Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto

Motutapu
Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto
Foreword by Zoe Black, essays by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson, Stan Wolfgramm and the artists
Designed by Shaun Naufahu and Giordano Zatta

Presented as an exhibition at Te Uru and as this publication, MOTUTAPU is the conclusion of a four-year journey by artist Benjamin Work and photographer Brendan Kitto. This project looks at the shared history of Motutapu (sacred island) throughout Moana Oceania – including Tongatapu, Rarotonga and at the entrance to the Waitematā Harbour here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Motutapu is a place of sanctuary. Positioned at the entrance of great harbours, straddling the open ocean and the mainland, it serves as a gateway for navigators arriving and departing on voyages. The lifting of tapu and making things noa took place on Motutapu, allowing navigators to continue with their journey back to their closest kāinga, even if it was generations later.

Work and Kitto’s inquiry into Motutapu was initially centred around the shared name. What soon became apparent was a deeper connection to their own hohoko/ʻakapapa (genealogy) as they travelled to three of the Motutapu locations and connected with key knowledge holders. Motutapu has become a metaphor for Work and Kitto as a starting point for these personal journeys. Through Work’s paintings and Kitto’s photographs of their journeys, combined with the introductions to the three Motutapu locations by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson and Stan Wolfgramm the book offers, for the extended diaspora of Moana Oceania, a way for reconnection and reconciliation and as a reminder of what joins communities across time and space.

“Motutapu reminds me of the Tongan practice of Tauhi vā (to nurture or maintain relational space), as a metaphor of this sacred in-between space, an island straddled between the deep moana and the fonua of the mainland . . . When Brendan and I first embarked on this journey we were unaware of where this would lead us, but we now know this was a journey of restoration, healing and connection – to moana, fonua and ultimately with ‘Otua.”

Benjamin Work

“. . . Pita Turei, Paul Johansson and Stan Wolfgramm, who generously offered to guide interactions with each island, . . . The stories imparted by each knowledge-holder were offered through worldviews that leave space for multiplicities of knowledge, championing shared understandings that centre the question ‘What do you know it to mean?’. Their collective research offers an appreciation of three locations that have immense importance personally, while respectfully leaving space for others to tell their stories of these lands.”

From the foreword by Zoe Black

RRP $70.00

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Card-cover, perfect bound | 176 pages (indigo 130gsm Satin Matt) Cover (270gsm Bagdad Brown) 203mm x 254mm portrait
Limited edition of 250
ISBN 978-1-99-116520-6
Publication: August 2022

For all wholesale orders and requests info@rimbooks.com

Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto Book Launch, 2pm 6th August 2022, Te Uru.

Motutapu: Benjamin Work & Brendan Kitto Book Launch, 2pm 6th August 2022, Te Uru.

The exhibition MOTUTAPU, at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (11 June – 11 September 2022) will be completed by the launch of the book of the same title by Benjamin and Brendan, at 2pm, 6th of August at Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. All invited.

photo: Brendan kitto
photo: Brendan kitto
photo: Brendan kitto

Motutapu: Benjamin Work and Brendan Kitto.
With foreword by Zoe Black, essays by Pita Turei, Paul Johansson, Stan Wolfgramm and the artists. 176pp soft cover, 203mm x 254mm portrait, designed by Shaun Naufahu and Giordano Zatta and published by Rim Books. Limited first edition of 250 copies.

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

Design: Sam Fraser and David Cook

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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.

Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde

Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde

Paula Morris and Haru Sameshima
Published by Massey University Press

Shining Land: Looking for Robin Hyde brings together award-winning novelist Paula Morris and seasoned photographer Haru Sameshima. It is the second in the kōrero series of picture books edited by Lloyd Jones, written and made for grown-ups, and designed to showcase leading New Zealand writers and artists working together in a collaborative and dynamic way.

In Shining Land Morris and Sameshima focus on the New Zealand journalist, poet, fiction writer and war correspondent Robin Hyde, exploring three locations important to her difficult life and ground-breaking work. This beautifully considered small book richly rewards the reader and stretches the notion of what the book can do.

‘Like the best picture books, Shining Land is short and physically beautiful; the narrative and the images are inseparable and entirely complementary; it’s a book to read in a single sitting, and return to. And, like the best picture books, it opens up vistas well beyond its relatively modest scale.’ — Sarah Shieff, Academy of New Zealand Literature

“As I try to write about Shining Land my words keep breaking its incandescent magic (shining), its accumulating moods. The photographs are uncanny, eerie, both empty and full, empty of human presence because Robin is missing and missed. The storm chasers outside the frame. I keep imagining Robin entering the scene. I like that. When I look at the shot of Rangitoto ki te Tonga D’Urville Island and Te Aumiti French Pass from French Pass Road with gloomy skies and greys I become grey state. I like this so much. How can I speak? This is where pregnant Robin posed as a married woman, before moving to Picton and then back to Wellington with her secret baby and and her secret heartache. I am on the pass looking down at the grey isolation. I will never know Robin, I will never be in Robin’s shoes, but I feel. And that is what Paula and Haru do. They feel Robin in the depths of their looking and their making. It is contagious.”–– Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

ISBN: 9780995131828
Massey University Press
12/11/2020 96pp 257 x 200 mm Hard cover

RRP $40

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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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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

RRP $40

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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

RRP $40

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New Zealand By The Way

New Zealand By The Way: Immigrant Photographers & Photographs of Immigrants
Original photo essays by Arno Gasteiger, Jenner Zimmermann, Haruhiko Sameshima, Glenn Jowitt, Gil Hanly, Greg Semu

Published by Jenner Zimmermann and AGFA 1996

Here is an oldie – but this book still holds interest for the new audience in 2021. Back in the day when Agfa-Gevaert held a large share in consumer and professional photography products, German-born New Zealand based photographer Jenner Zimmermann struck up a very generous sponsorship deal from the corporation to invite six photographers, a designer and pay for the production of a luscious, large-format hard-cover book of photography about New Zealand.

He chose three New Zealand born photographers to photograph the immigrants- and three immigrant photographers working in New Zealand to photograph their new home.

The photographers armed with the copious free supply of Agfa films (they did not have to use Agfa – could have used the normal film of their choice.) went about to produce a new project, without any constraints by the commercial objectives – their approaches and the results were as diverse as the population in New Zealand then and now.



275 x 300 mm, 128 pages, 127 colour and b/w photographs.
ISBN 0-473-03631-2 (Hard Cover)

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