Navigation for Standing Room Only

On Standing Room Only, the word is "Books" - from the changing look of the nation's Writers and Readers Weeks to a new book about James Cook by painter Peter Ireland. Young Adult author Barbara Else offers a new type of animal in her new book Harsu and the Werestoat, while comedian and journalist Joanne Brookfield talks to 60 Australian and New Zealand women comedians for a new book, No Apologies.

Meanwhile a new art installation by expat artist Peter Wareing is inspired by Brexit, and poet Hera Lindsay Bird goes to DigitalNZ when she's stuck.  All this plus the Drama at 3 and plenty of songs about books.


12:38 Waiting for Brexit

Peter Wareing Suspended Agency film still

Peter Wareing Suspended Agency film still Photo: supplied

The working class London suburb of Dagenham voted overwhelmingly for Britain to leave the EU.  But, like the rest of the country, voters simply weren't prepared for what happened - or didn't happen - next.

Expat artist Peter Wareing aims to capture the sense of paralysis and numbness many of them are feeling, in a 70 minute long film installation called Suspended Agency that's now showing in New Zealand.

Lynn Freeman asked Peter what first drew him to Dagenham:

Suspended Agency has just opened at the Govett Brewster in New Plymouth.

12:50 Readers and Writers but not as we know it

The New Zealand Festival's popular Readers and Writers Week is being handed over to a company that's been running a very different kind of literary event.

Clare Mabey and her partner Andrew Laking are behind Wellington's Litcrawl where almost all of the events are free and held in all kinds of venues, from record stores to second hand book shops.  It's part of Welington's Verb Festival.

So with just a year til the next Readers and Writers event in the capital, are they planning to shake things up?

Lynn Freeman talks with Clare Mabey, then invites comment from another Claire - Claire Finlayson, who heads the upcoming Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival opening in May.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews Disney's live-action remake of Dumbo, a quirky horror film Us and a unique Icelandic eco-terrorist comedy-drama Woman at War.

1:31  Peter Ireland and the weight of Captain Cook

Artist Peter Ireland has spent much of his 50 years as an artist painting aspects of Captain James Cook.

For this sestercentennial - that's 250, if your Latin's a little rusty - year of Cook's arrival on the Endeavour, Peter's just published almost 70 of his Cook works in a book he calls The Weight of the Captain's Wrist.

It was launched yesterday at the Russell Museum.  Lynn Freeman asked Peter Ireland what got him so interested in James Cook, and sustained that interest over the past few decades:

The Weight of the Captain's Wrist is published by Rim Books.

1:45 Maintaining your art-work

Once you've bought your artwork there's a lot more to consider than where to place it.   Light, dirt, temperature, humidity and insects are all potential threats to works on paper, film and textiles.

Auckland Art Gallery's Painting Conservator Ingrid Ford and Paper Conservator Camilla Baskcomb know all about it.  They spend their days repairing damaged artworks.

Conservation work remains painstaking, despite new techniques and technologies. Ingrid and Camilla are about to give a talk, including conservation tips for art collectors at the Gallery.

Lynn Freeman spoke with them both, first asking Camilla what the difference is between conservation and full restoration:

My Art Collector Series: Caring for Your Collection is on at Auckland Art Gallery this week.

2:06 The Laugh Track - author Joanne Brookfield

In the comedy world, it's still the question that won't go away - where are the women comedians?  At any comedy festival, women standup acts are always noticeably outnumbered by their male counterparts.

But, paradoxically, women-driven comedy has never been more noticeable on TV - shows like Russian Doll, Fleabag, The Good Place and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel - ironically about a female standup comedian in the 1950s.

Wrestling with the thorny visibility issue is author Joanne Brookfield, who spells it out in her new book.  We're not sure about the title:  No Apologies - Women in comedy claiming their space, finding their voices and telling their stories, but we like the idea.

Joanne Brookfield joins Simon Morris on the Laugh Track from Melbourne, and her picks include Eleanor Tiernan,  Judith Lucy, Maria Bamford and Magda Szubanski.  No Apologies is published by Echo

2:26 Can't put your finger on it?  Try DigitalNZ

Searching for portraits of women leaning on a table - not only that, women sitting on the left hand side - is one of the more unusual searches carried out on the National Library's DigitalNZ site.

