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Crossing Mali

Wed 31 Oct 2007 In: Books View at Wayback View at NDHA

Crossing Mali's cover In Ponsonby on Tuesday 23 October, a crowd of 50-60 people celebrated the launch of Crossing Mali, the combined work of the poetry of Brent Coutts and paper collages of Gavin Hurley, with drinks and the opportunity to have copies of the book signed. The poem recounts the adventure to Mali ten years ago by Coutts and his male partner, and their attempts to reach the legendary city of Timbuktu. Through the reference to early historical adventurers and the poet's personal experience, the poem creates an image tinged with the excitement of these earlier explorers and their attempts to push boundaries to new frontiers. Underneath, there is a more personal allegory. Coutts describes the poem, Crossing Mali, as "a love poem between the two men but it is also a poem about the realisation that in the end the journey itself can be more important than reaching the destination." An illustration from the book Alongside the poem are the twenty three meticulous and intricate paper collage works by Hurley. Created from recycled paper, precise cutting and varied textures they compliment and contrast. Within the latest series of Hurley's work, created for Crossing Mali, the effect is best represented in the cravats that the eighteenth-century explorers wear. Gavin Hurley and Brent Coutts at the launch The product of two years of collaboration between the author and artist, Crossing Mali "is designed to surprise the reader who delves inside, with themes of adventure, Africa, explorers and journeys." Copies of Crossing Mali are available from selected bookshops or by contacting Brent Coutts via email: Scott Dunning - 31st October 2007    

Credit: Scott Dunning

First published: Wednesday, 31st October 2007 - 7:40pm

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