Whiteout Whitenoise is a collaborative project between artist Anne Noble and myself. It was first exhibited at the Obscura International Photography Festival in Penang, Malaysia (2016), then at Project Room, RMIT in Melbourne (2017) and latterly at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies Gallery, University of Tasmania (2017).
Whiteout Whitenoise falls somewhere between book and exhibition. It is a book that unfolds out of a box to become an exhibition that playfully celebrates the book form, while providing an intimate experience of both image and text on the gallery wall.
The design contributes to the audience’s experience of the book — re-engaging and animating the page on a wall and in various spatialities (flat and curved walls, heritage spaces). On the wall the page gains a new 3-dimensionality — it amplifies light and shadow, colour (or lack of it) and movement, space and scale.
The single line of typography creates a visual link to the horizon-line in the images and gives a whimsical spatial dimension to the endlessness of the text and the vastness of Antarctic space.
Rather than consumed from distance the scale of the images on the page, and the relative scale of the typography invite an intimate experience of image and texts at close range.
Bill Culbert: Front Door Out Back
This book documents Culbert’s Venice installation at the New Zealand Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia, 55th International Art Exhibition, 1 June – 24 November 2013
Commissioned by Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Christchurch Art Gallery and Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Massey University and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
Working with editor and Deputy Commissioner Heather Galbraith, the design offers the reader a photographic walk-through of the exhibition wrapped amongst four critical essays and an interview with the artist.
Essays by: Justin Paton, Ian Wedde, Yves Abrioux, Andrew Wilson and Bill Culbert
‘What a triumph… I’ve always found BIll’s work both inspiring and great to experience and your elegant and spare design parallels his own work beautifully.’ — Peter Ireland
‘The scale is perfect, the orange pops subtly, the textless cover is staunch and intriguing, and the long walk through the spaces is expansive and uplifting.’ — Justin Paton, Curator, New Zealand Pavilion, Venice
Strange Baroque Ecologies Book Publishing Performance_2
The Glass Archive
The project is a collaboration with the delightful Wayne Barrar entitled The Glass Archive, published by Whiti o Rehua, School of Art, Massey University, Wellington, 2016
The softcover book features essays by Kelley Wilder and Wayne Barrar, and accompanied the exhibition From an Ancient Sea: Oamaru and the Glass Archive held at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru (9 July–4 September 2016).
'Designed by Anna Brown this stunning little publication features blue type and Kleinian blue endpapers. With the hovering forms in Barrar’s images looking like gems or types of snowflake the book is surprisingly sumptuous. A wonderful read...'
Extraordinary Anywhere, edited by Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey and published by VUP, re-imagines the idea of place. The design process was a collaboration between designers and writer/editors.
The book offers glimpses into where we are now and how that feels, and opens up the range and kinds of stories we can conceive of telling about living here.
The development of this book was an evolving collaboration between the editors and designers. Jo Bailey and I took the nostalgic process of sifting through ephemera to locate, repurpose and evolve old illustrations to give them new meaning. The inside cover acts as a 'map' to the book enclosed within — an illustrated table of contents, using the happenstance placement of the essays on a page number grid to determine the assemblage in the same way geography defines a map.
As designers, we also contributed a design colophon essay to the book, which lives in the dust jacket as a key, of sorts, to the book's design.
'We choose two typefaces by New Zealand typographic designer Kris Sowersby: Tiempos and Calibre. As designers we say it’s important that if the words are from here, the typefaces should be too—but this is partly post-rationalisation. Tiempos, our serif font, is based on a typeface for a Spanish newspaper. Calibre, our sans serif, is inspired by street signage, and though this wayfinding lineage feels pertinent, it is happenstance. We choose it because it is a consistent favourite of ours — like a typographic version of our own handwriting. It’s the other way with Tiempos; the chance to explore something familiar but different. Later we add Domaine, also by Sowersby. It is elegantly curvaceous, “Latin detailing on a Scotch skeleton”.
Strange Terrain: A New Anthology of New Zealand Graphic Scores 1965–2012 edited by Jack Body and in collaboration with Michael Norris.
This boxed collection, published by Wai-te-ata Music Press celebrates the range of work produced by some of our most imaginative composers, improvisers, poets, and painters, in this strange terrain, the art of the graphic score. Read Jack's wonderful opening essay here.
Featuring composersDiana Blom, Lyell Cresswell, John Croft, Philip Dadson, John Elmsly, Alexandra Hay, Jeff Henderson, Tom Jensen, Hermione Johnson, Mark Langford, Douglas Lilburn, Amos Mann, Cilla McQueen, Michael Norris, Briar Prastiti, Peter Scholes, Michael Smither, Ivan Zagni.
My New Zealand ABC, 123 and Colours books
My New Zealand ABC Book, My New Zealand 123 Book, and My New Zealand Colours Book
This collection of board-books for Te Papa Press was a collaboration with designer and friend Jo Bailey when we both worked at Open Lab. The books employ colour in a way that is both sophisticated and vibrant, recognising that a children’s book has to appeal to, and engage both adults and children.
Designed as a means of introducing a new generation to the art and objects of the Te Papa collection, the curatorial team at Te Papa worked with us to select a collection of inclusions that allowed a careful balance of colour and composition. Our approach was to let the pages be filled with the collection pieces, using bold colours inspired by the works to compliment and showcase them. Colour choices for backgrounds and typography were led by the artworks, but were subtly managed to ensure they were engaging, legible, and above all did not compete with, or detract from the artworks.
As a design process, we employed a user-centred approach, which led to some interesting colour experiments, and at times even challenged our notion of what colours are. A class of kindergarteners told us in no uncertain terms that Michael Parekowhai’s red piano (He Kōrero Pūrākau mo te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, 2011) was, in fact, orange. Conversely though, our junior user-testers had no problem embracing our new and unexpected kiwi colour invention — paua!
'Three bilingual gems from Te Papa Press' — New Zealand Listener Top Children’s Books 2014
'A colourful series of books to be shared by the young and old together, and a delightful way to showcase New Zealand art' — New Zealand Book Council ‘Peer Review’ April 2015
'…three bright and beautiful board books for kids … they are small works of art' — New Zealand Herald Review, 8 February 2015