THE PERFECT ISLAND HOLIDAY

Happy New Year everyone! I'm guessing most of you are back at work after the festive season and wishing you were still on holiday. So here is a little distraction for you, or possibly some inspiration for your next holiday.

Towards the end of last year, after our first winter in NZ, we decided to take a short break to see us through to the end of the year. With Auckland being so close to the Pacific Islands we were spoilt for choice when it came to destinations— in the end we found a good deal on flights and accomodation in Rarotonga, so the decision was made.

Let me tell you, this place is paradise! It was exactly what we were after, five days of sun, sea, sand and relaxation. It didn't take us long to settle in to 'island time' and forget about the timetables and stresses associated with everyday life. Not wanting to fill every second of the day with things to do and see, we arrived with no plans and let the weather or our mood decide the days itinerary, which usually consisted of eating, kayaking, snorkelling and snoozing on repeat!

 

Sunrise at Muri Beach.

Taakoka Island.

Cruising the lagoon.

Exploring Koromiri Island.

Koromiri Island from above.

Captain Awesome, king of the coconut trees!

One of the best ways to view the island, from the sea.

The pool at Little Polynesian Resort. It was extremely hard to leave this place.

Charlie's Cafe and Beach Hire. 

No crowded beaches here.

A colourful section of the Punanga Nui Market.

Chilled Nu.

I was mesmerised by the beautiful flora on Rarotonga. The flowers above would fall to ground and looked like little discarded hula skirts! 

The end of another day in paradise.

There is so much to see and do on Rarotonga, wanting a relaxing trip we skipped a lot of the more adventurous activities such as diving, hiking to the Needle, or laser tag amongst the ruins of an abandoned hotel! But we enjoyed every minute of our time on Raro, here are some of our recommendations:

Take an entertaining and educational snorkelling trip with Koka Lagoon Cruises Get a birds eye view of Rarotonga with Air Raro Marvel at the skill of the cultural dancers (and possibly join in) at Higland Paradise Shop for food, sarongs, ukuleles and pearls at Punanga Nui Markets Devour delicious waffles at The Waffle Shack Fill up on fish burgers while gazing over the aqua lagoon at Charlie's Cafe Have trouble deciding what to eat at the Muri Night Market Sip on chilled Nu (coconut water), available almost everywhere... even the side of the road! Enjoy the peace and tranquility at Little Polynesian Resort

100 days — what next?

100 Days Project. © Mahani Del Borrello 2016. It has almost been two weeks since my 100 Day Project finished, so here they are... all 100 days, along with a before and after to show how each day began. 100 days of adding colour to everyday scenes and my working hours. On the last day I felt a great sense of accomplishment, along with a huge wave of relief that it was over!  After I signed up for the project I received a couple of big illustration commissions and time became scarce, I also managed to tear a tendon in my drawing arm, so for a while there I felt like I was running a marathon with no sign of the finish line. But I made it! And even though my husband has asked me never to do this again (it really did take over my life for a while!), I have had brief thoughts of other projects I could attempt next... maybe not for 100 days though!

Looking at this collection of tiny thumbnails now, it is hard for me to see the hundreds of hours of work they took to create. After a little thought, I've decided to publish them in a book, so I have a tangible record of the whole project. It is easier to appreciate something solid that you can physically see and touch rather than just look at on a screen. And while not all of the images are in New Zealand, a lot of them are, so it will be like an album of places I have explored in my first year of living in Auckland. I am also going to print some of my favourites and get them framed—I just have to decide which days I like best!

And I'm really looking forward to February 2017, when there will be an exhibition in Auckland showing the work of fellow hundred dayers. I can't wait to see the projects en masse and talk to other participants about their creative journeys. I will share the exhibition details a bit closer to the opening.

In the meantime, I have some photos that have been sitting around waiting for me to edit and share, so keep an eye out :)

 

100 Days Project. © Mahani Del Borrello 2016.

100 Days Project. © Mahani Del Borrello 2016.

Before and after.

10 days and counting!

!00 Days Project. © Mahani Del Borrello 2016. Do you remember my post about the 100 Days Project? Well I've started, and I am 10% of the way there! I have decided to break it down into ten day lots so I feel some sense of achievement along the way, focusing on 100 days from the beginning feels quite daunting. And of course I completely ignored the advice given by previous 100 dayers and made it way more complicated and time consuming than it needed to be!

It is already looking different than I thought it would. I originally signed up because I wanted to commit to drawing something everyday. I decided to add photographic elements to the mix so I had a bit of room to move and experiment over the next few months. The first day arrived and my first attempt looked nothing like the picture in my head, so I tried something else and that kind of dictated the digital direction I have taken.  With 90 days to go, I still have plenty of time to experiment, so let's see what evolves.

I will be posting my 'chromalgams', as I have called them, on my 100 Days Project page. From there you can also check out what some of the other 1000+ participants have created. Or you can follow my progress on instagram.

Have you ever taken part in a project like this? What are your tips for making to the end? I'm gonna need them!

 

100 Days Project. © Mahani Del Borrello 2016.

ART ON THE STREET

In a bid to keep their local streets free of graffiti, Sydney's Inner West Council devised the Perfect Match initiative. Local residents and property owners plagued with graffiti are matched with street artists who transform the unsightly publics wall into works of art. Perfect Match 2016 took place earlier this month. Having recently moved from the inner west, to New Zealand, I haven't been able to check out any of this years walls, so here are a few photographs I took from previous Perfect Matches. Artists include Fintan MageePhibs, Dallas Clark and Stephen Evans, Mulga, Jumboist,  Ears, Sid Tapia and Peque,

And while the organised tours and events associated with the Perfect Match weekend may be over, you can still download the map and take a self guided tour of this impressive outdoor gallery.

PerfectMatch2015-6

 

PerfectMatch2015-10

PerfectMatch2015-26

 

PerfectMatch2015-20

PerfectMatch2015-4

PerfectMatch2015-16

PerfectMatch2015-12

PerfectMatch2015-11

PerfectMatch2015-1

PerfectMatch2015-36

PerfectMatch2015-23

MYVILLE

Illustrated map of inner west Sydney. It is almost 6 months since my husband and I left our little home in Sydney, for a new adventure in Auckland, New Zealand.

A couple of weeks ago I went back to Sydney to be part of an exhibition that explored Sydney's Inner West and it's inhabitants. I am quite enjoying life in Auckland but I do miss my old neighbourhood and everything it had to offer, so I drew this map as an ode to all of my favourite places, in and around Marrickville. I have since realised that my Sydney life pretty much revolved around eating and drinking—cafès, pubs and restaurants seem to dominate the landscape!

I really enjoyed working on this and am now planning a series of maps. Maybe Auckland next? It will be a good excuse for me to get out from behind my desk and explore more.

Oh! And I want to give a quick shout out to Endemic World who helped with the printing and transportation of my map. Not only do they offer fine art printing, they also stock a great range of contemporary, limited edition prints by New Zealand and international artists.