Redcliffe Pier

Sunday, March 20, 2016

THE GIANTS HOUSE, AKAROA, NEW ZEALAND

While we were in Akaroa we visited the "Giant's House," which  has a garden decorated with mosaic installations. The house was built in 1880 for the first bank manager in Akaroa. It took five years to build and it has an imported, mahogany staircase from France. It was named the Giants House after a small girl looked up at it from the valley below and said, "It is so big it must be a giant's house."

Later the house was bought and restored by artist Josie Martin.Trained as a horticulturalist and artist she combines her two passions throughout her home and garden. Her artworks hang on the many large walls in her house. While she was digging in the garden she found many shards of broken china from the original residents. She thought it too beautiful to throw away and she decided to make mosaic steps and pathways in her garden. This became her hobby for over twenty years. She has added many concrete and mosaic tiled sculptures.  
 The house also has a cafe and a B&B.

 Marja, (blogger friend) was our tour guide. Here she sits at the mosaic piano garden.

The house is perched high up on a hill overlooking Akaroa and the bay.

I enjoyed walking the many mosaic pathways through the garden.

 There were hundreds of different kind of mosaic sculptures and installations.

 Although I found them fascinating and appreciated the hours of work involved in making them, I wasn't sure that I really liked them. I felt some were bordering on kitsch.


I thought this one was interesting.

21 comments:

  1. i like the house and where it is and the view. and she is very talented. i would love to see it but not live in it. way to much.. the piano is pretty and the ship is amazing.. the last one is a little scary looking, like it belongs on tv in The Walking Dead.. the one part i really love is the garden with steps. that is so beautiful. i would really enjoy a visit there

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  2. Just before I read your word kitsch, I was thinking kitsch. I was immediately remind of our own Shell House. But to be positive, what a huge effort has been made in the creation of a work of art.

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  3. Hello, I would like to stay in this B&B and tour the gardens. Wow, the mosaics sculptures are really cool. Wonderful photos and post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your week ahead!

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  4. Love all the mosaic work on the stairs and paths. Gives me inspiration for a lost art.

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  5. That is amazing and although I think the workmanship is brilliant I would not like my garden to look like that. The piece I like best is the grand piano. There must have been a massive breaking of china and glass around!!!!!! Have a good week t'other Diane

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    1. She started with what she found but after that she used mostly broken tiles.

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  6. I love the gardens and the view. The mosaic looks a bit too fake in that environment for my taste. But, hey - that artist was busy and happy for all those years!

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  7. It's certainly different. Gaudi inspired maybe.

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  8. What a fascinating place to explore!

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  9. No doubt serves as a "tourist attraction", but it is certainly bizarre
    and I wouldn't like it in my line of eye-sight on a daily basis.
    Colin

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  10. My goodness, so much work in the mosaics. However it all looks good.

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  11. An amazing place Diane. Josie Martin certainly had vision. Those mosaic sculptures are so different. I'm going to do a search and find out more about her. Thank you for introducing her to us, and this house.

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  12. Oh you made me laugh with the comment 'bordering on kitsch' Diane, it's definitely interesting :)

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  13. Oh you made me laugh with the comment 'bordering on kitsch' Diane, it's definitely interesting :)

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  14. Of course a bank manager ! This is really very special, how interesting to see !
    The outstretching arms are real special !

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  15. I don't know about a giant, but it definitely looks like something that came out of a fairy tale (where kitsch belongs after all)... I wouldn't want to live with any of this, but I would love to see it!!! What fun.

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  16. (Of course I live in a trailer park -- in Florida! -- , so heck -- kitsch is probably my middle name)

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  17. Reminds me a bit of Salvador Dali. Nice.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  18. The Giants House certainly has an outstanding view! The mosaics are a bit overboard, but also very colorful and a sight to see.

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  19. Oh my goodness...this is why New Zealand is on my bucket list <3

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  20. I am just catching up on your posts. Those round boulders are amazing. I have not heard of them before. Was thinking the same as you on the mosaics. Too much of a good thing.

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