Closing Time: photographs from the Hotel Kiwi 1967 – 1975

Closing Time: photographs from the Hotel Kiwi 1967 – 1975
Gary Baigent, John Fields and Max Oettli
Featuring texts by Elizabeth Eastmond, Ted Spring and the photographers

This limited edition zine-style photobook feature the photographs made at the bars of Hotel Kiwi from the archives of three photographers, who have all, in their own way, contributed to the development of early contemporary art photography in New Zealand.

Hotel Kiwi was situated at the corner of Wellesley and Symonds Streets in Auckland – close to the University and the Elam School of Fine Arts. Described in The Pub-Goer’s Guidebook (1966) as “Built almost entirely of formica and rubberised floor tiles, with the whole place giving out a general lavatorial atmosphere, it surely represents all that a pub should not be . . . The only feature of the place that is at all remarkable – and the only reason for giving it a ½ an award are the barmen. They are possibly the best we encountered anywhere.”

Max Oettli found employment as a bartender at Hotel Kiwi after graduating from University of Auckland in the late 1960s. He carried his Leica camera on the job, photographing the varied patrons of the old and new, around the time ‘six o’clock swill’ was scrapped to more civilised 10pm closing. As well as the Hotel being the go-to student bar, artists and photographers – many associated with the art school – frequented the bar and are captured in this booklet. Max is joined by fellow ‘New Photographers’ Gary Baigent and John Fields, (a title coined by Athol McCredie in his exhibition, The New Photography at Te Papa), who photographed their friends and acquaintances at Hotel Kiwi at the time.

Together, they immortalise the punters, photographers, artists and poets as well as art dealers in action: Glenn Busch, Simon Buis, Allan Leatherby, Paul Gilbert, Garry Colebrook; Colin McCahon, Pat Hanly, Peter Eyley, Harry Wong; Sue Crockford and Rodney Kirk Smith, just to name a few.

This book also features texts by Elizabeth Eastmond, who lectured in the Art History department and Ted Spring, then a student at Elam recollecting their time spent at ‘the Kiwi’, in conjunction with field notes and recollections from the three photographers.

“Here, is the wisdom and failings of age, the impetuosity and rudeness of youth, all jammed into a room, thick with smoke and drumming with noise. Conversations are a spectrum in themselves ranging from worn clichés and small talk to nuclear physics, with plenty of spread thighs and cock jumbled in from both sexes.” From John Fields’ dairy, 21 February 1969.

Gary Baigent is a key figure in the emerging moment of contemporary New Zealand photography of the late 1960s. Born in Wakefield, Nelson, in 1941 he majored in painting at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, Christchurch from 1960 to 1962. Baigent began working on The Unseen City: 123 photographs of Auckland, a book on Auckland’s urban life, published in 1967, with its contrasty, grainy images shot on the streets, in backyards and pubs, on the wharves and in student flats. The book was polarising but it also helped stimulate a new style of photography.

John Fields (1938-2013) was born in Massachusetts, USA and was educated in Rockport, a New England artists’ colony. He learned to photograph while in the US Navy and became a commercial photographer in the early 1960s before working as a specialist in electron microscope imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1966 to continue working in this sphere at the University of Auckland. He also brought an expectation that photography was better recognised within the arts in his adopted country. To this end in 1970, he organised a cooperatively published booklet of the work of ten contemporary photographers, Photography: A visual dialect – the first such publication in New Zealand. He was also responsible for one of the first exhibitions of contemporary photography at a dealer gallery: a group exhibition at Barry Lett Galleries in 1972.

Max Oettli was born in Switzerland in 1947 and migrated to New Zealand with his family in 1956. He was brought up in Hamilton and was a trainee press photographer at the Waikato Times over university vacations from 1966 to 1969. He applied this experience to his work on the student newspaper Craccum while he studied English, history and art history at the University of Auckland. From 1970 to 1975 Oettli was a technical instructor in film and photography at the University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts. For some of this time, he was also the founding president of PhotoForum, a group advocating for and promoting expressive photography.

(Biographies are extracts from the Te Papa website)

RRP $40.00

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Soft-cover, saddle stitched | 56 pages (indigo uncoated 100gsm)
285x 210 mm | Limited edition of 150
ISBN 978-0-9951184-9-2
Publication: March 2022

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Jellicoe & Bledisloe

Jellicoe & Bledisloe
David Cook

When David Cook moved to Hamilton East, he was drawn to the colourful and creative lives of his neighbours. With camera in hand, he explored everything from front-yard mechanics to Sunday roasts, creating an intimate documentary of a State Housing suburb in the 1990s, moments before gentrification set in. In this energetic photobook, we look back twenty-five years to see burgeoning issues of relevance today: housing, bi-cultural relations, social welfare, and freshwater quality, all brought to us through the lens of daily life.

