Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto

Motutapu
Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto
Foreword by Zoe Black, essays by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson, Stan Wolfgramm and the artists
Designed by Shaun Naufahu and Giordano Zatta

Presented as an exhibition at Te Uru and as this publication, MOTUTAPU is the conclusion of a four-year journey by artist Benjamin Work and photographer Brendan Kitto. This project looks at the shared history of Motutapu (sacred island) throughout Moana Oceania – including Tongatapu, Rarotonga and at the entrance to the Waitematā Harbour here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Motutapu is a place of sanctuary. Positioned at the entrance of great harbours, straddling the open ocean and the mainland, it serves as a gateway for navigators arriving and departing on voyages. The lifting of tapu and making things noa took place on Motutapu, allowing navigators to continue with their journey back to their closest kāinga, even if it was generations later.

Work and Kitto’s inquiry into Motutapu was initially centred around the shared name. What soon became apparent was a deeper connection to their own hohoko/ʻakapapa (genealogy) as they travelled to three of the Motutapu locations and connected with key knowledge holders. Motutapu has become a metaphor for Work and Kitto as a starting point for these personal journeys. Through Work’s paintings and Kitto’s photographs of their journeys, combined with the introductions to the three Motutapu locations by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson and Stan Wolfgramm the book offers, for the extended diaspora of Moana Oceania, a way for reconnection and reconciliation and as a reminder of what joins communities across time and space.

“Motutapu reminds me of the Tongan practice of Tauhi vā (to nurture or maintain relational space), as a metaphor of this sacred in-between space, an island straddled between the deep moana and the fonua of the mainland . . . When Brendan and I first embarked on this journey we were unaware of where this would lead us, but we now know this was a journey of restoration, healing and connection – to moana, fonua and ultimately with ‘Otua.”

Benjamin Work

“. . . Pita Turei, Paul Johansson and Stan Wolfgramm, who generously offered to guide interactions with each island, . . . The stories imparted by each knowledge-holder were offered through worldviews that leave space for multiplicities of knowledge, championing shared understandings that centre the question ‘What do you know it to mean?’. Their collective research offers an appreciation of three locations that have immense importance personally, while respectfully leaving space for others to tell their stories of these lands.”

From the foreword by Zoe Black

RRP $70.00

Add to cart

Card-cover, perfect bound | 176 pages (indigo 130gsm Satin Matt) Cover (270gsm Bagdad Brown) 203mm x 254mm portrait
Limited edition of 250
ISBN 978-1-99-116520-6
Publication: August 2022

For all wholesale orders and requests info@rimbooks.com

Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto Book Launch, 2pm 6th August 2022, Te Uru.

Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto Book Launch, 2pm 6th August 2022, Te Uru.

The exhibition MOTUTAPU, at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (11 June – 11 September 2022) will be completed by the launch of the book of the same title by Benjamin and Brendan, at 2pm, 6th of August at Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. All invited.

photo: Brendan kitto
photo: Brendan kitto
photo: Brendan kitto

Motutapu: Benjamin Work and Brendan Kitto.
With foreword by Zoe Black, essays by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson, Stan Wolfgramm and the artists. 176pp soft cover, 203mm x 254mm portrait, designed by Shaun Naufahu and Giordano Zatta and published by Rim Books. Limited first edition of 250 copies.

Geophagy

Geophagy
Ruth Watson

Published in association with the exhibition Geophagy, 16 December-15 February 2018, Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki (CoCA), Christchurch. 28 April-27 May 2017, GusFisher Gallery, Auckland.

Foreword by Romy Willing: ‘Cook little pot cook: Ruth Watson and capitalism’s geophagic moil – a letter’ / Allan Smith: ‘Many hands: Ruth Watson’s Unmapping the World’ / Josephine Berry: ‘Layers and entanglements: Four artworks in Geophagy’ / Rebecca Boswell: ‘Whirling and looping: ‘Unmapping memories in Ruth Watson’s Geophagy’ / Bruce E Phillips.

Geophagy, the practice of consuming dirt and clay, can be read as a metaphor for our overpopulation, consumption, and destruction of the Earth. Used by some indigenous peoples in cooking to absorb toxins from indigestible plants, geophagy can also be read as a more positive reference to our relationship to the Earth, and to indigenous knowledge; a conscious and purposeful consumption.

