Between the Lives: Partners in Art by Deborah Shepard

By Deborah Shepard

This interesting examine artists and their intimate companions takes 9 famous New Zealand and explores the various facets in their lives—particularly how the presence of a creative significant other or soul mate affects the artwork they produce. Combining the pleasures of gossip with information regarding how those artists have performed their lives, this illuminates some of the topics present in the artists' work, poems, and movies that revolve round their companions and the traces of manufacturing severe paintings in a small and remoted state. The contain Gil and Pat Hanly, Colin and Anne McCahon, Sylvia and Peter Siddell, Frances Hodgkins and D. ok. Richmond, James okay. Baxter and Jacquie Sturm, Kendrick Smithyman and Mary Stanley, Rudall and Ramai Hayward, Toss and Edith Woollaston, and Meg and Alister te Ariki Campbell. All instructed, 9 painters, six poets, filmmakers, and a photographer are included.

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Privately, the situation caused her a good deal of stress, especially during the 1970s. At Riwaka Edith had her own studio for the first time in her life, in which her weaving loom was permanently installed. In her seventies she was still weaving scarves and other items, but in later years her main creative outlet was photography. This became a passion – a means of documenting her environment and celebrating the pleasures of family, friends and garden. Even in her last illness, bedridden and paralysed on one side, she was taking photographs of the hillside outside her hospital window.

Pretentious hocus of this kind is bad for the politics of art. It gives the philistines a rod to beat the backs of those painters who want to escape from the encircling gloom of the Academy . 24 Despite the fact that McCahon’s work had been favourably reviewed and appreciated by librarian Ron O’Reilly, Fairburn’s harsh words were wounding. According to William, Colin found the pressures and demands of fatherhood and his artistic career almost impossible to juggle, and his family, unhappily, were exposed to his shadow side.

If he gave up art, he reasoned, he could devote more time to Rawleigh sales and better provide for his family. ’31 But for Edith, such stoicism came at a cost. By 1955 26 Portrait of a Marriage she had reached a state of mental and physical exhaustion. Her doctor advised complete rest, and she spent three months recuperating at Hanmer Hospital. By the late 1950s and early 1960s the situation had improved somewhat. The financial situation was less acute, and Toss was able to avail himself of new opportunities.

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