McNamara Photography Gallery: Aspects of Internationalism

The topic of Internationalism with regards to  NZ photography, comes up for comment every so often.  Below are notes compiled by Paul McNamara (McNamara Gallery Photography, Whanganui), as part of his 2011 presention at Art Lounge, Auckland Art Gallery highlighting aspects of Internationalism – the off-shore exhibition and collection of NZ photography. Our thanks to Paul for allowing us to share this information.


The Exhibition & Collection of NZ Photography Nationally & Internationally

Auckland Festival of Photography
Art Lounge Sessions
Sunday 5 June 2011 • 1pm



Looking at the experiences of 19 artists, 8 of whom have off-shore dealer representation and 14 have work in off-shore public collections in: Australia, New Caledonia, Taiwan, Macau, USA, UK, Holland, France & Spain

The selection ‘mechanisms’ involved in these exhibitions are no doubt many and varied, but one anticipates the work is subjected to robust critical debate; that it participates in the international discourse.
It appears that artists who work in tertiary institutions [artist as academic/teacher] are particularly well placed to exhibit internationally as their institutions liaise with off-shore curators and galleries    [- including university galleries].

This factor may give some bias with regard to the type of work shown internationally [e.g. research –/project-based work]. As apposed to social documentary, street photography, architectural, staged etc.
However non-teaching artists Aberhart [1], Adams [5], Cauchi [1], Peryer [1] have also exhibited at university galleries.
I suspect most of these off-shore exhibitions are curated from outside NZ.

Australian photography Centres have exhibited: Aberhart, Adams, Crowley, Henderson, Noble [2], Robertson, Shelton and Tocher.

As you will appreciate from the detail below, off-shore galleries acquire NZ work.
However, one suspects the reverse applies infrequently, namely the acquisition of international work by NZ public collections, apart from the Chartwell Trust. [A private trust collecting a diverse range of contemporary New Zealand and Australian art – Tracey Moffatt, Patricia Piccinini, Bill Henson]

Read more here: Paul McNamara LECTURE – Internationalism AFP 2011 (pdf)



McNamara Gallery Photography  opened 25th January 2002, and exhibits New Zealand, selected Pacific Rim & International, photographically-based art. They are dedicated to exhibiting and promoting lens-based media, and exploring the range of practice, both materially and conceptually.

Visit their Exhibitions page where all exhibitions, including  out-reach exhibitions [29 so far] in blue ink can be found.  Denoted in the listing [via*]  are various genres, and also aspects of materiality [photograph type].

McNAMARA GALLERY Photography Ltd
190 Wicksteed St. WHANGANUI 4500

Tuesday / Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 3 [often open to 6] or by appointment
* Please check website INFORMATION page for occasional closed days due to travel commitments
06 348 7320 / 027 249 8059



EyeContact: Peter Ireland review of ‘Pictures They Want to Make’

EyeContact is a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Below are two excerpts from Peter Ireland’s review of the publication Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography.

‘There is no doubt that PTWTM has superb production values. But then, so did the Nuremberg rallies. We’re back to the old Scholastic distinction between appearance and substance, but if anyone’s talking about any kind of excellence, it’s still a distinction with currency. Getting a stamp on your hand for achievement might work in Year One, but post-Year Thirteen in a culture with any depth it seems reasonable to expect a little more than just taking part.’

‘Apart from offering the various photographers a platform it’s hard to know what PTWTM is about. As the authors admit, the “Auckland” net is more holes than string, and why should some sort of regionalist focus matter anyway, taking heed of Jackson Pollock’s remarking on the absurdity of an “American mathematics”. Of course, there’s probably more photography produced in the Auckland region, but if we’re talking sheer volume it might be more to the point discussing hydro-electricity along the Waikato River. And, oddly, PTWTM‘s content isn’t about variety either – the more modest Open the Shutter: Auckland Photographers Now demonstrated a much more diverse range of practice, which in the two decades since has expanded rather than contracting. Upon repeated examination it becomes clearer that what this book is about is the persistence of an amateur outlook formed – however inescapably – in the 1970s, but which has very little reason to exist in the second decade of the 21st century.’ Read the full review HERE.

