Art of the book, in every sense, examined in symposium

Is it against the odds that books will survive the 21st century? This is one of the topics of ''Art and the Book Against the Odds: the art, history and production of books'', which opens tonight as part of Arts Festival Dunedin. Charmian Smith reports.

Each year, the University of Otago Centre for the Book and Otago Polytechnic Dunedin School of Art hold their own symposia, but this year, when they discovered they were both planning to feature book design and related topics, they decided to combine.

''Art and the Book Against the Odds'' starts tonight with a talk by Auckland designer and typographer Catherine Griffiths. The symposium, with papers presented on Friday and Saturday, is funded mainly by the university, is free and is open to the public.

Dr Peter Stupples, of the art school, said it had been hoped the result of the city's application for recognition as a City of Literature would be announced about this time, but it looked as if the announcement would now be next month.

He and Dr Donald Kerr, of the Centre for the Book, divided the proposed papers into two. Some, focusing more on art and the book, would be given tomorrow and some, more about book design, on Saturday, he said.

''Most people cross over. They talk about art and the book but also about book design and book publication and book illustration, so it's really all one,'' he said. The Saturday component is more about how people grapple with designing books. ''Against the odds'' in the symposium title refers to the survival of books into the 21st century.

Part of the symposium includes a self-guided tour of locations associated with books, including the Hocken collections, the university central and Dunedin public libraries, the University Book Shop, Duty Bound bindery, galleries and Hard to Find books in Dowling St.

FundraiserThe Hone Tuwhare Trust is staging a ''Koha for the Crib'' event at Toitu on Saturday from 7pm to raise funds for a new writer's/artist's residency at Kaka Point, where poet Tuwhare lived for many years.

The residency and purpose-built studio will be the first to be established in the home of a Maori writer.

''Koha for the Crib'' will include performances by musicians Don McGlashan, Rio Employ, Graham Downes, Martin Phillipps, David Kilgour and Ciaran McMeekin, and poets Emma Neale, Majella Cullinane, Sue Wootton and Peter Olds.

Tuwhare's love of food will be celebrated through chef Scott Murray, who has designed the menu based on the tastes of locally gathered, hunted and sustainably farmed food.

A charity auction of limited-edition prints, led by Marshall Seifert, will include works from graphic artists Catherine Griffiths, Sarah Maxey, Kris Sowersby and Matt Galloway, as well as a limited-edition Chills box set.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter