Author(s): Denys Trussell
Annette Isbey is one of our most distinguished older women artists. Still painting and exhibiting at 87, she spent her ninth to nineteenth years in the remote farming district of Punakitere, South Hokianga, Northland. This is an account of those years and their influence on her work as an artist.
Art commentators speak of hter work ini terms of its strength, calm and sometimes monumental structure. Very large painteing have been common in her output - particullarly a series of huge heads, that, influenced by large carved Maori heads, have also a quality of antiquity and Meso-American sculpture about them.
The book also tells us of the connections between Isbey's family and the New Zealand writer Robin Hyde.
Now resident in Auckland, Isbey has used her memories of Hokianga as the basis of a whole range of landscapes. They stand before us in a eloquent silence - a visisble language that speaks to us without the need for words.
The book includes illustrations of three of Isbey's paintings (one fold-out reproduction of her largest painting), two Land Information New Zealand maps, historic photographs and recent photographs by John Miller.
Denys Trussell is a poet, biographer, musician,and ecologist. His poetry, essays and criticism have since been published in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, France, and the US. He won the 1985 PEN Best First Book Award for non-fiction with Fairburn (1984), about the life of poet A.R.D. Fairburn. His poetry collection, Walking into the Millennium (1998) was shortlisted in the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Two of his long poems have been choreographed and set to music.