Auckland-based, Canterbury-born Ruth Watson’s multifaceted exhibition is acutely about the present moment, speaking to global politics and environmental issues. Through a sprawling installation, video, audio and printed works, Watson takes a critical look at the world today and seems to suggest that it’s not clear what we should do, collectively or individually. With so many issues and paths of action vying for our attention, the immeasurable size of the problems we face, and the systemic causes out of our control, taking action can feel overwhelming.

Describing the world as being in a state of “dystopian present”, Watson reflects on the complexity of our relationship to the environment, and the incongruity of living in a place that we are destroying, without any clear means to unify and prevent that destruction.

ISBN 9780473442323 Card cover with flap
115 pages : colour illustrations ; 150 x 200 mm
2017

$30 including GST

Add to cart

Read the review in Pantograph Punch HERE
EyeContact HERE
Listen to Ruth on RNZ HERE

The Greatest Show: Warren Tippett’s pots from a life less ordinary

The Greatest Show: Warren Tippett’s pots from a life less ordinary

Moyra Elliott and an essay by Peter Wells. With photographs by Marti Friedlander and Studio La Gonda

Revised and expanded second edition.

Biography and works of potter – Warren Tippett (b.1941–d.1994).

Researched and written by Moyra Elliott – co-author of Cone Ten Down: Studio Pottery in New Zealand 1945-1980, (Bateman 2009). Warren Tippett was an agent of change in New Zealand ceramic practice. He was reared as a ‘mud and water man’ in the 1960s because of where the strengths lay in the clay culture of the time with its influences from an imported Anglo-oriental style. However, he jumped ship and some twenty years after he became a potter, after playing briefly and creatively with sculpture – returned to the vessel and made the surface decoration his primary concern. He investigated areas that hitherto had been of little interest in New Zealand pottery and in doing so, connected with long histories of decorated pottery from many cultures. He also took references from his surroundings in Grey Lynn introducing palm trees, cacti and floral motifs and responded to the fresh stimulation of his urban environment with its strong Polynesian elements – lei and lava-lava and the Tongan brass band along with the vibrant street life where the raffish and the gaudy juxtaposed the cool. His new vocabulary became something unique – an expression of a region, a poly-centrist, polygenetic place located somewhere on the western Pacific part of the map.

Through his work, Tippett helped reform the canon of ceramics in New Zealand. No artist works in isolation but he was critical for the acceptance of earthenware in contemporary ceramic practice. His legacy is that he legitimised electric firing at lower temperatures which overturned an entrenched blueprint on how to make and what to make. By embracing the aesthetics more associated with pop culture, Polynesia and carnival ware, he opened doors to a healthier diversity.   

The first edition of this book accompanied a retrospective exhibition of Warran Tippett’s work at Objectspace in Auckland 2005/6 curated by the author.  This 2nd expanded edition features a visual chronology of Warren Tippett’s works, as well as previously unpublished portraits of Tippett by the late Marti Friedlander, and revised photographs with better reproductions of key works. 

Available October 2021

ISBN 978-0-9951184-7-8

Limited to 100 copies

RRP $40, 44pp 210x260mm portrait with cover, saddle stitched.