The online resource is a treasure trove for researchers, artists and writers, among others wanting instant access to the National Library's collection - and beyond, including overesas content.

It already offers access to more than 30-million objects, and counting.

The team keeps working on the site, coming up with new ideas and ways to make it easier to navigate.

Lynn Freeman meets DigitalNZ's Fiona Fieldsend, who tells her it aims to be a one-stop shop, bringing together digital content from all kinds of other sites and organisations.

DigitalNZ is part of the National Library of New Zealand. Also mentioned in the interview were a genealogy link - here - the Te Papa collection and Papers Past.


2:41 Barbara Else and the Werestoat

Barbara Else

Barbara Else Photo: supplied

No caption

Photo: supplied

A werestoat who's a minor demigod as well as a disasterous mother is a core character in the new Young Adult novel by Barbara Else.

Harsu & the Werestoat is the story of a 12 year old boy, his nightmare of a mother and the 'perfect' children she keeps kidnapping.

Barbara also writes adult novels and non fiction, along with being a manuscript assessor and editor. Her previous children's writing includes the popular Fontania adventure series.

In May she's taking a workshop on Writing For Children as part of the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival.

Lynn Freeman asked Barbara about her approach to writing for a discriminating young audience.

Harsu & the Werestoat is published by Gecko Press

2:49 Irish artist Eva Rothschild and art you can dismantle

Ireland's 2019 Venice Biennale representative Eva Rothschild is currently working on an exhibition that she and her nation hope will impress the thousands of art critics and art lovers wjho attend the famous event.

Eva fashions scuptures and installations from all kinds of unusual materials and also works with videos.

She's about to exhibit her work in New Zealand for the first time. The exhibition includes a wall to peek over, stools to sit on, a punching bag. 

It also features a video of  a 'controlled experiment', where she invited a group of boys to engage with her works, which they ultimately dismantle and play with.

Lynn Freeman asks Eva Rothschild about Kosmos, and her upcoming Venice Biennale opportunity:

Kosmos opens at Wellington City Gallery on Saturday.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Fall of the Shah and Appointment with Samarra

Episode 6 of the BBC production Fall of the Shah, and the final of eco-thriller Appointment with Samarra by Stuart Hoar.

3.54 Turning Bowie into Ballet

Contemporary ballet set to David Bowie tracks is the latest challenge New York choreographer Dwight Rhoden has given himself.

His Complexions Ballet Company set up in 1994 is well known for taking ballet in different directions over the years.

His international dancers are heading to New Zealand with their show, Bach to Bowie.

Dwight tells Lynn Freeman that attitudes towards contemporary dance have changed radically in the past decade or so:

Bach to Bowie is on at the Civic in Auckland in May.



Music played in this show

Artist: The Monotones
Song: The book of love
Composer: Davis-Malone-Patrick
Album: Book Of Love
Label: Argo
Played at: 12.34

Artist: Belinda Carlisle
Song: Little black book
Composer: Carlisle-Feldman
Album: A place on earth
Label: Virgin
Played at:  12.58

Artist: Dinah Washington
Song: I could write a book
Composer: Rodgers-Hart
Album: Compact Jazz
Label: Mercury
Played at:  1.07

Artist:  Manfred Mann
Song: My little red book
Composer:  Bacharach-David
Album: The best of
Label: EMI
Played at:  1.42

Artist: Sinead O'Connor
Song: The Lamb's Book of Life
Composer: O'Connor
Album: Faith and Courage
Label: Atlantic
Played at:  1.58

Artist:  George Formby and Beryl
Song:  Does your dream tell you that?
Composer: Formby
Album: England's Famed Clown Prince of Song
Label: JSP
Played at: 2.04

Artist:  Dusty Springfield
Song: My colouring book
Composer: Ebb-Kander
Album: The Silver Collection
Label: Philips
Played at:  2.38

Artist: Bo Diddley
Song: You can't judge a book by the cover
Composer: Dixon
Album: The Best of
Label: MCA
Played at: 2.58

Artist: The Books
Song: Be good to them always
Composer: Books
Album: Lost and safe
Label: Tomlab
Played at: 3.58