Arts Newsletter for June
There’s a diverse and interesting selection of new Arts and Crafts books for June. They’re sure to keep you occupied during the colder days!
If you’re interested in more ‘visual’ reading materials don’t forget to check out the Graphic Novel Curated Collection display during June. Its on the ground floor of the Central Library, in the fiction area, for the month of June.
In this month’s picks of the new art books: “Growing up” (the Young British Artists at 50), “Lust” (”a documentary of unrealized projects and a traveling report of creativity from around the world; a handmade sketchbook zig-zagging across six continents, gathering steam and collecting documents” — we love this description!), and more great new art books. Have a browse:
Growing up : the Young British Artists at 50 / Jeremy Cooper.
“This book provides a personal, intimate account of the meteoric success of the young British artists and of the often painful realities of the contemporary art world… Now five of the most prominent members of the group — Anya Gallaccio, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Michael Landy, and Sarah Lucas — are profiled in this collective portrait. Based on personal interviews by Jeremy cooper and on his years of close observation of the London art world, this book includes his insightful commentary as well previously unpublished photographs and letters. The result is a fascinating combination of biography and art history that both traces the yBas’ collective legacy and contemplates their individual futures.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Raw + material = art : found, scavenged and upcycled / Tristan Manco.
“Tristan Manco, perhaps the worlds most influential commentator on street art, showcases the work of 38 truly innovative and inspirational artists who use low-cost, low-tech media and often totally original techniques to produce work that defies categorization and pushes the boundaries of art itself…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Stitt : autobiographics ; a book about the graphic design work created by a sizeable group of atoms, molecules, fats, acids, proteins, cells and synapses that have come together to work in concert for a brief time span, regrettably now nearing its likely use-by date, and answering to the name of / Alexander Stitt ; edited and co-written by Paddy Stitt.
“Stitt Autobiographics is a pictorial record of the 50-year professional life of graphic designer Alex Stitt, who has been the hand behind many aspects of Australia’s culture since the 1950s, and has been described by Phillip Adams as one of the country’s most under-recognised creative talents. Though his name remains relatively unknown, millions of Australians are still familiar with Stitt’s drawings and animated films, most of which date back to the 1970s and 1980s. Stitt has created Australian icons like Norm of ‘Life. Be in it’; Hector the Cat, who taught road safety rules to school children; ICPOTA, who encouraged the use of the classified pages of the Age, and Sid, the lisping, dancing seagull from ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ for the Cancer Council…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Altered Landscape: Photographs of a changing environment
“A comprehensive look at the work of 100 contemporary photographers who capture the impact of human activity on natural landscapes. The Altered Landscape is a provocative collection of photographs representing a wide range of artists, techniques, visual styles, subjects, and ideological positions. Organized chronologically, the more than 150 images-by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Chris Jordan, Catherine Opie, and Edward Burtynsky-reveal the ways that individuals and industries have marked, mined, toured, tested, developed, occupied, and exploited landscapes over the last fifty years. From Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, two of the most influential photographers to document environmental destruction in the American West, to Richard Misrach and Mark Klett, who examine abuse of natural resources, these moving images reveal the diversity of voices within the field of contemporary photography. In Association with the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.”–Publisher’s website.
Take a look at this glorious range of fresh ideas and decorating schemes featured in this selection of craft books. Choose from modern and traditional quilt projects to timeless knitting patterns and draw inspiration from a do-it-yourself guide how to enrich the character of your home with individual panache. Have fun!
Modern minimal : 20 bold & graphic quilts / Alissa Haight Carlton.
“This book is a beautiful collection of 20 modern quilt projects. Alissa’s designs emphasize the use of solid fabrics, negative space, asymmetry, and a simplicity that allows the quilts to make entirely on a home sewing machine. I can’t wait to make at least one of these quilts! This book beautifully showcases the modern quilt aesthetic. Her instructions are clear and concise, great for my beginner/high beginner skill level, and I love how she offers more than one way to quilt each blanket. The quilts vary in size, but I think for quilters with some experience it will be easy enough to make them larger or smaller if you want. Her color choices are beautiful, and the patterns would still look great with some prints swapped in, and still maintain the modern look. I have made “mosaic,” and it turned out great, looking more complicated than it was. I look forward to working though the rest of the quilts.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)
Barn quilts and the American Quilt Trail movement / Suzi Parron with Donna Sue Groves.
“When German immigrants arrived in America, they brought with them a passion for brightly colored geometric patterns that they stitched into quilts that kept them toasty on frigid winter nights. They also decorated their otherwise plain barns with hex signs serving as talismans or as purely exuberant decoration. A decade ago, an enterprising Ohioan combined these traditions and mounted outsize quilt patterns in bright colors on old barns. Others quickly followed suit, and now many Midwestern and Eastern states have quilt trails that tourists pursue in outdoor museums of folk art. Parron and Groves have documented these trails with full-color photographs that show how imaginative many artists have become, incorporating butterflies, horses, flags, and other natural and man-made designs within the more abstract geometries of traditional barn quilts. The text profiles many of the artists whose work dazzlingly enlivens America’s farm country.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)
Knitting everyday finery : practical designs for dressing up in little ways / Mel Clark ; photography by Helen Bankers.
