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July 23, 2012 | by  | in Arts Visual Arts |
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Poignant Publications: Established And Emerging

Aotearoa, and Wellington especially, have become very productive cultural breeding grounds when it comes to artistic publications. The enduring problem with this gorgeously realised material is that its audience is limited, its influence curtailed by the lack of money in the industry to provide for advertising.

On the other side of the spectrum most of these productions are crafted at a very high level which means that many of them are expensive to produce. As a result most of the consumers of these publications are loyal fans who buy regularly, and who can afford to pay a little more for the quality product which they receive. This doesn’t have to continue, these products are affordable, and more importantly they provide a very easy way to discover and explore the amazing cultural products that are being created every day in this country, and in this city by the people next door who don’t appear to leave the house much.

So in the interest of spreading the love here is a quick rundown on some highlights:

Landfall

Landfall was founded in 1947 which makes it one of New Zealand’s longest running cultural publications. While Landfall is primarily a literary journal, the physical products are works of art in themselves and the issues often include cultural commentary which spreads over many disciplines. Originally published by the innovative Caxton Press, the journal is now published by Otago University and manages to remain current, while accessing the long and proud tradition that its name carries. Usually produced twice a year Landfall is $30 an issue, but is also available from the Wellington Public Library.

Hue&Cry

Hue&Cry is a more recent publication than Landfall, but it complements its objectives and provides a wider scope for communication between disciplines. First published in 2007, this Wellington-based journal seeks to create a dialogue between literary and visual artists by juxtaposing and integrating the forms with each other within its pages. The mandate of this publication is to garner exposure for emerging artists and writers, and to promote the many creative souls around who might not be getting the coverage they deserve. While some of the works featured could be seen as extremely abstract or academic, the range of works in each issue mean there is always something for everyone to access or identify with. Hue&Cry is published annually and the retail price is $25.

White Fungus

White Fungus is a publication which has been around for a while and has evolved into a beautiful physical object which approaches art criticism and promotion in its own unique style. Founded by brothers Mark and Ron Hanson in 2004, White Fungus began as a more political publication and has over time begun to devote itself far more to the global creative melting point. While first published in Wellington much of the development has occurred in Taiwan where the brothers moved to. Currently one founder resides in Taiwan and the other lives in Aro Valley. White Fungus has experienced tremendous success in the last year, being invited to book fairs across the planet, and being picked up by independent booksellers from Wellington to Taipei to Athens. Published intermittently, White Fungus is available to buy online at whitefungus.com and also available from Aro Video and Unity Books in Wellington.

Elam Graduate Work

While more formalised and slightly less intriguing for me personally than the other publications mentioned, this annually published book provides an excellent survey of the works and artists that are emerging from the educational sphere of art production. Elam Graduate Work 2011 is the fifth version of the publication which seeks to keep viewers and collectors abreast of the new and fresh art being produced at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. It costs $20 and is available online from the Elam School of Fine Arts website or from fine arts booksellers.

Did I miss your publication? Do you have a friend beavering away on their own artistic magazine about the aesthetics of grunge? Please let me know if so! 

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