In the lights of Heathcote Valley Streets


A COVID-19 diary juggling
fable with fabulous
in 25 images..

I dedicate this series of fantasies to my daughter, who at her three and a half years, put up with me and harassed me with a thousand fruitful interruptions. I also dedicate it to her mother, who let me build a “big garage” in the middle of the house. In one of my daughter’s favourite interruptions, she said to me “You are not a child because you work too much!”. For a moment I thought she was right… In fact no, these images are my play, a journey back to the time when, as a child, everything was possible… And this is my effort, to turn The Valley into a playground for our memories.

In late 2019 a New Zealand Circus called Zirka Circus established their great tent in Ferrymead for a couple of weeks, and of course we all went to see their show. I found myself taking hundreds of shots, fascinated by their frozen motion performance. During the Lockdown in March and April 2020 I started taking photos around Heathcote Valley during our evening walks, and combined the images afterwords.

A black & white version of this series can be seen here.


Zirka Circus on the loose
in Heathcote Valley streets by night

gone almost
before they arrived

fly-by-night cyclists
circus artistes

in spangles and bangles
sequins and silk

acrobats / jugglers
jongleurs on wheels

dance in the light
like red-and-gold

just there

or else


John Allison,
7 May 2020

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Series of images I took between 2001 and 2017,
from Auckland Domain. Dumpling ground,
plants pulled out of earth and
through for compost