Book reveals Mackenzie Country

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014
timaru mackenzie cloud vanishing point

NATURE INSPIRES: Vanishing Point photographer Keith Walter captures clouds over Benmore.

timaru john f emery vanishing point
IN STUDIO: John F Emery at his studio working on illustrations for the book Vanishing Point.
timaru mackenzie sarah anderson
Sarah Anderson

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The vanishing point in photography and art refers to the point on the horizon where the lines of an object visually continue past its edges and eventually converge.

A subtle play on this idea is the inspiration behind Vanishing Point, a limited edition book celebrating the Mackenzie Country, which combines art and environmentalism to deliver a powerful message, according to Sarah Anderson, the woman behind the text and curation of the book.

"The book took about two years to culminate. The title itself is a play on the idea of a disappearing world. As in, at what point do things just disappear if you don't look after them? And it gives the book an interesting visual motif," Ms Anderson said.

Her inspiration comes from the Mackenzie Basin and the changes that have been taking place there.

"The region is changing because of irrigation and farming and that is a cause for concern and a cause to pause and ask ourselves to give these changes some thought," she said.

Sculptor and illustrator Bing Dawe, one of three artists whose work features in the book, takes his inspiration from rivers and believes they are being misused.

"The rivers are symbolic for spirituality and the way we view things," he said.

"It is an ever-changing facade as there is always something happening in and around it."

He has always been interested in the environment and the effect it has on whitebait and eels, and when fellow artist John F Emery suggested that their selected works be used in a book, he agreed. Photographer Keith Walter is the third contributor.

"Initially we three wanted to hold an exhibition about the Mackenzie Country, as we all have a great love for it. Then John suggested that we make a book instead and now we are launching the book," Dawe said.

The spiritual dimension of the Mackenzie Country and its importance to the landscape is a message that the artists and writer wish to convey.

"We need to make sure that the landscape is not taken over by factory farms. This is the beauty of the area, let's look after it," Mr Dawe said.

The book is being launched on Saturday at Saffron Gallery, 325 Pages Rd, Gleniti, between 2pm and 7pm.

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- The Timaru Herald


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