New Zealand protest on display at City Gallery Wellington

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Media Release: Janurary, 2014. 

Photographs of the 1981 Springbok tour and 1970s anti-apartheid protests feature in John Miller’s Tour Scrums, which opens on Saturday 1 February 2014.

John Miller (Ngaitewake ki te Tuawhenua hapu of Ngapuhi) is a photographer and self-described ‘sympathetic observer’ of protest. Over four decades, he has photographed anti-war, civil rights, anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear and Māori political protests. Tour Scrums features his black and white photographs of anti-apartheid protests in 1970s Wellington together with his major colour work documenting the anti-tour protests a decade later: Tour Scrums – Protesting Black and Blue. Pairs of still images are combined with sound and radio recordings captured at the time; in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland protestors face off against police.

The 1981 Springbok rugby tour brought protestors onto the streets in cities across New Zealand, re-shaping the national self-image. Miller's visceral images document a period of radical unrest with New Zealanders of all ages expressing solidarity with black South Africans, and their aspirations for freedom and justice.

In recent years, John Miller has held solo exhibitions in Auckland, Melbourne and Paris. In 2003 Miller received a Media Peace Prize Lifetime Award in recognition of his photography and its role in helping to promote peace.

This is the third exhibition in the new Deane Gallery Guest Curator Programme and is curated by Geraldine Barlow (Irish, Māori and English descent, of the Ngapuhi iwi), Senior Curator and Collection Manager at Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (MUMA).

On 1 February at 1pm, there will be a free Artist & Curator Talk with John Miller and Geraldine Barlow.


John Miller: Tour Scrums
1 February 2014 – 13 April 2014
City Gallery Wellington, Civic Square
Free Entry
citygallery.org.nz