Arts Newsletter for March

Kia ora and welcome to our latest update on new books about the arts at Wellington City Libraries. This month’s picks feature some great overviews of art and design trends, as well as some exciting new craft books. We are also re-introducing our Central library knitting circle – see the Craft section below for more details. Don’t forget to also take a look at our new classical CDs!

Library News

Art

Here are some recent additions to our art book collection that are well worth seeking out.

Syndetics book cover Art + fashion : collaborations and connections between icons / by E.P. Cutler and Julien Tomasello.
Art + Fashion reveals the astonishing work that results when luminaries from the art world come together with icons of the fashion world . Represented in lavish visuals with thoughtful essays reflecting on the history of each project this books brims with the energy and possibility.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art in minutes / Susie Hodge.
“The perfect compact reference guide for all would-be art buffs. Art historian Susie Hodge takes you on a whistle-stop international tour of all the major artistic cultures, movements, phases, developments, artists and themes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Pop! : The World of Pop Art
“Exploring Pop art’s origins in modern European avant-garde movements such as Cubism and Dadaism, this compelling book also travels the world to examine how Pop art influenced artists as far afield as Italy, Spain, Finland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Key figures include Japan’s Yayoi Kusama and Italy’s Mimmo Rotella.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965 [paperback]
“This revelatory book concentrates on Scottish women painters and sculptors of the Glasgow School of Art and explores the experience and context of the artists and their place in Scottish art history, in terms of training, professional opportunities and personal links within the Scottish art world. A fresh look at the achievements of Scottish women artists of the modern period.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

Find inspiration and have fun browsing through this collection of newly arrived craft books we have selected for you. For those of you who are interested in joining the library knitting group, you are welcome to join us at the Central Library to share your ideas and enthusiasm, with our devoted “Knit and chat” library knitters. A delicious morning tea is provided, and the latest craft books and magazines are offered for inspiration. The group meets on the last Saturday of every month on the first floor behind the escalator from 10am to 3pm. The next meeting will take place at Easter Saturday, 28th March – contact Sue Dale if you have any questions (phone 801 4146 or email sue.dale@wcc.govt.nz)

Syndetics book cover Knit scarves and shawls now.
“Discover over 40 fresh new designs for scarves, shawls, capelets, wraps and cowls that will add excitement to any wardrobe. Scarves and shawls are extremely versatile and are perfect for adding colour and character to an outfit. These designs range in style and shape and, depending on the yarn you choose, can be light & airy, thick & bulky, or elegantly lacy. There are plenty of projects to suit every knitter’s taste and experience level.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Banners, buntings, garlands & pennants : 40 creative ideas using paper, fabric & more / Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio.
“Festive and eye-catching, banners, buntings, garlands, and pennants add visual fun to almost any type of celebration or space. These 40 quick and easy projects–made of paper, fabric, felt, and more–make beautiful displays. Use them for special events, for holidays, when entertaining, or even just to spice up a room. A basics section gives beginners a primer on the materials and techniques they need.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Aran & Nordic knits for kids : 25 designs for babies and young children / Martin Storey ; photography by Steven Wooster.
“With 25 great knits for little girls and boys, this Scandinavian inspired collection of designs by Martin Storey has a range of delightful projects. Features Aran-style textures and cables and Nordic-inspired colourwork, incorporating traditional patterns with a contemporary twist. The designs include a range of garments, such as coats, jackets, cardigans, sweaters and slipovers, plus accessories. There are also knits for the nursery.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Modern vintage gifts : over 20 pretty & nostalgic projects to sew & give / Helen Phillipps
“Sew a little love and give the gift of handmade with Vintage Modern Gifts! A bright contemporary collection of over 20 patchwork and sewn projects, designed to make readers smile and have fun with fabric from Helen Philipps – a popular craft designer whose highly desirable style is a cross between Cath Kidston and Tilda. The projects are all simple enough for beginners yet desirable enough for more experienced sewers, exploring different techniques including patchwork, quilting, paper piecing, appliqué, colour play, embroidery and embellishment. Projects include small quilts, dolls, bags, pillows, hearts, puppies, flowers, stars, angels and more – all in a gorgeous coordinating color palette, with charming hand-drawn illustrations and exquisite styled photography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

A colourful selection of new items this month, featuring architectural reinvention and repurposing, and design books on colour, hand-lettering, and more.

Image from Fishpond The terrace house / edited by Cameron Bruhn & Katelin Butler.
“With British precedents and working-class origins, the Australian terrace house was once the home of bohemian artists, share-housing students and urban trailblazers. Today a new generation of homeowners are reimagining the terrace house for twenty-first-century living. This book is a catalogue of twenty of these renovations. It looks at the design challenges of terrace houses in general terms and describes the individual treatment of each property based on the site, the existing structure, the requirements of the owner, and the vision of the chosen architects.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover High Line : the inside story of New York City’s park in the sky / Joshua David and Robert Hammond.
“The High Line is among the most innovative urban reclamation projects in memory. Two young citizens with no prior experience in planning and development collaborated with their neighbors, elected officials, artists, local business owners, and leaders in horticulture and landscape architecture to create a park celebrated worldwide as a model for creatively designed, socially vibrant, ecologically sound public space. Now the High Line–a half-mile expanse of plants, paths, staircases, and framed vistas–runs through a transformed West Side and reminds us that extraordinary things are possible when creative people work together for the common good.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Hand-lettering for everyone : a creative workbook / Cristina Vanko.
“Hand-lettering is more popular than ever. This beautiful and inviting book serves as an inspiring primer and an interactive workbook. Creative prompts encourage readers to create their own serifs, create lettering from found objects, make a type self-portrait, collage with found type, recreate a favorite book cover with hand-lettering, play with shading and perspective, and more. Featuring a lively (and hand-lettered) design and engaging exercises, the book will appeal to designers and illustrators as well as doodlers, hobbyists, and anyone who enjoys putting real pen to real paper.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover 100 Years of Colour: Beautiful images & inspirational palettes from a century of innovative art, illustration & design [hardback]
“This beautiful book features 100 carefully chosen images from the graphic arts, each representing a colour palette for every year of the 20th century. The images are taken from a variety of sources including magazines, book covers, adverts, posters, illustrations and postcards. The palettes taken from the images are displayed in a number of ratios, demonstrating the different effects achieved when altering the dominant colour. Ten palettes per decade gives an authentic overview of the colours and trends of an era, making this an ideal historical reference for anyone working in set or interior design, graphic design, illustrations or fashion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

In this installment, super guitarist Miloš Karadaglić tackles the Beatles with guest appearances by people as varying as Steven Isserlis and Tori Amos. Violin and piano pieces are also featured, plus an ode to water through music.

ClassicalrecentMar16a1 Blackbird: The Beatles Album. Performed by Miloš Karadaglić (guitar).
“After delighting audiences with the core-classical heritage of the guitar in his three previous albums, award-winning guitarist Milos Karadaglic now makes a thrilling new departure. He performs innovative new arrangements of songs by the Beatles, collaborating with celebrated artists from the pop, jazz, classical and world music fields, including Tori Amos, Anoushka Shankar, Gregory Porter, Sergio Assad and Steven Isserlis. Songs include Blackbird, Come Together, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eleanor Rigby, Fool on the Hill and many others. The album was recorded in the famous Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded almost all of their songs. The sessions also used some of the original microphones…” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentMar16a3 Violin Concertos, Korngold, Britten. Performed by Vilde Frang with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (James Gaffigan conducting).
“Both concertos on this new disc were written when their composers were exiles in the USA around the time of World War II. The Korngold was completed in 1945, the Britten in 1939. In the course of the 1930s Korngold, an Austrian Jew, had become a prominent Hollywood composer, but could not return to his homeland after 1938; the young Britten, a pacifist, left the UK for New York shortly before the declaration of war in 1939. Both composers had been child prodigies and both concertos are centered aound the key of D, the most ‘natural’ key on the vioin and the tonal focus for the violin concertos fo Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentFeb16b2 Water. Performed by Hélène Grimaud, with Nitin Sawhney.
Water is an evocative, experimental and deeply personal musical project from one of the most captivating pianists of today, Hélène Grimaud, combining her two greatest passions: music and nature…. Grimaud performs great, water-themed romantic and contemporary repertoire, and in addition to these traditional evocations of rivers, lakes, seas, snowflakes and raindrops, Nitin Sawhney’s Transitions are woven into the album’s ‘narrative’ as newly composed reflections upon water as a feature of nature, its spiritual connotations, and its role in the world today” (cover).
ClassicalrecentFeb16a3 Schumann. Performed by Jan Lisiecki with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Antonio Pappano conducting again).
“Jan Lisiecki has dreamt of recording Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Antonio Pappano and his Rome orchestra ever since they first played the piece together in 2012. Their shared experience creates an interpretation of chamber-music-like intimacy. Schumann’s concerto is here presented in a rare pairing with his only other completed works for piano and orchestra.” (Cover)

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Start fresh – Arts Newsletter for January

Welcome to the first Arts newsletter for 2016! There are lots of fantastic, inspiring, and beautiful new books to catch your eye this time around. Gather inspiration for building your home, take up a new craft, discover your new favourite artist, and listen to some classical music while you’re at it.

