Kōwhai and the Giants

KŌWHAI AND THE GIANTS

Kate Parker
Mary Eagan Publishing

Kowhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower… and her voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird.’ Follow Kowhai as she discovers a tiny seed’s hope to build a great forest.

Debut children’s author Kate Parker is a visual artist and theatre maker who is inspired to support positive environmental change on our planet. Here she creatively shares her vision of reforesting Aotearoa, one seedling at a time.

Kowhai and the Giants is a bitter/sweet story about the decimation of Aotearoa’s mighty forests following human habitation. But it is also a story of hope. While Kowhai may be small and alone, her actions will bring about change and soon, she will be joined by others.

“When you go to nature and you take care, you will be reimbursed with energy. I always felt the presence of beings in the forests where I grew up. Kowhai represents these beings in some way, committed to the preservation of the natural world. We are all a part of this. We can all be kaitiaki, it is in fact our responsibility (to be caretakers for our natural surroundings) and when we take this on in any way we can, positive change happens. Even in a city you can support environmental projects. If we can support Aotearoa’s native plant diversity to flourish, then we are supporting so many native birds, insects and fish. This diversity feeds the land and cleanses its waters. It sustains us.” — Kate Parker

Kowhai and the Giants asks the reader to listen with all their senses to their natural surroundings and to discover Kowhai’s call for themselves. A wise and beautifully told fable, its compelling narrative will kindle a desire to spend time in nature, search for seeds and to grow native plants and trees – a hopeful picture of the future for children aged four to ten and their caregivers.

In the resources section at the back of Kowhai and the Giants, Parker encourages children to plant native seeds. She includes a link to Forest & Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club – Hakuturi Toa website www.kcc.org.nz for inspiring tips.

Kowhai and the Giants is “Like the shadows of memory on a landscape, caught between lightness and darkness, the past and future, a beautifully cast tale of hope and resilience,” says acclaimed artist Shaun Tan.

The unique and intriguing artwork for Kowhai and the Giants was created from hand-cut paper, placed in a plywood box and lit from behind. It was first exhibited in 2016, at the Arataki Visitor Centre, following Parker’s Auckland Council artist’s residency at Anawhata. There was an exhibition of the light boxes in the window of Auckland store Smith and Caughey from 17 to 21 March, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival – Aroha 2021.

ISBN 978-0-4735289-0-4
36pp 270 x 190 mm
Mary Egan Publishing

RRP $30

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Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde

Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde

Paula Morris and Haru Sameshima
Published by Massey University Press

Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde brings together award-winning novelist Paula Morris and seasoned photographer Haru Sameshima. It is the second in the kōrero series of picture books edited by Lloyd Jones, written and made for grown-ups, and designed to showcase leading New Zealand writers and artists working together in a collaborative and dynamic way.

In Shining Land Morris and Sameshima focus on the New Zealand journalist, poet, fiction writer and war correspondent Robin Hyde, exploring three locations important to her difficult life and ground-breaking work. This beautifully considered small book richly rewards the reader and stretches the notion of what the book can do.

‘Like the best picture books, Shining Land is short and physically beautiful; the narrative and the images are inseparable and entirely complementary; it’s a book to read in a single sitting, and return to. And, like the best picture books, it opens up vistas well beyond its relatively modest scale.’ — Sarah Shieff, Academy of New Zealand Literature

“As I try to write about Shining Land my words keep breaking its incandescent magic (shining), its accumulating moods. The photographs are uncanny, eerie, both empty and full, empty of human presence because Robin is missing and missed. The storm chasers outside the frame. I keep imagining Robin entering the scene. I like that. When I look at the shot of Rangitoto ki te Tonga D’Urville Island and Te Aumiti French Pass from French Pass Road with gloomy skies and greys I become grey state. I like this so much. How can I speak? This is where pregnant Robin posed as a married woman, before moving to Picton and then back to Wellington with her secret baby and and her secret heartache. I am on the pass looking down at the grey isolation. I will never know Robin, I will never be in Robin’s shoes, but I feel. And that is what Paula and Haru do. They feel Robin in the depths of their looking and their making. It is contagious.”–– Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

ISBN: 9780995131828
Massey University Press
12/11/2020 96pp 257 x 200 mm Hard cover

RRP $40

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Eric Lee-Johnson: Artist with a Camera

Eric Lee-Johnson: Artist with a Camera

John B Turner

Monograph of the Artist’s camera work provides an overview of his career with special attention to his photographs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Tritone prints were made directly from the originals held at Te Papa.

