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Brickell Book Shortlisted for 2013 NZ Post Book Awards

Brickell Book Shortlisted for 2013 NZ Post Book Awards


Barry Brickell, group of Spiromorphs. Photo: Mark Tantrum

The Dowse is excited to announce that the book, His Own Steam: The Work of Barry Brickell, published by AUP in association with our exhibition His Own Steam: A Barry Brickell Survey, has been shortlisted for this year’s NZ Post Book Awards. The Dowse partnered with AUP on the production of the book which was also generously supported by the Blumhardt Foundation and The Deane Endowment Trust.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards celebrate excellence, identifying the very best books written by New Zealanders. There are four main categories and four finalists in each; His Own Steam is a finalist in Illustrated Non-fiction. The winners, including one Book of the Year chosen from the 16 finalists, will be announced on 28 August. Winners of the four Category Awards will each receive $10,000. The overall winner receives $15,000.

Both the book and the exhibition have been a labour of love for the team at The Dowse, work having begun in early 2011 and included many visits to Brickell’s Driving Creek in the Coromandel as well as road trips throughout New Zealand to photograph and collect works.

The book His Own Steam features essays by David Craig, co-curator of the exhibition with Emma Bugden, and Gregory O'Brien. Stunning newly commissioned photographs by Haru Sameshima sit alongside historical images. Craig’s text sketches out Brickell's history and career, then take us through crucial themes, preoccupations and forms in his work, from sustaining domestic ware to the influences of the medieval grotesque and Pacific motifs; from realistic murals to bodily 'morphs'. The foreword is by writer, curator, arts consultant and cultural commentator Hamish Keith, a friend of Brickell’s for more than fifty years. At the opening of the exhibition His Own Steam at The Dowse, almost one hundred copies of the book were sold on that one evening alone.

The exhibition His Own Steam: A Barry Brickell Survey has seen large numbers of visitors flock to The Dowse. The season runs until 11 August following which it will tour nationally: Waikato Museum 23 November 2013 – 9 February 2014, Gus Fisher Gallery Auckland 7 March – 2 May 2014, Rotorua Museum 24 May – 24 August 2014; and Te Manawa from September 2014.

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