Library News

Art

We kick of the new year with this smorgasbord of recent picks. There is even a pocket guide to our fair city’s public art in the mix. My personal standouts are Postdigital artisans and Maya Lin Topologies for combinations of imagery and concepts.

Syndetics book cover Postdigital artisans / author, Jonathan Openshaw.
“Digital technology has irreversibly changed how we see, think and act. A staggering number of us spend as much as half our waking hours online. As we are drawn deeper into a symbiotic relationship with the digital, there is also a growing desire for more tactile, immersive experiences. It’s in this context that today’s “postdigital artisans” operate. Inescapably influenced by the digital world, they nonetheless reject strictly screen-based design and total reliance on automated production, such as 3D printing. They advocate a return to craft, with objects made from clay, metal, glass and wood. They neither turn their backs on technology nor glorify nostalgia, but the high-tech honeymoon is over.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Maya Lin : topologies / foreword by John McPhee ; essays by Michael Brenson, William L. Fox, Paul Goldberger, Philip Jodidio, Maya Lin, Lisa Philips, and Dava Sobel ; index by Tan Lin.
“This is the first comprehensive monograph on the acclaimed American artist and architect, known for her environmental works and memorials that distill a tranquil yet texturally rich minimalism. Maya Lin is one of the most important public artists of this century. From the moment she entered the national spotlight with her design for the Vietnam Memorial, Lin has been proposing ways of thinking and imagining that resist categories, genres, and borders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art & about : a pocket guide to Wellington’s public art / Frances Sutton ; with photos by Helena Fierlinger.
“Wellingtonians and visitors love the city’s profusion of public art. Complete with maps and photos to help you uncover even the most hidden treasures, this book tells you about each work and the artist who made it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Strange tools : art and human nature / Alva Noë.
“In his new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noë raises a number of profound questions: What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Drawing on philosophy, art history, and cognitive science, and making provocative use of examples from all three of these fields, Noë offers new answers to such questions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

This month’s picks feature a number of sewing books, perfect for aiding those New Year’s resolutions!

Syndetics book cover The artful year : celebrating the seasons and holidays with family arts and crafts / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Handmade interiors / project editor, Laura Palosuo.
Handmade Interiors is the most comprehensive guide to soft furnishings and home sewing projects on the market. Handmade Interiors leads you through sewing projects such as how to sew curtains, a cushion cover or a Roman blind using step-by-step instructions and images. Compiled by experts in home design who offer advice on fabrics and variations to tailor to your specific home decoration needs. The easy to follow format makes this the perfect guide for novices and experts alike, covering the whole process of creating professional looking furnishings, from measuring, all the way through to installing your finished project.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month’s selections include well-known design icons, and inspiration for your home kitchen design. Plus, there’s a great book of infographics about architecture. Enjoy!

Syndetics book cover London in Fifty Design Icons
“In this new series, the Design Museum looks at the fifty design icons of major cities around the world – icons that, when viewed together, inherently sum up the spirit of their city. Covering everything from buildings and monuments to a graffiti mural or an item of clothing, we are able to build up an intricate portrait of a city, layer by layer. From its long-serving Routemaster buses and world-famous tube map to the miniskirts of the swinging sixties and the imposing silhouette of Battersea Power Station, London is a tapestry of design masterpieces. Join Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, as he unravels the visual history of one of our most complex and intriguing cities.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Kitchen Kulture / edited by Michelle Galindo, Sven Ehmann, and Robert Klanten.
“Whether traditional, Nordic, or futuristic, the kitchen is the new living room–a place to cook, eat, and celebrate. This book showcases the latest interiors and kitchen concepts. Whether large or small, modern or rustic, the kitchen has become the center of all the action. What was once a pragmatically designed place for food preparation has now become a stage on which the act of cooking and eating is celebrated as a social event. Kitchen Kulture is an insightful survey of new, established, and unconventional ideas in contemporary kitchen design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Archi-graphic : an infographic look at architecture / Frank Jacobus.
“This informative and engaging book uses a variety of inventive infographics to compare the range of materials and colours used by different architects, who influenced who, and which architects are the most discussed. It also approaches architecture from more unconventional angles with spreads that show the kinds of architecture favoured by dictators, the defining facial features of famous architects and so on. Irreverent and entertaining, this book will appeal to all those with an interest in architecture or infographics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Worship : a history of New Zealand church design / text, Bill McKay ; photography, Jane Ussher.
“A striking tribute to the diversity of New Zealand church architecture, Worship brings together early country churches, grand cathedrals and modernist designs in a unique survey of some of our most compelling architectural landmarks. Architectural historian Bill McKay thoughtfully explores the history of church building in New Zealand over the past 200 years while award winning photographer Jane Ussher captures an extraordinary array of churches the length of the country.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

A few new pieces for the new year:

ClassicalrecentJan16a1 1615: Gabrieli in Venice. Performed by The Choir of King’s College.
The King’s College choir is joined by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts (on reliably period instruments) and corralled by Stephen Cleobury in a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of this collection of Gabrieli’s works and the 500th anniversary of the completion of the King’s College chapel (where the recording took place). This is, we are told, the first classical album to be recorded using Dolby Atmos technology. So where you were during the recording is where you will be in the listening. The album contains a hybrid SACD and also a pure audio Blu-ray disc (Dolby Atmos on Blu-ray must be a bit special).
ClassicalrecentJan16a3 Néère. Performed by Véronique Gens.
Together with pianist Susan Manoff, Veronique Gens (who Presto Classical refers to as the “grande dame of lyric art”) performs a selection of French art songs by Reynaldo Hahn, Henri Duparc and Ernest Chausson.
ClassicalrecentDec15b1 24 Preludes, Barcarolle, Berceuse, Variations Brillantes, Chopin. Performed by Dong Hyek Lim.
“Dazzling South Korean pianist Dong Hyek Lim was a precocious talent who was first recorded by this label in 2001 becoming the youngest pianist to record for them. Since then he has grown into a mature artist and balances his building performance career (particularly around Asia) with life in New York and studies with the great Emmanuel Ax. He is the laureate of several international competitions including the Hamamatsu, Chopin and Tchaikovsky competitions as well as the Long-Thibaud International Piano Competition when in 2001 he became the youngest ever winner of the Premier Grand Prix. With this album Dong Hyek returns to the music of Chopin, a composer close to his heart” (amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentDec15a2 The New Four Seasons, Vivaldi. Performed by Nigel Kennedy and members of the Orchestra of Life.
2014 marked 25 years since Nigel Kennedy brought The Four Seasons to the masses (25 years!). The haircut hasn’t changed much but this version is souped up a bit, featuring an electric violin, which might be polarising?
“Everybody moves on artistically. So this is a representation of everything I hear in the music and I think I’m well placed to do this because I’ve played The Four Seasons in front of so many audiences, possibly thousands of times. I really love this music and want to give it as much as I can. I hope that this new approach brings you a different and deeper enjoyment of this amazing music.” (Nigel Kennedy, cover)

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Art to inspire you – November Arts eNewsletter

We’ve had lots of exciting new material lately; from seasonal crafts and women artists, to graphic design education and tiny house living, plus some exciting new classical music additions. Hopefully you will find something new to delve into!

Art

From a marketing take on the idea of the artist, through to artist biopics and more; this month’s picks feature a range of art and artists.

