For the last 6 years I have been sneaking poetry pieces into the print queue in the MOTAT Print Shop. Well at first I was sneaking them in, but as time as gone on, the poetry we print has become a big part of what we do in the Print Shop. Last Friday saw the opening of an exhibition that celebrates those works we have printed. The exhibition is also about the Māori typecase I have been working on for the last 18 months, and showcases the ‘Kia ora Te Reo’ booklet we made this year for Māori language week.
The opening was a real treat, our guests were a mixture of Auckland based poets and poetry lovers alongside the MOTAT team who had a hand in putting the show together. It was a huge team effort and I was honoured to have my design and typesetting on show.
Here are a few photos from the opening event:
Since finalising the new jobbing typecase for setting in te reo Māori late last year, I’ve been plodding along setting bits and pieces. Namely the MOTAT Māori language booklet for te wiki o te reo Māori (11th – 17th September ’17) and a poem by Vaughan Rapatahana.
But in the lead up to tēnei wiki, I’ve been chatting to people about the project and what printing in te reo means for me. Below are two recent videos about the case and letterpress printing in te reo Māori.
This is an animated interview with the excellent and talented Sam Orchard! He’s such a great interviewer, I was so at my ease! Thanks Sam!
And this next one is a video from MOTAT, where they filmed what I’ve been getting up to in the print room (I was way more nervous for this one!)
I am so excited! I was awarded the 2017 Ema Saikō Poetry Fellowship, which is a residency at the New Zealand Pacific Studio in the Wairarapa. I will be there for three weeks in November.
I’ll be working on a series of landscape poems which will take the form of text as well as mark-making and calligraphic work. These works will go towards a small hand printed chapbook which I will be printing with the team at MOTAT in early 2018 (all going well).
The fellowship is in honour of Ema Saikō, a Japanese poet, painter and calligrapher from the late Endo period. The picture on the right is a portrait she painted sourced from here.
I’d also like to acknowledge the fabulous poet and typographer Ya-wen Ho who was an Ema Saikō fellow last year.
So watch this space in November for some updates!!
So this is my initial design, well, it’s about the fourth design so far – but it’s the initial design before trying to set type with it.
I originally wanted to leave as many letters in the same place as in the NZ Printing Museum lay. But, in the end, having the ‘g’ so far away from the ‘n,’ just doesn’t make sense.
But I have kept the uppercase in alphabetical order.* And I have kept the vowels in place, and moved whatever was next to them to allow for the tōhuto (macron) version.
A wee quandary I am having about what to include, punctuation wise, is the ampersand. As someone who loves printing, is interested in typography, as well as someone who is interested in mark making and the forms of lines, I LOVE the ampersand. But is it needed in te reo Māori? There are so many ways of saying ‘and’ for different contexts, that a single ampersand doesn’t really cut it. And the ampersand is also a symbol for a whole word, rather than a sound. Perhaps it can be used in place of ‘me’ as ‘and’ or ‘with’ when listing? I’m not sure. Any thoughts from fluent speakers would be very welcome!!
* I wonder what order the alphabet would be in if it had been designed by Māori?