Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A to W

Further evidence that interest in New Zealand artists is growing in Australia comes in the form of a large coffee table book from the publishers of Art & Australia. Current offers a couple of double page spreads, and sometimes more, to around 80 artists. It’s a surprise to find that the Australian selection is evenly divide between men and women, while NZ only manages 4:15 and you’ve already guessed the sex of the 4. The book certainly looks great and includes essays by Justin Paton and a reprint of Robert Leonard’s Hello Darkness: New Zealand Gothic. This was originally published in issue 46 of Art & Australia so it’s good to have it in a more permanent form. Alongside Leonard and Paton are well-known Australian curators Nick Waterlow, Victoria Lynn and Rachel Kent. However, apart from Paton, who puts NZers and Australians together with ease, the writers stick resolutely to only mentioning artists from their respective countries. Perhaps it’s the current trend of presenting artist compilations alphabetically that gives the initial impression that New Zealand artists are fully integrated as part of an Australasian view. One day, maybe, Art & Australasia.
Images: Clockwise from top left, cover Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy's Deceased estate and spreads featuring Yvonne Todd, Romanian orphen, Shane Cotton Outlook (white) and The Kingpins Welcome to the jingle.