A history book spanning one hundred years is nothing out of the ordinary, however what makes this book so unusual is that all the photographs have been fully and painstakingly redigitised in colour by Brazilian artist Marina Amaral. The detail and exhaustive research that has gone into ensuring the colours are correct is amazing. The black and white pictures come to life, bringing new meaning and poignancy to many famous photos that we are familiar with. It is a shame the cover is so dull and monochrome but perhaps this is to heighten the surprise of what is inside.
This book is an absolute treat and is beautifully produced by Te Papa Press. The blurb describes it as “lavish” and it really is. Highlighting old advertisements, photos (many hand-coloured, quite different from The Colour of Time, but just as beautiful) and paintings, the New Zealand alpine experience is brought to life. As an aside, I couldn’t get over how well-dressed and smart the people are in all the photos, no tatty jeans, nasty track pants or daggy shorts here, they all look incredibly glam and well put together in amongst the most stunning scenery.