Author(s): Deborah Shepard
Between the Lives: Partners in Art is a fascinating book about artists who are also intimate partners. It takes nine well-known New Zealand couples and explores many aspects of their lives but particularly how the partnership affects the art they produce. Written by perceptive and knowledgeable writers but never narrowly academic, it combines the pleasures of gossip with illuminating information about how these artists have conducted their lives. In presenting the work in this unusual context the nine writers cast fresh light on paintings, poems and films and make a significant contribution to our understanding of how art has been produced in this country. Repeated themes are the situation of women and the strains of producing serious art in a small and isolated country. There are also contrasts, which are equally striking, as different couples have negotiated their own ways of accommodating two powerful creative talents. The partners include the Hanlys, McCahons, Siddells, Hodgkins and Richmond, Baxters, Smithymans, Haywards, Woollastons, Campbells -- nine painters, six poets, two filmmakers and a photographer. The accompanying images, selected by the writers, powerfully enhance and extend the insights of the texts.
This is a collection by one Leggott's poems, each of which is a step forward and while she challenges the reader she exhibits ever greater mastery of the form, a remarkable and quite distinctive voice.
Introduction by Deborah Shepard; 1. Captured in Words and Paint: the life together of Frances Hodgkins and D K Richmond by Joanne Drayton; 2. Portrait of a Marriage: Toss and Edith Wollaston by Jill Trevelyan; 3. "Sinfonia Domestica": Mary Stanley and Kendrick Smithyman by Peter Simpson; 4. "My way is to be with you": Meg and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell by Joy McKenzie; 5. Shadow Play: The film-making partnership of Rudall and Ramai Hayward by Deborah Shepard; 6. "Colin overcame his only artistic rival by marrying her": the story of Anne and Colin McCahon by Linda Tyler; 7. "Nobody would have given tuppence for our chances": James K Baxter and J C Sturm by Paul Millar; 8. Symbiosis: Sylvia and Peter Siddell by Catherine Lane West-Newman; 9. Pictures and Politics: Pat and Gil Hanly by Claudia Bell Index