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
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
Limited to 100 copies
RRP $40, 44pp 210x260mm portrait with cover, saddle stitched.
“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 →
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 →
TOM HUTCHINS: SEEN IN CHINA 1956 Edited by John B. Turner. Chinese translation by Han Niu.
Published by Turner PhotoBooks, Auckland/Beijing in collaboration with PhotoForum Inc, Auckland, NZ, 2016 as Photoforum issue 86.
English and Chinese text
This bi-lingual book was produced to coincide with the debut exhibition of photographs made in China 60 years ago by the pioneering New Zealand photojournalist and photographic educator, Tom Hutchins (1921-2007), presented at the 2016 Pingyao International Photography Festival.
‘On the platform there are many people waiting to cross the other way, waiting for the train back to Hong Kong. . . … Continue reading →
Reflecting back on the last quarter century, so much has changed. Technologies emerged that fundamentally altered the way we do things, the methods by which we gather and disseminate information, how we communicate. The exhibition (and this catalogue) considers notable technological restructuring of photography from the analogue film medium to the digital processes, that now dominate the industry. (Photoshop 1.0 was launched on 19th February, 1990). Less perceptible, but perhaps more important are shifts in values attached to things and ideas, like art, education, institutions and their ideologies.