The Holloway Press, 1994–2013: A checklist of publications, edited by Francis McWhannell (Holloway Press, Auckland, 2014). Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Dark Arts: Twenty years of the Holloway Press’, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (4 July to 31 August 2014); 16 pp., $30
2014 saw the unfortunate sudden demise of New Zealand’s Holloway Press. Thus, the Gus Fisher Gallery exhibition became a retrospective, as opposed to the original intention of a survey of Holloway Press books and ephemera. To review the above booklet, then, is to also review the publication history of the Holloway Press.
Although this booklet is outwardly quite an insignificant object when first held, it quickly asserts itself as an invaluable record of the publishing activities of one of New Zealand’s most important and respected private presses. This humble booklet carries within its linotype-set and letterpress-printed pages the activities and contributions of some of New Zealand’s most highly regarded writers and artists and, just as importantly for me, the letterpress printers who designed and printed these books, who brought their existence to fruition. And this is one of the most significant aspects of the Holloway Press: the fact that it enabled these printers to produce substantial and sumptuous books on a scale that is often beyond the means of many private press printers in New Zealand due to the high costs involved. The press has employed New Zealand’s finest handcraft printers at various times, including Alan Loney, Tara McLeod and Brendan O’Brien, all of whom operate their own private presses (Electio Editions, Pear Tree Press and Fernbank Studio respectively). [Read more…]