Eric Albert Lee-Johnson (1908–1993) was a prominent New Zealand artist and photographer. Lee-Johnson was born in Suva, Fiji and moved to New Zealand in 1912 with his parents. As a child he showed an unusual gift for drawing and he entered Auckland’s Elam School of Art where he remained from 1923-1926. At 18 he joined newspaper publishers Wilson & Horton’s printing department and within a year was in charge of the studio and working a lithograph artist and illustrator. In 1930 he sailed for London, England. He spent eight years in London, from the age of 21 working as designer and typographer with the large advertising agency S.H. Benson. He studied lithography at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts and attended Charles Porter life classes at the Central School of Art and Design in London. His work from 1931-36 was influenced by contemporary German typography, graphics and poster design in Europe In 1938 he accepted a contract from Illott’s Advertising Agency in Wellington and returned to New Zealand. He immediately rejoined the art scene and, in 1939, he was elected a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts serving a term on the Committee of Management, National Art Gallery. His health broke down and after more than two years in Pukeora sanatorium he left the commercial world and with his wife and son went to live the simple life at Piha and become a full-time painter. Lee-Johnson lived in various parts of New Zealand from 1942 to 1960 including Coromandel and the Hokianga, and his non-figurative abstract paintings date from this time. In the 1950s a series of his North New Zealand paintings and topographical drawings recording the architecture of some surviving early wooden buildings, set off a whole romantic movement in New Zealand art. In 1956 he became the first New Zealand painter of his generation to have a monograph published on his work. Public awareness of his painting was further increased in 1956 and 1957, when a short documentary film about his work was seen in public theatres throughout the country. Changes in the landscape, pacific images and the inclusion of found objects such as shells and stones were themes running through his work throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Lee-Johnson is represented in all major collections throughout the country, including the national art collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, all public galleries and the Hocken Library and Alexander Turnbull Library. A retrospective exhibition of his paintings and drawings toured New Zealand in 1981-82. In addition to his painting Eric Lee-Johnson was also a freelance photographer who documented the daily life of New Zealanders from the early 1950s through to the 1970s. His photographs were as widely known as his paintings – including images of Opo the Dolphin, and scenes of New Zealand life. Lee-Johnson had intended his photography to form a picture library the use of which would finance his art. The collection of tens of thousands of negatives and the copyright was purchased by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 1997 – four years after his death.

PhotoForum 64/65: Eric Lee-Johnson – Artist with a Camera. John B. Turner

Published by PhotoForum, 1999

ISBN 0959781854

295 x 235mm, 111 pages, tri-tone illustrations, softcover.

$59.95

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A Sun Dance In Sandringham

A Sun Dance in Sandringham: 43 Photographs
Solomon Mortimer

“In December of 1991, I was born in what would be my bedroom for the following two decades. It was a solid brick and timber 1940’s state house with only one previous owner, a couple called Alf and May Coppell.

My parents had purchased the house in 1989 after May had passed away. Years later while studying photography I discovered the classic Marti Friedlander image of ‘Alf and May Coppell, 1969,’ standing in front of my bedroom to be, and it is firmly located in the heart of Sandringham.

By 2011, so much had changed in the 20 years I had lived on Kiwitea Street. Many houses had undergone renovation and the shops had mostly changed owners two or three times. Each time shifting the cultural landscape of the neighbourhood, from predominantly English, to Chinese and Korean, to inarguably Indian.

I remember on the way home from primary school I would get a custard square at the Pidgeon Bakery and look into the mechanics workshop across the road, wondering at the way the light would get stuck on the greasy bench that followed the back wall under a bank of windows.

Then I would finish the walk home with tacky fingers, gummed up from excess icing and wash them under the garden tap before going inside to greet my parents.

The 43 plates on the following pages were all recorded on the streets of Sandringham in 2011 – 2012 while I went for my afternoon skateboard around the block. Covering the network of roads from Fowlds Avenue over to Dominion Road and Mount Albert Road up to Balmoral / Saint Lukes Road”.
Solomon Mortimer, 2019

Published by Solomon Mortimer with the support of PhotoForum, February 2019
Designed by Solomon Mortimer
Designated as PhotoForum #90
Printed by Momento Pro
210 x 150 mm  First edition of 200
ISS 0111-0411

RRP $40

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Many things were not in the fantasy

Many things were not in the fantasy
Concept and Images: Solomon Mortimer and Zahra Killeen-Chance

‘Many things were not in the fantasy’ compels fact and fiction to play off against the family album. It is a collation of fragments from the relationship of Mortimer and Killeen-Chance that offer a slippage between their private lives, personal practices, and collaborative escapades. The eighty‐six plates they have produced together over the past three years resists a linear sequence and narrative logic. The banal domestic and public spaces have a non‐specificity that disrupts the notion of a fixed identity. Their performative inquiries remain an ambiguous record of Mortimer and Killeen‐Chance from 2014 to 2017.