The title, Jellicoe & Bledisloe, is a reference to the local street names, commemorating New Zealand Governors General from the early twentieth century. Reflecting on this colonial heritage, Cook writes an engaging first-person account of the suburb, featuring a conversation with Ngaati Wairere historian Wiremu Puke. Together they unearth suppressed histories and rewrite our understanding of the Waikato landscape.

Te Papa Tongarewa holds a significant collection of photographs from this series. The work is also featured in an exhibition Jellicoe & Bledisloe: Hamilton in the 90s – David Cook at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery / Te Pūkenga Whakaata, Wellington (24 Feb – 15 May 2022).

David Cook’s photo-documentaries deal with communities in transition. Publications include Lake of Coal: the Disappearance of a Mining Township (finalist in the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards), Meet me in the Square: Christchurch 1983-1987 (winner of the 2015 MAPDA Exhibition Catalogue Award – major) and River Road: Journeys through Ecology.

David Cook interviewed by Lynn Freeman in Standing Room Only

RRP $50.00

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hardback | 108 pages
245 x 200 mm
ISBN 978-0-9951184-8-5
Publication: February 2022

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Exhibition and book

Jellicoe & Bledisloe: Hamilton in the 90s – David Cook

  • Wednesday, 23 February 2022 10:00 am – Sunday, 15 May 2022 11:00 am
  • New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata Shed 11, 60 Lady Elizabeth Lane Wellington New Zealand (map)

When photographer David Cook moved into Hamilton East, he was drawn to the colourful, creative and chaotic lives of his neighbours. With camera in hand, he explored back-yard mechanics to Sunday roasts, inventing an intimate documentary of a State Housing suburb in the 90s, moments before gentrification set in.

Books will be available from this site from February 25th.

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery opening.

Kōwhai and the Giants

KŌWHAI AND THE GIANTS

Kate Parker
Mary Eagan Publishing

Kowhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower… and her voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird.’ Follow Kowhai as she discovers a tiny seed’s hope to build a great forest.

Debut children’s author Kate Parker is a visual artist and theatre maker who is inspired to support positive environmental change on our planet. Here she creatively shares her vision of reforesting Aotearoa, one seedling at a time.

Kowhai and the Giants is a bitter/sweet story about the decimation of Aotearoa’s mighty forests following human habitation. But it is also a story of hope. While Kowhai may be small and alone, her actions will bring about change and soon, she will be joined by others.

“When you go to nature and you take care, you will be reimbursed with energy. I always felt the presence of beings in the forests where I grew up. Kowhai represents these beings in some way, committed to the preservation of the natural world. We are all a part of this. We can all be kaitiaki, it is in fact our responsibility (to be caretakers for our natural surroundings) and when we take this on in any way we can, positive change happens. Even in a city you can support environmental projects. If we can support Aotearoa’s native plant diversity to flourish, then we are supporting so many native birds, insects and fish. This diversity feeds the land and cleanses its waters. It sustains us.” — Kate Parker

Kowhai and the Giants asks the reader to listen with all their senses to their natural surroundings and to discover Kowhai’s call for themselves. A wise and beautifully told fable, its compelling narrative will kindle a desire to spend time in nature, search for seeds and to grow native plants and trees – a hopeful picture of the future for children aged four to ten and their caregivers.

In the resources section at the back of Kowhai and the Giants, Parker encourages children to plant native seeds. She includes a link to Forest & Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club – Hakuturi Toa website www.kcc.org.nz for inspiring tips.

Kowhai and the Giants is “Like the shadows of memory on a landscape, caught between lightness and darkness, the past and future, a beautifully cast tale of hope and resilience,” says acclaimed artist Shaun Tan.

The unique and intriguing artwork for Kowhai and the Giants was created from hand-cut paper, placed in a plywood box and lit from behind. It was first exhibited in 2016, at the Arataki Visitor Centre, following Parker’s Auckland Council artist’s residency at Anawhata. There was an exhibition of the light boxes in the window of Auckland store Smith and Caughey from 17 to 21 March, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival – Aroha 2021.

ISBN 978-0-4735289-0-4
36pp 270 x 190 mm
Mary Egan Publishing

RRP $30

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Eric Lee-Johnson: Artist with a Camera

Eric Lee-Johnson: Artist with a Camera

John B Turner

Monograph of the Artist’s camera work provides an overview of his career with special attention to his photographs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Tritone prints were made directly from the originals held at Te Papa.

