Hobson chooses again: Edward Hopper – “In Sunlight and in Shadow”


Sometimes a book or an idea will come along and really blow your socks off. This works best when you are not expecting it, and that is what happened to me with this book. It turned out to be an excellent collection of stories and such an excellent idea too.

 In Sunlight and in Shadow contains 18 reproductions of paintings by the great American painter Edward Hopper, and to compliment them there are 17 short stories by some of America’s great authors. Included are the likes of Stephen King, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver and Lawrence Block. Each takes a painting as their starting point and then weaves their magic to transform it into a story.

Hopper’s “Room in New York”

 I have long been an admirer of the art of Edward Hopper, so it was a delight to find this book. In my mind I associate him most with lone figures in lonely settings. Women in hotel rooms with a sense that they are waiting for something or someone. Many of his canvasses are almost voyeuristic, we are looking in through a window, sometimes seeing a half dressed woman. The pictures all come with mood too, such as one of the most famous, Nighthawks, where a couple sit side by side in a brightly lit diner. That it is late at night and that the couple might not know each other well, are all elements that are suggested but are ones that I have inferred from the painting. There is another man sitting at the counter, with his back to us. What he looks like will forever remain a mystery. There are three people, but you sense they are all alone. So many of Hopper’s paintings have this strong sense of narrative, there is a story in there waiting to be told. They lend themselves perfectly to this project and the assembled writers have done them proud.

Hopper’s “Nighthawks”

 It would be wrong to say too much about the stories, because each one comes as a surprise, and they are probably not the same story that you see when you look at the painting. So take a moment and look at each picture first. Think what story you see when you look at it, and then let someone surprise you with their direction.

Hopper’s “The Automat”

I will make one exception, however, because there is one story that for me stands head and shoulders above the rest in this collection. I was not familiar with the painting Room by the Sea, although when I looked in the book of Hopper paintings I have owned for twenty years I see that it is there. It lacks any focal point or any figure and that probably made me to skip past it. There is a bare wall, the tiniest hint of a lounge room beyond in one corner and then an open door that has the sea beyond. Not the sea in the distance, but right there. The door seems to open straight out into the middle of the ocean. This scene, with its lack of details, is taken by Nicholas Christopher and turned into the most amazing flight of imagination. I was reminded of the Nobel laureate Jose Saramago, who wrote The Tale of the Unknown Island, a short and wonderful fantasy with a fairy tale quality. Christopher does the same, transporting us to foreign lands and impossible concepts without the slightest hint that anything is other than real. I love his story, it is magical, mythical and utterly beautiful. In fact it was so good that I went online to find some second-hand copies of some more of his stories.  Via AbeBooks I found some cheap copies in the USA and after a month long wait for the post, the first of the three has just arrived.

 In Sunlight and in Shadow is a brilliant idea which is brilliantly executed. Enjoy the pictures and then enjoy them again as stories. An excellent selection of authors have been gathered, many with a leaning towards a crime thriller, and every story is a gem.

Marcus Hobson is the ARTbop Literary Editor, regular book reviewer, writer, and  the Secretary of the Tauranga Writers group Marcus has been, and continues to be, lots of things. An aspiring author of both novels and reviews, he has always said he wants to be a writer and 40 years later is making that come true. He has in the past done such varied things as study ancient and mediaeval history at Uni in London, worked as an archaeologist, as an economist in central and southern Africa, and as truck driver in a quarry. About two years ago he relocated to the beautiful Bay from a finance job in Auckland. He is a lover of art, the written word and a full time fanatical book collector, with over 3,000 volumes on his shelves. He lives close to Katikati with his wife and sometimes their three daughters, two cats, a library and the odd chicken. Marcus is currently working on a “factional” work about World War One.


If you would like to contribute your original book reviews to ARTbop WORDS please forward them to info@artbop.co.nz for the attention of the Literary Editor Marcus Hobson.   We prefer the work is emailed in docx format We appreciate one or two jpg images (not enormous ones as they become an uploading issue for ARTbop)





Remember the fun of colouring in as a child? Tauranga City Libraries’ has two Adult Colouring Clubs!

tauranga Library: Held on the last Wednesday of each month from 10:30-11:30am. Register your interest by phoning 577-7177 or by emailing Diane.taggart@tauranga.govt.nz

Papamoa Library: Held on the second Thursday of each month from 10:30-11:30am. Register your interest by phoning 577-7177 or by emailing Kirsten.Allan@tauranga.govt.nz

BYO colouring book and equipment or give it a go using our basic materials supplied.   

Adult colouring helps reduce stress, anxiety and we have a lot of creative fun!

