Between the Lives
Between the Lives: Partners in Art is a fascinating book about artists who are also intimate partners. It takes nine well-known New Zealand couples and explores many aspects of their lives but particularly how the partnership affects the art they produce. Written by perceptive and knowledgeable writers but never narrowly academic, it combines the pleasures of gossip with illuminating information about how these artists have conducted their lives. In presenting the work in this unusual context the nine writers cast fresh light on paintings, poems and films and make a significant contribution to our understanding of how art has been produced in this country. Repeated themes are the situation of women and the strains of producing serious art in a small and isolated country. There are also contrasts, which are equally striking, as different couples have negotiated their own ways of accommodating two powerful creative talents. The partners include the Hanlys, McCahons, Siddells, Hodgkins and Richmond, Baxters, Smithymans, Haywards, Woollastons, Campbells nine painters, six poets, two filmmakers and a photographer. The accompanying images, selected by the writers, powerfully enhance and extend the insights of the texts.
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