International Photo Festival a career boost for Cathy Carter

Participation in the Head On Photo Festival has been a significant career boost, says Auckland artist Cathy Carter.

A finalist in the portrait section two years running, Carter says the judges’ feedback as well as the workshops and professional collaboration associated with the Sydney-based festival has been valuable.

The artist says that the festival offered significant exposure for new work. Work by last year’s finalists toured to New York’s Photoville in Brooklyn, and Hyderabad, India, as well as exhibiting in Sydney.

Carter was one of two Kiwi finalists in this year’s Head On portrait prize with her work ‘Ophelia’. An exhibition of finalists work is exhibiting at the Museum of Sydney (until May 29, 2016). The other Kiwi finalist is Catherine Cattanach. Carter’s work Idya #2 was a finalist in last year’s Head On portrait prize.

“It’s great to be in the company of such strong and interesting work,” she says.

On the back of last year’s Brooklyn, New York show, Carter is the sole Kiwi in a group show upcoming at New York’s Agora Gallery, featuring artists from Australasia.

‘Out from Downunder & Beyond: Fine Art from Australia and New Zealand’ opens at Agora’s Chelsea gallery on May 26 and runs May 20 – June 9, 2016. Her work will also be on show in Paris in June at the MoaRoom. This show arose from Roderick Fry of Moaroom seeing Carter’s work chosen as a finalist in the Head On Portrait prize 2015.

“There’s no doubt that being part of the Head On Festival has paid dividends,” she says. “Competitions and festivals are a great way to put forward new work and share in a global conversation in the medium.”

Carter’s practice is based in Grey Lynn in Auckland. She was a 2014 Wallace Awards finalist and has twice been a finalist for the Glaistor Enor Award.


HeadOn Festival a boost for Kiwi artist

Head On Photography Festival 2016

This portrait Ophelia is inspired by pre Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais’ famous depiction of the drowned Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover from Shakespeare’s tragedy. At the original painting’s debut at the Royal Academy in London in 1852, critics were dismayed. The Times declared that “there must be something strangely perverse in the imagination which sources Ophelia in a weedy ditch, and robs the drowning struggle of that love-lorn maiden of all pathos and beauty”. Carter’s Ophelia is a contemporary young male, semi submerged in a setting as likely to have upset The Times – an alpine bog on Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro World Heritage Park in the central North Island of Aotearoa / New Zealand. This bog was formed in land planed and hollowed out by glacier ice. This alpine wetland hosts alpine bog cushion (Donatia novae-zelandiae), containing rushes, liverworts, sedges, mosses (including peat-forming Sphagnum) and algae.

Even though both images were created in winter. Millais’ model the 19 year old Elizabeth Siddell, posed for hrs in a tub that initially was warmed by oil lamps underneath it . However when these went out Elizabeth was left lying for in freezing cold water resulting in a cold. Thanks to the immediacy of photography 22 yr old art student Ziggy Lever only had to lie in the near freezing bog for a few minutes!

In choosing to portray Ophelia as a male I was also referencing the theatrical convention of Shakespeare’s time, namely that he would have written the part of Ophelia to be played by a young man. Finally, Ophelia is thought to have taken her own life. Aotearoa/ New Zealand ‘has the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD and young Maori men continue to be disproportionately represented in statistics”[1]. Just as Ophelia’s departure was shrouded in mystery, so very little is understood about why teenage boys and young men take their lives in such numbers, and very little effort has been made to understand this alarming trend. Some psychologists attribute this trend to young males’ perception of how they are seen as males in contemporary culture.


Image: Ophelia (Head On Portait Prize 2016)
Medium: archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag 310gsm
Size: 950 x 640mm



New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards 2015 open



The inaugural New Zealand Photobook Of The Year Awards 2015 are now open for entries until
8 February 2016. Presented by Photobook New Zealand and Momento Pro, the Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in photo book creation, and provide the opportunity to showcase the work of New Zealand photo artists to a growing local and international audience.

