Miniature canvas

Behind the scenes

Artists you may associate with very big canvases, also worked on very small ones


From today you can see at the Central Library in Peterborough Street, forty examples of books whose cover art is the work of artists whose names will be familiar as creators of large, easel paintings. Colin McCahon could, and did, cover an entire wall, but here he creates works in miniature, integrating book requirements, such as a title and an author (in his own distinct lettering), with his own, equally individual conception of the New Zealand landscape.

Robyn Kahukiwa's tempestuous, in fact explosive, painting works perfectly as the cover of Alan Duff's fiery 'Once were warriors' and Ralph Hotere's sparse and structural use of line is the perfect cover for the graceful poetry of Hone Tuwhare.

Take the leaflet that provides full details of authors titles and cover artists, but try looking at the book covers first, and see whether you can identify the artist (there are surprises!) and consider whether the cover art and the book's content are in any kind of harmony.

The Art of the Dustjacket, at Central Library Peterborough until 14 July 2014.