Peter Ireland – 8 November 2013

Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

Art New Zealand review: ‘Pictures They Want to Make – Recent Auckland Photography’

Included in the current issue (No. 147/Spring 2013) of Art New Zealand magazine, is David Eggleton’s extensive (two and half page) book review of  Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography.

Below are two extracts from his review:

“The book itself, containing the work of 12 photographers and more than 100 photographs mostly drawn from longer photo-essays, is an energetic, imaginative production, a splashy publication on an Auckland scale without being unwieldy.”

“In their Introduction, the editors suggest that their selected artists have ‘varying degrees of commitment to notions of “the real”. Ian Macdonald is one who flouts attempts to nail down the real, preferring artifice. He collages digital photographs to create rainforest facades. Here, the New Zealand landscape is presented as an ecological niche, pristine and primal, and through the lush foliage the primeval light beckons. He makes images that are green altars, monumental and hopeful.

Geoffrey H. Short is the anarchist of the bunch, a singular poet, exploding expectations with exhilarating photographs of controlled explosions at Bethells Beach Te Henga. These spectacular bomb-bursts, as the essay on him tells us, are a metaphor for the act of photography itself.”

Review by David Eggleton
Art New Zealand
147/Spring 2013 issue
(pgs 93-95)

Note: Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography is co-authored by Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, with foreword by Ron Brownson. Further reviews and information relating to this PhotoForum Inc. publication can be found here.

EyeContact Review by Zara Sigglekow: ‘Recent Auckland Photography’

EyeContact is a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Zara Sigglekow has just compiled this review of Recent Auckland Photography exhibition (20 May – 12 June 2013), which is now posted on their website.  Below is an extract from her article.

Photography at North Art

Derek Henderson, Kevin Simmons, Leanne Hema and Troy Burton, Reid’s Farm, 2007.

‘Recent Auckland Photography at North Art gallery was part of the Auckland Festival of Photography. Set over two gallery spaces this large exhibition is accompanied with an extensive publication, which includes an introduction by the curators Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, foreword by senior Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson, and brief essays on each photographer. Within the expanse of approaches represented in the festival the curators choose to focus on a particular style of photography. While somewhat narrow, this is necessary in order to create a survey of coherence and depth and prevent a mish-mash of styles and approaches.

The photographs chosen are what could be labelled ‘straight’ photography. There is no push to abstraction, overt manipulation or over conceptualisation. Yet – as stressed in the accompanying book’s introduction – they are not ‘snapshots’ or ‘documents’ taken with an impartial and objective eye. The photographers ‘make’ the pictures selecting with scene with intentionality, framing the image and sometimes staging its contents. All twelve photographers take photographs that are ‘scapes’ of the world around them: cityscapes; suburbanscapes; landscapes, and the details that lie within them. Some engage with identity and history while others scrutinise the present. The restriction of ‘Auckland’ is taken loosely: either photographs taken of Auckland or by Auckland photographers in international or Auckland regional locations.’  Read the full review HERE

Zara Sigglekow – 7 August 2013

Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

Photos from ‘Recent Auckland Photography’ gallery talk

Our thanks to Barry Myers for sharing his photos from last month’s Recent Auckland Photography talk by Ron Brownson (Senior Curator New Zealand and Pacific Art at Auckland Art Gallery), which took place at Northart Gallery in Northcote, Auckland. Below is a selection of his images from that day.

It was great to see such a large crowd in attendance to listen as Ron engaged conversations (about their works), with a number of the exhibiting artists. Curated by Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, the Recent Auckland Photography exhibition was held at Northart Gallery from 19 May – 12 June 2013 (as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography). Both the exhibition and publication featured a mix of new, unseen, and significant photographs from 12 artists with various connections to the Auckland region: Mark Adams, Edith Amituanai, Fiona Amundsen, Harvey Benge, Bruce Connew, Chris Corson-Scott, Ngahuia Harrison, Derek Henderson, Ian Macdonald, Haruhiko Sameshima, Geoffrey H. Short and Talia Smith.

