“The New Photography”, is an exhibition and book of New Zealand’s photographer pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s.
Len Wesney (1946-2017)
Len Wesney was born in 1946 in Invercargill, New Zealand and was a member of the Southland Photographic Society as a teenager. He spent a year studying painting at the Canterbury School of Fine Arts and then shifted to the UK, where he studied photography at the Guildford School of Art in 1966 and 1967. He held a solo exhibition at the Qantas Galleries in London in early 1968 and was quickly spotted as an emerging talent by the photographic press. He was included in the Photographers of the Future exhibition at Kodak House in London in 1969, and featured in leading British photographic journals such as Amateur Photographer, Creative Camera, Photography Year Book, the British Journal of Photography Annual and Single Lens Reflex Photography Yearbook between 1968 and 1970.
Wesney freelanced, and was assistant to UK photojournalist and illustrative photographers Brian Seed and Derek Bayes successively. He then returned to New Zealand to work as a photographer with the Christchurch Star from 1970 to 1982. Besides taking photographs he wrote a monthly column on contemporary photography during 1975 and 1976. Wesney produced personal work both in the UK and in New Zealand concurrently with his professional photography. In New Zealand, examples were reproduced in Photo Forum between 1974 and 1977 and in the 1975 touring exhibition, The Active Eye His only solo exhibition in this country was a retrospective at McNamara Gallery, Whanganui, in 2004. Len Wesney died in Christchurch in 2017 before he could be interviewed formally for this book.
From Athol McCredie (Ed.), The New Photography, Te Papa Press, Wellington, New Zealand, 2019.
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.