Design: Solomon Mortimer
Printed: Taiwan
Size: 102mm (w) x 129mm (h)
Paper: light weight offset. About 40-50gsm, white
Binding: section sewn and glued
Cover: PVC pocket 
Pages: 200

RRP $40

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New Zealand By The Way

New Zealand By The Way: Immigrant Photographers & Photographs of Immigrants
Original photo essays by Arno Gasteiger, Jenner Zimmermann, Haruhiko Sameshima, Glenn Jowitt, Gil Hanly, Greg Semu

Published by Jenner Zimmermann and AGFA 1996

Here is an oldie – but this book still holds interest for the new audience in 2021. Back in the day when Agfa-Gevaert held a large share in consumer and professional photography products, German-born New Zealand based photographer Jenner Zimmermann struck up a very generous sponsorship deal from the corporation to invite six photographers, a designer and pay for the production of a luscious, large-format hard-cover book of photography about New Zealand.

He chose three New Zealand born photographers to photograph the immigrants- and three immigrant photographers working in New Zealand to photograph their new home.

The photographers armed with the copious free supply of Agfa films (they did not have to use Agfa – could have used the normal film of their choice.) went about to produce a new project, without any constraints by the commercial objectives – their approaches and the results were as diverse as the population in New Zealand then and now.



275 x 300 mm, 128 pages, 127 colour and b/w photographs.
ISBN 0-473-03631-2 (Hard Cover)

SALE PRICE $30

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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

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

Quiet Chaos

Quiet Chaos
Tony Nyberg

A collection of images taken while travelling through Japan in 2017. Published by Back Space Books.

Uncannily intimate observation by the traveller photographer in Japan, where the noisome mysteries of old and new are transformed into the contemplative visual harmony of B&W and colour photographs. A little gem, a book as a loveletter to getting lost in Tokyo, Kyoto and Naoshima.








$40

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softback saddle-stiched | 56 pages
148 x 210 mm
2018 Back Space Books

Dull Ache

Dull Ache
Photography by Fiona Lascelles and poetry by Jasmine Gallagher.

Designed and published by Back Space Books

Dull Ache is a small photobook offering a place for readers to meander and seek solace. It was created by photographer Fiona Lascelles, in collaboration with poet Jasmine Gallagher. First published in early 2020, it is now in its second edition, and these are the last few hand numbered copies that will be available. It has been shown at both the Wellington Photobook Fair and Melbourne Artbook Fair in March 2020.

The following quote by Sally Mann guided the development of the interconnected words and images: “As for me, I see both beauty and the dark side of the things … and I see them at the same time … The Japanese have a phrase for this dual perception: mono no aware. It means “beauty tinged with sadness,” for there cannot be any real beauty without the indolic whiff of decay.” Sally Mann, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

The images are quiet, and while made in a period of grief, they are not an expression of sadness but a moment for pause. And the poetic fragments are brought together to form one long poem, which meanders through the pages, forming a conversation with the photographs. This form of ecoGothic poetry responds to the hope found in nature, as a source of solace: where death is revealed not as an ending, but as a crucial part of the endless cycle of regeneration.

The dust jacket unfolds to a secret image, a secret garden, a place of contemplation. A postcard with this image is also included should the reader be willing to share their own thoughts, extending the conversation.

Jasmine Gallagher is a poet, art critic and doctoral candidate at teh University of Otago, where she is reserching landscape mythology in contemporary New Zealand art and poetry.

Fiona Lascelles is an Auckland art director who photographs the quiet and unassuming moments she encounters while going about her day.


RRP$50

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softback with jacket| 50 pages
165 x 210 mm
#28 from the first edition of 30
2020

ENTOURAGE: aka Physical Distance Theory, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Videogames

by Tim J. Veling

Self-published artist book from Otautahi Christchurch. Available from Rim Books in limited quantity.

Author of Red Bus Diary (2006), Veling began photographing his home city of Christchurch well before the 2010-11 quakes changed the CBD forever. Since then, for the full decade, he has amassed passionate and personal observations of the transformation and rebuild, publishing many photobooks and portfolios via www.placeintime.org, a multi-platform project facilitating and promoting documentary work about Christchurch and a cross-section of its people. Place … Continue reading