Author(s): Lisa Reihana
Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus is an exquisitely illustrated and designed exploration of a six-year project by one of Aotearoa New Zealand's leading artists. Comprising 10 essays and a comprehensive interview with Lisa Reihana (Ngapuhi, Ngati Hine, Ngati Tu), the book establishes the artistic and cultural contexts of in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015, traces the artist's sources and inspiration and describes the work's complex production. Presented in an innovative, sympathetic design which combines 18th-century typographic sensibilities with contemporary and historic Maori and Pacific imagery, the texts provide the most detailed analysis of Reihana's practice to date. The essays are supplemented by two beautiful plate sections that highlight the work's key scenes and present stunning portraits of the main characters within them. The book's importance now and in the future lies not only in its meticulous examination of Reihana's most ambitious artwork. The writers' identification and descriptions of a highly sophisticated, evolving pan-Pacific artistic movement - underpinned by the re-examination of colonial politics and the power of image making - makes this book essential reading for people interested in the art, cultures and politics of this part of the world.