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.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Ten x Ten : Art at Te Papa
Ten x Ten: Art at Te
Edited by Athol
McCredie Published by Te Papa
978-0-9941362-5-1 300 pages, paperback
with flaps, $45.00
ahead of the opening of the much-anticipated gallery revamp that will enhance
the art experience at Te Papa, an exciting new book by the museum’s press
offers a fresh approach to art appreciation.
Ten x Ten invites
ten of the institution’s curators to each pick ten of their favourite works
from the national collection, and explain why they find the works interesting,
resonant or significant. The result is a novel behind-the-scenes look at New
Zealand’s national art
by those who know these paintings, prints, photographs, applied art objects and
sculptures better than most.
Ten x Ten’s editor,
Te Papa Curator Photography Athol McCredie, says the texts are generally more
informal and personal than is conventional in collection books. “We hope to
make art appreciation less of a mystery and to allow viewers to connect with
it through the eyes of curators, handing them the confidence to reflect on
their own responses in turn.”
images of the curators were photographed for the book in the museum’s art stores
by highly regarded portrait photographer Jane Ussher. Their commentaries are
accompanied by reproductions of the works, roughly sequenced by the period of
history covered by their portfolio. Balancing New Zealand and international
art, the selection covers a vast time period, from a circa 1300 BC finger ring
gifted to the Dominion Museum by the Egypt Exploration Society, through to one
of the central works from
Denny’s 2015 Venice Biennale project.
biographical details on each artist, from the instantly recognisable to the
lesser known, are included at the back of the book, making it an excellent
resource for art history students.
it opens in March 2018, Toi Art, the new gallery at Te Papa, will increase the
amount of space dedicated to art by 35 percent. McCredie says Ten x Ten, along with new forms of
digital access, will complement the expansion of exhibition space, offering
increased ways of showcasing and engaging with Te Papa’s collections.
thrust of the renewal is not only to show more of the collections but also to
make art accessible to as broad a spectrum of the public as possible,” he says.
“This book works in parallel, aiming to draw back the intimidating screen of anonymous
authority that tends to surround museum exhibitions and publications.”
McCredie is Curator Photography at Te Papa, where he has worked since 2001.
Prior to that he was curator and acting director at Manawatu Art Gallery (now
Te Manawa), and he has been involved with photography as an author, researcher,
curator and photographer since the 1970s. His most recent book, New Zealand Photography Collected (Te
Papa Press), was shortlisted for the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
CURATORS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS
Davy – Head of Art; Mark Stocker – Historical International Art; Rebecca Rice –
Historical New Zealand Art; Lissa Mitchell – Historical Photography; Chelsea
Nichols – Modern Art; Justine Olsen – Decorative Art & Design; Megan
Tamati-Quennell – Modern & Contemporary Māori & Indigenous Art; Athol
McCredie – Photography; Nina Tonga – Pacific Art; Sarah Farrar – Contemporary