A beautiful new book by my New Zealand friend Peter Alsop about that countries hand coloured scenic photos. Whites Aviation changed the way New Zealanders viewed their country. For pre-order please visit the website.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be few postings over the next couple of weeks as I am away on holiday. Look forward to more adventures in art when I return.
HAND-COLOURED NEW ZEALAND: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WHITES AVIATION by Peter Alsop cover
“A magical cocktail of aviation and photography … painted with cotton wool.”
“Nothing can change the authenticity and aesthetic of a hand-made craft.”
“This beautiful book follows Marcus King: Painting New Zealand for the World in providing another significant step towards understanding New Zealand’s art and design. However, for me, reading this book has been a transformational experience. In my youth, a Whites Aviation photograph, whether in a living room or office, represented the absence of other art in everyday Kiwi lives. Having read this book, I’ve come to realise that Whites’ hand-coloured photos were instead a harbinger; a forerunner, an object of contemporary art in thousands of New Zealand homes.”
Douglas Lloyd Jenkins Art & Design Historian
Every single photo coloured by hand? Using cotton wool? Yes, such was the era of hand-coloured photography – a painting and photograph in one – the way you got a high-quality colour photo before colour photography became mainstream.
Some of New Zealand’s best hand-coloured photos were produced by Whites Aviation from 1945. For over 40 years, the glorious scenic vistas were a sensation, adorning offices and lounges around the land; patriotic statements within New Zealand’s emerging visual arts. Now, despite massive changes in society and photography, the stunning scenes and subtle tones still enchant, as coveted collectibles; decorations on screen; and as respected pieces of photographic art.
But, until now, this inspirational story has not been told; nor the full stories of Leo White (company founder); Clyde Stewart (chief photographer and head of colouring); and the mission-critical ‘colouring girls’. New Zealand’s first published collection of hand-coloured photography is also now enshrined, ready to enchant for decades more. Nothing, it seems, can change the appeal of an alluring hand-made craft.
Lovely 3 min doco on hand-coloured photography and Whites Aviation. Every photo coloured by hand.
HAND-COLOURED NEW ZEALAND: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WHITES AVIATION by Peter Alsop pages 31, 41 and 50.