Seven Rivers Walking : Reviews

“Anyone with a gnats whisker of concern for our environment should track this movie down and go see it -”


“Thank-you for the wonderful film that is Seven Rivers Walking. My Mum and I saw this film at Alice Cinematheque on the weekend. It was very moving and a call to action for us both to do more for our environment.”

SELWYN - Rescuing Inanga“Your documentary was amazing…to really hit home to me how much hard work there is to do and it has strengthened my resolve to do as much as we can in our park + the surrounding neighborhoods….”

“Really appreciated  the movie tonight.  We spent 13 years in Ashburton so have a soft spot for the farming world.  Dairying however has changed things. It is too easy for city folk to point the finger at farmers when we have real issues to face. ”

“I went to see the Seven Rivers Walking film on the weekend and was very moved by it and as a result am inspired to get more involved in advocating for, protecting and improving our waterways. In response to this film, I have subscribed to the Opawaho Heathcote River Network newsletter with the view to getting involved in OHRN activities, I have put some rocks in the open drain that runs through my property in an attempt to improve water quality and encourage life, I have subscribed to Forest and Bird for myself and my kids and I have started buying Nature Matters milk from XCHC in the basis that they are a low intensive farm with concern for the waterways.”
C. F.

“Went to see this movie/documentary today. Very good. Thought provoking for all NZ’ers. A must see if you are able to go. ”

“This is local film-making to help us understand and care about the gift of fresh water and the future of our rivers. It is respectful of the all point of view and a good 85 minutes to think about how we can back out of the worst of the possible futures for our fresh water.”ALICE

“You and Kathleen definitely captured the depth of concern out there and provided the motivation to keep going.”

ORARI- Rafting 2

“I was greatly touched by the film last night. You and your fellow team have done an incredible job… I thought it particularly powerful by not drawing itself into the politics of this urgent issue – but simply showing us the reality of how it is.”

“…but just let me add ‘wow!’ So much gorgeous photography – all that amazing wildlife stuff, stunning underwater shots and the beautiful braids from the air – absolutely loved it – incredible job. And you packed So Much In!”

“Congratulations, your filming was amazing. Art with a message, a serious message! Hope our new politicians take note, do something positive, we ordinary folk can and must do our bit to protect our water systems.”

SRW Dorector and Camera, Gaylene Barnes, in the Rakaia River

Contemplating Cosmic Holes

“Cosmic Hole of Glory” [Photoshop Study]
As a human being in the 21st century I am overwhelmed by a saturation of facts; an environment of e-knowledge too impossible to comprehend,
too perplexing to remedy,
too pointless to sustain, to make sense of.
Our technology grows more inscrutable, our politics more convoluted, foreign policy beyond madness, rules expand, legislation grows, libraries thicken, archives burst. So much to learn, in one life, a tiny lifetime to learn so much.

Where are my ancestors? Who hands down the wisdom? [Just the important bits please.]

As an artist in New Zealand 2013 I am overwhelmed by too many choices: a saturation of imagery, beauty absorbed by capitalist propaganda, materialist agendas, art objects sold, weighed, cut by 40%, add %15, taxed at %19.
Nature divided – birds, insects, human parts rearranged, reconfigured.
In the cafe, the restaurant, the office.
To the hearth, the lounge wall, the foyer.
the rhetoric
the memory
the original
the ego
the statement.
Then it becomes a poster, a jpeg,
if you are lucky … a file in a vault.

As a spiritual being at the dawn of this new millenium I am overwhelmed by religious fervour, embarrassed by fundamental insistences, God appearing in broken people,
Christ not walking among us, breaking his own bread, sharing wine with us.
A memory of Israelites. Engrained. Embellished.

A diffuse Divine,
absent in the modern
we reincarnate the Ancients
we summon the Dead
we invoke the Saints
we need their wisdom to be … so very infused, absorbed, engrained at the core!
– where we don’t have to think or measure the weight of it.

Nor even the reality of it.

 Just their wisdom please, a wisdom that our genes seem to have lost somewhere along the line.

Bees. Four days work.
Bees. Four days work.

Why are we not like the Bees? Who for millions of years, billions of generations have built the exact same hive. A hexagon. Do the young’ns say – ‘lets build something modern! Lets innovate! A circle perhaps?” And do the old’ns say – “We tried that once, little fella – didn’t work.” Four thousand new bees swarm in our hive at the back of the garden. They got straight to work and began to build baby houses for their Queen’s brood. The same as they have ever done. Soon there will be 20,000. And honey. Hopefully. But quite likely.

A few stragglers wander into my studio and alight on the gilded surfaces.

Is Heaven for all the billions? The Divine soul is listening; Empathic souls hear every cry. Blimey, it must be exhausting!

Have you worked out that it is between the lines that we work? That poetry and painting reveal the spaces between the saturation? I cannot think in prose this week, I cannot apply logic and coherence to my thoughts – actually I am refusing to do so. I am finding my reality in parallel, in simultaneousness, and vague intuition. Legitimately.

I am not a computer who can manage my information efficiently.
Sort, stack, assemble, pattern, sample, divide and conquer.
Linear processing and serial deduction to reach sequential conclusions.

“Once Copernicus had eliminated place as a basis of the human claim to centrality in the universe, we were at a lost to interpret our spatial experience simultaneously. Descartes replaced it with the reality of our own mental processes -he coined the famous dictum “I think, therefore I am”- a few words which displaced spatial experience, created a referential void, and further disassociated us from our passages of life.” [G. Barnes, From An Essay I wrote when I could think logically. 1995. University of Otago]

Lunar Virgin, Suburban Mary
Lunar Virgin, Suburban Mary [60x45cm, egg tempera and gilding on gessoed board.]
Place. Space. And Being.

A thought,

that maybe the wisdom, humility and mothering spirit of the ancient soul of the Virgin Mary could be invoked in the violent nights of suburban New Zealand. That angry hands be stayed. That the child sleeps in peace, comfort, joy.

another thought,

that the astronaut, in terror descends the lunar surface, looks back at the Earth.
It floats alone, a small sliver of oxygen holding back an infinity of piercing cosmic dust.

Wisdom is imparted from our ancestors, from celestial travellers.

Are we listening? No – that’s not the right question –  I mean –

Are we contemplating?

Painters and poets translate their message.

Sometimes we see a vague image.

We scribble it on cave walls,

… and gessoed panels.