Add to cart

For all wholesale orders and requests info@rimbooks.com

“Warren Tippett is a seminal figure in the history of New Zealand studio ceramics because his works and lifestyle connect up key moments and significant local and international studio ceramics dynamics. In the words of curator Moyra Elliott, “Tippett helped reform the canon of ceramics in New Zealand.” Tippet started potting in Invercargill in the late 1950s. By the 1970s, and living in Coromandel, he was recognized as an important second generation figure in the ranks of potters working within the Anglo-Oriental tradition. This school of thought derives from the writings of English potter Bernard Leach which drew inspiration from medieval English and traditional Japanese and Korean pots which emphasised material, a quiet decoration and the spontaneity of the firing process. The philosophy engendered a vocational, workshop centred, pottery making life. It was this approach that informed most New Zealand studio ceramics production of the time. Moyra Elliott has pinpointed the time around the 1978 exhibition at Auckland’s New Vision Gallery and the 1980 Five by Five show at the Denis Cohn Gallery as a pivotal time in Tippett’s practice which “condense shifts in New Zealand clay practice, which actually took more than a decade, into a little over a year. The shift revolves around notions of function and diversity…there was a repositioning beyond function and into the decorative.” Changes in Tippett’s lifestyle were reflected in his work. As his interest moved from form to surface his work embraced the colourful and vibrant influences of his own Auckland and Sydney environments, the traditions of decorated Oriental and Mediterranean ceramics and contemporary international developments that located ceramics as part of a wider dynamic visual culture. In making a series of innovations within his own practice he “overturned an entrenched blueprint on how to make pots and what kind of pots to make. By embracing the formerly scorned earthenware and aesthetics more associated with pop culture, Polynesia and carnival-ware he opened the doors to a healthier diversity””.

Biography of Warren Tippett – Sarjeant Art Gallery

‘Amui ‘i Mu‘a: Ancient Futures
Dagmar Vaikalafi Dyck
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi
with contributing essays by
Dr. Billie Lythberg, Dr. Phyllis Herda Dr. Melenaite Taumoefolauand  Dr. Seini Taufa
Contemporary artists, academics and master practitioners of Tongan art celebrate the treasures of the Kingdom of Tonga and the history of their dispersal throughout world institutions and collections.
Continue reading

Hinemihi: Te Hokinga – The Return
Hamish Coney and Dr Keri-Anne Wikitera
with contributions by Jim Schuster, Lyonel Grant and photographs by Mark Adams
The journey of the carved house Hinemihi o Te Ao Tawhito (Hinemihi of the old world) is one defined by cataclysmic events and the unpredictability of elemental forces.
Continue reading

Garden of Memories: Extending quilt making traditions from around the Pacific Rim
Giles Peterson with Shona Pitt, Sheena Tavairanga, Lisa Reihana, Vea Mafile’o, Reina Sutton, Lina Pavaha Marsh, and Ken Khun.

Garden of Memories, curated by Giles Peterson, brings together heirloom and contemporary Pacific quilts from Peterson’s collection and uses these precious objects as the starting point for exploring contemporary craft and object-making by extending this traditional form into creative interpretations and new works by artists from across Asia and the Pacific.

Six quilts from Aotearoa and the Pacific are at the centre of the exhibition and this complementing publication.  Peterson’s personal connection … Continue reading

DESIGN GENERATION: How Peter Haythornthwaite shaped New Zealand’s design-led enterprise
Michael Smythe
With an introduction and interview by Michael Barrett

This book tells the story of one of New Zealand’s most influential industrial designers. Spanning five decades, Design Generation documents Haythornthwaite’s career through childhood influences, education in Auckland and Illinois, work experience in California and New York, and teaching and consultant practice back in New Zealand. It chronicles his many roles as a design leader: as innovator of design, employer in private practices and his notable contribution to the wider field of design.  Vivid case studies of Haythornthwaite’s work illustrate … Continue reading

DYNAMO HUM

By Denys Watkins
Foreword by Matt Blomeley
Essays by Anna Miles and Francis McWhannell
Conversation with Allan Smith and Denys Watkins

Published by Rim Books in association with Bath Street Arts Trust.

Design by Index – Jonty Valentine

DYNAMO HUM is an artist book by Denys Watkins, featuring his paintings from 2004 to 2016.

Denys is a highly respected New Zealand contemporary artist. A long serving teacher of thirty-one years at Elam School of Fine Arts that, in 2011, he left to pursue full-time studio art practice.

Here he turns his multifaceted interests to … Continue reading

WHENUA FONUA ‘ENUA

Benjamin Work with photographs by Brendan Kitto
Interview with Benjamin Work by Giles Peterson

Published by Rim Books in association with Uxbridge Art & Culture.

Early Polynesian navigators gave names to the places they encountered as a reminder of the spiritual threshold between creation and reality. This was because they regarded the ideas of geographic and spiritual origin as mutually similar. Whenua Fonua ‘Enua explores the significance of name and place and the importance of these indicators that connect us to our past and highlight the characteristics of our present. Through new paintings and this companion publication in … Continue reading