  Friends of the Tauranga City Libraries IncPresident:  Terry HawkerPatron:   Bill HollandMEETING  PROGRAMME



Tauranga Library

There is no meeting in February  Contact: Betty 542 4322


Papamoa Library Book Group  Wednesday 15 February starting at 10:00am

Topic – Biographies / Autobiographies  Contact: Gail 574 3376



Mount Maunganui Library Book Group Tuesday 28 February starting at 10:00am

 Topic – Summer Reading  Contact: Gail 574 3376



Greerton Library – Chat Group  Thursday 23 February starting at 10:00am

Topic: Cr Max Mason talks about his inspirational hike of the Appalachian Trail

Contact: Pam 571 2566


Visitors and new members always welcome!





donotleavemehangingbyathreadsecondseries2016-001Do not leave me hanging by a thread is a You Tube spoken word project to encourage support for the work of Medecins Sans Frontieres – Doctors Without Borders.

“Medecins Sans frontieres – Doctors Without Borders is an international non-governmental humanitarian medical organisaiton. It delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from health care. It was founded in Paris in 1971 by a group of doctors and journalists who believed that all people have the right to medical care regarldess of gender race religion or political affiliation. There are regionally based organisations. Australia has an organisation www.msf.org.au


Creative Bay of Plenty is hosting the exhibition “Tin-o-cocoa, tin-o-cocoa, tin-o-cocoa! Waitangi – the subversion of the everyday” from 31 January to 20 February 2017. The exhibition features works by Linda Munn, Que Bidois, Jason Porter, Parewhati Taikato, Mia Morgan, Te Rangipikitia, Damita Phillips, Judy Mohi and Areena Chase.







Exhibition | Molly Morpeth Canaday Award: Painting and Drawing

January 28 to March 12, 2017 
Whakatane Museum and Arts, Whakatane

The 2017 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award for Painting and Drawing will be exhibited across all three galleries at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi — The Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre — and open to the public from Saturday, 28 January until Sunday, 12 March 2017.

Presented by Arts Whakatāne in association with Whakatāne Museum and Arts, this nationally-recognised art award will recognise 13 category winners. The 2017 judge, Felicity Milburn, announced the winners on Friday, 27 January, including the artists to receive the $2500 Craigs Investment Partners Youth prize and the $10,000 Molly Morpeth Canaday Fund award.

Whakatane Museum and Arts

Date(s) – 28/01/2017 – 12/03/2017

The Judge:

Heather Hourigan, Molly Morpeth Canaday Co-Ordinator with 2017 Judge Felicity Milburn

Felicity Milburn is a Curator at Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetu. She works with artists on a wide range of projects, from temporary installations through to large-scale survey exhibitions. Most recently, Milburn curated exhibitions of historical and contemporary art from the collection and beyond for the Gallery’s reopening. She writes regularly about art for local and international publications and is the art editor for the literary magazine, Takahē. This year, Milburn has worked with Billy Apple and Lisa Walker on solo individual projects, and prepared an exhibition on the paintings of Doris Lusk.

Editor’s Note: There is a large free parking area within easy walking distance of this complex which is part of a waterfront shopping precinct – including a New World if you feel the need to stock up on the basics. Whakatane has a number of cafes within its main streets area which you access through the Centre arcade. There is an outstandingly popular sushi cafe opposite with a great array of sushi and as a bonus “free” green tea. There are signposted public toilets and toilets within the Exhibition Centre. Whakatane is a magical “day out”.

You can also find the flavour of the Eastern Bay of Plenty in Arts Revealed

img_3864-web-lgbookcoverArts Revealed: Eastern Bay of Plenty

Andrea Cooper and Heather Hourigan

Read the review in Words by Lee Switzer






Hello from Miranda Farm Gallery, The Summer show is now up and open for viewing. There are some sculptures out doors in the orchard, and many beautiful paintings, prints, ceramics and sculptures in the gallery.Artists this year include Michael Smither, Fatu Feu’u, Neil Miller,Christine Hellyar, Warren Viscoe, Clovis Viscoe, James Wright, Uli Christofferson, Samantha Lisette, Suzy Dunser. We will be open on all the public holidays through the Summer, and the farm shop/cafe also. We look forward to seeing you here, and have a safe and happy Christmas from us all. Annie Wilson Miranda Farm Gallery 1107 Miranda Rd 09 238 2608 www.mirandafarm.co.nz Open 8-4pm every day



Travelling through Hamilton and the Waikato? Make sure you take time to stop and walk through the Hamilton Gardens. Forty years of effort on a disused quarry and swamp site has created and international standard botanical garden. Lots of parking, clean toilets and an onsite cafe. Hamilton also has a Museum and art centre on Victoria Street.



Hey Banksy is that you?

Here he comes…


Paradox the Street Art Festival coming to Tauranga March to June 2017 – W: taurangastreetart.co.nz






ARTbop the Bay of Plenty’s creative arts magazine

–read it online, anywhere, anytime!





About Author

Leave A Reply