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Wednesday 24 November 2010
Ron Brownson

Thanks to everyone who responded so helpfully to my postings about data on Trailing through their responses, I wondered why there is so little material brought up about Toss Woollaston while there is a great deal more about other artists like Colin McCahon? It appears that not all of Toss's artwork in our public collections is being delivered yet to portal.

Thinking about it further I realised that the data accuracy issue is always connected with what is visual versus with what is textual. Visual material always seems to bring up issues related to an image that are more associational. Consequently, more haphazard. For instance, Tilly Frankl is not associated with Toss Woollaston other than he had lessons with Robert Field at Dunedin, who was the sculptor of Tilly’s head in stone.

I undertook another search on about Brian Brake (do not miss Athol McCredie's Brian Brake show!) and this brought up 3608 images, many of which are now in the care of Te Papa. Three of my favourite results from this search directed me again to some of the terrific films that Brian made for the New Zealand Film Unit. His personality and interests come through strongly in these short samples and I recommend them. You can see how Brian looks at people very clearly here:

Incidentally, thanks to Art + Object, last weekend I joined a group tour of the house that Ron Sang designed for Brian Brake in Titirangi . Ron gave a moving account of how he came to design this home, which has to be one of the finest houses in New Zealand.

I was lucky enough to visit this miracle of a home many years ago while it still retained Brian's original furnishings and art. I have never forgotten that experience.

Ron commented on how he had to include a consideration of all of Brian’s furniture in his blueprint designs.

For two of Becky Nune’s images of the house’s later interior see this posting fromHome New Zealand’s blog. It is not the original furniture, but you will see why this is one great example of Ron Sang’s astounding ability to relate interior to exterior.