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Celebrating country stores

Wairarapa shops and towns feature in a new book of photographs by an award-winning author.

Photographs taken in Featherston, Greytown and Carterton are included in The Shops, by writer Steve Braunias and photographer Peter Black.

“The Wairarapa proved rich pickings for our project,” said Mr Braunias, who also published the book.

“It’s a very scenic part of New Zealand and part of the scenery are everyday sights which might be overlooked, such as the startling fire-engine red paintjob at the Southend Dairy.

“Other photos from the area had that special quality of light which is unique to Wairarapa.

The Challenge service station in Greytown. PHOTO/PETER BLACK
The Challenge service station in Greytown. PHOTO/PETER BLACK

“The very final photo in the book, to the side of a service station in Greytown, was chosen as a perfect way to end the book – there’s a lovely sunset in the distance, but the main part of the photo is taken up by the service station, because one of the book’s themes is our recognition of the hard work that goes into all trades and businesses.”

Mr Braunias has written a personal essay about family shopping in New Zealand, and Black has contributed 44 colour photographs of shops throughout New Zealand.

“We see the book as a quiet celebration of shops in small towns – their beauty and their charm, and their place in the community.”

It has been named as one of the best art books of the year at the New Zealand Herald.

Black is well-known for his exhibitions of photographer at art galleries throughout New Zealand.

The courtyard of where Cindyz Pizza once was, on Featherston’s main street. PHOTO/PETER BLACK
The courtyard of where Cindyz Pizza once was, on Featherston’s main street. PHOTO/PETER BLACK

Mr Braunias won the national book award for best book of non-fiction in 2013 for his book Civilisation.

The Shops is published by Luncheon Sausage Books and retails for $40.

It reached the number two spot on the best-seller chart at Unity Books in Wellington.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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