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* Glass is currently on the minds of Canterbury Museum which has two stunning exhibitions -- Glass Invitational NZ and CPIT Glass. Both feature works from the cutting edge of contemporary New Zealand glass artists; creations which range from the avant garde to the traditionally inspired. Both show the miracles that can be created from silica, heat and the genius of human creativity.
* At Fishers Fine Arts (138 Riccarton Rd), English sculptor and artist Mackenzie Thorpe's new exhibition, Evolution, is featuring a series of his distinctive bronze sculptures, prints and pastel works on paper. Thorpe's sculptures form the focus of the show -- elegantly witty and whimsical commentaries on the human condition.
* Down south at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, German artist Rebecca Horn is transforming the mundane into the enigmatic with a new exhibition that combines kinetic sculpture with Horn's signature material, feathers. The show's central work, As Time Goes By, is a homage to the silent film star, Buster Keaton: a pair of shoes surrounded by a surreal landscape of tangled film and surveyed by a pair of spark-spitting copper "snakes". The other works also contain a certain filmic quality which raises them above the ordinary. Worth exploring.
* Around the galleries -- The Bealey Gallery (161 Hereford St) is hosting an exhibition of stock works by a battery of artists including Peter Leitch and Steve Harris. The sublime Ralph Hotere show continues at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Just William (new works by Philip Trusttum) is worth viewing at Ng Gallery (Level One, 212 Madras St). And catch the group show of paintings by Margaret Hudson-Ware, Pat Unger, Catherine Brough and Helen Rockel at the Salamander Gallery (Arts Centre).
* Organist Michael Stewart continues his series of recitals in Christ Church Cathedral (Cathedral Square) today at 11am with a performance of French organ music with the vocal ensemble Ensemble La Tour.
* Return to the cathedral tonight at 7.30pm for the Jubilate Singers and Orchestra performance of Haydn's joyous Nelson Mass and Te Deum.
* Akaroa's Orion Powerhouse Gallery, Akaroa, will host a concert by Alexa Still, former principal flutist in the NZSO, tomorrow at 3pm. Pianist Iola Shelley will accompany Still in the recital of works by Bach, Poulenc and Cesar Franck. Tomorrow's Akaroa event is Still's only South Island concert during her visit to NZ. Door sales or phone (03) 304-6840.
SO LOVELY BLOOMING. The Voice of Emma Kirkby. Decca 2CD 476 8216.
There are critics who attack Kirkby's singing voice for being too relentlessly bright, sharp and, believe it or not, "boyish". But as this new release proves, here's one of the most accomplished and scintillating of contemporary singers, a woman who injects Renaissance and Baroque music with a natural charm and effervescence which weaves its way through the music of J. S. Bach, Vivaldi, Arne and Purcell like a vein of quicksilver. There's so much to admire and like on these crisply recorded discs but my pick of the bunch is Kirkby's vocal pyrotechnics in Vivaldi's Laudamus te. Absolutely unforgettable. --Christopher Moore
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