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Exhibition Archive


POETRY BROADSHEETS : Gregory O'Brien + Brendan O'Brien





Poet: Gregory O’Brien
Poem: 'Poem ending in a bird-like cry'
         Rekohu, Chatham Island

Printer: Brendan O’Brien
Medium: Original letterpress prints on Lana Royal Printmaking Paper
Date: 2016
Size: 280 x 198 mm
Limited Edition of 9


Gregory O’Brien spent much of his early life in Auckland, where he trained as a journalist and worked as a newspaper reporter in Northland before returning to study Art History and English at the University of Auckland. 1990 he migrated south to Wellington, where he still lives with his partner, poet Jenny Bornholdt. As an artist, O’Brien has held solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Auckland, Wellington and elsewhere. He has also illustrated the work of other New Zealand writers including: C. K. Stead, Elizabeth Smither, Bill Manhire and Michael King. His artworks can be found on book covers locally and internationally. O’Brien is the author of two multi-award-winning introductions to art for the young and curious: Welcome to the South Seas (AUP 2004) and Back and Beyond (AUP, 2008). Both won the Non-Fiction Prize at the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young People. His most recent books include A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (AUP 2011) Beauties of the Octagonal Pool (AUP 2012), Whale Years (AUP 2015) and See What I Can See: New Zealand Photography for the Young and Curious (AUP) 2015, Futuna, Life of a Building (VUP 2016).



Brendan O’Brien has been printing for over two decades now having bought his first press printing press in 1993. Between 2000-2002 he was the resident artist at the Rita Angus Cottage, during which time he established his Fernbank Studio imprint for hand-printed books. The name derives from the cottage Angus lived in. In 2005 as the Printer in Residence at Otago University he collaborated with Ralph Hotere and Bill Manhire to hand-print an edition of the ‘Pine’ poems. In July 2015, Brendan returned to Otago University as the University Library Printer in Residence to handprint a limited edition of 100 copies of ??????????? (Eighteen) poems from ancient Greek texts translated by, the 2013-2015 New Zealand Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan with illustrations by Barry Cleavin. In the catalogue ‘Fernbank Studio - Away, Past, Elsewhere’ a Christchurch Art Gallery Outer Spaces Project 2013, curated to coincide with National Poetry Day, Peter Vangioni wrote, “The hand-printed books produced by Brendan O’Brien at Fernbank Studio in Wellington are among the most exquisitely printed and designed books produced in New Zealand.” O’Brien’s work is held in many collections including the Wellington City Council Collection, the Alexander Turnbull Library, the James Wallace Collection, the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.



 

For more information or to purchase a limited edition poetry broadsheet contact Jane Sanders.