Walking through St Albans the other morning I had one of those 'wrinkle in time' moments that post-quake Christchurch is getting so good at.
As we know, shipping containers are being used all over the city for the on-site storage of everything from preschool equipment and spare parts to household belongings. They must be really reaching the back of the yard now if they're pulling out the oldies like this beauty, proudly proclaiming TVNZ's coverage of the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
It got me thinking about my memories of that year, which was a such a big one for the country, full of celebration, protest, achievement and disappointment in almost equal measure. Not only did the Commonwealth Games take place in Auckland (opened by Prince Edward, closed by Queen Elizabeth), but we all had to get our tongues around the word sesquicentennary as the country marked 150 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Green Party of Aotearoa was formed, hip-hop was taking off and Alan Duff's Once Were Warriors was published. Dame Cath Tizard became the first female Govenor-General of New Zealand, Ruth Richardson became the first female Finance Minister and Penny Jamieson, the Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, was ordained the first woman Diocesan bishop in the world. Geoffrey Palmer resigned as Prime Minister, Mike Moore took over and then the National Party stormed into power with record numbers. 1990 was the year of the Aramoana shooting siege, the year that $1.275 billion was cut from the social welfare budget and the year the Royal New Zealand Navy finally abolished the rum ration. Fashion-conscious New Zealanders were wearing denim button-down shirts, lots of neon and exercise-inspired clothing (hey, hang on a minute...)
On the arts scene, The Chills won Album of the Year for Submarine Bells (Best Single Heavenly Pop Hit) and Niki Caro (who later directed Whale Rider) won Best Video for Bad Note for a Heart (Straitjacket Fits). So, what were visual artists up to that year? I'm glad you asked: here's a smattering of works from our collection.