Look This Way: New Zealand Writers on New Zealand Artists
What is it about a particular work of art that seizes your attention? That holds your gaze then pulls you back time and time again? In Look This Way seventeen writers – novelists, poets, essayists, a lyricist, a dramatist, a comic book writer and artist – answer these seemingly straightforward questions, each writing on a New Zealand artist of their choice.
They tell stories, find treasures and make connections but above all they look hard at the art works and enagage with the artists, while inviting the reader to share their perspective. Their responses show how works of art can play on the senses, the imagination and the memory of the viewer. From this proximity we encounter the ‘weird loveliness’ of Tony de Lautour’s roughed-up colonial landscapes as described by Mark Williams, the ‘carnivalesque biology’ of early works by Bill Hammond as seen by Ian Wedde, the roaring decibel level of a John Reynolds painting as seen – and heard – by poet Anne Kennedy and a host of other birds and beasts, narratives, reminiscences, evolving impressions and new readings.
Among the other contributions are Dylan Horrocks’s graphic essay on Barry Linton; Jenny Bornholdt’s poem on Mary Macfarlane; Fiona Farrell on Gavin Bishop, C. K. Stead on Colin McCahon, Chris Knox on James Robinson, Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie on Ronnie van Hout, Brian Easton on Janice Gill and Gregory O’Brien on John Drawbridge. Each essay is illustrated by full-colour images chosen by the writer.
A delight to look at, a pleasure to read, Look This Way is an ideal gift.
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A rare, compulsively readable book which combines literate, coherent writing with moments of shining insight into the work of an impressive catalogue of New Zealand artists. – Christopher Moore, The Press