Eric Albert Lee-Johnson (1908–1993) was a prominent New Zealand artist and photographer. Lee-Johnson was born in Suva, Fiji and moved to New Zealand in 1912 with his parents. As a child he showed an unusual gift for drawing and he entered Auckland’s Elam School of Art where he remained from 1923-1926. At 18 he joined newspaper publishers Wilson & Horton’s printing department and within a year was in charge of the studio and working a lithograph artist and illustrator. In 1930 he sailed for London, England. He spent eight years in London, from the age of 21 working as designer and typographer with the large advertising agency S.H. Benson. He studied lithography at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts and attended Charles Porter life classes at the Central School of Art and Design in London. His work from 1931-36 was influenced by contemporary German typography, graphics and poster design in Europe In 1938 he accepted a contract from Illott’s Advertising Agency in Wellington and returned to New Zealand. He immediately rejoined the art scene and, in 1939, he was elected a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts serving a term on the Committee of Management, National Art Gallery. His health broke down and after more than two years in Pukeora sanatorium he left the commercial world and with his wife and son went to live the simple life at Piha and become a full-time painter. Lee-Johnson lived in various parts of New Zealand from 1942 to 1960 including Coromandel and the Hokianga, and his non-figurative abstract paintings date from this time. In the 1950s a series of his North New Zealand paintings and topographical drawings recording the architecture of some surviving early wooden buildings, set off a whole romantic movement in New Zealand art. In 1956 he became the first New Zealand painter of his generation to have a monograph published on his work. Public awareness of his painting was further increased in 1956 and 1957, when a short documentary film about his work was seen in public theatres throughout the country. Changes in the landscape, pacific images and the inclusion of found objects such as shells and stones were themes running through his work throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Lee-Johnson is represented in all major collections throughout the country, including the national art collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, all public galleries and the Hocken Library and Alexander Turnbull Library. A retrospective exhibition of his paintings and drawings toured New Zealand in 1981-82. In addition to his painting Eric Lee-Johnson was also a freelance photographer who documented the daily life of New Zealanders from the early 1950s through to the 1970s. His photographs were as widely known as his paintings – including images of Opo the Dolphin, and scenes of New Zealand life. Lee-Johnson had intended his photography to form a picture library the use of which would finance his art. The collection of tens of thousands of negatives and the copyright was purchased by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 1997 – four years after his death.

PhotoForum 64/65: Eric Lee-Johnson – Artist with a Camera. John B. Turner

Published by PhotoForum, 1999

ISBN 0959781854

295 x 235mm, 111 pages, tri-tone illustrations, softcover.

$59.95

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Geophagy

Geophagy
Ruth Watson

Published in association with the exhibition Geophagy, 16 December-15 February 2018, Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki (CoCA), Christchurch. 28 April-27 May 2017, GusFisher Gallery, Auckland.

Foreword by Romy Willing: ‘Cook little pot cook: Ruth Watson and capitalism’s geophagic moil – a letter’ / Allan Smith: ‘Many hands: Ruth Watson’s Unmapping the World’ / Josephine Berry: ‘Layers and entanglements: Four artworks in Geophagy’ / Rebecca Boswell: ‘Whirling and looping: ‘Unmapping memories in Ruth Watson’s Geophagy’ / Bruce E Phillips.

Geophagy, the practice of consuming dirt and clay, can be read as a metaphor for our overpopulation, consumption, and destruction of the Earth. Used by some indigenous peoples in cooking to absorb toxins from indigestible plants, geophagy can also be read as a more positive reference to our relationship to the Earth, and to indigenous knowledge; a conscious and purposeful consumption.

Auckland-based, Canterbury-born Ruth Watson’s multifaceted exhibition is acutely about the present moment, speaking to global politics and environmental issues. Through a sprawling installation, video, audio and printed works, Watson takes a critical look at the world today and seems to suggest that it’s not clear what we should do, collectively or individually. With so many issues and paths of action vying for our attention, the immeasurable size of the problems we face, and the systemic causes out of our control, taking action can feel overwhelming.

Describing the world as being in a state of “dystopian present”, Watson reflects on the complexity of our relationship to the environment, and the incongruity of living in a place that we are destroying, without any clear means to unify and prevent that destruction.

ISBN 9780473442323 Card cover with flap
115 pages : colour illustrations ; 150 x 200 mm
2017

$30 including GST

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Read the review in Pantograph Punch HERE
EyeContact HERE
Listen to Ruth on RNZ HERE

The Greatest Show: Warren Tippett’s pots from a life less ordinary

The Greatest Show: Warren Tippett’s pots from a life less ordinary

Moyra Elliott and an essay by Peter Wells. With photographs by Marti Friedlander and Studio La Gonda

Revised and expanded second edition.

Biography and works of potter – Warren Tippett (b.1941–d.1994).