“This book is a comforting treat! Like a cup of tea in the afternoon – an instant pick-me-up! It’s not surprising as its author is Mel Clark. Every page is simply drenched in gorgeous visuals and the projects are little treasures, full of charmingly thought out details. Photography is uncluttered and seductive and the patterns all look to be straightforward, most easy enough for beginners. It’s a bonus that readily available yarns are used for the designs and also information is included about substitute yarns. Some of the favourite projects are: The Heroine Hood: The shape of this hood is super flattering, the pattern has sufficient detail to be interesting but easy enough to be a relaxing knit – especially in the suggested cashmere yarn. It will be perfect for winter to wear outdoors as a hood or indoors as a cowl.The Tweed Hat and Scarf: Men prefer very simple knits – this is the perfect set. Also, who doesn’t love a photo of a lovely young man holding a barnyard bird! Mrs. Lovechild Shawl: A lovely design, easy knitting, perfect size and shape – and a collar! Shiraz Slippers: At long last, felted slippers with a sexy shape. How fun!” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)
Household wisdom / Shannon Lush & Jennifer Fleming.
“Household Wisdom, is a ‘mash-up’ of Shannon Lush & Jennifer Flemings’ successful books, Save and How To Be Comfy combined into one beautifully bound hardback edition. Packed with clever ideas to help you get the most from everyday household items – in the process you’ll save money, save time and save the planet! Shannon and Jen also offer tips on creating cosiness as well as advice on how to choose household goods, how to look after them and how to fix them. Just some of the things you’ll learn about, are how to fix a flyscreen, stitch a hem, replace a tile, select and store fruit and vegetables, and change a washer in your toilet cistern. Household Wisdom is your perfect guide and companion to saving money while making your house the place you want to come home to.” (Amazon)
Outdoor fix-it 101 : projects you really can do yourself / Steve Willson.
“Covers basic maintenance of the home’s exterior shell–its siding, foundation and roof–as well as maintenance and repair of driveways, walkways, fences, and other essential outdoor structures” (Publisher summary)
Home maintenance / Luke van Dyck.
“A home is the single biggest investment most people will make in a lifetime, so it is important to maintain it. This book: teaches you about your home – the different types of structures (eg. brick veneer, double brick, timber frame); tells you what basic tools you’ll need for simple jobs around the home; explains how to maintain the different rooms in your house, from the kitchen to the bathroom, floors and ceilings, doors and windows, walls, the roof, and outside; includes hints and tips on painting, energy efficiency, cost saving and water conservation.” (Fishpond)
We have a diverse range of books on offer this month – from the quirky “Architecture Electric” a photographic record of wellington electric substations, Architectural cartoons to Origami architecture.
The architecture electric / Jared Kennard, Tyson Schmidt, Nathan Horne.
“The Architecture Electric records central Wellington electrical substations photographically to highlight and showcase these overlooked utilitarian buildings. Hiding at the end of the street, under office towers, in carparking blocks, or next to your garage at home, these vital links in the electrical infrastructure are often camouflaged and ignored as there is no human occupancy. Architectural styles reflect the era they were built and the attitude of the day with proudly displayed pediments, ornate trimmings or brutalist precast concrete form, yet all tend to be painted green to blend into the background.” – (adapted from Unity Books summary)
Did you mean to do that? : Malcolm Walker architectural cartoons / edited by John Walsh ; foreword by Louis Hellman ; afterword by Gerald Melling.
“This long-awaited book covers twenty-five years of cartoons from New Zealand’s leading architectural cartoonist – Malcolm Walker: a chronicle of styles, ambitions and happy collaborations. Follow the career development of those perennial architectural contenders, Turbo Floss and Dollop, watch the Crass Corporation shape a city, and enjoy the vicarious pleasure of dealing with Council planning consent officers. Learn the secrets of design and the truth about clients and builders. See architects at work and play and in the psychiatrist’s chair. Observe the untiring quest for jobs, fame and a refill at the annual awards dinner. Discover what inspires architects, and find out what they’d like for Christmas. All this, and more, in a book for anyone who has ever wanted to ask; ‘Did you mean to do that?’.” – (adapted from Fishpond summary)
This month’s recent picks for classical music focuses on new works – and features both recent compositions and some interesting interpretations of well-loved material.
The excellent art of voluntary [sound recording] : early English organ music from Pembroke College, Cambridge / [performed by] Robert Costin.
Robert Costin, previously organist at St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, performs a selection of early English organ works on the organ at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Fantaisie, fantasme [sound recording].
Israeli pianist David Greilsammer recontextualises three centuries’ worth of piano music by creating a programme around Mozart’s Fantasia for piano in C minor.