The Artist | Ruby Solly
At first there is nothing but black sand, then something begins to grow; a gentle song emerges so bright that sound becomes sight . . . And so from the black the world is sung into being, not for us, but for itself, but for the song.
In a Southern land, where the veil of time and space has worn thin, twins with otherworldly ways are born to a stone carver and his wife. As they grow into themselves, the landscape and its histories will rise up to meet them and change their whānau forever.
Cave art leaps from walls, pounamu birds sing, legends become reality, and history becomes the present in this verse novel by Ruby Solly (Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu). The Artist brings to life the histories of our great Southern iwi through the whakapapa of its characters and the rich world they and their ancestors call their tūrakawaewae—their place to stand, their place to sing.
Ruby Solly (Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) is a writer, musician and taonga pūoro practitioner living in Pōneke. Her first book, Tōku Pāpā, was published in 2021 and longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. She has had poetry published in Aotearoa, Australia, America and Antarctica. In 2020 she released her debut album, Pōneke, and in 2021, Bird Like Men, as part of the group Tararua. She is currently completing a PhD in public health, focusing on the use of taonga pūoro in hauora Māori.
Cover: Ruby Solly