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Cave Man

Published: North & South Magazine, October 2014
Words & Photographs by Chris van Ryn
At 82, Phil Wood - retailer of practical menswear, veteran scoutmaster and passionate speleologist - is still crawling around on his hands and knees. His business card reads, "Phil Wood: out on his own in menswear."

A View From The Sideline

Published: Meath Chronicle, Ireland - Irish Idependent, Ireland - Irish Central, Ireland
Words and Photographs by Chris van Ryn

An arm extends high into the air. Forearm muscles crease with tension, a white-knuckled fist grips the end of a curved pale stick. Thigh muscles ripple like the powerful flank of a running horse as studded boots leave the earth.

A single player ascends towards a white ball which arcs high from the other side of the field, cutting through the air with razor blade sharpness. 82,600 heads rise in unison ... and fall, following the trajectory of the silotar as it hurtles towards the player. Seconds later he is intercepted by a furious swarm. There is an almighty thunder from the crowd as hurleys and players collide.

Read more: A View From The Sideline

To The Other Side

AA Magazine
Witing and Photography by Chris van Ryn
Cocooned in a capsule of temperate air, I leave Christchurch and head towards the alpine pass which Maori traversed centuries ago in search of pounamu and moa. Today, this landscape is punctuated with small towns that cling to the geography despite harsh wind, snow, catastrophe and mercurial populations. Read more: To The Other Side

Born Again Riders

AA Magazine
Writing and photography Chris van Ryn
The road is calling. It reaches out towards the sunset, shaping itself to the contours of the sea on one side, while on the other rises a forrested hill. The sky is a vibrant, crisp blue. I sit astride a machine of powerful latent energy, activated by the twist of my wrist. The wind presses against my face, bringin the scent of sea and pine needles and damp earth.

Shall We Dance

New Zealand Life and Leisure Magazine
Words by Graham Reid
Photography by Chris van Ryn
In a city that throbs to the rythm of the tango and entices with memorable places to eat, visitors find the essence of Buenos Aires hidden behind closed doors. Read more: Shall We Dance

Lest We Forget

Published NZ Heritage Magazine 2014

Words and Photographs by Chris van Ryn

“The beginning of the end of war,” wrote Herman Wouk, “lies in remembrance”. 100years on, the World War One Heritage Trail in Auckland is a reminder of all thosesoldiers who died or participated in a war that at the time might have seemed impossible to forget. Yet as the years move relentlessly on it is easy to see how we can not only forget those times but become emotionally distant from them. The heritage trail will go some way to keeping alive the impact World War One had on communities within New Zealand.

Read more: Lest We Forget

Eye Witness In Gaza

Words and photos by Chris van Ryn

My ambulance inches forward until it is perilously close to the bumper of a battered navy blue Nissan utility. Four armed soldiers slouch in the back. One cradles his submachine gun in his lap.

Ahead a large sign proclaims “Welcome to Rafah”. Like a giant articulated slug, the convoy shunts forward to border control: start-stop-start-stop.

I am part of a Kiwi team on an aid mission to Gaza. Egyptian soldiers have been escorting the convoy since the port of Al Arish. We number 150 vehicles, filled with medicines and medical equipment - 380 people from 30 countries.

While driving the 4,000km from London we contemplated the deaths on the Mavi Marmara and the riots which erupted between aid workers and the Egyptian police on a previous convoy, leaving dozens injured. How would things pan out for us?

Read more: Eye Witness In Gaza

It's Like That Only

Pune, India

Words by Chris van Ryn

“You could have told me!” I bleated.

I was on the phone to Adeela, who was in Auckland.

I had been taxied in one of India’s ubiquitous Tarta cars, a time warp from the 60s, to Pune, the industrial town about a two-hour ride from Mumbai. Pune is considered the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. Home to 4.5 million, it is the second largest city in the state.

I was lying on my back on the hotel room bed, strategically positioned directly under the rotating blades of a comforting fan, kneading my swollen abdomen after a dinner with Adeela’s relatives. I was recovering from culture shock.

Read more: It's Like That Only

Found Sounds

Words and Illustrations by Chris van Ryn

Kathmandu, Nepal

“I’m feeling faint.”

“Rest for a bit,” I manage between gasps. I hand Adeela a water bottle. “It’s probably all the blood rushing to your legs.”

The track up the mountainside rises abruptly ahead of us. Our legs are burning, our enthusiasm challenged. But I have a determination to reach the top. I want to see the prayer flags on the famous Buddhist stupa. And perhaps, with a bit of luck, have some of their magic rub off on me.

Read more: Found Sounds

Feel the Spirit

New Zealand Life and Leisure Magazine
Words and Photographs by Chris van Ryn

It was a last-minute decision. The end of the year had crept upon me with stealth. Anxiety was drumming within my temples.

I booked a bus for the following morning.

The trip from Auckland to Rotorua takes four hours. I collect my bike from the luggage compartment. Flip-click-lock. I give the wide-eyed disembarking passengers a generous smile, shrug into my small backpack and don my helmet. With a rather over-exuberant leg swing I set off down Haupapa Street, pressing through the slightly chilly air towards the YHA Hostel. I pedal on the edge of an exhilarating emergent feeling of being in command of my own existence.

Read more: Feel the Spirit

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

New Zealand Life and Leisure Magazine
Words and Photographs by Chris van Ryn
Award Winning Article, Cathay Pacific Media Awards 2011

“I NEED TO LOOK AFTER my horse.” Inside a ger in the middle of the Gobi Desert this is considered the polite way of asking to visit the toilet. Copious small bowls of warm white tea, tasting like sour milk, have precipitated this crisis. The tea half-fills a large, shallow, tin bowl atop a small, square, cast-iron stove fuelled, of course, by dung. A pipe extends upwards to exit through the tent ceiling... a stove and heater in one. The blue-vinyl-covered dining-table was a few moments ago the scene of a game of knuckle-bones – not as we know it but using real bones, the knee-joints of slaughtered sheep.

Read more: Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Three Men and a Map

New Zealand Life and Leisure Magazine
Words and Photographs by Chris van Ryn

A long weekend in Melbourne.

From our cafe in Centre Place we watch a drizzling Friday begin. Cafes with wide open fronts line both sides of the alley. On this chilly morning, the espresso machines are puffing like geysers.

Read more: Three Men and a Map

The Business of LIfe

New Zealand Listener Magazine
Words, Photographs and Illustrations by Chris van Ryn
Award Winning Article, Cathay Pacific Media Awards 2009

Outlook Express whirrs sluggishly in my Auckland office. I wait … and wait … and consider an upgrade to my laptop. Nope, too expensive.

Enter Password

* * * * *

Receiving messages: one of five

First message

Subject: I am not get the mobail

Read more: The Business of LIfe

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