Good reads

One of our favourite book purveyors, Wellington’s Unity Books, has selected a trio of art, design, and history tomes to keep us visually and mentally fit.


Harry Turbott: New Zealand’s First Landscape Architect, Garth Falconer, Blue Acre Press

Within this book, the reader gets a glimpse of the many landmarks landscape architect Harry Turbott’s helped define

“All Harry’s work showed an immense respect and care for the environment,” biographer Garth Falconer says. “He believed the designer’s role was one of service to society to protect, restore and enhance the environment of which people were intimately and irrevocably part.” 

It was this philosophy that allowed Turbott exceptional educational and career opportunities that included a Harvard education and work with some of North America’s pioneers in this field. This book is an exhaustive biography of the man, his work, and some of the people his ideas managed to influence. Within it the reader gets a glimpse of Harry’s drawing prowess and the many New Zealand landmarks he helped define.


Gavin Hipkins: The Homely II, Felicity Barnes et al / Bouncy Castle and Wellington City Gallery

A shot from Gavin Hipkins: The Homely II

Part travelogue, part postcolonial barometer, The Homely II is a compendium of 80 images shot in the United Kingdom and New Zealand “exploring the changed relationship between motherland and colony in the postcolonial period”. 

The work is moody and somewhat nostalgic yet it offers a vibrant — often quirky — view of what it means to be from here. A selection of essays by some recognisable local critics promises to go deeper into the unique Hipkins view. The Homely is published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name, which is currently touring New Zealand.  


Endless Sea: Stories through the taonga of the New Zealand Maritime Museum, Francis Walsh, Jane Ussher, Massey University Press

One of the many obscure artefacts from Endless Sea: Stories through the taonga of the New Zealand Maritime Museum

A beautifully photographed and designed exploration of well-known and obscure artefacts from New Zealand’s maritime history. From flags and emblems to art and scrimshaw, from the sinking of the Wahine to the America’s Cup, there is enough eye candy here to keep the design aficionado satisfied and plenty of history to entertain amateur and history buffs alike. 


30 July 2021

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