The $10,500 in prizes is designed to help photographers produce and promote their publication.
Self Published Prize: $2,000 cash + $5,000 Momento Pro printing
Trade Published Prize: $1,000 cash + $2,000 Momento Pro printing
People’s Choice Prize: $500 Momento Pro printing

Books can be made via any means or print service but they must focus on photographic content in a visual narrative. The entrant must be the photographer, designer or publisher of the book,and only New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or registered companies are eligible to enter. Entrants must register online and submit a physical book, into one or both categories:
Self Published Photobooks: Published by the creator, includes Dummy books
Published Photobooks: Published by an Independent or Trade Publisher

Judging Chair, David Cook, a founding member of Photobook New Zealand, will lead a panel of design and publishing experts as they assess the books’ excellence in photography, layout, format and audience suitability. “The New Zealand Photobook Of The Year Awards is an important vehicle to promote the work of local artists, and to connect them with the growing international community of photobook makers, festivals, fairs and awards,” says Cook.

Entry to the Awards is free, and submissions close on Monday, 8 February 2016. Winners will be announced at the opening night celebrations of Photobook New Zealand on 11 March 2016. Full details and all Terms and Conditions are available at



Momento Pro Pty Ltd was the first photobook company to produce premium on-demand photo books and custom stationery for the Australian and New Zealand market.
More at
Photobook New Zealand is the inaugural event for photography book creators in New Zealand in Wellington from 11-13 March 2016. More at
Media Contact: Libby Jeffery, +61 2 8568 302,

Photobook New Zealand & Momento Pro announce Photobook Of The Year Awards


We are delighted to announce that Photobook New Zealand and Momento Pro are presenting the first New Zealand Photo Book Of  The Year Awards. The Awards have been established to celebrate excellence in self-published and trade published photo books, and to showcase New Zealand photo books to a growing international audience.

There are three categories for the Awards:

Self published photobook
Trade published photobook
People’s choice

Momento Pro are offering cash and credit prizes valued at $10,500. The awards will be presented at the launch of  Photobook New Zealand on 11 March 2016 at Massey University and will be on display during the Photobook NZ fair.

For more information about the awards visit:

Momento Pro are also the major sponsor of Photobook New Zealand.

Mary Macpherson

Aesthetica Art Prize 2015: Call out for entries

Aesthetica Art Prize logo

The Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 is now open for entries. The prize is a major event for established and emerging artists, now in its eighth year, and is awarded by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine.

It is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. Plus you could win £5,000, a group show and editorial.

Prizes include:

  • £5,000 Main Prize courtesy of Hiscox
  • £1,000 Student Prize courtesy of Hiscox
  • Group exhibition in partnership with York Museums Trust
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology
  • Editorial in Aesthetica Magazine (186,000 readership worldwide)

Categories for entry: Photographic & Digital Art; Painting & Drawing; Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture, and Video, Installation & Performance.

Submissions close 31 August 2015. Entry is £20 plus VAT (approximately NZD 41.52)

To enter, visit


‘To Save a Forest…’ award winning New Zealand exhibition in China

John B Turner, Director of Turner PhotoBooks, Auckland/Beijing is delighted to announce that among the artists they now represent in China, two gained top awards at the 2014 Pingyao International Photography Festival, 19-25 September, held in Shanxi Province.

Martin Hill (born London 1946), who along with Ian Macdonald and Craig Potton, were featured in the exhibition ‘To Save a Forest… Photographs by leading New Zealand conservationists: Martin Hill, Ian Macdonald and Craig Potton’ curated by John B Turner, gained an ‘Excellence Award’ in the outstanding foreign photographers category. And Wang Qing (born Jiangsu Province, China, 1975), a Chinese documentary photographer, won a significant monetary prize at Pingyao for her ‘Rituals of Life’ essay on Turpan’s Muslim community, which recently won international attention through a New York Times feature re-titled ‘ In Restive Remote China, Uighurs’ Piety and Peace’.

