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)

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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

For all wholesale orders and requests info@rimbooks.com

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

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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.

A Sun Dance In Sandringham

A Sun Dance in Sandringham: 43 Photographs
Solomon Mortimer

“In December of 1991, I was born in what would be my bedroom for the following two decades. It was a solid brick and timber 1940’s state house with only one previous owner, a couple called Alf and May Coppell.

My parents had purchased the house in 1989 after May had passed away. Years later while studying photography I discovered the classic Marti Friedlander image of ‘Alf and May Coppell, 1969,’ standing in front of my bedroom to be, and it is firmly located in the heart of Sandringham.

By 2011, so much had changed in the 20 years I had lived on Kiwitea Street. Many houses had undergone renovation and the shops had mostly changed owners two or three times. Each time shifting the cultural landscape of the neighbourhood, from predominantly English, to Chinese and Korean, to inarguably Indian.

I remember on the way home from primary school I would get a custard square at the Pidgeon Bakery and look into the mechanics workshop across the road, wondering at the way the light would get stuck on the greasy bench that followed the back wall under a bank of windows.

Then I would finish the walk home with tacky fingers, gummed up from excess icing and wash them under the garden tap before going inside to greet my parents.

The 43 plates on the following pages were all recorded on the streets of Sandringham in 2011 – 2012 while I went for my afternoon skateboard around the block. Covering the network of roads from Fowlds Avenue over to Dominion Road and Mount Albert Road up to Balmoral / Saint Lukes Road”.
Solomon Mortimer, 2019

Published by Solomon Mortimer with the support of PhotoForum, February 2019
Designed by Solomon Mortimer
Designated as PhotoForum #90
Printed by Momento Pro
210 x 150 mm  First edition of 200
ISS 0111-0411

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Many things were not in the fantasy

Many things were not in the fantasy
Concept and Images: Solomon Mortimer and Zahra Killeen-Chance

‘Many things were not in the fantasy’ compels fact and fiction to play off against the family album. It is a collation of fragments from the relationship of Mortimer and Killeen-Chance that offer a slippage between their private lives, personal practices, and collaborative escapades. The eighty‐six plates they have produced together over the past three years resists a linear sequence and narrative logic. The banal domestic and public spaces have a non‐specificity that disrupts the notion of a fixed identity. Their performative inquiries remain an ambiguous record of Mortimer and Killeen‐Chance from 2014 to 2017.


Design: Solomon Mortimer
Printed: Taiwan
Size: 102mm (w) x 129mm (h)
Paper: light weight offset. About 40-50gsm, white
Binding: section sewn and glued
Cover: PVC pocket 
Pages: 200

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Quiet Chaos

Quiet Chaos
Tony Nyberg

A collection of images taken while travelling through Japan in 2017. Published by Back Space Books.

Uncannily intimate observation by the traveller photographer in Japan, where the noisome mysteries of old and new are transformed into the contemplative visual harmony of B&W and colour photographs. A little gem, a book as a loveletter to getting lost in Tokyo, Kyoto and Naoshima.








$40

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softback saddle-stiched | 56 pages
148 x 210 mm
2018 Back Space Books

Dull Ache

Dull Ache
Photography by Fiona Lascelles and poetry by Jasmine Gallagher.

Designed and published by Back Space Books

Dull Ache is a small photobook offering a place for readers to meander and seek solace. It was created by photographer Fiona Lascelles, in collaboration with poet Jasmine Gallagher. First published in early 2020, it is now in its second edition, and these are the last few hand numbered copies that will be available. It has been shown at both the Wellington Photobook Fair and Melbourne Artbook Fair in March 2020.

The following quote by Sally Mann guided the development of the interconnected words and images: “As for me, I see both beauty and the dark side of the things … and I see them at the same time … The Japanese have a phrase for this dual perception: mono no aware. It means “beauty tinged with sadness,” for there cannot be any real beauty without the indolic whiff of decay.” Sally Mann, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

The images are quiet, and while made in a period of grief, they are not an expression of sadness but a moment for pause. And the poetic fragments are brought together to form one long poem, which meanders through the pages, forming a conversation with the photographs. This form of ecoGothic poetry responds to the hope found in nature, as a source of solace: where death is revealed not as an ending, but as a crucial part of the endless cycle of regeneration.

The dust jacket unfolds to a secret image, a secret garden, a place of contemplation. A postcard with this image is also included should the reader be willing to share their own thoughts, extending the conversation.

Jasmine Gallagher is a poet, art critic and doctoral candidate at teh University of Otago, where she is reserching landscape mythology in contemporary New Zealand art and poetry.

Fiona Lascelles is an Auckland art director who photographs the quiet and unassuming moments she encounters while going about her day.


RRP$50

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softback with jacket| 50 pages
165 x 210 mm
#28 from the first edition of 30
2020