Two beautiful new covers by designer Ania Nałęcka-Milach hand-drawn digitally from two photographs of fern and embers from the Whanganui River for my forthcoming book Te Ahi Kā - The Fires of Occupation. Two versions of the cover will provide the reader with two choices, either a cover with fern representing a female version of the book, or a male version featuring a cover image of embers. Travelling the Whanganui River Māori women uses the fern as a way of purification, protection and prayer. In the past the men would carry the fire using embers wrapped in a Ponga tree (silver fern) from one village to another as a symbol of occupation. Today, Māori are returning to their ancestral land as Treaty settlements are slowly resolved with the New Zealand government. Te Ahi Kā is more then a physical marker, spiritually it re-awakens the mauri - the life-force - and becomes a fire of ambition inside each individual.
My new book dummy has been around the Grand Palais. Thanks for all the feeadback from publishers, curators, editors and artists who took time out to view Te Ahi Kā, Pierre Bessard, Alexa Becker, Dewi Lewis, Sonia Berger, Hannah Trolley, Tiffany Jones, Delphine Bedel, Chris Boot, Jens Erdman Rasmussen and Finn Larsen...au revoir Paris #teahika
20 years in the making Te Ahi Kā explore the physical and metaphysical relationship between a river and its ancestors, between Māori and me. Brilliant design by the one and only Ania Nalecka Milach and photo editing and sequencing by Rafal Milach. Check out what's inside here on my new website https://www.martintoft.com/shop/te-ahi-k-the-fires-of-occupation #teahika
The concept and design of the book is now completed and 5 book-dummies have been made for the purpose of seeking further support for finding a suitable publisher and securing funding toward printing and binding 1000 copies, scheduled for production in the Spring 2018. Here a few page spreads.
Design by Ania Nałęcka-Milach
A fitting end to my journey to the Gaspe Peninsula was to visit Vane Le Page who's family home I stayed in on this trip. His great grandfather Thomas Le Page left Jersey with his family for Canada in 1843 to avoid bankruptcy. His eldest son Thomas David Le Page worked as a caulker in the Collas an Co shipbuilding yard in Point St Peter, Malbay. His first wife, Susan Jane Coutanche from Jersey died in childbirth. Four years later Thomas David remarried Mary Ann Le Marquand who sadly also died twelve days after giving birth to Francis Le Page on 28 March 1889, Vane's father. Vane first wife Thelma Leggo also died in childbirth.
This is where the decisive battle between the English and French was won by General Wolfe's surprise attack on 13 Sept 1759. This event was the catalyst for Charles Robin & Co to establish a cod-fishing empire in the New World
The old diary parlour converted into a temporary studio at Maison Le Page on the Gáspe coast
Great to have visitors from Jersey to come by the Gaspe to learn more about Charles Robin and the cod-fisheries. Here Senator Philip Ozouf and Kevin Rogers are meeting Roger Wise and Enid Legros, daughter of Arthur LeGros, who became a major shareholder of Robin Jones and Whitman Ltd in the early 1950s when the company was in difficulty and was acting General Manager for over twenty years.