Arts Newsletter for April 2013

Welcome to our April Arts newsletter. It looks like Summer is out and Autumn is slowly creeping in on us. Days are shorter, colder, and the bad weather is settling in. What to do with these week-ends when you can’t get out of the house? Reading, obviously! We have a great selection of Arts’books this month and there are also a few things happening in town that you might be interested in, check events’ page with Art exhibitions such as ‘Moving On Asia: Towards a New Art Network 2004–2013’ and ‘Len Lye: Kaleidoscope’ at the City Gallery.

Library News


Fabulous art books for autumn reading : including a very large and beautiful new book on Klimt:-

Syndetics book coverManet : portraying life.
“Depicting the Paris of his day, Edouard Manet (1832-1883) captured the nineteenth-century urban experience, legitimizing ‘modern life’ as an artistic subject. His detached, frank mode of looking and his subversive handling of both paint and subject-matter shocked his contemporaries, and eventually established his reputation as the father of modern painting. This remarkable book explores Manet’s portraiture, a significant yet often neglected aspect of his work, including examples from throughout his career…”–P. [2] of cover.

Syndetics book coverGustav Klimt : the complete paintings / Tobias G. Natter (ed.) ; directed and produced by Benedikt Taschen.
“[This] publication … places particular emphasis upon the voices of Klimt’s contemporaries via a series of essays examining reactions to his work throughout his career. Subjects range from Klimt’s portrayal of women to his adoption of landscape painting in the second half of his life. The cliché that Gustav Klimt was a man of few words who rarely put pen to paper is vehemently dispelled: no less than 231 letters, cards, writings and other documents—all known Klimt correspondence—are included in this monograph. This wealth of archival material, assembled here for the first time on such a scale, represents a major contribution to Klimt scholarship” (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverInventing abstraction, 1910-1925 : how a radical idea changed modern art / [organized by] Leah Dickerman ; with contributions by Matthew Affron … [et al.].
“In 1912, in several European cities, a handful of artists–Vasily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Francis Picabia and Robert Delaunay–presented the first abstract pictures to the public. Inventing Abstraction, published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork. It traces the development of abstraction as it moved through a network of modern artists, from Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, sweeping across nations and across media…” (adapted from description)

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Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

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We have selected for you an ecclectic array of design books that we hope you will enjoy!

Syndetics book coverProfessor Jonathan T. Buck’s mysterious airship notebook : the lost step-by-step dirigible drawings from the pioneer of steampunk design / by Keith Riegert & Samuel Kaplan ; illustrated by Jonathan Buck.
“Gives both the beginning and more experienced artists hundreds of step-by-step instructions to help them develop their own steampunk future filled with moving gears, brass knobs, steam boilers and other cool devices.
Part step-by-step how-to-draw guide, part thrilling steampunk adventure story. At the end of the 19th century, a brilliant inventor, Professor Jonathan T. Buck, crafted a beautiful steam-powered airship for an expedition to South America’s Amazon River Basin in search of a magnificent lost city — hidden from terrestrial explorers for centuries by its surrounding dense forests. But something mysterious happened in the heart of the jungle — Buck, his crew and the Air Paddle Steamer Claire vanished. More than a century later, an expedition sent to look for any trace of the Claire vanished and its crew discovered a single, discarded trunk lodged high in the forest canopy. Inside was this notebook: a riveting — firsthand account that reveals not only just how Buck drew up the plans for his airship, but what fate befell the expedition. Professor Jonathan T. Buck’s Mysterious Airship Notebook is unlike any adventure story before. Part drawing guide, part historical saga, this book will transport readers to a world before modern technology, when steam power, gadgets, gases and gizmos took us into the skies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful edible garden : design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs / Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo ; floral arrangements by Studio Choo.
“Have you ever noticed that just when the weather is perfect for inviting friends over for a barbecue, the tomato plants start looking like hell? While many people would love to have a vegetable garden at home, not everyone has the space or desire to replace their backyard with unsightly raised beds and rows of corn. They want a balance: the ability to grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also have their garden be a place of year-round beauty that is appealing and enjoyable. Written by a landscape design team that specialises in blending edibles and ornamentals in the garden, The Beautiful Edible Garden proves that it’s possible for gardeners of all levels to reap the best of both worlds. With a fresh approach to garden design and glorious colour photographs, it’s perfect for readers who want a garden space that is both attractive and productive”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrooklyn makers : food, design, craft, and other scenes from the tactile life / Jennifer Causey ; foreword by Eric Demby.
“A creative renaissance blooms in Brooklyn. At its heart is a thriving community of artisans producing a remarkable variety of handmade goods. In Brooklyn Makers, photographer Jennifer Causey captures the spirit of this homegrown movement by documenting thirty of the borough’s most celebrated craftsmen. This eclectic mix of established and up-and-coming makers includes bakers, ceramic artists, clothing designers, florists, distillers, and more. With an eye for small details, Causey’s charming photographs reveal each artisan at work in their own space. Her lively interviews reveal what inspires them, keeps them motivated, and their thoughts on the city where they live and work”– Provided by publisher. (courtesy of Syndetics)

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Classical Music

This month’s Classical finds seem to have a bit of a biographical theme running through them. I hope you enjoy rediscovering a familiar topic, or being enthralled by a new one.

Syndetics book coverBenjamin Britten : a life in the twentieth century / Paul Kildea.
“In the eyes of many, Benjamin Britten was our finest composer since Purcell (a figure who often inspired him) three hundred years earlier. He broke decisively with the romantic, nationalist school of figures such as Parry, Elgar and Vaughan Williams and recreated English music in a fresh, modern, European form. With Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1951) and The Turn of the Screw (1954), he arguably composed the last operas – from any composer in any country – which have entered both the popular consciousness and the musical canon”. (

Syndetics book coverMusic in 1853 : the biography of a year / Hugh MacDonald.
“This is a fascinating book that features very fine archival research about the major musical events and personalities that dominated the musical scene in Europe in 1853. The book’s chief virtue is in showing the intricate interplay among the major composers and performers of the period, relationships that are not always apparent in single biographies of composers”. (CHOICE)

Syndetics book coverRichard Wagner : the sorcerer of Bayreuth / Barry Millington.
“Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential – and also one of the most controversial – composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner’s life, work and times”. (

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