Creative couple giving back to Bluff community

Megan Taylor and Frazer Murdoch. Photo: Kate Beauchamp

THEY may have only been living in Bluff for a short time, but Frazer Murdoch and Megan Taylor have made quite an impression in the community.

Mr Murdoch moved from Invercargill to Bluff two-and-a-half years ago, while Ms Taylor, who met Mr Murdoch at steampunk events, is a South African, who moved to Auckland five years ago before choosing to settle in the south.

Since moving south they have become immersed in the community — their fresh ideas and artistic skills complementing each other to create displays, events and, now, a small

Mr Murdoch is the self-proclaimed southernmost Dieselpunk in the world and has used his creative talents to come up with many great ideas and several displays, most notably at the Eagle Hotel, and outside Oyster Allsorts, a quirky kiwiana cafe, museum and cinema in Bluff.

One of those ideas was to make a fire drum, which he decorated using a plasma cutter, which has led to a part-time business.

The couple have also joined Bluff Promotions and, with the backing of the group and working with others in the community, will produce a mid-winter festival during Matariki featuring a ball, shadow boxes and other events in a Fire & Light seafaring-themed festival.

Mr Murdoch is also experimenting with indoor lamps, cutting them out of old fire extinguishers.

“I’m the world’s southernmost Dieselpunk creator and becoming an icon in Bluff,” he said.

Ms Taylor is a trained artist and her talents combine to make the duo a formidable team.

“Frazer has terrific ideas and we look at ideas together and I sketch them and he cuts them out. The fire drums are really spectacular.”

Both are busy people. They both work fulltime, while Ms Taylor is also studying health and safety.

“We are a bit of a tag team,” Ms Taylor said.

“I will get home from work and do a design in the evening and then if Frazer is on nightshift he will come home and cut it in the morning. It is an amazing alchemy. My strengths are ink and watercolour whereas we are working with metal and fire.”

So much of what Mr Murdoch did was for the benefit of Bluff, she said.

“Bluff has been very welcoming and he is keen to give back.”

The couple love Bluff. ‘‘It is so welcoming and the southern hospitality is wonderful,” Ms Taylor said, with Mr Murdoch adding, “even Invercargill seems a bit too big now.”

‘‘The people here are quite lovely. It is a charming, small community whereas in a big city you are quite anonymous,” Ms Taylor said.

Full details of the events and activities of the Bluff mid-winter festival will be released soon.