Art-writer, poet, anthologist and essayist, Gregory O’Brien has been awarded the 2015 Stout Memorial Fellowship for 2015. Greg has spent much of the past three decades exploring the adjacent territories of imagination and research, of inspiration and scholarship. The Fellowship will allow him to complete a book on art, literature and the environment – passions that have inspired his prolific output, and themes which he drew on in presenting the FoTL Founder Lecture, “Imagination and Research”, in 2013. Greg’s recent books include a collection of poems, Beauties of the Octagonal Pool (2012) as well as monographic publications on artists including Euan Macleod, Pat Hanly and Graham Percy. He has also written two books introducing New Zealand art to young people: Welcome to the South Seas (2004) and Back and Beyond (2008).
An extraordinary history, six years in the planning, was published by Bridget Williams Books in November. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, written by Professor Atholl Anderson, Dame Judith Binney (who died before the project was completed) and Dr Aroha Harris, charts the sweep of Māori history from ancient origins to the 21st century. Lively, lucid and lavishly illustrated, it combines archaeology, anthropology, linguistics and oral traditions (Anderson) with colonial history (Binney) and ever-changing post-colonial developments (Harris). This is a rich and authoritative book that provides valuable insights for the future.
Atholl Anderson and Aroha Harris – distinguished researchers and eloquent speakers – spoke to the Friends on Wednesday 4 February about their roles in this huge project. Atholl is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Canterbury and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago. Aroha lectures in History at the University of Auckland and is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.