The Pear Tree Press gained its name from an aged pear tree that overhung an old brick farm shed where Tara McLeod first established the Press in the Mt Albert suburb of Auckland, later moving north of Auckland to Orewa.
A varied selection of limited edition books and other printed material are produced using the traditional method of letterpress. Metal and wood types from the Press's collection are used with images that may include wood, linocut and wood engraving.
Although the technology relates back five hundred years to Gutenberg, the design philosophy relates to twenty-first century ideals using a hands on directness in a creative and sometimes experimental way.
Tara is a multimedia artist with a background in graphic design. His works have been exhibited widely including the Dowse Art Museum and The Alexander Turnbull Library who hold a substantial collection of his work in their Rare Books and Fine Printing Collection.
Pear Tree Press books and prints are held in major libraries and collections in New Zealand, United States, England, Australia and Canada. Tara has the distinction of being the only contemporary New Zealand artist to feature in the book Real Gold: Treasures of Auckland Public Libraries.
“One chooses either to simply muck about in the shed with an old printing press, or to acquire at considerable labour, cost and some risk to one's emotional stability, standards of excellence comparable with the finest anywhere in the world.”
Alan Loney 1979