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Book worms

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Arty people share the books they’ll be giving,

and hope to receive this festive season.

Suzanne Tamaki

Artist and Creative Events Producer at Wellington City Council

Suzanne Tamaki. 'A chain is only as strong as its weakest link'. Photographer: Sarah Hunter

I’d love to receive Māori Art: History, Architecture, Landscape & Theory by Dr Rangihiroa Panoho (2015). It’s described as moving pretty fluidly between disciplines like art history, architecture, philosophy and literature. It sounds intriguing and challenging, my brain would definitely get a work out. Plus there’s lots of amazing pictures of Maori art, for when my brain can’t cope. How perfect is that.

I just scored the Oceania: Imagining the Pacific catalogue/book from City Gallery for $2! (Paula Savage, Wellington City Gallery, 2011) They are having a massive clearance sale. So that’s the book that someone’s getting for Xmas. It’s full of work from artists I admire, artists I’ve worked with (Pacific Sisters) and a gorgeous photo by Greg Semu of my cousin Vic The Battle of the Noble Savage. Of course I bought two – I need one as well. You can never have enough art in your life.


Lucy Hammonds

Curator at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Lucy Hammonds

I’d like to receive Theo Schoon: A Biography by Damian Skinner (Massey University Press, 2018). I’ve been looking forward to reading more about the life of this complex and fascinating artist who has been an important figure within the story of modernism in Aotearoa.

I will give Mutzig the Clown Cat, by Peter Wells (Cuba Press, 2018). This is a re-print of the author’s first ever book from 1981, and I’ll be giving it to someone who’ll appreciate the spirit of the story as well as its quality as a unique art book illustrated by Wells.


Sam Trubridge

Artist, performance designer, and director of The Performance Arcade

Sam Trubridge

I’d like to receive Performance Now: Live Art for the 21st Century by RoseLee Goldberg (Thames and Hudson,2018). RoseLee Goldberg wrote one of the most definitive books on performance and live art in the late 70’s, so it is great to have an update on where we are at now 40 years later from someone with such an intimate historical overview. As founder of Performa Festival in New York she is quite a role model as well.

I would include Event Space: Theatre Architecture and the Historical Avant-Garde by Dorita Hannah (Routledge, 2018) as a Secret Santa gift for our top-three arts ministers to encourage an appreciation of avant-garde art practices and presentation models. Dorita Hannah is a New Zealand performance designer and architect who is internationally recognised for her work in this field.


Kerry Ann Lee

Artist and Senior Lecturer at Massey University’s School of Design

Kerry Ann Lee. Photographer: Tamara Jones

I’d like to receive Wanted: The search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor edited by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith (Massey University Press, 2018). I came across illustrations by E.Mervyn Taylor published in old school journals as a student and was captivated by his bold, dynamic compositions and attention to detail. My friend and colleague Bronywn Holloway-Smith undertook a large-scale research project to uncover his lost public tile murals (of which there were many). Wanted is a beautifully designed book that documents this project.

I would give The New Zealand Art Activity Book (new edition) edited by Helen Lloyd (Te Papa Press, 2018). Winner of Best Educational Book at the 2018 Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) Book Design Awards, this bumper volume is portable, hardy and rich with art and activities appealing to all ages. A Christmas gift power move!

Want more art book Christmas picks from arty New Zealanders? Check out ArtZone #77.


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