Following the event, there was an opportunity to meet the artists. PhotoForum members also took the opportunity to collect their current subscription copy of  Pictures They Want to Make – Recent Auckland Photography – the publication accompanying the exhibition.

Note: All enquiries about Pictures They Want to Make – Recent Auckland Photography (RRP $59.95) can be directed to PhotoForum by emailing

Visitors at the Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk at Northart, Auckland – 8 June 2013.

PhotoForum Director Geoffrey H. Short capturing the gallery audience.
PhotoForum Director (and exhibiting artist) Geoffrey H. Short capturing the gallery audience – Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk, 8 June 2013.

Ron Brownson and exhibitor Haruhiko Sameshima in discussion Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk, 8 June 2013.

Ron Brownson in conversation with exhibiting artist Fiona Amundsen –
Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk, 8 June 2013.

Exhibiting photographers (from left): Harvey Benge and Bruce Connew –
Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk, 8 June 2013.

Left to right: Ron Brownson, Ian Macdonald, Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling (co-curators)
Ron Brownson in discussion with Ian Macdonald. Alongside are co-curators Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling
Recent Auckland Photography gallery talk, 8 June 2013.

Barry Myers Photography
Northart Gallery
Auckland Festival of Photography
Auckland Art Gallery

Review by Art News New Zealand: Pictures They Want to Make

Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography
Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, Photoforum, $59.95

Before those readers south of the Bombay Hills skip this review, stop and listen. Yes, most of the photographers featured live in Auckland, but not all – Mark Adams and Derek Henderson live elsewhere. And the book isn’t filled with images of the Sky Tower and One Tree Hill, though Geoffrey H Short does have a preoccupation with Kingsland’s Kiwi Bacon Factory.

Published by the non-profit organisation Photoforum, launched at Northart in Northcote for the Auckland Festival of Photography, and co-authored by eminent writer Edward Hanfling and photographer Chris Corson-Scott, this book is a timely celebration of the strength of New Zealand photography.

Though some of the photographers included (Henderson, Adams, Benge, Connew and Sameshima) have regularly published their work, others haven’t and so this book fills a yawning gap in New Zealand art photography publishing.

It’s an appealing cocktail of images, including Mark Adams’ mesmeric land and seascapes, Edith Amituanai’s candidly-shot suburbia, Harvey Benge’s “strange pictures in cities”, Fiona Amundsen’s barren cityscapes; Corson-Scott’s suburban oases and blissful beaches, and Talia Smith’s portraits of modern-day threatening ‘triffids’ – pampas, privet and nasturtium.

A worthy addition to the library.

Art News New Zealand, Winter 2013 issue, pg 147.

Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.
Our thanks to Art News New Zealand for permission to share the above article, as featured in their current issue.

Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland: Edith Amituanai

Ranui 135 – Edith Amituanai
Opening Wed 19 June (6-8pm)
Exhibition runs until Sat 27 July 2013

47 High St, Suite 4J, Auckland
Telephone + 64 9 377 4788, Mobile + 64 (0)21 47 10 47
Hours: Wednesdays – Fridays 11am-5pm,
Saturdays 11am-4pm & by appointment

See Edith’s Ranui 135 Blog –

Talk by Ron Brownson on “Recent Auckland Photography”

This Saturday (8th June) at 3pm, Ron Brownson (Senior Curator New Zealand and Pacific Art at Auckland Art Gallery), will be giving a gallery talk at Northart, on their current exhibition Recent Auckland Photography. Exhibition curators Edward Hanfling and Chris Corson-Scott will join the discussion, followed by an informal “meet the artists” session. Refreshments will be served, refer poster below for full details.

Copies of the accompanying publication Pictures They Want to Make – Recent Auckland Photography will also be available. If you are interested in this publication (or learning more about PhotoForum), do feel welcome to chat with us. Current members also have the opportunity to pick up their subscription copies at the event. We look forward to seeing you there!