Syndetics book cover The art of the con : the most notorious fakes, frauds, and forgeries in the art world / Anthony M. Amore.
“Anthony M. Amore’s The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons, incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it’s an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Women Artists : The Linda Nochlin Reader
“Linda Nochlin is one of the most accessible, provocative, and innovative art historians of our time. In 1971 she published her essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”–a dramatic feminist call-to-arms that called traditional art historical practices into question and led to a major revision of the discipline. This Reader brings together twenty-nine essential essays from throughout Nochlin’s career, making this the definitive anthology of her writing about women in art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Colour in the making : from old wisdom to new brilliance / [Philip Ball, Mark Clarke and Carinna Parraman]
Colour in the Making is a visual history of art and design told through the materials of color-from the discovery and use of early earth pigments through lakes to organic chemistry and into contemporary dyes, inks, printing techniques and manufacture. Throughout this sumptuously colorful book artists’ and designers’ projects illustrate the often behind the scenes inventions and processes of color-making.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Barbara Hepworth: Writings and Conversations [hardback]
“This first collection reveals the remarkably eloquent writings and conversations of sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) spanning almost the whole of Hepworth’s artistic life. Her gift for language and desire to communicate to a public are evident throughout. The collection sheds new light on Hepworth’s life, her artistic practices, the sources of her inspiration, the breadth of her intellectual interests, and her deep engagement with contemporary politics and society.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

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Craft

There’s nothing more satisfying than making Christmas cards and gifts for your family and friends and you will find lots of new library books, packed with magical ideas and inspiration to help you make this season special.

Syndetics book cover Half yard Christmas : easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric / Debbie Shore.
“Are you craving a crafty, creative Christmas? Let Debbie Shore show you how to create all the accessories you’ll need in the latest addition to her best-selling Half Yard series. Featuring six themed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids – there’s something for everyone: you can select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match throughout your home. With over 30 simple, stylish projects requiring only half yards of fabric, this book will have you feeling festive in no time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The art of slip-stitch knitting : techniques, stitches, projects / Faina Goberstein & Simona Merchant-Dest.
“Slip stitch is one of the simplest and most versatile knitting techniques, but it’s often overlooked. The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting is a modern and thorough take on this technique that delivers beautiful colorwork and gorgeous textures–with minimal effort. A complete overview covers all the basics of slip-stitch knitting. Forty stitch patterns, many of which are reversible, stretch the boundaries of slip stitch. Sixteen original projects for cardigans, pullovers, hats, bags, scarves, and more showcase the versatility of slip stitch by using it as an allover pattern or accent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month features books on using design to sell, explain and inspire, the history of spots and stripes, and inspirational interiors of UK ex-council homes, plus more unique topics.

howto How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world / Michael Bierut.
“Protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli and partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut has had one of the most varied careers of any living graphic designer. He provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Inspiring, informative and authoritative, How to… is set to be the bible of graphic design ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Patternalia : an unconventional history of polka dots, stripes, plaid, camouflage, & other graphic patterns / Jude Stewart.
“We wake up in the morning and put on our striped socks and our plaid shirts, sit down to breakfast at a gingham tablecloth, perhaps eyeing the wallpaper with its fleur-de-lis. Patterns are everywhere–yet they can go unnoticed. In fact, every pattern is a story, a surprisingly deep trove of historical information and cultural associations. From camouflage to keffiyeh, plaid to paisley, Patternalia plumbs the backstories of individual patterns, the surprising kinks in how each developed, the parallels between patterns natural and invented, and the curious personalities these patterns accrue over time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Style council : inspirational interiors in ex-council homes / Sarah Thompson ; foreword by Wayne Hemingway, MBE.
Style Council brings together an inspirational and eclectic selection of interiors from a generation of homeowners who are redefining the status of local-authority architecture. From covetable apartments in hip Brutalist high-rises to rural cottages with roses around the door, Style Council peeks behind the curtains of the often unappreciated former council home, into the lives of the creative and resourceful people who live there. Style Council is an essential sourcebook and a goody-bag of ideas for anyone wanting to do up their home – ex-council or not – in style.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover The Education of a Graphic Designer, by Steven Heller (eBook)
“Revised and updated, this compelling collection of essays, interviews, and course syllabi is the ideal tool to help teachers and students keep up in the rapidly changing field of graphic design. Top designers and educators talk theory, offer proposals, discuss a wide range of educational concerns—such as theory versus practice, art versus commerce, and classicism versus postmodernism—and consider topics such as emerging markets, shifts in conventions, global impact, and social innovation. Building on the foundation of the original book, the new essays address how graphic design has changed into an information-presenting, data-visualization, and storytelling field rooted in art and technology.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Syndetics book cover Small house living / Catherine Foster.
“Smart, space-efficient houses are becoming the way of the future. Small House Living showcases an inspiring collection of homes measuring less than 90m2 from around New Zealand. Family homes, baches and apartments are included in the line-up; all of them demonstrating ingenious ways to reduce space and cut costs within a design-enriched environment. Small House Living is a book in tune with the current preoccupation with creating affordable housing solutions. Anyone interested in living well with less will find inspiration in the compact yet highly considered homes featured.” (Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover Architects’ Houses, by Stephen Crafti (eBook)
Architects’ Houses offers an insight into how contemporary architects live in the homes they have designed specifically for themselves and their family: from warehouses to apartments, from an entirely new build to a substantial renovation. In the absence of a ‘client’ and a formal brief, architects can be truly adventurous, exploring groundbreaking, unconventional ideas and materials in designing their own houses. Architects’ Houses also explores the things that didn’t quite go to plan. Their insights and journeys will appeal to those looking for fresh ideas that go beyond the traditional offerings by architects.” (Overdrive description)

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Classical Music

This week, The Rite of Spring with a rather hypnotic cover, some Romantic piano music, Czech (and French) cello, and a symphonic master.

ClassicalrecentNov15a1 Le Sacre du Printemps (1947 version), Stravinsky. Performed by MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis conducting.
“Destined to become the ultimate reference recording of Stravinsky’s iconic work, Currentzis and MusicAeterna give the music the authentic Russian treatment – stripping back the Western European symphonic traditions of the past century, to return to the intended Russian folk origins of the piece. The musicians used scatting and singing in order to practice the rhythms and phrasing of the folk tunes entailed in Le Sacre.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentNov15a2 Four Impromptus, Piano Pieces, Hüttenbrenner Variations, Schubert. Performed by Steven Osborne.
“British pianist Steven Osborne shines in lyrical new performances of seven of Schubert’s greatest late works for piano, Four Impromptus D935 and Three piano pieces D946. Rounding out this program are the extended Huttenbrenner Variations of 1817 named for Schubert’s close friend and fellow pupil of Salieri, Anselm Huttenbrenner.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentOct15b2 String Quartets, op. 18, Beethoven. Performed by the Jerusalem Quartet.
“‘Only now have I learnt how to write quartets properly.’ So wrote Beethoven in 1801, having just finished his first set of string quartets at the surprisingly advanced age of 30. The competition of Haydn and Mozart must have been intimidating for the young composer. Performed here by the Jerusalem Quartet, these six String Quartets Op.18 already display much boldness and originality, from the dramatic echoes of Romeo & Juliet in No.1, to the astonishing programmatic finale of No.6, ‘La Malinconia’” (amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentOct15a3 Violin Sonatas, Telemann. Performed by Arsenale Sonoro.
Including four world premier recordings, this compilation of seven sonatas for violin and continuo (and one fantasia for solo violin) features the group Arsenale Sonoro, with Boris Begelman on violin.

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September Arts eNewsletter

Welcome to the first Arts newsletter for Spring! We have lots of great selections for you to enjoy during the transitional weather.

Library News

Art

This selection zig-zags between pop and cult culture, modernism and minimalism, to advice for practising artists. Curiosity and the lure of materiality makes Magnificent Obsessions (on the objects artists are drawn to collect) a fascinating read and well worth picking up.

