In Double Vision Exhibition, Creative Tauranga, held August 27 – September 15, 2010. And published in Double Vision: A Collusion of the Verbal and the Visual, Ed. Jenny Argante, Tauranga Writers and Creative Tauranga, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-473-17541-2
Lee Murray, writer
Lee Murray lived in England, France and the United States before returning home to Tauranga to write, run and raise her children. A member of Tauranga Writers, Lee’s stories and articles have been published in New Zealand and internationally.
When presented with Liz Miria Sparks’ stunning natural fibre design, Mahi Rangimarie, Lee said, “It called to mind early morning rambles with my siblings at Pukehina beach.”
Lee offered Liz Comet Teen, intrigued to see how Liz might interweave these disparate ideas together.
Liz Miria Sparks, artist
Liz Miria Sparks (Te Ati Awa) grew up in Kawerau, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga, gaining a Diploma in Craft Design (Maori ) from Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua in 1990, where she majored in fibre, bone and design. In 2010 she won the ‘Lifestyles of the Bay’ Best Interpretation Award.
Liz says, “ I enjoy creating a story with harakeke and muka based firmly on traditional Maori techniques, and then to incorporate a contemporary theme along with these traditions that is incorporated and ‘woven’ into the artwork.
“Being involved with this innovative and exciting concept that is Double Vision has been one of the most creative journeys I’ve been on. For me it was an enjoyable freedom to allow the power of someone else’s words to shape and ignite how to think and what to create. Dissecting Lee Murray’s cleverly perceptive poem Comet Teen immediately gave me a visual, but it was only over time as I read and re-read it that layers revealed deeper meaning which I then translated into Love You Comet Teen.
Thank you, Lee.”
Mahi Rangimarie by Liz Miria Sparks
“So which way?” Gav shrugs.
“Go right, then.”
My sister Mandy drags the dog behind her on the flat of the spade, her chubby hand clasping the handle. The blade leaves a darker silver trail on the sand.
It’ll annoy me when she doesn’t trace over it on the way back. At the empty section we build a cool fort in the scrub, but not before we’ve hurtled down the hill, leaping in the bouncy stuff, scratching up our shins. There’s some at our place, bouncy stuff, but the slope’s better here.
The fort finished, we girls take a stand. We don’t want to be the Indians again. We’re still deciding when Mandy wants Weetbix, so we head back.
On the damp sand, I find a fresh spot and write my name with my finger. The capitals are too upright. I prefer the curvy ees. I’ll be ten soon, so I need to get my signature sorted.
“Come on, Mandy.” I wipe my hand on my shorts and wait for her, because we’re supposed to stick together.
Bruce has found something up ahead.
It’s a flounder, as flat as the pool. Both boys squat, knees forward, as they examine it.
“It’s dead,” says Bruce. He pokes it with a stick and it moves: darting, then slowing when it reaches the edge.
“Put it back in the sea,” Gav says.
We tip the dog off, gather it up on the spade. Gav chucks it in quickly. We’re not allowed to go near the water. The flounder’s sepia surface slips under the breaker.
“Don’t tell, Mandy.”
She’s three. She always tells. We saved the fish, though, so it was worth it.
The dog has decided not to wait.
Gav holds up the wire as we climb through. A piece of fraying blue nylon, turned white, ties a brush to the fence. We sit on the stair and use it to clean sand off our feet.
*‘Bouncy stuff’ – Muehlenbekia complexa, or, in Maori, pohuehue.
Love You Comet Teen by Liz Miria Sparks
For 300,000 years
we’ve zipped past each other,
off in our own orbits,
worlds apart, needing our space.
Sometimes though, space closes a few lunar distances
allowing me a momentary glimpse of you:
an exploding fiery airburst, followed by tearful floods,
and peaceful, like 300 megatons of TNT.
Sun’s child, I’d follow your tail 100 million Ks;
but I’d rather avoid you than collide
and lose you forever.