‘Real Pictures: Imaging XX’ curated by Nina Seja.

We are very excited to be involved with the exhibition ‘Real Pictures: Imaging XX’ curated by Nina Seja, opening at the Gus Fisher Gallery this Friday 2 June. PhotoForum is publishing the catalogue as PhotoForum issue number 88, which will be distributed to PhotoForum members and be available for sale at the gallery.
Dr Seja wrote the detailed history of PhotoForum ‘PhotoForum at 40’, and it is a pleasure to be collaborating with her again on this project, presenting work by five artists associated with the hugely influential photography gallery and laboratory Real Pictures, which operated in Auckland from 1979 to 1990.

Geoffrey H. Short
Director, PhotoForum Inc.


Catalogue for the exhibition ‘Real Pictures: Imaging XX’ at the Gus Fisher Gallery, 2 – 30 June. Exhibiting artists Sue Gee, Megan Jenkinson, Marie Shannon, Deborah Smith and Jenny Tomlin. Curated by Nina Seja in association with PhotoForum.

Jenny Tomlin, ‘Sedge, Windy Point, Whatipu, 1985’. From the series ‘The Well Kept Wilderness’.

Poster for the exhibition ‘Photographs by Marie Shannon’, Real Pictures, 1985. Image: ‘Waiting for the Tide’ 1985.

Megan Jenkinson, ‘Hand to Hand II’ 1985, Cibachrome collage.

Deborah Smith, ‘The Pursuit of Game (VIII)’ 1988.

Sue Gee, from ‘Chinese Ties’, 1983.


City Gallery Wellington: Behind the Scenes with Pauline Autet

Pauline Autet- City Gallery Wellington


Pauline Autet is Curatorial Assistant and Researcher at City Gallery, working behind the scenes on many of our exhibitions.  Pauline assists our curators by tracking down works and researching the artists and stories behind them. We asked her a few questions about her role, and in particular about the upcoming exhibition History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum, opening Saturday 14 March.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to work at City Gallery?

I was born in Dijon, France, and moved to Kerikeri with my family ten years ago. After a few back and forth trips between New Zealand and Europe, I moved to Wellington to study Fine Arts at Massey where I also became interested in curatorial aspects of art exhibitions. I approached City Gallery about doing an internship and joined the team for six months. Following my internship, I went on a university exchange to Berkeley and then returned to Wellington where I resumed my intern role. After completing my degree, I began a new part-time position as Curatorial Assistant and Researcher at the Gallery. I have appreciated seeing how exhibitions are put together, being part of their development, with a very dedicated and knowledgable team, and learning from different curatorial processes.

You are involved in the curatorial process, can you tell us what your job entails?

For the past eighteen months, my main focus has been working on the Yvonne Todd exhibition. I assisted curator Robert Leonard on the realisation of the exhibition and publication, Creamy Psychology. I started off researching, compiling texts and articles about Yvonne’s practice, to form an archive that could be used to develop the publication. Working closely with the artist and her dealer gallery in Wellington, I also embarked on the search for works we wanted to exhibit and facilitated the loans from private and public collections. From there I worked on the exhibition layout with the registration team. We also liaised with designers and writers to get the publication ready for the opening in December 2014.

Can you describe one of the most memorable experiences from your time at City Gallery?

I really enjoyed working on The Obstinate Object with curator Aaron Lister. I think it was the first project I was involved with. It’s always inspiring to work directly with artists as there is no better way to get an insight into their work than watching their process and hearing how they make the decisions. I was involved during the installation period and really enjoyed assisting artist Sian Torrington to set up her immersive installation. It consisted of colourful fabric wrapped around the internal structures of the Gallery. Installation is always a memorable time, it’s when you start to see the exhibition take form. You never fully know what the result will be until the works are in the space and things are discussed and moved around a bit.

The opportunity to work on Creamy Psychology from start to finish was another highlight. It taught me a lot about the various steps to achieving such a large-scale exhibition and I was given the chance to be part of the conceptual process and take some initiatives, which I feel was a great experience.

History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum opens mid-March, what are you currently working on for this exhibition?

This exhibition was curated by Nina Seja and Geoffrey Short and shown at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland in 2014 so there is less detective work involved. We have just completed unpacking all the works. Currently, I am working on laying out the exhibition, to fit the walls of the Deane and Hirschfeld Galleries, using computer plans.

What are you enjoying most about working on this exhibition?