Syndetics book cover Mark Wallinger / Sally O’Reilly.
“Painter, sculptor, and video artist Mark Wallinger has created some of the most intelligent and irreverent work of the last 25 years. Winner of the Turner Prize in 2007, Wallinger is well known for his 50-meter sculpture of a white horse standing in the English countryside and a multipart work, Labyrinth , made for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Like all titles in this series, the book has 100 color illustrations and a new interview with the artist.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Magnificent obsessions : the artist as collector / editorial coordination, Lincoln Dexter.
“This unique and revealing book probes the aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting and shows how objects can influence and reflect their owners’ work. A lead essay examines the reasons why artists collect, attempting to understand the relationship between the objects artists amass and the works they make, and contributions by or on each of the artists reflect on the personal significance of collecting habits.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Drawing and painting : materials and techniques for contemporary artists / [Kate Wilson]
“Bursting with practical techniques, engaging artist profiles and inspirational galleries, Drawing & Painting combines an authoritative category killer approach with a contemporary aesthetic guaranteed to appeal to all artists.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Māori art : history, architecture, landscape and theory / Rangihiroa Panoho ; with photographs by Mark Adams & Haruhiko Sameshima.
“This book presents a unique focus on Maori art by exploring the connection between the traditional and contemporary, and the place of Maori art within an international context. Maori Art provides a framework for looking at Maori art in a new way and fills a gap in Maori art history – while there are myriad surveys of Maori art there is currently very little critical writing on Maori art and artists.”(Adapted syndetics summary)

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Craft

Draw creative energy from this delightful collection of new books including knitting designs for every season and clever sewing projects. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Sew organized for the busy girl : tips to make the most of your time & space : 23 quick and clever sewing projects you’ll love / Heidi Staples.
“Fit sewing into your busy lifestyle with practical tips that will help you put hours back on the clock Heidi Staples, a creative mom of three, will help you organize your sewing space and works-in-progress so they are ready to roll at a moment s notice. Revive your creative life and make the most of your time with easy-to-implement advice. Stitch up 23 projects, ranging from handcrafted quilts to home decor, children’s gifts, and attractive storage cases. With an arsenal of time-savers, you ll finally finish those projects while enjoying a little “you” time at the sewing machine.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Learn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. While the ten Learn to Crochet projects guide you through the most basic crochet techniques, the ten Love to Crochet garments provide all the inspiration and know-how you need to really master this highly versatile craft. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Knit wear love : foolproof instructions for knitting your best-fitting sweaters ever in the styles you love to wear / Amy Herzog ; photography by Karen Pearson
“In Knit Wear Love , Amy Herzog guides us through picking a base pattern that not only works for our inherent shape, but also suits our size and style–all with the skill of a top-notch teacher and designer and the honesty and humor of a BFF. Known for her uncanny ability to simplify what might initially seem complex, Herzog masterminded for Knit Wear Love an easy mix-and-match pattern system that allows us to choose among the eight key sweater forms; eight fashion styles; a trove of customization details; ten sizes; and three gauges of yarn. The result? Sweaters we can knit with confidence, wear with pride, and love for many years to come.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The quilter’s practical guide to color / Becky Goldsmith.
“Did you know that the biggest struggle for quilters of all types is color selection? Unlock the secrets to winning color combinations from best-selling author Becky Goldsmith of Piece O Cake Designs. Learn how every quilt has a foreground and a background, how to use clear versus gray colors plus other essentials that will shake up your design process. Quilters of all skill levels will appreciate Becky s practical, easy-to-understand advice. Put your newfound knowledge to the test with 10 pieced and appliqued projects designed to focus on specific aspects of color. Includes visual examples to explain all color topics.”” (Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month’s picks feature a variety of graphic design best-of compilations. On the architecture side, Open Source Architecture reconsiders architecture as a collaborative process.

Syndetics book cover Collector’s edition : innovative packaging and graphics / Stuart Tolley ; photography by Ivan Jones.
“This global survey of graphic design innovation brings together over 170 examples from the worlds of music, book publishing, and magazines that have been released as collector’s, limited, or deluxe editions. It includes a broad spectrum of work, formats, and genres, ranging from editions of albums by international recording artists including Coldplay and Radiohead, to ultra-rare and expensive publications such as ‘The Vatican Secret Archives’, handbound in the Vatican studio and produced in an edition of just thirty-three copies (three of which were reserved for the Pope). Each section also includes interviews with designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and Stanley Donwood to gain their views and insights on why the materiality and tactility of printed packaging are more important than ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Logo design / ed. Julius Widedmann.
“A good logo can glamorize just about anything. This sweeping compendium gathers diverse brand markers from around the world to explore the irrepressible power of graphic representation. The catalog explores how text, image, and ideas distil into a logo across events, fashion, media, music, and retailers. Featuring work from both star names and lesser-known mavericks, this is an excellent reference for students and professionals in design and marketing, as well as for anyone interested in the visuals and philosophy behind brand identity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Open source architecture / Carlo Rotti with Matthew Claudel.
Open Source Architecture is a visionary manifesto for the architecture of tomorrow that argues for a paradigm shift from architecture as a means of supporting the ego-fueled grand visions of “starchitects” to a collaborative, inclusive, network-driven process inspired by twenty-first-century trends such as crowd-sourcing, open access, and mass customization. The question is how collaborative design can avoid becoming design-by-committee. Authors Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel navigate this topic nimbly, considering the applications of open-source architecture not only conceptually but also in practice. Open Source Architecture is an important new work on the frontlines of architectural thought and practice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Parthenon enigma / Joan Breton Connelly.
“Since the Enlightenment, the Parthenon–the greatest example of Athenian architecture–has been venerated as the definitive symbol of Western democratic values. Here, Joan Breton Connelly challenges this conventional wisdom, drawing on previously undiscovered sources to present a revolutionary new view of this peerless building. Reaching back across time to trace the Parthenon’s story from the laying of its foundation, Connelly finds its true meaning not in the rationalist ideals we typically associate with Athens but in a vast web of ceaseless cultic observances and a unique mythic identity, in which democracy in our sense of the word would have been inconceivable.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

This month we have a great selection of new classical music, featuring a number of piano pieces.

ClassicalrecentSep15a2 Piano Sonatas, volume 5, Beethoven. Performed by Angela Hewitt.
The sonatas in this volume are number 2, 5, 24 and 31. “Angela Hewitt has been much praised in her earlier recordings of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and now turns her passion and scholarship to four more works spanning the composer’s career, the Piano Sonatas Ops.2, 10, 78 and 110. As ever, Angela’s accompanying notes provide fascinating insights into both the music and her performances.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentSep15a3 Symphony No. 1, Bruckner. Performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Japp van Zweden.
“A new installment in Jaap van Zweden’s successful series devoted to Bruckner’s symphonies. Among the versions issued by Bruckner, the conductor has chosen the so-called Linzer, dated 1866.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentAug15b2 Symphony No. 10, Philip Glass. Performed by the Bruckner Orchester Linz, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
This is the first available CD recording of Glass’ 10th symphony (first performed in 2012, recorded here in September 2013). Included on this disc is the Concert Overture (2012), commissioned for the bicentennial of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which Glass therefore called “An homage to the Tchaikovsky… What I was looking for is a kind of energy found in the Tchaikovsky, a kind of sweeping flow of music” (cover).
ClassicalrecentAug15a4 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Will Todd. Performed by Opera Holland Park.
“11-year-old Alice lives in the not terribly exciting town of Grimthorpe. On a boring Wednesday in the summer holidays Alice’s family, wandering around town, gets caught in a downpour. They rush into the nearest shelter, which turns out to be a pet shop – much to Alice’s parents’ delight. Alice is lost in a daydream of exotic holidays…Suddenly she is jolted out of her reverie by one of the animals – a white rabbit – who starts talking to her… Opera Holland Park’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a family opera by composer Will Todd and librettist Maggie Gottlieb, comes to CD for the first time after two critically praised runs in 2013 and 2014.” (amazon.com)

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Arts Newsletter – March 2015

Library News

Art

These recent additions to our library collection have a contemporary and urban focus. Of particular note is John Tusa’s “Pain in the Arts” highlighting the political controversies the arts continually face and the battles it continues to fight. Despite economic downturns and political agendas he argues for the sake of excellence and the value of art and its place in our society.

Syndetics book cover Weak messages create bad situations: a manifesto
“Weak messages create bad situations. Strong messages create good situations. Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley is here to help.
Shrigley has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, at the MoMA in New York, and in Paris, Berlin, Melbourne and beyond. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013 and lives and works in Glasgow.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Art in time : a world history of styles and movements / project editor, Tom Melick.
“An essential guide to art styles and movements and a history of world art from the present day to Greek antiquity, this book places the reader in the art historian’s seat, offering an opportunity to work backwards from our own time and reconnect the dots, or even find new dots to connect.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Talk about street art / Jérome Catz ; translated from the French by Anna Hiddleston-Galloni.
“Graffiti and street art have long been part of our visual culture. The artist’s engagement and state of mind are important components of street art; the book covers topics such as anonymity, the art form’s dangerous nature, codes of conduct, and ideological engagement, as well as the interface of street art with contemporary art, pop surrealism, toy art, and music and sport. Street art is found on every continent, and the book gives focus to each country and its own modes of expression and specificities.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Comics unmasked : art and anarchy in the UK / Paul Gravett, John Harris Dunning.
“Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning look beyond the notion of comics as pleasure reading to focus on their inherently anarchic nature. Combing the British Library’s extensive comic collection not only to explore the full potential of the medium they have also singled out the critical points in history in which the art form challenged the status quo. Comics Unmasked explores the political and social issues raised by British comics and their creators over the last century, from violence and drugs to class and sexuality.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Pain in the arts / John Tusa.
“Over a distinguished career in cultural leadership, management and journalism spanning almost 30 years, John Tusa has amassed a unique experience of the arts world, the political controversies it faces and the battles it continues to fight. Tusa addresses the controversies in the arts that must be resolved so urgently today, including the ever-flowing arguments on whether they should be useful before they are excellent. He gives guidance on how the arts can survive in the downturn and explains why the case must always be made that they deserve special treatment.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Craft