Researched and written by Moyra Elliott – co-author of Cone Ten Down: Studio Pottery in New Zealand 1945-1980, (Bateman 2009). Warren Tippett was an agent of change in New Zealand ceramic practice. He was reared as a ‘mud and water man’ in the 1960s because of where the strengths lay in the clay culture of the time with its influences from an imported Anglo-oriental style. However, he jumped ship and some twenty years after he became a potter, after playing briefly and creatively with sculpture – returned to the vessel and made the surface decoration his primary concern. He investigated areas that hitherto had been of little interest in New Zealand pottery and in doing so, connected with long histories of decorated pottery from many cultures. He also took references from his surroundings in Grey Lynn introducing palm trees, cacti and floral motifs and responded to the fresh stimulation of his urban environment with its strong Polynesian elements – lei and lava-lava and the Tongan brass band along with the vibrant street life where the raffish and the gaudy juxtaposed the cool. His new vocabulary became something unique – an expression of a region, a poly-centrist, polygenetic place located somewhere on the western Pacific part of the map.

Through his work, Tippett helped reform the canon of ceramics in New Zealand. No artist works in isolation but he was critical for the acceptance of earthenware in contemporary ceramic practice. His legacy is that he legitimised electric firing at lower temperatures which overturned an entrenched blueprint on how to make and what to make. By embracing the aesthetics more associated with pop culture, Polynesia and carnival ware, he opened doors to a healthier diversity.   

The first edition of this book accompanied a retrospective exhibition of Warran Tippett’s work at Objectspace in Auckland 2005/6 curated by the author.  This 2nd expanded edition features a visual chronology of Warren Tippett’s works, as well as previously unpublished portraits of Tippett by the late Marti Friedlander, and revised photographs with better reproductions of key works. 

Available October 2021

ISBN 978-0-9951184-7-8

Limited to 100 copies

RRP $40, 44pp 210x260mm portrait with cover, saddle stitched.

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“Warren Tippett is a seminal figure in the history of New Zealand studio ceramics because his works and lifestyle connect up key moments and significant local and international studio ceramics dynamics. In the words of curator Moyra Elliott, “Tippett helped reform the canon of ceramics in New Zealand.” Tippet started potting in Invercargill in the late 1950s. By the 1970s, and living in Coromandel, he was recognized as an important second generation figure in the ranks of potters working within the Anglo-Oriental tradition. This school of thought derives from the writings of English potter Bernard Leach which drew inspiration from medieval English and traditional Japanese and Korean pots which emphasised material, a quiet decoration and the spontaneity of the firing process. The philosophy engendered a vocational, workshop centred, pottery making life. It was this approach that informed most New Zealand studio ceramics production of the time. Moyra Elliott has pinpointed the time around the 1978 exhibition at Auckland’s New Vision Gallery and the 1980 Five by Five show at the Denis Cohn Gallery as a pivotal time in Tippett’s practice which “condense shifts in New Zealand clay practice, which actually took more than a decade, into a little over a year. The shift revolves around notions of function and diversity…there was a repositioning beyond function and into the decorative.” Changes in Tippett’s lifestyle were reflected in his work. As his interest moved from form to surface his work embraced the colourful and vibrant influences of his own Auckland and Sydney environments, the traditions of decorated Oriental and Mediterranean ceramics and contemporary international developments that located ceramics as part of a wider dynamic visual culture. In making a series of innovations within his own practice he “overturned an entrenched blueprint on how to make pots and what kind of pots to make. By embracing the formerly scorned earthenware and aesthetics more associated with pop culture, Polynesia and carnival-ware he opened the doors to a healthier diversity””.

Biography of Warren Tippett – Sarjeant Art Gallery

‘Amui ‘i Mu‘a: Ancient Futures
Dagmar Vaikalafi Dyck
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi
with contributing essays by
Dr. Billie Lythberg, Dr. Phyllis Herda Dr. Melenaite Taumoefolauand  Dr. Seini Taufa
Contemporary artists, academics and master practitioners of Tongan art celebrate the treasures of the Kingdom of Tonga and the history of their dispersal throughout world institutions and collections.
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ENTOURAGE: aka Physical Distance Theory, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Videogames

by Tim J. Veling

Self-published artist book from Otautahi Christchurch. Available from Rim Books in limited quantity.

Author of Red Bus Diary (2006), Veling began photographing his home city of Christchurch well before the 2010-11 quakes changed the CBD forever. Since then, for the full decade, he has amassed passionate and personal observations of the transformation and rebuild, publishing many photobooks and portfolios via www.placeintime.org, a multi-platform project facilitating and promoting documentary work about Christchurch and a cross-section of its people. Place … Continue reading

Hinemihi: Te Hokinga – The Return
Hamish Coney and Dr Keri-Anne Wikitera
with contributions by Jim Schuster, Lyonel Grant and photographs by Mark Adams
The journey of the carved house Hinemihi o Te Ao Tawhito (Hinemihi of the old world) is one defined by cataclysmic events and the unpredictability of elemental forces.
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