Spring comes in like a lion and out like a lamb they say. Whomever announced this idea must have lived in New York. The most miraculous and long-awaited season for us city dwellers is the one that begins with first tulip sighting and ends with our first excursion to the beach. In about one day it seems the trees go from naked and bare branched to a full on wave of green. If you blink you’ll miss the short lived and precious season.

As we celebrate the start of summer let’s take a moment to celebrate the beauty and bounty spring brought us along the way. We travel through the season by the work of the brilliant minds of our most recent Local Creatives: Yasmine Ganley of AnyoneGirl, a site that feeds us steady and unswerving inspiration and Greta Van Der Star a graceful photographer whom we continuously find ourselves viewing the world through her lense.

Yasmine generously offered us a timeless passage from muse Joan Didion along with fresh photographs contributed by friend and colleague Greta. We love nothing more than a beautiful working pair of friends and enjoyed learning about their cultural influences and what they find most captivating this moment. We hope you feel a sense of renewal as we say goodbye to Spring and hello the months ahead.

 
 

Lilac and Garbage.

"I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume..."

Arriving with a sense of 'the first time', spring is familiar yet new; this time; another first time; last year’s forgotten. Our senses are alive. Something is about to happen. There’s that fizzing feeling, a zing in the air, potent and heavy with possibility and adventure and absolute liberation.

Inspired by a section from Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, describing the sensory experience of her first days of spring in New York City, here in New Zealand, we find our first days of spring in the taste of tart stone fruits, in the feeling of cold sun on our shoulders, and in the smell of the salty coast.

 
 

Greta, when did you know you had an attraction to the lens?

I got my first camera at 16, it was a film SLR that I still use as my primary film camera. I grew up in a sleepy beach town, with not much happening, so spent alot of time moving objects in the sun, seeing how they photographed and how the shadows fell.

What captivates your attention?

Light, colour, movement, energy.

Please share with us some of the films, books, artists, places, etc., that have been most influential in shaping you.

When I was studying photography, I was obsessed with Georgia O'Keefe's landscape and flower paintings. I wanted to achieve a painterly softness to my film landscapes and images. I also loved Irving Penn's still lifes and portraits. I still find them very modern.

I'm endlessly inspired by the landscape in the US. It changes so dramatically, and can feel surreal. We spent a day climbing over endless dunes at White Sands Monument last year, and it felt like walking through a painting. Watching the shadows of clouds skim over the dunes was captivating.

Where do you go for renewal and to re-energize?

To the beach. Submerging in saltwater, or being grazed by strong salty winds is the most energizing thing I can think of! Any dip into nature, which we are so spoilt with in NZ, I find calming and balancing.

 
 

Yasmine, how did you find your way into writing?

I have always kept notes. I actually trained as a contemporary dancer, which was, perhaps, my initial exploration in pace, rhythm, repetition and concept. But I am still very much learning.

What captivates your attention?

It could be something I instinctively question, or a clashing of sorts, or reviving something forgotten.

Please share with us some of the films, books, artists, places, etc., that have been most influential in shaping you.

Harmony Korine's film Trash Humpers made my whole world spin. Speedboat by Renata Alder and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion are two books I could read over and over and over, always finding something new, something brilliant. Walking through Donald Judd's home and studio in Marfa was an experience I'll never forget. And I can't go past the work of Pina Bausch.

Where do you go for renewal and to reenergise?

The bush or the coast — whatever the weather.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRETA VAN DER STAR @GRETAVANDERSTAR, WORDS BY YASMINE GANLEY  @ANYONEGIRL