Welcome to this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring many clever and creative ideas! Experiment with different types of wool and learn how to embellish old fabrics transforming them into beautiful scarves, soft toys and more. Read about fantastic ways how to make beautiful things that work for you and your family. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Felt so good : 70+ felted and plain wool designs for you and your home / by Tone Rørseth ; translated from the Norwegian by Margaret Berge Hartge.
“A wonderful collection of designs for clothing, accessories, and items for your home from Norwegian designer Tone Rørseth. Wool is a wonderfully versatile material, which makes these designs easily accessible for crafters of all levels. The book presents instructions for felting wool, as well as a guide to purchasing different types of ready-made felt. Included are several projects made from upcycled wool sweaters, mittens, and hats, including handbags, dog sweaters, and wrist warmers. Rørseth’s designs are whimsical and fun, and most can be made in an evening or a week-end. She has even included a section dedicated to holiday decorations such as garlands, tree ornaments, and table decor.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beautiful wreaths & garlands : 35 projects to decorate your home for all seasons & occasions / Cathering Woram.
“Get inspired to decorate your home with these charming wreaths and garlands. Whether you are looking for something to make from all of the plants you gather in your garden or to use scraps of paper and fabric you have collected, you will be sure to find a project for every occasion and celebration innbsp;Beautiful Wreaths and Garlands.nbsp;In five chapters on natural, fabric, paper, mixed-media, and holiday wreaths and garlands, Catherine Woram shows you how to make a succulent wreath so you can bring nature indoors, a scented herb garland to hang in the kitchen, a wreath made of paper leaves cut out of vintage books, a delicate pine wreath to hang above your table at Christmas, and many more simple ways to make your home look really special.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Craft a creative business / Fiona Pullen.
“A complete must-read guide for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business. Covering everything you ever wanted to know, Fiona gives clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. The book includes sections on product photography, branding. and legal matters. The book has particular emphasis on online selling, with detailed information onmarkets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search engine optimisation). Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Crochet ever after : 18 crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales / Brenda K. B. Anderson.
“Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red’s hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she’s being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case. Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids’ clothes, and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Chunky knits : 31 projects for you & your home knit with bulky yarn / Ashley Little.
“Here’s the secret of bulky yarns – they knit up quickly. This attractive book features more than 25 patterns that use bulky- or superbulky-weight yarn, and the great thing about them is that they are not the usual suspects. Yes, there are hats, mittens, and scarves and shawls, but there are also a delicate-looking lace capelet, a scalloped necklace, and even a lacy lampshade covering. Knitters looking for instant gratification will find it in smaller projects: braided wall art, jewelry, and round, cabled sachets.” (Booklist)
Syndetics book cover Playful : fun projects to make with + for kids / Merrilee Liddiard ; photographs by Nicole Hill Gerulat.
Playful : fun projects to make with + for kids is a charming collection of 26 unique, modern projects for parents (and other adults) to make for young children as well as an exciting assortment of projects that kids preschool age and up can make alongside an adult. Divided into five categories–Dress Up, Toys, Paper Crafts, Repurposing and Art–the low-skill/high-style/low-cost projects include fair maiden and knight dress-up smocks, a tiger pinata, a parade of paper puppets, a convoy of trucks, a dollhouse made out of cardboard and bright duct tape, an art table, a cloth trapeze doll and wooden pencil holders. Templates for artwork shown on projects are included with step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions. Authored by Merrilee Liddiard and photographed by Nicole Gerulat, this enchanting book is sure to inspire many happy hours of making–as well as make-believe–among adults and the children they love. (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

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Design

This month’s selection of new Design & Architecture books features topics ranging from logo design to responsive web design to architectural wonders that will shape the future of our planet. There are plenty of inspiring books to choose from for budding graphic designers, as well as plenty of interest to those fascinated by architectural design and history.

Syndetics book cover Logo design love : a guide to creating iconic brand identities / from David Airey.
“In Logo Design Love , David shows you how to develop an iconic brand identity from start to finish, using client case studies from renowned designers. In the process, he reveals how designers create effective briefs, generate ideas, charge for their work, and collaborate with clients. David not only shares his personal experiences working on identity projects, he also uses the work of many well-known designers such as Paula Scher, who designed the logos for Citi and Microsoft Windows, as well as work from leading design studios. In Logo Design Love , you’ll learn best practices for extending a logo into a complete brand identity system, why one logo is more effective than another, how to create your own iconic designs and much more.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art deco mailboxes : an illustrated design history / Karen Greene & Lynne Lavelle.
“Mailboxes and their chutes were once as essential to the operation of any major hotel, office, civic, or residential building as the front door. In time they developed a decorative role, in a range of styles and materials, and as American art deco architecture flourished in the 1920s and 1930s they became focal points in landmark buildings and public spaces: the GE Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Woolworth Building, 29 Broadway and many more. While many mailboxes have been removed, forgotten, disused, or painted over (and occasionally repurposed), others are still in use, are polished daily, and hold a place of pride in lobbies throughout the country.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover There’s not an app for that : mobile user experience design for life / Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden, Matt Jones.
There’s Not an App for That will make your work stand out from the crowd. It walks you through mobile experiences, and teaches you to evaluate current UX approaches, enabling you to think outside of the screen and beyond the conventional. You’ll find special sections on “challenging your approach”, as well as a series of questions you can use to critique and evaluate your own designs. [This book] provides you with new and innovative ways to think about mobile design and includes future mobile interfaces and interactions, complete with real-world, applied information that teaches you how today’s mobile services can be improved.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Responsive web design with Adobe Photoshop
“For a couple of decades now, designers have used Photoshop to mock up Web page designs. However, that work generally results in a static graphic of the page, which has to be translated by a developer into the components of a Web page. Our multi-device world has shown us that this approach to web design is increasingly problematic. Modern web designers are adopting a new approach: creating flexible web pages whose layout can adapt to suit the screen on which they are displayed. This is “Responsive Web Design” [RWD]. This new book is aimed at the visual Web designer who’s accustomed to working in Photoshop. In addition, Rose will introduce methods for taking HTML back into Photoshop for further refinement.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Design museum: fifty modern buildings that changed the world
“The history of modern architecture is as diverse as it is beautiful, varying wildly from region to region and era to era. Here Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, explores 50 of the most significant and striking buildings in the world, from the modernist aesthetic of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye to the eye-catching flair of Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters. Contents include: Villa Savoye, Poissy Rockefeller Center, New York Eames House, Los Angeles Montreal Biosphere, Montreal Pompidou Centre, Paris Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Beijing Olympic Stadium, Beijing Selfridges, Birmingham… and many more.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Make your own luck : a DIY attitude to graphic design & illustration / Kate Moross ; foreword by Neville Brody.
“From art school student to designer for Nike, Topshop, and Google, Kate Moross has lived the life that young graphic artists dream of. But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, and in this informative memoir and guide Moross offers true insider’s tips on how to make it in a highly competitive field. Written in an approachable, forthright, and refreshingly honest tone, Make Your Own Luck features chapters on how to thrive in art school, developing your own style, how to self-promote, and when to consider working for free. Irreverent and packed with helpful tips for designers of all stripes, Make Your Own Luck is certain to become an indispensable guide for anyone interested in graphic art as a vocation or hobby.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

This week we (well, I really) discovered what a musical wizard Hindemith was.

ClassicalrecentMar15a1 Serenades, Johannes Brahms. Performed by Gewandhausorchester with Riccardo Chailly conducting.
“Following the award-winning set of the Brahms symphonies, Riccardo Chailly turns his ‘rare talent for transforming music ripe for discovery’ to Brahms’s Serenades. For Chailly, ‘all music must aspire to be “new music” again’. This recording renews these unjustly neglected works in performances of ‘trademark clarity’ (Gramophone Record of the Year 2014)”—Cover.
ClassicalrecentMar15a2 Sonatas for…, Paul Hindemith. Performed by various solo instrumentalists, with Alexander Melnikov (piano).
“Hindemith composed more than 30 sonatas for the most diverse instruments – all of which he was capable of playing himself! This fascinating selection of works written between 1935 (when he became persona non grata in Nazi Germany) and 1948 (the brilliant Cello Sonata for Piatigorsky) is played by some of today’s finest soloists, with the guiding spirit of Alexander Melnikov at the piano. How often does one hear a sonata for Althorn? Especially one published along with a poem by the composer?”—Cover.
ClassicalrecentMar15a3 Symphony No. 1 and Cockaigne Overture, Edward Elgar. Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko conducting.
“Elgar’s First Symphony was a personal triumph for the composer, who said, ‘I hold that the symphony without a programme is the highest development of art.’ Wonderfully scored, opulent and highly personal, it was the culmination of many years of creative struggle with the symphonic form. ‘… almost terrifying in its greatness,’ commented one dignitary at the premiere in 1908; ‘the greatest symphony of modern times, by the greatest modern composer,’ said conductor Hans Richter”—Cover.

