A country that's too small for most artists to make a living and one that has been both fickle and under-appreciative when it comes to arts... That's how a critic, poet and filmmaker Roger Horrocks sees the eight decades of New Zealand art that he covers in his new book.
But Culture in a Small Country, The Arts in New Zealand also celebrates what our artists have, and continue to achieve, despite all the obstacles in their way.
Roger Horrocks is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Auckland. He's also one of the founders of the Auckland International Film Festival, Script to Screen and NZ on Screen.
In the book, he expresses his frustration and scepticism when it comes to things like arts funding, the downgrading of arts education in our schools and the digital era.
Rogers tells Lynn Freeman that, while artists are producing world class work in Aotearoa, it's often despite rather than because they live here.
Culture in a Small Country: The Arts in New Zealand by Roger Horrocks is published by Atuanui Press. Roger will be discussing the book this Tuesday at the Aotea Centre as part of the Auckland Writers Festival.