In the company of bees

Anne Noble with Zara Stanhope and Anna Brown

book cover for Conversātiō
Title Info Sheet Sample Pages

Soft cover


Renowned photographer focuses on the importance of bees

Winner Best Book at the 2022 PANZ Book Design Awards

Winner Best Illustrated Book at the 2022 PANZ Book Design Awards

Winner People’s Choice Award at the 2022 PANZ Book Design Awards

Winner Best in Class Award at the 2022 Australian Good Design Awards

Longlisted for the Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2022

Conversātiō looks at the astounding practice of leading photographer Anne Noble, set against the issues of ecosystem collapse and climate change and examining what an artist can do in response. Its creative focus is on that most important insect, the European bee. Reminiscent of an artist book in its extensive visual content, its appeal is to a wide readership curious about art, ecology, science, literature and their intersections.

Through Noble’s art and newly commissioned essays, the book traverses Noble’s deep interest in how humans relate to bees. From images of communities of bees to tintype photographs showing the beauty of translucent bee wings, photograms from the wings of dead bees and a black and white series of electron microscope images, Noble’s photographs present the hive life of bees in rich detail. Like the finest honey this book is a treasure.

To look inside, click here.

‘Pick up Conversātiō, this sumptuous book, with its title demanding attentiveness, and you will fall into Anne’s close-up photographs of bees at work’ — Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

‘An important part of Noble’s bee photographs is her acute awareness of the vulnerability of the species to environmental degradation . . . Her exquisite Dead Bee portraits and delicate photographs of dead bees’ wings are especially poignant in this regard and are among the many highlights of this remarkable and beautifully produced book.’ — Peter Simpson, Kete

  • CATEGORY: Art, design and architecture, Contemporary issues, Natural history and environment
  • ISBN: 9780995140752
  • PUBLISHER: Massey University Press
  • IMPRINT: Massey University Press
  • PUBLISHED: 09/09/2021
  • PAGE EXTENT: 272
  • FORMAT: Soft cover
Profile image for Anne Noble

Anne Noble is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most widely respected contemporary photographers.

Profile image for Zara Stanhope

Zara Stanhope is a curator and writer connecting publics with artists across the global south.

Profile image for Anna Brown

Anna Brown is a book designer, educator and researcher who works with visual artists, curators, art historians and musicians.