I’m a practicing artist and photography is my primary medium, so I am particularly interested in photographic processes. I’ve enjoyed the chance to explore the history of PhotoForum and photography in New Zealand. The PhotoForum at 40 publication is a valuable resource for becoming more familiar with the work and stories of these artists who were such passionate advocates for their medium.

Pauline is one of the founders of Elbowroom, a Wellington pop-up project. She also works part-time at Te Papa and at 30upstairs in Courtenay Place, where her exhibition, Roofline Chase, is on until 28 February.

Olivia Lacey, Publicist

City Gallery Wellington
Civic Square
101 Wakefield St
Opening hours 10am – 5pm every day.

Article source: http://citygallery.org.nz/news/behind-scenes-pauline-autet



City Gallery Wellington announces upcoming exhibition: ‘History in the Taking – 40 Years of PhotoForum’


John Miller: Police Arson Enquiries, Wellington,  1972
John Miller Police Arson Enquiries, Wellington 1972.

History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum
14 March – 14 June 2015

3 May 2015, 2pm
John B. Turner, co-founder of PhotoForum, speaks with Luit Bieringa about events leading up to the foundation of PhotoForum and the beginnings of PhotoForum Wellington, from 1965-1975. Followed by a signing of Turner’s latest book, Te Atatu Me: Photographs of an Urban New Zealand Village. Event info here.

28 March 2015, 2pm
Geoffrey H. Short, director of PhotoForum, is joined by Nina Seja, author of PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters and Debate in New Zealand to discuss 40 years of art photography in New Zealand. Event info here.

City Gallery Wellington
Civic Square
101 Wakefield St
Hours: open daily 10am – 5pm

In 2014, Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery presented the exhibition History in the Taking  to celebrate PhotoForum’s 40th anniversary. City Gallery is pleased to be showing the exhibition in Wellington.  Featuring around 150 photographs, the show  traces the development of art photography in New Zealand.  All the images featured in PhotoForum publications, and many have become iconic. Stars like Robin Morrison, Peter Peryer, Anne Noble, Laurence Aberhart, Fiona Clark and Peter Black feature alongside equally remarkable but now-neglected figures. The show also includes publications, posters and other memorabilia.

These days, in New Zealand, photography is accepted as an art form, but it wasn’t always the case. In 1973, John Turner and others founded PhotoForum to lead the charge. Over the years, this grass-roots organisation has promoted photography through exhibitions and publications, particularly its magazine. Within the photography community, PhotoForum was also the catalyst for debates within photography, about the virtues of different approaches and individuals.  A product of the 1970s, PhotoForum saw the medium as entangled with counterculture lifestyles and protest movements. The show offers not only a history of New Zealand photography but also a slice of New Zealand social history. It is accompanied by Nina Seja’s comprehensive history PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand.

History in the Taking has been toured by PhotoForum. Thanks also to the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland.


Related articles:
Interview with John B. Turner, PhotoForum Co-Founder
Interview with Photographer Lucien Rizos
Capture Wellington – PhotoForum Instagram competition
Behind the Scenes with Pauline Autet – Curatorial Assistant & Researcher, City Gallery Wellington


Capture Photoblog: ‘PhotoForum at 40’ by Jonathan Ganley

Posted online at Public Address / Capture photoblog is this comprehensive article by Jonathan Ganley, about the publication PhotoForum at 4o.

Cover image: Shrouds. Photograph by Barney Brewster

PhotoForum at 40
by Jonathan Ganley

The forthcoming Rim Books publication of PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand will mark forty years since PhotoForum was founded. Perhaps the society no longer has the profile it enjoyed in its first ten years, when it published a bi-monthly magazine, but PhotoForum is still going strong. There is a comprehensive website, and frequent exhibitions. Books and periodicals continue to be produced with the highest possible production values, a goal that was aimed for but not always achieved when the magazine was in its 1970s heyday.

The quality will be evident when the printed copies of PhotoForum at 40 become available in late June. The 300-page book contains an impressive mix of history, photographs, documents, correspondence, interviews and cultural commentary. It also includes a chronology of New Zealand photography from 1950 to 2014, corresponding with a chronology of PhotoForum publications, exhibitions and activities.

To complement the book and the 40th anniversary, a Pecha Kucha night of artists’ talks will be held at Q Theatre from 7:30pm on Wednesday June 4. History in the Taking, an exhibition of selected photographs and ephemera, will be held at the Gus Fisher Gallery, in conjunction with the Auckland Festival of Photography, opening on June 6 and running for the rest of the month.

