As readers of this blog will perhaps have noticed from a few subtle hints, I’m a bit of a Tolkien fan.
Wellington has been in The Hobbit buzz for a while. It’s been dubbed the ‘middle of Middle Earth’. Visitors arriving at the airport walk underneath Gollum diving for fish; and the baggage conveyor door looks like Bag End. There’s a Nazgul rampant on horse in a bookshop down Lambton Quay. And a lot of other stuff.
Yesterday I hastened with She Who Must Be Obeyed to check out the Hobbit Artisan Market in downtown Wellington.
We were looking forward to this market. Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed was, I’m not entirely into ‘crafts’, evidenced by my idea of looking for an Elven cloak that could render the wearer invisible against green grass, green sky, green rocks, green water and green desert, etc. But there was promise of other stuff and I’m a bit of a sucker for Tolkien’s world. Not that I might have revealed this before.
We found the market in the shadow of one of Wellington’s best streamline moderne buildings – the 1940 Post Office headquarters, now converted to apartments.
The giant ring marking the entrance to the market was on its lonesome in the corner of the park, attracting people wanting to be photographed. Ahem…including me…cough cough, I am not a fan geek, cough…
Apropos the foreshadowed glories within? Not so much. Even as a craft market, the place lacked wow factor for us. There were stalls selling food, with long queues. There were tents with people selling jewellery, figurines, wool and nicknacks.
There was a Weta Cave tent, selling Hobbit-themed 3D glasses, Dr Grordbort’s books, and a few odds and sods.
There was entertainment-for-kids with remote speakers blasting inane commentary across the park. A big screen was displaying The Hobbit trailers which we’ve had around on YouTube for the last millennium. And – uh – that was about it.
These people are all talented artists, no question – but something had come adrift in the way it was set up. We left after about half an hour and went to see the latest exhibition in
Tracy Island Te Papa, the national museum.
Roll on the movie.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2012
My regular ‘Inspirations’ series returns next Sunday.