Blog Archives

Unpleasant truths, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins

Theo Schoon: A Biography
Damian Skinner
Massey University Press, $60.00,
ISBN 9780995100176

Hudson and Halls: The Food of Love
Joanne Drayton
Otago University Press, $50.00,
ISBN 9781988531267

There has long been an uneasiness on the part of local biographers when it comes to homosexual subjects. In literary terms, this can be traced to Michael King’s Frank Sargeson: A Life (1995), the first major biography of this type. King, then not yet a literary biographer, but a consummate researcher of Māori subject matter, demonstrated the standard Kiwi male’s distaste for homosexuality. The result was a tepid and unsatisfying work that has done Sargeson’s cultural longevity no favours. Without any active influential queer voice to argue the contrary, Sargeson entered the canon of modern biography, and King was lauded as the nation’s literary biographer.

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Those are pearls that were his eyes, Lindsay Missen

Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand: 40 Years of Fingers Jewellery Gallery
Damian Skinner and Finn McCahon-Jones
David Bateman, $60.00,
ISBN 9781869538620

Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand
Damian Skinner and Kevin Murray
David Bateman, $70.00,
ISBN 9781869538200

If you have an interest in New Zealand craft jewellery, it’s very likely you’ll enjoy Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand: 40 Years of Fingers Jewellery Gallery. The layout is a scrapbookish mélange of photos of work, reproductions of associated print design, and numerous group shots of the principal craftspeople involved. If you’re old enough to recall the four decades covered, here is a treasure trove of illustrative material to be searched through and remembered.

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

The ocean within, David Eggleton

Art in Oceania: A New History Peter Brunt, Nicholas Thomas, Sean Mallon, Lissant Bolton, Deidre Brown, Damian Skinner and Susanne Küchler. Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas (eds), assisted by Stella Ramage Thames & Hudson, $130.00, ISBN 9780500239018 Art in Oceania:

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Hooked on wonder and mystery, Damian Skinner

Shane Cotton ed Lara Strongman City Gallery Wellington and Victoria University Press, $59.95, ISBN 0864734697 Jeffrey Harris Justin Paton Victoria University Press and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, $69.95, ISBN 0864734867 Engravings on Wood by Leo Bensemann  ed Peter Simpson Holloway

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Figuring out art history, Damian Skinner

FigureWork: The Nude and Life Modelling in New Zealand Art Sandra Chesterman University of Otago Press, $59.95, ISBN 1877276375 The Image Always Has the Last Word: On Contemporary New Zealand Painting and Photography Laurence Simmons Dunmore Press, $49.95, ISBN 0864694121

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Faith and works, Martin Edmond

Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith Marja Bloem and Martin Browne Craig Potton Publishing, $59.95, ISBN 0908802919 Don Binney: Nga Manu/Nga Motu – Birds/Islands Damian Skinner Auckland University Press, $49.99, ISBN 186940288X In the set I moved with in Auckland

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review
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