City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

History in the Taking: Forty Years of PhotoForum

14 March–14 June 2015

ARTISTS Laurence Aberhart, G. Leslie Adkin, Greta Anderson, Kapil Arn, Gary Baigent, Dr A.C. Barker, Wayne Barrar, Janet Bayly, Harvey Benge, Peter Black, Gary Blackman, Justin Boroughs, Rhondda Bosworth, Barney Brewster, Ken Browning, Simon Buis, Alfred H. Burton, Glenn Busch, Murray Cammick, Jon Carapiet, Gillian Chaplin, Neill Chitty, Fiona Clark, Bruce Connew, David Cook, Chris Corson-Scott, Tom Elliott, Rachael Feather, Reg Feuz, John Fields, Bruce Foster, Tom Fraser, H.E. Gaze, Paul Gilbert, Leslie Haines, Gil Hanly, Ngahuia Harrison, Tom Hutchins, Joseph D. Jachna, Bryan James, Megan Jenkinson, Glenn Jowitt, Desmond Kelly, Alan Leatherby, Eric Lee-Johnson, Mary Macpherson, Ian Macdonald, James McAllister, Allan McDonald, Charles McKenzie, Gabrielle McKone, John Miller, Mac Miller, Robin Morrison, Anne Noble, Terry O’Connor, Max Oettli, Stuart Page, Peter Peryer, Jae Renaut, Lucien Rizos, Marie Shannon, Geoffrey H. Short, Lawrence N. Shustak, Stuart Sontier, Clive Stone, Sally Symes, Roberta Thornley, John B. Turner, Merylyn Tweedie, William or Frederick Tyree, Julian Ward, Len Wesney, Edward Weston, Ans Westra, Richard Wotton, Sharyn Young, Simon Young, Jane Zusters CURATORS Nina Seja, Geoffrey H. Short ORGANISER PhotoForum OTHER VENUES Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 6–28 June 2014; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 22 August–15 November 2015 PUBLICATION PhotoForum at Forty: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand; publisher Rim Books, Auckland; author Nina Seja 

Today, photography is accepted as an art form—the galleries are full of it—but that wasn’t always the case. In 1973, John Turner and a group of ‘committed photographers’ founded PhotoForum, to champion the cause of photography as art in New Zealand.

Over the years, this grass-roots organisation has showcased photography through exhibitions, workshops, and publications—particularly the magazine it regularly published between 1974 and 1984. Within the photography community, it provided the stage for debates over the virtues of different artists and approaches. A product of the 1970s, PhotoForum understood photography as entangled with counterculture lifestyles and protest movements.

History in the Taking consisted of photos that featured in PhotoForum publications and exhibitions over the years—many of which have now become iconic. The show not only traced the development of art photography in New Zealand, it also offered a slice of social history. Stars—like Robin Morrison, Peter Peryer, Anne Noble, Laurence Aberhart, Fiona Clark, and Peter Black—featured alongside now neglected and forgotten figures. The show was developed to mark PhotoForum’s fortieth anniversary and debuted at Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery in 2014.