With these forthcoming events, the time seemed right to examine the legacy of the society, its present activities and future plans, with Nina Seja, the book’s author, and Geoffrey H. Short, the current director of PhotoForum and co-curator with Seja of the exhibition. Read the full article HERE

Capture photoblog

Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland: Mary Macpherson

Mary Macpherson  is to have selected Auckland images from the Bent series, at the Gus Fisher Gallery during the PhotoForum History in the Taking exhibition.

6-28 June 2014
Opening (Lower Foyer): Friday 6 June 2014, at 5.30pm
Sat 7 June 2pm: Mary will talk about Wellington PhotoForum history from a personal view and her work Bent.

MMM ak tree 2011
Image: Mary Macpherson, ‘Wattle Tree, Auckland’ (from the Bent series)

Mary Macpherson, Bent: Using New Zealand’s trees

Mary Macpherson started photographing trees in about 2011, while completing her Old New World series. Being a person who walks down the road and sees plants as others see houses or cars or people, it seemed to her to be an exciting idea to photograph trees. What lay beneath the surface of the idea?

Working with botanical ecologist Jonathan Kennett has made her aware of the commodity value of trees, and how cultural choices have determined what trees are grown in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Gus Fisher Gallery
The Kenneth Myers Centre
74 Shortland St
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 9 923 6646

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 12pm-4pm
Closed public holidays

Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland: Ane Tonga, ‘Grills’

Ane Tonga Grills


Ane Tonga, Grills

30 May – 28 June 2014 (Gallery Two)
Opening Friday 30 May at 5.30pm with a performance by Sesilia Pusiaki, P.O.T. Productions

Sister Speak: Saturday 7 June at 1pm.  Ane Tonga in conversation with her sister Nina Tonga, Assistant Curator – Pacific, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in the exhibition Grills.

Titled Grills as a hybrid of hip hop bling and Tongan culture, this photographic series explores nifo koula (gold teeth), a new terrain of body adornment in Tongan culture. The on-going series began in 2008 after Ane Tonga and her sister Nina Tonga began to joke about their relatives returning from Tonga with new gold teeth. Ane Tonga’s initial approach to the subject was to flippantly link the practice of nifo koula with that of grills within hip-hop culture. A grill (also called a front, or golds) was first worn by hip hop artists in the early 1980s. Grills became widespread in the 2000s following the rise of Dirty South rap and as hip hop attained mainstream pop culture status.

Tongan nifo koula are not removable, and involve gold jewellery being melted down and then fitted to partially cover the wearer’s own teeth. Once Ane Tonga’s mother, grandmother and many female members of her family had nifo koula, the artist realised that she had to take the phenomenon more seriously. This photographic series resulted, and it has been produced for exhibition with the aim of broadening understanding of a practice which is widespread amongst the global Tongan community.

Gus Fisher Gallery
The Kenneth Myers Centre
74 Shortland St
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 9 923 6646

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 12pm-4pm
Closed public holidays


Peter Peryer: Other (Portraits) at Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland

Peter Peryer: Other (Portraits 1975-2011)

Gus Fisher Gallery, Fine Arts
4 May 2012 to 23 June 2012
Opening event: Friday 4 May, 5.30pm

Image by Peter Peryer: Michael Dunn, 1983, vintage gelatin silver print, courtesy the artist and McNamara Gallery.

This exhibition highlights the intermittent periods of portrait photography that Peter Peryer has completed. Showcasing work from 1975 through to 2011, these portraits are collectively titled ‘Other’, in distinction from the ‘Erika’ suite and self-portraits. The exhibition illuminates Peryer’s approach to the human form, offering single portraits that are intricately planned and characterised by an enticing quality of mystery. While his later portraits are more tightly cropped and are often set against a blank backdrop, there remains a perceptible thread of stillness and mystery that runs through the entirety of his work.

An exhibition from McNamara Gallery, part of the Auckland Festival of Photography

Public Events

Saturday 5 May, 1pm
Fiona Pardington talks to fellow photographer and Arts Foundation Laureate Peter Peryer about his Gus Fisher Gallery exhibition Other (Portraits 1975 – 2011).

Saturday 19 May, 1pm
Dr Erika Wolf discusses the work of Peter Peryer. Erika lectures on both historical and contemporary photography in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. She co-edited the recent anthology Early New Zealand Photographs: Images and Essays (University of Otago Press, 2011).

Gus Fisher Gallery
The Kenneth Myers Centre
74 Shortland St
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 9 923 6646

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 12pm-4pm
Closed public holidays
(closed Queens Birthday weekend, 2-4 June)

Source: Gus Fisher Gallery & McNamara Gallery.

