Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Dozens of unwanted cardboard carpet cores are being suspended to create pavillion and cinematic screen. It's for Christchurch's Festival of Transitional Architecture event - a celebration, the organisers say, of urban creativity and regeneration. We Have the Means is this year's theme looking at how reusable materials can be used in city redesigns. Next weekend students from seven design and architecture schools across Australasia will show what they can do with old light bulbs and, in artist Julia Morrison's case, old cardboard carpet cores. As Lynn Freeman discovered, Julia has been working with students from Massey's School of Design on Pipe Dreaming: Festa's taking place on sites around the Christchurch Art Gallery on Saturday. Oct 16, 2016 02:50 pm
Decades after his mysterious death - was it colic or arsenic poisoning? - champion racehorse Phar Lap hasn't been forgotten in either country which claim him - New Zealand and Australia. The huge horse blitzed the competition in the 1920s and 30s. Now Kelly Ana Morey is telling the champion gelding's story as a novel - not just Phar Lap's, but also those who worked with him including his trainer Harry Telford who called the big horse Bobbie. Daylight Second, published by Harper Collins, covers the triumphs and the death threats over the horse's successful but short career. Lynn Freeman talks with Kelly Ana. Oct 16, 2016 02:38 pm
Funding the arts is always a contentious subject. If government funding, or corporate sponsorship dries up, the next step is towards private philanthropists. But if arts institutions are too successful raising money through philanthropy, do they risk governments reducing their grants even more? And how does a small edgy theatre company compete for private money with say the national ballet or opera companies. Kenneth Watkins is Head of philanthropy at the Australian Ballet - in the past 8 years he's raised 88-million dollars for them. He's also the author, with academic Jennifer Radbourne, of the handbook Philanthropy & Arts. Lynn Freeman spoke to Kenneth and Jennifer when they were invited to New Zealand by the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand. Oct 16, 2016 02:28 pm
Plastic was once exotic and novel, now it's everywhere, but Dunedin collector Janet de Wagt loves it so much she's got thousands of historic plastic objects tucked away in boxes. Right now she's unpacking them though, for an exhibition called Pioneering Plastics. For many of us, plastic is a dirty word in these environmentally sensitive times, but Janet tells Lynn Freeman it's become a victim of its own success, and should be appreciated not vilified. Her exhibition will be held in the Otago Pioneer Women's Memorial Hall which celebrates its 75th birthday this month. It'll open on Wednesday. Oct 16, 2016 01:48 pm
Prejudices that Maori living in rural New Zealand encounter everyday are challenged in a new play by Jamie McCaskill. The Wellington award-winning playwright, producer and director is tapping into his own experiences of living in a small town in a new play, The Biggest, which premieres at Hannah Playhouse in Wellington on 29 October He tells Lynn Freeman he's not finger wagging, but using comedy to make a point in the way Billy T James and Roger Hall do. And in his spare time, Jamie's working on a webseries combining his two loves - comedy and classic Maori show-bands. After just two days, the trailer for The Maori Sidesteps got 20,000 hits. Oct 16, 2016 01:32 pm
It's an unlikely idea - to stage an orchestral concert devoted to video-game music, but it seems to have taken the world by storm. When the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra announced they were playing music from the game Final Fantasy, they were overwhelmed with ticket-buyers - to such an extent they're now putting on a second show this week. It was the brainchild of German promoter Thomas Böcker, and he's taken the Final Symphony all over the world. He talks with Lynn Freeman. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performs Final Symphony on Friday and Saturday, Oct 21 and 22, at the ASB Theatre at Auckland's Aotea Centre. Oct 16, 2016 12:44 pm The Auckland Fringe goes it alone It's always bad news when an arts organisation suddenly loses its funding. And this week the hammer came down on the Auckland Festival's feisty little sibling the Auckland Fringe. No funding for 2017. But the Fringe is determined not to bow out without a fight. Can it go it alone? Lynn Freeman talks to Fringe director Lydia Zanetti. Oct 16, 2016 12:37 pm
This is a story of lost - and hopefully found. For months now, a team's been trying to uncover traces of a mural by E. Mervyn Taylor under layers of whitewash on an old wall in Taita, north of Wellington. Artists are working with conservators from Te Papa, using infra-red technology to scan the wall on which Taylor's mural was painted, and analysing paint samples. Bronwyn Holloway-Smith from Massey University's College of Creative Arts, is director of the E. Mervyn Taylor mural search & recovery project. She tells Lynn Freeman that Mervyn Taylor was an artist fascinated by the idea of moving beyond European traditions. Oct 16, 2016 12:16 pm