We have also recently received:

Horn Concertos, and Horn Quintet, Mozart. Performed by Pip Eastop (natural horn).
Piano Works, Clara and Robert Schumann. Performed by Imogen Cooper.
Piano Concerto, and Piano Concerto no. 3, Scriabin and Medtner. Performed by Yevgeny Subdin (piano).

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Arts and Crafts Newsletter: June 2014

Welcome to the latest Arts and Crafts Newsletter. This month’s picks are a beautiful selection of inspirational titles to keep your creative side burning as the days get cooler.

Library News

Art

Stunning new art books for winter reading include Brancusi, Indiana, and Warhol.

Syndetics book coverCitizen Warhol / Blake Stimson.
“From his life to his work, Andy Warhol is an enigma. The leading figure of the pop art movement, Warhol created paintings, films, performance art, and his famous studio, the Factory, in New York City. Fans, aficionados, enthusiasts, experts, and critics alike have tried to make sense of Warhol, creating a wealth of knowledge and speculation. Blake Stimson builds on this project in this gorgeously illustrated book, which brings new attention to the philosophical and creative influences behind Warhol’s life and work.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe essential Robert Indiana / Martin Krause, John Wilmerding.
“Decoding Robert Indiana’s work for a new generation, this revelatory book explores previously unknown autobiographical elements in the work of the Pop artist and printmaker. Famously proclaiming himself to be “an American painter of signs,” Robert Indiana has created an enormous body of work, much of it boldly colored abstractions. In this incisive new examination of the artist, based on ongoing conversations with Indiana, art historian Martin Krause sifts through autobiographical clues within the artist’s work and finds a wealth of affecting and affectionate references to Indiana’s childhood, literary heroes, and the cultural icons of his generation.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrancusi New York, 1913-2013 / text by Jérôme Neutres.
“The pure, abstract sculptures made by Constantin Brancusi have had a large and enthusiastic audience in New York ever since they were first shown on American soil at the 1913 Armory Show. The numerous American collectors, muses, friends, and exhibitions that enabled his success had a profound influence on the eccentric Romanian artist who lived in Paris… Over the last one hundred years his effect on the city’s art scene has never waned. Through stunning archival images and text by art curator Jerome Neutres, Brancusi New York tells the story of the mutually beneficial relationship between the sculptor and the Big Apple.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

Find lots of inspiration and practical ideas in our latest library craft books. Start your crafting adventure reading about artists who are enjoying sharing their knowledge and ideas with young crafters about knitting, crocheting, sewing, stitching and hand weaving – without spending a fortune! A fantastic way to learn how to make beautiful things that work for you and your family, satisfy your creative urge and have fun!

Syndetics book coverStitch and structure / Jean Draper.
“Diagrams, drawings and easy-to-follow instructions take the reader through each technique; beginning with recording information for translation into stitch, then moving on to constructing with threads and linear structures and making experimental textiles and structures using stitched fabrics.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverKnitting with giant needles : simple projects to knit and crochet / Hanna Charlotte Erhorn.
“Enjoy quick and easy knitting and crocheting using giant knitting needles and thick yarns with Knitting with Giant Needles. Use a few relaxing hours on the sofa to catch up with the latest trend of knitting with giant needles and create beautiful and unique accessories for your wardrobe and home in no time. You can choose from 35 gorgeous, inspirational projects to fill your weekends, from scarves and shoulder bags to cushions and blankets. You can even choose from variations of the projects to ensure you get your perfect crafty creation, ideal for creating individual accessories or gifts. Whether you are an experienced knitter or just starting out, step-by-step knitting pictures show basic techniques, making knitting easy for everyone.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverBoycraft : loads of things to make for and with boys (and girls) / Sara Duchars & Sarah Marks ; illustrations by Nicola Kent.
“Duchars and Marks note, “There are plenty of craft books out there for girls, but even the ones that don’t have pink frilly cupcakes on the cover are often full of handbags, fairy wings and princess tiaras.” No such items are on display in this book, which targets “boys and tomboys” with lots of messy, spooky, and recycled crafts; boys will like the can-do attitude of this book. A particular standout is the totally enthralling papier-mache landscape that truly does look like it will offer days of fun. American readers will have to overlook some British English, a small quirk. A larger concern is the haphazard arrangement of the projects. In the sewing chapter, for example, making a large stuffed animal is followed by instructions for making the simpler giant beanbag chair, which is followed by instructions for simplest-of-all beanbags, sequenced in the exact opposite of skill-building order. And directions are far from comprehensive; trying to make the bird feeder Duchars and Marks offer will lead to heartbreak. Still, these low-key projects will inspire outdoorsy kids who might not otherwise be interested in a crafts book.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWise craft : turning thrift store finds, fabric scraps, and natural objects into stuff you love / Blair Stocker.
“Stocker, a blogger who had a career in apparel and textile design before staying home to raise children, offers 60 projects in four seasonal chapters, with holiday nods going out from May Day (sheet music and paper bag floral cones) to Halloween (naked zombie Barbies, painted delightfully white). Most undertakings require only an open mind as a skill set, though a bit of sewing (patchwork jeans from thrift store shirts or the picnic blanket fashioned from men’s apparel) or crochet (glass fishing bobbers as casual decor or tree ornaments) skills will help. Even the most gifted repurposer should find inspiration in the woven chair back, crafted from yarn and a lucky side-of-the-road find (a set of mid-century modern dining chairs). “Sometimes,” says Stocker, “what seems blah at first glance just needs an open mind and a little love to be completely transformed.” A keeper for thrift-store divas and dumpster divers.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMade by yourself : 100% handmade designer DIY projects for the home, from furniture to accessories / Peter Fehrentz.
“DIY is all the rage and handmade objects guarantee individuality and sustainability–and for this reason they have once more become highly sought-after. Made by Yourself’s ideas for furniture and small decorative crafts are 100% individual, while the step-by-step instructions, sketches, and patterns guarantee that they are surprisingly easy and fun to make. The many different kinds of materials–stone, wood, paper/cardboard, glass/porcelain, metal, plastic, textiles and leather–combined with the imaginative ways they fit into their environment make this both a practical and atmospheric book filled with sophisticated and creative ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe art of tinkering : meet 150+ makers working at the intersection of art, science & technology / Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich.
“ Every day, there is something new and wildly wonderful out there that someone has made by hand a city built out of 100,000 toothpicks, a musical instrument that’ s powered by the ocean, or a pop-up book that lights up, too. In “The Art of Tinkering,” you will be introduced to the individuals behind these and many more marvellous works, find out how they create, and get inspired to start tinkering yourself. “The Art of Tinkering” is a collection of exhibits, artwork, and projects that celebrate a whole new way to learn, in which people create their own knowledge through making and doing, working with readily available materials, getting their hands dirty, collaborating with others, problem-solving in the most fun sense of the word, and, yes, oftentimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck. Each artist featured in “The Art of Tinkering” goes through this process, and lovingly shares the back story behind their own work so that readers can feel invited to join in on the whimsy. The stories, lessons, and tips in The Art of Tinkering offer a fascinating portrait of today’s maker scene. (Adapted from Syndetics)

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April Arts Newsletter

Welcome to our April Arts Newsletter – a variety of books overflowing with ideas to warm your imagination as the season chills.

Library News

Art

Our latest Art selections take a look at still life, line drawing, urban street art, and maps.

