There are some things Kiwis do really well. The most obvious one – to most of the western world, at least – is produce pretty great rugby players. I’m talking about you Dan, Richie, Mils, Piri and the rest. Kiwis are not too shabby at yachting, either. New Zealand has won the America’s Cup a couple of times. Thanks to Peter Jackson and his team in Wellington, New Zealand is building a reputation for movie-making (think the Lord of the Rings trilogy). I could go on (I’m a Kiwi, after all) but, I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about Kiwiana.
Kiwiana: [ˌkiːwɪˈɑːnə] pl n collectable objects and ornaments relating to the history or popular culture of New Zealand
New Zealand has a long history of producing collectable objects – from souvenirs to fine art that reflects popular local culture. One of the best examples I can think of is the Buzzy Bee™.
The Buzzy Bee™ is New Zealand’s most famous children’s toy. This brightly coloured, wooden pull-along toy has been handed down from generation to generation and is now regarded as a major New Zealand icon. There would be few New Zealanders that don’t remember playing with this charming little toy in their youth. I certainly had one.
Shane Hanson is an artist who captures the Kiwiana spirit for me – albeit at a pretty high-end. In his own words, his creations “spring from a world of bold colours and optimistic clarity, a pop-art invitation to a feel-good New Zealand celebration“. Shane is of Māori, Chinese, Danish and Scottish descent, which is reflected in his art as he navigates his way on a journey of cultural discovery. I reckon’ he also has a great sense of humour.
Check out some of his work:
Now, we’re getting to the real reason I wanted to introduce you to Shane Hansen and his Kiwiana-oriented art… LM and I are pretty serious about our coffee here in our wee corner of the world. We have a pretty fab’ coffee machine (a spiffy Bezzarra Domus Galatea, which almost requires a pilot’s licence to drive it, just in case you’re interested). We’ve been known to take our coffee machine on holiday with us. Truly. I am simply not worth talking to until I’ve had my first caffeine injection of the day.
So, imagine an object that combines the pop-culture of Kiwiana with my love of good-quality coffee…? Here it is, the oh-so-very-gorgeous Harikoa Vibiemme Coffee Machine!
Shane Hansen has teamed up with Valente Machinery and launched this series of limited edition Vibiemme Domobar Super espresso machines. These beauties combine the best in Italian coffee machines with the best of Kiwiana. The artwork expresses the love of home, love of lifestyle, love of beautiful things and of course, the love of coffee. Each machine in this edition of three, is signed by the artist and numbered. If you’re a coffee freak and an art lover, then this baby has your name written all over it!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, harikoa means ecstasy, to be uplifted, euphoric. Exactly how one should feel after a great coffee!
It’s a steal at NZ$5,500 + P&P! (That’s about US$4,430 or GBP2,737 not including the postage!) <gasp!>
Should you decide you just have to have one of these wee things of beauty, can I suggest you hot-foot it to my favourite source of all thing Kiwiana online – cleverbastards.co.nz. They’ll look after you. Of that, I have no doubt!