City Gallery City Gallery

Past exhibition

A Portrait of Law

10 September–18 October 1987

ARTISTS Laurence Aberhart, Janet Bayly, Peter Black, Adrienne Martyn CURATOR Gregory Burke SPONSOR Buddle Findlay, Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, Wellington City Council 

Law firm Buddle Findlay commission four New Zealand photographers to produce A Portrait of Law. Laurence Aberhart documents small district courthouses in New Zealand closed down in the 1970s. Janet Bayly's scrapbook montages comment on the law as word and institution. She says, ‘What I perceived were the dualities in an adversarial system of government: the oppositions and inequalities between Māori and Pākehā, woman and man, child and adult, passive and powerful.’ In his triptychs, Peter Black address (anti)social conditioning. Adrienne Martyn’s portraits show legal practitioners in their professional environments. She says, ‘I aimed to illuminate visually class, race, sex, and professional aspirations of lawyers.’ The show is supported by lunchtime forums addressing copyright and the visual arts, art forgeries, contract law for artists, domestic violence, capital punishment, and the Roper Report.