Showing posts from August, 2022

Shelter in Place by Celia Walker

Shelter in Place in the Angela Morton Room at Takapuna library brings together a group of artist books by Auckland printmaker Celia Walker. Landscape, environment and cultural history feature in the exhibition, reflecting the artist’s interest in the complex layers that comprise the urban landscape.  A researcher with a background in archives and histories of landscape, including an art history PhD, Celia can’t help but be influenced by heritage. She is interested in the way each place carries with it stories of our cultural landscape through oral, archaeological and documentary records.  The exhibition also has a cartographic thread – the unfolding and layering possibilities of book structures hint at the passage of time or the movement through space. Although there is an aesthetic appeal in the depiction of underlying structures and forms in maps like Hochstetter’s ‘The isthmus of Auckland with its extinct volcanoes’, these slip over cultural history, detaching the landscape from li

The printing press poster and other lessons: printing in Rarotonga in 1849 and the Mission Press

Image: Pepa 10, Grey Pamphlets, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections “This is an announcement about the printing press. In ancient times these things were not familiar, and could only be written on parchment (skin of sheep). Then there was the printing press, in Britain in the year 1449. That was 400 years ago from then up to the present time”. This is a translation of the words on the poster shown above, printed in Rarotonga in 1849. It is a well-designed page including an ornament of a printing press which might have caused a stir, almost like a poster announcing the circus coming to town. For further context we can read about the arrival of the printing press in Rarotonga, and with it, literacy and the distribution of the Word of God, in the words of the London Missionary Society missionary, the Reverend Aaron Buzacott (1800 – 1864). His ‘Mission Life in the Pacific’ was published in 1866 and then reprinted as a facsimile edition in 1985. The chapter headings include details of