during the 1980s and the early 1990s, especially in Europe. He settled in Australia in 1994 and died in Sydney in March 2013.
The exhibition has 10 paintings and Gables owner Jenny Loosley said two rate a particular mention.
One depicts the President of VCP, Cecile Bonnefond, entertaining businesswomen of distinction in the drawing room of the Hotel du Marc, Reims, northeast of Paris.
The second is a painting in Venice, Italy, where the audience is always assembled and the theatre never closes.
The exhibition at Gables Restaurant runs from noon until 3pm. It opened on March 13 and closes on March 26 this year.
New Business Paihia chair
The new chairman of Business Paihia is Peter Robinson who has been in the position for a few months.
He spent more than 20 years as a police officer in Manchester, UK, and moved to New Zealand in 1995, settling with his family on a two-hectare block in Kaipara.
He joined Team Management Services as a leadership development facilitator and has since conducted thousands of training workshops in New Zealand and internationally.
He made Paihia his second home in that time and five years ago moved there permanently. He is married to Pat and they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
One of the first tasks he is overseeing is the installation of 29 flags on Paihia lamp posts. They are the product of Flagtrax Systems.
The flags can be changed by volunteers, which makes them more cost-effective than having to book people to change them and they can be used every year if a date isn’t printed on them. Some generic flags will brighten up the town and Business Paihia is encouraging anyone holding an event to use the system to promote it.
The flags and their installation have been funded for Paihia by the Grassroots Trust. It was formerly known as the Infinity Foundation, which was founded in 2006 and based in Hastings. Now it is known as Grassroots Trust Central Limited and is based in Hamilton.
The trust operates in accordance with the Gambling Act 2003 and is regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs. It contributed nearly $20 million to sports, education and community groups in the year from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.