Six lively Auckland shows: Jin Jiangbo, Peter Gibson-Smith, Alfred Gregory, Frank Hofmann, Liyen Chong, & Roberta Thornley

Accomplished interactions between photography, painting, and printmaking are evident in the new work of Jin Jiangbo at Starkwhite (Karangahape Road), Peter Gibson-Smith at Bath Street Gallery (Parnell), and Liyen Chong at the Gus Fisher Gallery (Shortland Street, CBD.)

Jin Jiangbo: Boundless, 2011

Image: Jin Jiangbo, Boundless, 2011

Jin Jiangbo’s ‘Dialogue with Nature’ reflects the vitality and excitement of a lot of photography in China where diverse approaches are adopted in completely fresh ways. Perhaps best known for his social-political essay on the abandonment of huge factories originally established by foreign companies to exploit China’s labour market, (view previous portfolio) this body of work depicts iconic New Zealand landscape views with a decidedly Chinese flavour. His use of digital photography and electronic chirographic after affects exudes confidence and delight, as “our” familiar subject matter is colonised and delightfully exoticised in gorgeous hybrid prints. Up-close, the unusual texture of Jin’s large prints remind me more of the smudgy detail of early chromolithography than any other printing processes. They form an interesting comparison with both the inventive vinyl-cutting machine derived printed surfaces of Peter Gibson-Smith’s reinterpretations of historical photographs. And contrast with the smooth, crisp merging of painted geometrical forms over a digital self-image in Liyen Chong’s work.

Images: (L) Peter Gibson-Smith, work from Wasteland series, (R) Liyen Chong, Of Positions and half Positions having several marks at once.

The influence of modernism on Frank Hofmann’s photography is made clear in Leonard Bell’s exhibition and catalogue, ‘From Prague to Auckland. The photographs of Frank Hofmann (1916-1989)’. While on the subject of photographic printing, I should point out that the Frank Hofmann exhibition, drawn from several collections, includes some of his finest vintage prints and images, as well as some of architectural subjects that were clearly not made for exhibition, but help clarify his broad involvement in the arts. Hofmann’s 1945 ‘Bookplate Design’, used on the cover of Len Bell’s publication, is a modernist masterpiece, that shows Hofmann at his best.

Alfred Gregory (1913-2010), was chief photographer with the team that took Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to the summit of Everest in 1953. A lively mix of his outstanding vintage and recent prints are on show until 11 September at Peter Webb Galleries (Newmarket).

Roberta Thornley’s ‘Anthem’ (Tim Melville Gallery, Newmarket), is a Spartan display of recent work by this uncompromising talent. Visually, Chong’s glossy surfaced works share something of the classical glossy photographic print look of Roberta Thornley’s mysterious prints, and that also of some of the best reprints of Alfred Gregory’s most distinctive alpine photographs. Gregory’s superb close portrait of an exhausted Ed Hillary also connects with Thornley’s portrayals of athletes.

Images: (L) Alfred Gregory, Ed Hillary, 1953, (R) Roberta Thornley, Jenny, 2011

All of these shows reward a visit, and the Gregory show, which closes this Sunday, includes magnificent photographs of wild animals by Nick Brandt, whose large format folio was impressive and practical for displaying so much work. both photographers are promoted by Philip Kulpa. View here

Exhibition details

Jin Jiangbo: Dialogue with Nature, 20 August – 17 September 2011. Starkwhite Gallery, 510 Karangahape Road, Auckland, New Zealand. Phone 307 0703.

From Prague to Auckland: the photographs of Frank Hofmann (1916-89), and Liyen Chong: Of Positions and half Positions having several marks at once. 26 August – 29 October 2011. Gus Fisher Gallery, Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland Street, Auckland. Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm Saturday 12pm – 4pm. Closed Public Holidays. Phone:(09) 923 6646.

Peter Gibson-Smith ‘Wasteland’, to 10 September 2011, Bath Street Gallery, 43 Bath Street, Parnell, Auckland. Gallery hours: Tues / Fri 10.00am-5.30pm, Sat 11.am-3.00pm. Telephone (09) 377 5171.

Roberta Thornley ‘Anthem’, 6 September to 1 October 2011. Tim Melville Gallery, 11 McColl Street, Newmarket, Auckland. Phone: (09) 520-5891. Tuesday – Friday 11am – 6pm, Saturday 11am – 3pm, or by appointment.

Alfred Gregory: From Everest To Blackpool, Webb’s, 18 Manukau Road, Newmarket, Auckland. 2 Sept – Sunday 11 September 2011. Hours 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday – as advertised for viewings. Ph: (09) 524 6804.