Thursday, 5 October 2017

The New Zealand Art Activity Book (New edition)

The New Zealand Art Activity Book (New edition)
Helen Lloyd, Te Papa Press
Paperback   158 pages
ISBN 978 0 9941362 3 7
There was never better proof that the (scrapped) plan to close down Te Papa Press was folly than books such as Simon Pollard’s Genius of Bugs and now Helen Lloyd’s new edition of The New
Zealand Art Activity Book. These are books designed to make young people think and to set their creative juices flowing – which, after all, is the whole point of Te papa, our national museum.

The best way to get the measure of The NZ Art Activity Book is to flick through it. The cover might mislead you into mistaking it for one of those boring join-the-dots, find-the hidden-words time killers that the Warehouse markets as books. You couldn’t be wronger.

Helen Lloyd has assembled an amazing range of New Zealand art-works using each one to create insights. Each illustration also invites young readers to try their own hand at creating their own images. Can you make an artwork that flies? Will a hammer and a bunch of flowers come together to create a delicate watercolour?

A wakahuia becomes an invitation to design your own treasure box – and decide on its contents. A tapa cloth pattern is an inspiration for more designs. Wayne Youle’s multi-coloured portrait of Ralph Hotere offers readers a chance to try their own colour combinations.  A bleak Brent Wong landscape calls for its story to be told – past, present or future.

Stars have been celebrated in jewellery, tukutuku panels and photographs and this book has examples of them all to encourage young artists to follow their star. Along the way they will painlessly imbibe a great deal of New Zealand art.

The New Zealand Art Activity Book is an inviting springboard for young minds.


Trevor Agnew

6 October 2017

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