In 2008 the famous painter Don Binney completed a suite of 24 absolutely charming coloured pencil drawings of Auckland's West Coast, from Huia to Te Henga (Bethells). They are evocative of the coast so many New Zealanders love and they are magnificent works in themselves. They are accompanied by text that takes the reader on an imaginary journey from Huia to Te Henga, commenting on the landmarks shown in each of the drawings. They also draw on Binney's extensive contact with this coast and with the Waitakeres in general: in early adulthood he tramped and camped throughout the area, he was a founder member of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and he has often used his art to underpin his conservation-activist work. The book is a beautiful keepsake-small and perfectly formed, as the drawings are. Deliberately inexpensive, it is accessible to all. Lovers of the west will find it completely enchanting.
Don Binney is one of this country's foremost painters. A former head of the Elam School of Art at the University of Auckland and a lifetime committed conservationist, his works are found in all this country's public art collections.
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