“We are so pleased with the response to our work,” Martin Hill and his artistic partner Philippa Jones said after the award, “and we noticed that the judges found it extraordinary.”

“Most of the concerned photographers are showing in their work the ecological predicaments in our modern world,” Martin Hill noted. “However, in our work we are trying to portray solutions to, for example, the issue of climate change. We are very pleased and proud to have received this award.”

Martin and Philippa noted how well the festival was run with the help of Ms Amy Liu’s volunteers who provided invaluable help and translations day and night, and allowed them to share their ideas with Chinese photographers, curators and editors concerned with the urgent ecological issues they address in their work.

A three-hour seminar by the three New Zealand photographers was attended by over 70 people, mainly in the younger age group, and many also expressed their hope of visiting and studying in New Zealand.

In addition to meeting outstanding Chinese photographers such as Lu Guang, they expressed their delight at meeting so many other foreign visitors from Germany, England, Australia, North America and elsewhere.

In December, Martin and Phillipa will visit Antarctica to complete their Fine Line project begun in 1995, consisting of 12 ephemeral sculptures made on high points connected by a line encircling the earth.

About Martin Hill:

Martin HIll


Martin Hill  (New Zealand), winner of Excellent Foreign Photographer Award, 2014 Pingyao International Photography Festival.

Martin Hill born 1946 London, UK, educated at High Wycombe University of art and design. Worked as a designer in London, Nairobi, Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, founding a design company and winning several national and international awards. In 1992 began making environmental sculpture works. The photographs of these ephemeral sculptures made in collaboration with his partner Philippa Jones published and exhibited internationally. A book of his photography titled Earth to Earth published 2007 carried writing from leaders in sustainable practice. A film of Hill’s art practice made in 2010 titled A Delicate Canvas. Watershed exhibition examining the water cycle and climate change exhibited at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Melbourne 2014. Works in progress include the Fine Line Project begun 1995: 12 ephemeral sculptures made on high points connected by a line encircling the earth. Hill and Jones were selected by Antarctica NZ for the Artists to Antarctica Programme for December 2014.

Chinese text 1
[Translation courtesy PIP Pingyao catalogue, 2014.]

Diamond Lake Ice Circle © Martin Hill

©Martin Hill: Diamond Lake Ice Circle. Midwinter ice cut from lake. Sculpture diameter 1300mm.2011. Diamond Lake, Wanaka, New Zealand

Martin HIll _ Ice Circle translation


Wetland Guardian © Martin Hill

© Martin Hill : Wetland Guardian,from the Watershed Project. Raupo stems. Sculpture height 1500mm. 2013. Boggy Burn, Matukituki Valley, Wanaka, New Zealand
Wetland Guardian  © Martin Hill _caption translation


To Save a Forest... Hill_Macdonald_Potton PIP Pingyao 2014 catalogue cover

‘To Save a Forest…. Photographs by leading New Zealand conservationists: Martin Hill, Ian Macdonald and Craig Potton’, curated by John B Turner for the Pingyao International Photography Festival 19 to 25 September 2014.
Visit here for background info on this exhibition.


2013 Arts Awards Recipients Announced

Our congratulations to all the 2013 Arts Awards recipients and especially to photographers Laurence Aberhart (Laureate Award $50,000 & a statuette designed by Terry Stringer), Jono Rotman (Marti Friedlander Photographic Award $25,000), and Mark Adams (Patronage Donation Recipient Award $10,000). Wonderful news!

Included in the Awards announcement (as sourced from The Arts Foundation), is the following information (with links) on each of these recipients:

Laurence Aberhart (photographer) is a committed visual artist of the highest order. He educates our emotions, showing us who we are and how we might see; how we see ourselves as citizens of New Zealand and beyond.  For close to 40 years he has produced an astounding body of work that is unrivalled in its intensity, richness and the layers of cultural and photographic history.

