Artist's Impression of August Cafe

CAFE COOL: Artist Peter Gouge works at the French Art Shop.
CAFE COOL: Artist Peter Gouge works at the French Art Shop.

One of the things I've noticed about Wellington is that you don't have food halls like you do in Auckland.

As someone who doesn't have a lot of money, I don't have a huge budget for eating out. When I lived in Auckland, where I grew up, we had this old favourite food alley on Albert St that we've been going to for years. My parents used to take me there. You'd get these huge plates of Asian food and they are so cheap.

I shifted down from Auckland one and a half years ago to work on The Hobbit in the costume department. I had this job to make things look old and new. I left there after three or four months because I just burned out. It wasn't really my thing. Since then, I've been working over the road from here at the French Art Shop.

I discovered this cafe, August, after it opened four months ago, because I know the guy, Tom Mackie, who is also an artist. I met Tom through friends at work and he's the barista here. August is becoming a bit of an artists' hangout.

They serve Peoples Coffee and filled baguettes and croissants, but it's pretty much a place to get takeaway coffee.

I come here a couple of times a week, walking across through the park, and I normally have a long black. I'm having a hot chocolate today, though, because this interview is making me nervous and if I have a coffee I'll get all jittery.

August has art openings and usually has art on its white walls. The last good one was when Ben Buchanan showed his work here. August operates as an exhibition and design space, but not all the time, and it's really a creative hangout.

I've got an exhibition on at the City Gallery in the Hirschfield Gallery, with another artist, Zoe Rapley.

My works in that are like tight, little geometric abstractions. They could be floor tiles. I find that simple things provide inspiration.

I've also got another exhibition opening at the Russian Frost Farmers Gallery on Eva St next week.

I'll be showing some of my paintings, and they've still got the geometric abstraction going on. Art for me is more than just making work - I try to surprise myself by making things within limited constraints.

I definitely enjoy good food. My father cures his own meat. It's quite a complex thing apparently.

My parents recently installed a commercial kitchen in their home and cooking is purely a passion for him.

If we do eat out, my girlfriend and I also like hanging out at Pomodoro Pizza on Eva St.

I also really love a Malaysia place, Cinta Malaysian Kitchen, which is cheap and serves great food.

We live in Mt Cook and while I enjoy cooking, my girlfriend has been doing most of the cooking lately.

She cooks a mean paella. I've been at the studio quite late into the evening, preparing for my show. I've been getting into eating chillies lately.



August Cafe

13 Garrett St, Te Aro, Wellington.

Phone: 04 384 5662

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8am-4 pm.

Between Lines: Peter Gouge and Zo Rapley, is on at the Hirschfield Gallery, Civic Square, till October 7.

The Dominion Post