White Cloud Worlds: An Anthology Of Science Fiction And Fantasy Artwork From Aotearora New Zealand (book review)

I’ve seen the cover of ‘White Cloud Worlds: An Anthology Of Science Fiction And Fantasy Artwork From Aotearora New Zealand’ a couple time in the past year and thought about time I ought to have a look at it. A common connection between all 27 artists here is the majority are working for or have worked for WETA Studios, so don’t be surprised if we see some ‘Lord Of The Rings’ art here. Oddly, there are only two lady artists, Rebekah Holguin and Claire Hackett. Artwork is universal in its appreciation and they cover not only digital medium but oils here as well. I haven’t got permission to show the interiors but the art is jaw-dropping, some of which is influenced by their home setting. There are also three sculpturers, Jamie Beswarick, Stephen Lambert and David Meng.

I often think that we don’t see enough artwork from countries other than the UK and USA when really many have a flourishing art talent. Where New Zealand is concerned, especially with its film industry, their artists are given room to flourish.

This book really has something for everyone from SF, fantasy and horror, experimental and cartoon. The medium is from digital to oils to acrylics and the odd pencil sketch. I have to confess I was surprised at oil being used as a medium, mostly because New Zealand is a hot climate but looking it up, it does actually speed things up although I would be a little cautious with turps and linseed oil because they would evaporate even faster without ventilation to spare your lungs.

If anything the biggest surprise is not seeing a follow-up book. This is a terrific book.

GF Willmetts

May 2023

(pub: Harper Design/HarperColins/New Zealand/Ignite Inc., 2011. 128 page illustrated large hardback. Price:  ISBN: 978-0-06-219785-6)

check out websites: www.harpercollins.com/products/white-cloud-worlds-paul-tobin?variant=32116429455394 and www.ignite.inc.co.uk

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