Jono Rotman (Photographer) mines edge states and points of transition. For example, his work explores the continuing cataclysm of colonization, and the collision of civilization and the natural world. Among his subjects in New Zealand are sites of incarceration and gangs. In America, he is exploring the decline of empire. His often large-scale works of subjects great and terrible are a controlled meditation on the sublime.

Mark Adams – a photographer working with subjects of cross-cultural significance. His photographs of Samoan tatau, Maori-Pakeha interactions around Rotorua, historic sitesaround the South Island and his investigations into New Zealand’s post-colonial history have been extensively exhibited within New Zealand, as well as in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Brazil’s Sao Paulo biennale.

Further details, including the full awards list can be viewed here

Bruce Connew – keynote speaker at NZ Geographic Awards Night.

EXHIBITION/BOOK Stopover, a story of migration, 2007. © Bruce Connew

Photographer (and long-term PhotoForum member) Bruce Connew is the keynote speaker at this year’s New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year awards night to be held at Auckland Museum on 25 October 2012. Bruce who describes himself as ‘a social/political artist and photographer’, has an extensive exhibition and publication history. His work is held in public and private collections (both here and internationally). You can view his website here.

Finalists in the 2012 New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition currently have their entries on display at the Auckland Museum (until  October 25).  The prizes up for grabs include $7000 cash (spread across the categories) and a berth on board a Heritage Expeditions’ voyage. Visit here for background info. on this event and  to book tickets to the Awards Night.

Also on show  at Auckland Museum (as part of the CAMERA Season of Photography series) is  NZ Life, an exhibition of best images from two previous NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year competitions. Associated to this, is the Expert Sessions, featuring presentations by prominent photographers. Three sessions are still remaining before the series concludes on 3rd November.  View the calendar here.


UNITEC hosts Eden Arts 2012 Art Schools Award

24 July – 1 August 2012
Unitec’s Snowhite Gallery & Library Foyer

Now in its second year, the Eden Arts Art Schools Award offers a total of $8,000 in prize money to art school students. Launched by the Eden Arts Trust in 2011, the award brings together Auckland’s four major art institutions: Unitec, Whitecliffe, AUT and Elam.

Six top student entries are selected by each school and judged by a team of independent judges led by John Daly-Peoples. The Award is open to full-time undergraduates, with the Overall Winner receiving $5,000 and three Highly Commended students receiving $1,000 each.

This year the host institution is Unitec Department of Design and Visual Arts and the invitation-only Opening Evening and Awards Ceremony is on Monday 23 July. The exhibition is open for public viewing from Tuesday 24 July to Wednesday 1 August in Unitec’s Snowhite Gallery and Library Foyer (Building One, Gate 1, Carrington campus).

The Eden Arts Community Arts Trust was formed 25 years ago for the purpose of promoting the arts in the Mt Eden area. Eden Arts’ flagship (and sole fundraising) event is the annual Artists in Eden Day in March. Proceeds fund an annual calendar of events including prize money for the long-established Young Artists Awards every September, which is open to 16-25 year olds either living or studying in the Trust’s designated Mt Eden area.

For more information visit

Related link:
Snowhite Gallery
Building One, Gate One
Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, Auckland
Unitec Institute of Technology
Gallery Hours: 9am-4pm Monday to Friday

Photographers featured in NZ’s National Art Awards

The Arts Foundation has launched New Zealand’s first national arts awards.

Ten awards were presented last evening at the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards including five $50,000 Laureate Awards, three $25,000 New Generation Awards, the $25,000 Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the inaugural $10,000 Mallinson Rendel Award for children’s book illustrators.

Congratulations to the following photographers who are Award recipients:  Fiona Pardington (Laureate) , Neil Pardington (Marti Friedlander Photographic Award) and Ben Cauchi (New Generation Award). You can view the full article from the Arts Foundation newspage here>>

The Arts Foundation