Conversātiō: In the company of bees

Book Author  Anne Noble with Zara Stanhope and Anna Brown
Rights Available World excl. NZ

Conversātiō looks at the astounding practice of leading New Zealand photographer Anne Noble, set against the issues of ecosystem collapse and climate change and examining what an artist can do in response. Its creative focus is on that most important insect, the European bee. Reminiscent of an artist book in its extensive visual content, its appeal is to a wide readership curious about art, ecology, science, literature and their intersections.

Through Noble’s art and newly commissioned essays, the book traverses Noble’s deep interest in how humans relate to bees. From images of communities of bees to tintype photographs showing the beauty of translucent bee wings, photograms from the wings of dead bees and a black and white series of electron microscope images, Noble’s photographs present the hive life of bees in rich detail. Like the finest honey this book is a treasure.

About the Author
Anne Noble
is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most widely respected contemporary photographers; she has been at the forefront of photographic practice in New Zealand since the early 1980s. Creating bodies of work that mark sustained engagement with particular places, sites, histories, issues and, more recently, species, her images are known for their beauty, complexity and conceptual rigour and for their persistent inquiry into the ways we perceive and come to understand the natural world. She is Professor of Fine Arts (Photography) at Massey University Wellington, and was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to photography in 2003. Noble has exhibited internationally at galleries and art museums in Melbourne, Los Angeles, Canberra, Valladolid, Berlin, and Brisbane.


Author Video

Massey University Press


230 x 170mm

Cloth Jacket

Non Fiction


Publication Date
September 2021

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Nicola Legat, Massey University Press

Contact Massey University Press about this book

The book title link will automatically be added to your message.

Pick up Conversātiō, this sumptuous book, with its title demanding attentiveness, and you will fall into Anne’s close-up photographs of bees at work.

Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

An important part of Noble’s bee photographs is her acute awareness of the vulnerability of the species to environmental degradation . . . Her exquisite Dead Bee portraits and delicate photographs of dead bees’ wings are especially poignant in this regard and are among the many highlights of this remarkable and beautifully produced book.

Peter Simpson, Kete