Welcome to My World, The Art of Sam Taare

The exhibition catalogue by Martin D Page is a work of art in itself.

The exhibition catalogue by Martin D Page is a work of art in itself.

THE CATALOGUE: As curator for Welcome to My World, The Art of Sam Taare, graphic artist Martin D Page designed his own catalogue for the exhibition of the East Coast painter’s works in one of the NZ Outsider Art Fair shows. About to be submitted to Pride in Print awards, the catalogue is a work of art itself.
Pictures by Liam Clayton

THE recent New Zealand Outsider Art Fair’s show of Rangitukia-born painter Sam Taare's works was introduced through another artwork: curator and graphic artist Martin D Page’s exhibition catalogue.

The exterior of the foldout catalogue for Welcome to My World, The Art of Sam Taare, features a similar visual vocabulary as that in Page’s cover design for Rangitukia kuia Keri Kaa’s book Taka Ki Ro Wai (Fell in the Water). The leached surface, the hint of water stain and strip of masking tape taps into the same earthiness.

This earthy quality of catalogue cover symbolises the Coast feel, says Page.

On the back of the Welcome to My World catalogue, Page has included a picture of the cardboard-tape-and-twine side of one of Taare’s paintings.

It’s a subtle, witty touch.

Taare got picture frames where he could and made his paintings fit. He typically backed his paintings with shop carton-cardboard fixed at the edges by brown plastic tape. A loop of twine and the work was ready to hang.

There’s not a lot of money up the Coast, says Page.

“They find a means to put things together. It’s not the same standard or style of living you get in bigger centres. I wanted to give them something that shows my respect and admiration.”

For the inside of the catalogue though, Page aimed to simulate the gallery-feel.

“The catalogue design has two different feels,” he says.

“The outside is uncoated card stock while the inside is coated.”

Included in the three white walls of the catalogue’s interior, as it were, is Page’s text about Taare’s background. In the central panel is Taare’s painting of St John’s Church in yellow with the blue mass of Hikurangi behind it.

Colours Taare used in the painting of St John’s Church in Rangitukia feature in the hand-painted sign Page designed for the show.

“I realised how much colour he used and how good a colourist he is. I did the lettering by hand deliberately. I also highlighted the kowhaiwhai because that is a significant feature of his work.

“Sam is innovative in the way he applies colour.”

Although Taare passed away three years ago, Page felt he was a living presence while working on the show and the catalogue which is why the graphic artist refers to him in the present tense.

Taare’s show is all heart, says Page’s partner Tania Short.

“A lot of shows are all head. They’re intellectual. It’s like a special club. Sam is not of that club.”

“I was conscious of introducing Sam to a pristine environment and essentially white audience,” says Page.

“When dealing with Sam’s art he’s with us. I needed to make sure I honoured him.”

Page’s use of red foil to spell out the title of the show on the front cover was a design leap aimed to catch people’s attention.

“Often when people use foil it can be on the tacky side. I felt that was a touch of outsider art.”

Taare’s use of colour is his birthright, says Short.

“Using foil in a harmonious way is kind of artful.”

The catalogue lives on beyond the show, says Page.

“In a way, when you’re designing a catalogue it is representative of the show. The catalogue is an ongoing sense of it.”

THE recent New Zealand Outsider Art Fair’s show of Rangitukia-born painter Sam Taare's works was introduced through another artwork: curator and graphic artist Martin D Page’s exhibition catalogue.

The exterior of the foldout catalogue for Welcome to My World, The Art of Sam Taare, features a similar visual vocabulary as that in Page’s cover design for Rangitukia kuia Keri Kaa’s book Taka Ki Ro Wai (Fell in the Water). The leached surface, the hint of water stain and strip of masking tape taps into the same earthiness.

This earthy quality of catalogue cover symbolises the Coast feel, says Page.

On the back of the Welcome to My World catalogue, Page has included a picture of the cardboard-tape-and-twine side of one of Taare’s paintings.

It’s a subtle, witty touch.

Taare got picture frames where he could and made his paintings fit. He typically backed his paintings with shop carton-cardboard fixed at the edges by brown plastic tape. A loop of twine and the work was ready to hang.

There’s not a lot of money up the Coast, says Page.

“They find a means to put things together. It’s not the same standard or style of living you get in bigger centres. I wanted to give them something that shows my respect and admiration.”

For the inside of the catalogue though, Page aimed to simulate the gallery-feel.

“The catalogue design has two different feels,” he says.

“The outside is uncoated card stock while the inside is coated.”

Included in the three white walls of the catalogue’s interior, as it were, is Page’s text about Taare’s background. In the central panel is Taare’s painting of St John’s Church in yellow with the blue mass of Hikurangi behind it.

Colours Taare used in the painting of St John’s Church in Rangitukia feature in the hand-painted sign Page designed for the show.

“I realised how much colour he used and how good a colourist he is. I did the lettering by hand deliberately. I also highlighted the kowhaiwhai because that is a significant feature of his work.

“Sam is innovative in the way he applies colour.”

Although Taare passed away three years ago, Page felt he was a living presence while working on the show and the catalogue which is why the graphic artist refers to him in the present tense.

Taare’s show is all heart, says Page’s partner Tania Short.

“A lot of shows are all head. They’re intellectual. It’s like a special club. Sam is not of that club.”

“I was conscious of introducing Sam to a pristine environment and essentially white audience,” says Page.

“When dealing with Sam’s art he’s with us. I needed to make sure I honoured him.”

Page’s use of red foil to spell out the title of the show on the front cover was a design leap aimed to catch people’s attention.

“Often when people use foil it can be on the tacky side. I felt that was a touch of outsider art.”

Taare’s use of colour is his birthright, says Short.

“Using foil in a harmonious way is kind of artful.”

The catalogue lives on beyond the show, says Page.

“In a way, when you’re designing a catalogue it is representative of the show. The catalogue is an ongoing sense of it.”

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