Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wandering the city

Like lost pukekos in a dry swamp, the Henkel Troupe wander the city streets looking for the hub of cultural activity. Luckily the rain came down in the afternoon making all concerned feel right at home.

Doctor of philogyny, Dr Crewdaughter caught in a casual moment of reflection. His fine handiwork with the paintbrush displayed behind.

The Dr uses his musical telescope to introduce the musicians to some of the local insect life.

The troupe pay their respects to St Patrick as the higher power of financial game-playing and exploitation of addiction towers dangerously above.

The Doctor surveys the landscape.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


If you got caught in the rain like I got caught in the rain yesterday, then you'd be happy to know we'll be looking for cover today if there's a hint of it coming down again. So - if it's raining today please text me 021 794 650 and I'll let you know where we're hiding.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Beresford square

These men are acting. They are in no way deranged, unhappy or held under duress. Their expressions are intentional and hope to communicate a way of being. A different way of being. This is what we have come to expect from great artists, they will go there so that you don't have to,

Long-Jim Henchman (pictured above) reinacts the 'crossing of the line' that Henkel described where he takes a joke with the locals too far, ending up in a horribly rift that left most of the Troupe hungry for the rest of the evening.

"Where is Beresford Square" they sing. "Is it over there?" "Is it nearby?" "Where oh where is the square?"

The Hungry sailors eye up what might be their last meal.

Four performers from the chorus.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Drifting seaward

We made our way down the windy gulley that is now Queen St towards Khartoum Place, once destribed as 'a sunny nook where we took our fill of pigeon, potatoe and fresh running water'. The abundance of food was a little more protected now as the local restranteur tried very hard to move us on. Perhaps he could see how hungry we were.

The dapled light of the courtyard reveals the truth in the hanging banner, not far from art Regis Macfleebin is pictured here demonstrating an appropriate positioning for such activity.

And furthermore to conceil one's own involvement in such activity the troupe demonstrate the stance of denial (or self-innocence)

A bad omen for things to come perhaps. Lighting always strikes twice!

Gentie Crewdaughter offers advice to the dog handler whose whistled comands appear to elicite no response.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Goodmorning Auckland

It was a long long drive for some, a short hop via the big bird for others and just a pop down the road for one, but we finally assembled on Pigeon Park to spread the news of Henkel and his Troupe.

The cemetary nearby is home to one of the original Henkel Troupe - who died tragically on his way to the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour. Cause of death are unknown, though his ship's name 'Flakey Jake' suggests he may have been suffering from scurvey for many weeks. The troupe buried him there alongside his favourite pipe and a manuscript written by Henkel himself titled 'scaley old Jake was a handsome mate'. The cemetary was later to become Auckland's Jewish cemetary.

Greer Twiss's bronze sculpture 'Karangahape Rocks' 1966-9 (pictured above) lays tribute to Henkel's place in musical history, acknowledging this spot as a gathering place for song and dance.

Warwick reinacts the scattering of the ashes of Flakey Jake's favoured parrot.

Retracing the first tentative musical steps towards the Waitemata - led by Longhorn Ike.

The lost souls of Henkel's troupe pay tribute to Pigeon Park Cemetary

The men had an 'uncanny way with local flora and fauna, often followed for long distances by a trail of birdlife.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sun 17 Feb - Petone & Eastbourne

Petone - Henkel met some unexpected friends just days before his disappearance. Details are sketchy but there appears to have been some confusion over a bundle of flutes which he had sold some months earlier in the Hauraki region. Some disturbance was recorded as the musicians were seen being flung off the peer (pictured below) into the clear waters of mouth of the great fish.

Interestingly, this event coincided with the arrival of Rev Samual Marsden (see interpretive painting below by G. Crewdson with his cat-o-nine-tails)

And on to Eastbourne - where Henkel and his men were last seeing amoungst the small group of Whalers who were living there. His diappearance remains a mystery, it is possible that some of the men boarded the whaling ship Metabolan (which sunk off the coast of Kaikura some weeks later), there was also records of an attempted journey around the Pencarow heads towards the Wairarapa. The fact that eyewitness accounts do not match up leads to the suspicion that Henkel and his men were being persued and did not wish to be found.

A ceremonial send off was made by the musicians on Sun 17 Feb 2008, parading into the sea where a portion of his favourite walking stick was released into the harbour.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sat 16 - Lyall Bay

The rain drifted in and out with the magical breakers as did the queezy stomach of Mister Crewdson who managed to complete the performance despite an evening of oceanic proportions.

The sea took its toll too with one of Henkel's men on this beach in 1832 when a gigantic seal rode up on the beach to the surprise of the sleeping clarinetist McBruce. Though injured he too managed to keep up with the gavotte just 12 hours later.