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (”dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalk the line : the art of drawing / Marc Valli & Ana Ibarra.
“Drawing has always been a fundamental skill and good drawing skills allowed artists to grasp the reality around them. At the turn of the millennium, however, the general impression was that with the wide availability of computers, scanners, digital cameras and image software, drawing would dwindle into a marginal activity. In fact, the opposite happened: the enthusiasm for digital imagery died down and the ability to draw has become a treasured skill. In the art world, attitudes to drawing have also changed. Drawing became a way of making a statement as an artist, of showing masterly skill something that up to then had been most commonly associated with painting. After centuries in the shadow of its more illustrious fine art relatives, drawing started to be appreciated for its own sake, as an art discipline, an end in itself, an art form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt of D*Face: one man and his dog
“D*Face has been a leading figure in urban art for well over a decade. A contemporary of Banksy, he was at the forefront of the urban art movement, and has had a constant presence throughout its meteoric rise into popular culture. This long-awaited monograph shows the development of his career as an artist to date, encompassing his continuing street work, and the path that led him from the early beginnings of the street art genre to multiple sell-out solo exhibitions around the world. Containing previously unseen images of his working process and studio, as well as firsthand anecdotes, and the stories behind his extraordinary work, the book provides an insider’s view of one of Britain’s most important urban artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverA map of the world : according to illustrators & storytellers / edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Hendrik Hellige.
“Maps help us understand the world. This book features the most original and sought-after map illustrators whose work is in line with the zeitgeist. Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large–and to convey them to others… A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

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Craft

It’s been an exiting time for our crafty library team, cataloguing and sorting out all these cool and ‘delicious’ craft books, which are packed with inspiring knitting, quilting, crocheting and sewing projects. If you are ready for an artistic journey then start here.

Syndetics book coverOnce upon a knit : 28 Grimm and glamorous fairy-tale projects / Genevieve Miller. “Iconic fairy-tale characters from storybooks, movies, and television inspire this collection of magical knitting patterns perfect for modern knights, villains, and princesses. Once again, Genevieve Miller taps a wide range of contributors (from knitwear designers to students) to create a collection of 28 wearables, accessories, and toys that can be knit for adults or kids. Inspired by the recent resurgence of fairy-tale and fantasy characters, these projects draw from classic stories as well as pop-culture phenomena featuring romantic, feminine costumes. Projects range from kid- and teen-friendly animals hats to an Alice in Wonderland beret to a crystal-embellished vest fit for a Snow Queen, adding a little dress-up fun to knitters’ everyday wardrobes.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverMade for you : homemade gifts to give / Jenny Occleshaw. “Helps you create gifts for your friends, family and loved ones using your sewing, beading, knitting, crochet, felting and embroidery skills. This book features projects that are divided into the following sections: Gifts for children, ladies, gents and the home. It is suitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book cover “How to show & sell your crafts : how to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace / Torie Jayne. “Online marketplaces like Etsy have opened up a new world for crafters who want to make money from their work, and UK-based Jayne, whose aesthetic is part English country house, part “put a bird on it” quirk, enlists the help of a number of successful craft entrepreneurs for this collection of tips for making a living selling creations. Though the title is presented as a book on showing and selling crafts, it comes across as more of a lifestyle manual, with cutesy projects taking the place of practical advice. Some of Jayne’s suggestions are a little odd-does it really matter if you cover your storage boxes with floral wallpaper, or if the chair you sit in to work is “stylish”?-but her tips on branding will be helpful to those who are new to marketing their wares. Those who have already mastered the basics and are looking to take their fledgling businesses to the next level may prefer Kari Chapin’s Grow Your Handmade Business, which focuses less on making your workspace pretty and more on selling handmade goods as a livelihood. VERDICT Crafters who are just starting out may find some handy tips here, but only if they’re willing to wade through all the style-related fluff to find the nuggets of wisdom.” (Library Journal)

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Design

New in Design is a breathtaking look at Victorian Architect William Burges, back-to-basics refuges for those yearning the quiet life, Alice Rawsthorn’s look at where design meets life, and some furniture and lighting eye candy.

Syndetics book coverWilliam Burges and the high Victorian dream / J. Mordaunt Crook.
“William Burges (1827-81) was arguably the greatest of all Victorian architects. But he was more than just the creator of a modest number of fabulous, and fabulously expensive, buildings. He dreamed of hundreds more, designed dozens, and in addition created some of the most remarkable furniture and jewellery of all time. He was an art-architect. Rich, clever, well connected and short lived, he was uncompromising, profoundly learned, skilled in every process of design and explosively inventive. A brilliant talker, pungent critic and hilarious companion, he was one of Victorian London’s great eccentrics and networkers, though he was bewitched by the Middle Ages. . His furniture, fabric and jewellery designs and his unrealised projects were also hugely influential, and the former are now enthusiastically collected. This book was a landmark in Victorian studies when first published in 1981 and is now completely revised and re-illustrated substantially in colour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHello world : where design meets life / Alice Rawsthorn.
“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When deployed wisely, it can bring us pleasure, choice, strength, decency and much more. But if its power is abused, the outcome can be wasteful, confusing, humiliating, even dangerous. None of us can avoid being affected by design, whether or not we wish to. It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing. Hello World explores design’s influence on our lives. From the macabre symbol with which 18th century pirates terrorised their victims into surrender, to one woman’s quest for the best possible prosthetic legs and the evolution of the World Cup ball, it describes how warlords, scientists, farmers, hackers, activists and professional designers have used the complex, often elusive process of design to different ends throughout history. At a time when we face colossal changes, unprecedented in their speed, scale and intensity – from the deepening environmental crisis, to giant leaps in science and technology – Hello Worldexplains how design can help us to make sense of them and to turn them to our advantage.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverSo far / David Trubridge.
“David Trubridge’s first major international breakthrough came at the 2001 Milan Furniture Fair when his now famous Body Raft was picked up for manufacture by Cappellini, the hugely influential Italian furniture company. Since then he has gone on to produce and sell furniture and lighting throughout the world, and his work has become a staple of design magazines and publications everywhere. He believes that his life and work are one and the same, and consequently this very personal book is a fascinating and insightful look at the progress of his career, his thoughts on the creative process, and crucially his passionate interest in attempting to develop a work practice that is as environmentally sustainable as possible. Beautifully produced, and full of photographs, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in art, design, architecture and creativity.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

New in Classical Music is a look at the birth of Opera, the letters of Leonard Bernstein and Stacy Horn’s Imperfect Harmony.

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe birth of an opera : fifteen masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck / Michael Rose.
“Rose (Berlioz Remembered) draws from a series of BBC radio programs he co-created with Hanns Hammelmann, which aired from 1955 to 1971 and focused on the genesis of 15 operas from the 17th to the 20th centuries. He excerpts contemporary sources such as letters from composers to librettists, as well as the views of conductors, opera house managers, critics, and other luminaries, while filling in the historical context… Accompanying engravings and photographs are illuminating and the bibliography is a useful blend of historic and recent titles.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn (Cyberville), in her reflective memoir of her decades-long participation in the Choral Society of Grace Church in lower Manhattan, delves into works the choir and others like it have sung over the centuries… Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance through the golden age of the 19th century. She also discusses many of the works that endure today, such as those by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mozart…She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

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Arts Newsletter: February 2014

Welcome to the first Arts Newsletter of 2014. This month we have a splendid mix of items focussing on the contemporary and classical. One of the many highlights is a particularly exciting new book in the crafting section, Knit Your Own Zoo. Make sure you get your photos into our Seaweek Display.

Library News

Art

For February, a festival of fabulous new art books:-

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in the United Kingdom / [edited by Black Dog Publishing ; contributors, Nicolas Bourriaud … [et al.]].
“The fifth title in Black Dog Publishing’s Artworld series, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom showcases the wealth of contemporary art being produced in the United Kingdom today. Diverse in content and style, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom features work from artists including, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Fiona Banner, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chris Ofili and Mark Quinn, alongside the work of emerging British artists today. Exploring the phenomenon of the YBA, looking at pre and post-YBA; alongside the growing influence of art fairs such as Frieze and prizes such as the Turner Prize; Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom provides a comprehensive a complexion of the contemporary art scene from all four corners of the British Isles.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (”dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQueen: art & image
“This publication, in association with the National Portrait Gallery in London, follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II documented in photographs and portraits by some of the most important 20th century artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Read more

