Pushing Boundaries: Byrt and Chidgey

Art journalist and critic Anthony Byrt will be at the Granary Festival Cafe as part of the Blackmore Readers and Writers ...
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Art journalist and critic Anthony Byrt will be at the Granary Festival Cafe as part of the Blackmore Readers and Writers programme next month .

On Sunday 15 October, the focus will be on the arts and literature when Anthony Byrt and Catherine Chidgey appear at the Granary Festival Café, as part of the Nelson Arts Festival Page and Blackmore Readers and Writers programme.

Byrt, an Auckland-based arts journalist and critic, will be talking about his new book, This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art.

Byrt, who says he 'chases contemporary art and the people who make it', explores New Zealand's art scene, and in the book he unveils artists who are creating and shaping New Zealand culture.

"Every now and again there are those things that stay in the culture and that change the conversation," he says.

"As a contemporary art critic I'm looking for those moments."

Through a series of studio conversations, This Model World gives insight into artists like Yvonne Todd, Shane Cotton, Billy Apple, Peter Robinson and Judy Millar.

Byrt's writing has appeared in leading publications around the world including Frieze, Art World, and the New Statesman. He is a regular contributor to Artforum International, The New Zealand Listener, Metro, and a contributing editor to Paperboy. He has just started the Michael King Writers Centre eight-week Spring Residency to work on his latest project.

Craig Potton will join him on stage to examine the state of our contemporary art scene.

Following Byrt's session at the Granary, ​Catherine Chidgey will join Jacquetta Bell on stage. After studying creative writing with Bill Manhire in 1997, Chidgey went on to write three novels: In A Fishbone Church, Golden Deeds and Transformation.

Drawing on her background in psychology, her writing reveals a deep understanding of the complexities of human nature.

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Chidgey has a special affinity with the German language and people, having lived in Berlin for two years, and she studied German literature at Berlin University.

This period has informed the writing of her most recent novel, The Wish Child, which won the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham Awards this year.

Set in Nazi Germany, it tells the story of two children during the bombing of Berlin in 1945.

Chidgey will also discuss her next book, the experimental novel The Beat of the Pendulum, which will be released in November.

It is a 'found' book, written from pieces of language she encountered either in the written word or aurally, during 2016.

She has transformed these artifacts into creative writing pieces, one for every day of the year.

Spanning prose and poetry, each work varies from one sentence to several pages in length.

Both authors will be at the Granary Festival Café on Sunday, October 15

Anthony Byrt at 1.30pm and Catherine Chidgey at 3.30pm.

Tickets available online at TicketDirect – $16, plus service fee.

Previewed by Catherine Russ and Katie Hindle, who are studying the Diploma in Writing for Creative Industries at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

 - Stuff

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