“The New Photography’, is an exhibition and book of New Zealand’s photographer pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s.
The eight photographers in this exhibition, Gary Baigent, Richard Collins, John Daley, John Fields, Max Oettli, John B Turner, Len Wesney and Ans Westra helped forge a bold new style.
The 1960s and 1970s, those decades of social changes and experimentations, were the start of all sorts of things in New Zealand. For photography they marked the beginnings of contemporary, or art, photography.
This new photography began as documentary, recording life as it happened. It was personal, using the camera to capture experience and understand it. And it shifted the emphasis from what was photographed to the photographer and their unique view of the world.
Photography curator Athol McCredie tells the story of the beginnings of contemporary photography (aka art photography) in New Zealand during the 1960s and 1970s. Through interviews with the photographers, and an introductory essay, McCredie shows how the approach of personal documentary photography created a new ﬁeld of photography in New Zealand that was not simply illustrative but rather spoke for itself and with its own language.
The New Photography: Life in the 60s and 70s examines the work of eight of the key players in this new photographic movement.
John B. Turner (b. 1943)
John B. Turner was born in Porirua, New Zealand in 1943. He first worked as a compositor for the Government Printer from 1960 to 1966, then as a news photographer for a year in 1966-67. He was employed as photographer at the National Museum (now incorporated into the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) from 1967 to 1970. Here he came to appreciate the depth and value of New Zealand’s photographic heritage and unofficially curated three historical photography exhibitions for other institutions.
Over these years he developed his personal photography, although promoting his own work came increasingly at the expense of his efforts in championing and encouraging the work of others. He wrote about photography, for example, in New Zealand Camera from 1962 and New Zealand Studio from 1967. He also built up a library of photography books second to none in New Zealand. He was one of the best-informed people in the country on photography, and he freely shared his books and his knowledge on overseas practice with other photographers.
Turner was appointed lecturer in photography at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1971. In 1973 he helped form PhotoForum, a voluntary organisation for the promotion of photography; and took on the long-standing role of editor or co-editor of its magazine. From these two platforms, with his energy and passion he exerted enormous influence on the early development of contemporary photography in this country, and was often referred to as New Zealand’s ‘photo-guru’.
Turner retired from the School of Fine Arts in 2011 and now lives in Beijing, where he operates Turner PhotoBooks and continues to research, curate and promote photography. ̶ From Athol McCredie (Ed.), The New Photography, 2019
Athol McCredie is Curator Photography at Te Papa, where he has worked since 2001. Prior to that he was curator and acting director at Manawatu Art Gallery (now Te Manawa), and he has been involved with photography as an author, researcher, curator and photographer since the 1970s. His recent book, New Zealand Photography Collected (Te Papa Press) was shortlisted for the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
The New Photography – Life in the 60s and 70s.
until October 13.
Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand Toi Art Level 4
55 Cable Street
Wellington, New Zealand
The book accompanies the exhibition :
The New Photography, Te Papa Press. Publication date: June 2019. Hardback 22x27cm, 216 pages ISBN: 978-0-9951031-9-1. RRP $NZ70.00.