Craft

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Have fun with yarn and fabric and make use of treasured possessions to create your own piece of history. Look at some enchanting knitting designs of unique accessories, as well as, innovative jewellery, quilting and stitching projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverThe sparkle factory : the design and craft of Tarina’s fashion jewelry and accessories / Tarina Tarantino.
“The cover photograph of celebrity jewelry designer Tarantino will give readers a good idea as to whether her aesthetic suits their tastes. Those whose reaction to her candy-pink hair and bright, oversize, kitschy jewelry is “I love it!” will enjoy this book, while those who think it looks like the aftermath of an unfortunate incident in a costume jewelry factory aren’t the intended audience. Tarantino provides a peek at the steps she took to get her business off the ground, the places she looks to for ideas, and simple projects that reflect her fun-loving credo. The photography is gorgeous; even the images of basic supplies look like still lifes with rhinestones. Furthermore, the projects themselves are easy enough for most crafters to attempt successfully. Verdict? Part collection of projects, part feel-good inspiration, Tarantino’s print debut will appeal to those who believe that there’s no such thing as too much sparkle.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFun with yarn and fabric / Susanna Zacke & Sania Hedengren ; photos by Magnus Selander ; translated by Ellen Hedström.
“A translation of a Swedish crafting book by two authors who are apparently quite prolific in their homeland, this slim volume is wonderfully illustrated with beautiful full-color photographs by Magnus Selander in the Swedish minimalist style that is beloved in the U.S. To this bare stage, the authors add pops of color in the form of eye-catchingly cheerful crocheted projects, including an unusual- and if not quite the “easy” of the title, at least simple-African Flower stole; covers for a car’s headrests; and a stunning Large Granny Squares bedspread. There are also a handful of knitted and embroidered designs, although many of those rely on purchased embroideries. What Zacke and Hedengren don’t offer are detailed instructions, beyond a handful of stitches in the back; one project, a necktie cross-stitched with a phrase, begins, “Think of what you want to write. Cross-stitch patterns for letters can be found online.” Since the materials used are Swedish (and not sourced) and the text is awkwardly translated at times, readers are advised to enjoy the lovely photographs and project ideas and to glean inspiration from them. Full-color photographs.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverChildren’s spaces : from zero to ten / Judith Wilson ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“A brilliant book for design-conscious parents and kids alike! Children’s Spaces helps you to plan all the practical aspects of children’s rooms and provides plenty of affordable ideas and inspiration when it comes to their design and decoration. Judith Wilson looks at rooms for children between birth and ten years old, with chapters on babies’ rooms, rooms for girls, rooms for boys, and shared bedrooms. There are also chapters on sensible storage and areas that children and adults share – bathrooms, play areas, eating areas and outside space. Children’s Spaces contains a wealth of inspiration drawn from the homes of real families, with real kids, which amply proves that children and great design can happily co-exist without compromising on style.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverWoolbuddies : 20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects / Jackie Huang ; photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
“Wool felting is surprisingly easy; all crafters need to get started is a felting needle, a piece of soft foam to use as a felting pad, and some colorful scraps of wool roving. Huang, who began felting so he could make toys for his daughter, has a background in animation, which is apparent in the expressive faces of his creations. The projects are arranged by level of difficulty (simple, moderate, and challenging), and full instructions are presented along with accompanying photographs. Beginners will appreciate the introduction, which provides the basics in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow manner. Verdict? There are many felting books that focus on creating small animal toys, but few contain projects with as much verve as those in this book. Felters will love making these little woolbuddies, and children will enjoy playing with them.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverKnit your own zoo / Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne ; photography by Holly Jolliffe.
“Knitting patterns for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things – they don’t need feeding, they won’t make a mess and they take up hardly any room!” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

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Design

This selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces, to an A – Z overview of architects; there are also themes from history to sustainability.

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces, featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects from A to Z / Paul Cattermole, Simon Forty.
“From Alvar Aalto to Peter Zumthor, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this comprehensive overview introduces readers to the major names, schools and structures in the field of architecture. Each entry focuses on a seminal architect and one of their career-defining works. Arranged alphabetically, the book is easy to use, and the large superbly reproduced full-colour photographs allow one to examine the details of the buildings it celebrates.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe solar house : pioneering sustainbale design / Anthony Denzer
“The Solar House explores the development of solar residential architecture over the course of the twentieth century and up to the latest designs today. The solar house is often understood as a product of the 1970s, and few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard Neutra, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Pietro Belluschi, Edward Durell Stone, and Harwell Hamilton Harris, and continuing with more recent innovations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Read more

Classical Music

Here are our latest classical music books and CDs — featuring the correspondance of Leonard Bernstein, as well as performances of works by composers Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss. Plus, Stacy Horn traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance, through to the golden age of the 19th century in her book, “Imperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others“. We love how she puts the experience of ensemble singing: “a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging”:-)

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn (Cyberville), in her reflective memoir of her decades-long participation in the Choral Society of Grace Church in lower Manhattan, delves into works the choir and others like it have sung over the centuries… Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance through the golden age of the 19th century. She also discusses many of the works that endure today, such as those by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mozart…She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

CDs:

vaughnwilliamsSymphony no. 5 ; Symphony no. 8 / Vaughan Williams. (CD)
“[This] release combines two highly contrasting works to provide a disc which is both moving and uplifting. Symphony No.5 is a generally tranquil work with music influenced by Ravel, with whom Vaughan Williams had studied, and is scored for very traditional forces. Symphony No.8 is dedicated to Sir John Barbirolli and was premièred by the Hallé in 1956.” (Summary courtesy of amazon.co.uk)

alsosprachzarathustraAlso sprach Zarathustra / Richard Strauss. (CD)
“This masterful live recording of Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ is sure to please. The Berlin Philharmonic, as always, play to an exceptionally high standard under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (a young conductor proving he is growing exponentially in his abilities). This popular piece is moody, atmospheric, and rich – well worth a listen.” (Summary by Emily)

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Art Recent Picks for February 2014

For February, a festival of fabulous new art books:-

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in the United Kingdom / [edited by Black Dog Publishing ; contributors, Nicolas Bourriaud … [et al.]].
“The fifth title in Black Dog Publishing’s Artworld series, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom showcases the wealth of contemporary art being produced in the United Kingdom today. Diverse in content and style, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom features work from artists including, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Fiona Banner, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chris Ofili and Mark Quinn, alongside the work of emerging British artists today. Exploring the phenomenon of the YBA, looking at pre and post-YBA; alongside the growing influence of art fairs such as Frieze and prizes such as the Turner Prize; Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom provides a comprehensive a complexion of the contemporary art scene from all four corners of the British Isles.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (“dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEl Greco : life and work – a new history / Fernando Marías; [translated from the Spanish by Paul Edson and Sander Berg].
“Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known to us as El Greco, was one of the seminal figures of the Spanish Golden Age. This magnificent volume, published to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the artist’s death, features superb new photographs of recently cleaned and restored paintings, revealing hitherto unknown facets of his art. He was a painter not only of religious subjects but also of idiosyncratic portraits executed in his own uniquely dramatic and expressionistic style.” (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalk the line : the art of drawing / Marc Valli & Ana Ibarra.
“Drawing has always been a fundamental skill and good drawing skills allowed artists to grasp the reality around them. At the turn of the millennium, however, the general impression was that with the wide availability of computers, scanners, digital cameras and image software, drawing would dwindle into a marginal activity. In fact, the opposite happened: the enthusiasm for digital imagery died down and the ability to draw has become a treasured skill. In the art world, attitudes to drawing have also changed. Drawing became a way of making a statement as an artist, of showing masterly skill something that up to then had been most commonly associated with painting. After centuries in the shadow of its more illustrious fine art relatives, drawing started to be appreciated for its own sake, as an art discipline, an end in itself, an art form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQueen: art & image
“This publication, in association with the National Portrait Gallery in London, follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II documented in photographs and portraits by some of the most important 20th century artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverArt of D*Face: one man and his dog
“D*Face has been a leading figure in urban art for well over a decade. A contemporary of Banksy, he was at the forefront of the urban art movement, and has had a constant presence throughout its meteoric rise into popular culture. This long-awaited monograph shows the development of his career as an artist to date, encompassing his continuing street work, and the path that led him from the early beginnings of the street art genre to multiple sell-out solo exhibitions around the world. Containing previously unseen images of his working process and studio, as well as firsthand anecdotes, and the stories behind his extraordinary work, the book provides an insider’s view of one of Britain’s most important urban artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

NZ Festival

An Invitation to a Special pre-Wellington Arts Festival Event

NZFestivalblogsmall
Wellington City Libraries are pleased to invite you to a special pre-festival event on Friday 14th February at 1.00 pm on the ground floor, Central Library, Victoria Street.

Join us to hear New Zealand Festival Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza (you may have heard her talk to Lynn Freeman on National Radio) about organising this year’s festival and the highlights we can expect. She will also talk about the history of Wellington’s Art Festivals, and some of the wonderful entertainment they provided, a fabulous chance to remember. She will answer any questions you may have.

This event is FREE and will begin at 1.00 pm.

The Festival begins on Friday 21st February and ends on 16th March, with Writers Week beginning on Friday 7th March until Wednesday 12 March.