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A unique storybook for grownups
High Wire brings together Booker finalist writer Lloyd Jones and artist Euan Macleod. It is the first of a series of picture books written and made for grownups and designed to showcase leading New Zealand writers and artists working together in a collaborative and dynamic way.
In High Wire the narrators playfully set out across the Tasman, literally on a high wire. Macleod’s striking drawings explore notions of home, and depict homeward thoughts and dreams. High Wire also enters a metaphysical place where art is made, a place where any ambitious art-making enterprise requires its participants to hold their nerve and not look down. It’s a beautifully considered small book which richly rewards the reader and stretches the notion of what the book can do.
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‘Those familiar with Macleod’s pictorial world may find its location made pleasingly ambiguous by the references and reflections that Jones places beside it, while fans of Jones the novelist should enjoy the burst of visual imagery that Macleod provides. It is a book their audiences will love. . . . By publishing [High Wire] commercially for broad distribution, Massey University Press has taken the kind of project that might usually be found within the wonderful but enclosed world of limited edition books, and made it available to a much larger public. This may be the enduring achievement of the kōrero series, which will hopefully bring many more successful collaborations to light.’ — Artists Profile
‘A strange and striking book in which Lloyd writes about bridges and tightropes and the act of traversing, about the air beneath, and Euan draws dark and involving sketches of same. It has a spine made of black fabric and it feels like the right kind of thing to read, or gift, at this moment.’ — The Spinoff
‘Presented in a slim smooth hardback beautifully designed by Gary Stewart, High Wire is a finely crafted mystery of art, friendship and human aspiration.’ — Sally Blundell, Landfall
‘High Wire is the first picture book in the kōrero series from Massey University Press. The endpaper credit announces this as inviting ‘new and exciting collaborations – for two different kinds of artistic intelligence to work away at a shared topic’. Here, the two collaborators are the writer Lloyd Jones and the artist Euan Macleod. I’d add the book designer Gary Stewart of The Gas Project (‘design and stuff’), a Central Otago-based design office with a remarkable books catalogue. The Jones/Macleod kōrero debut is an ambitious place to start and on the strength of this launch we can look forward to the series’ — Ian Wedde, ANZL