The New Zealand Centre for Photography (NZCP) was established in 1985. Its mission is to promote New Zealand Photography. It curates exhibitions, some of which like the recent James Bragge: Wellington to Wairarapa tour. It brings speakers to New Zealand, and publishes the quarterly New Zealand Journal of Photography (NZJP).
In the beginning the Centre received its funding from an enterprise called Focus on New Zealand and an establishment grant from the Lotteries Board. It now relies on commercial sponsors and a nationwide membership. During its short history it has attracted commissions from the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs. With Shed 11 as a home NZCP has an opportunity to showcase New Zealand photography to NZ and international visitors. Your support is vital.
As a registered charitable trust it is administered by a board of trustees drawn from a wide cross-section of the community. It is staffed by a director and volunteers.
A Resource Centre
Firstly it operates as a resource for members. The Centre has a reference library of books and magazines from New Zealand and around the world. It offers videos and tape/slide sets which cover much of photography's national and international history. Then it has a print collection - images preserved for their value as 'photographs' as different to other institutions choose pictures primarily for the information they contain.
The Centre also houses a camera collection. An unparalleled voyage into photography's technological past. The world's first snapshot camera was made in 1888. And alongside could be a Leica - the camera used by photojournalists since the 1930s to capture a swiftly changing world. Or you might be more intrigued by a sonar auto focus Polaroid, a contemporary tool to seize that elusive image. With its collection of photographic literature and archive of original prints, the Centre stands as New Zealand's only museum of photography. Much of the collection is in storage but a few items are regularly hired by film companies and make it onto the silver screen.
A Communications Centre
The Centre's home is in Wellington but it serves the whole of New Zealand's photographic community. A plus of membership is our quarterly magazine the New Zealand Journal of Photography (NZJP). Dedicated to photographic art and history and containing news, views, reviews, portfolios and original research, it is the only national publication of its kind. Touring exhibitions are another way we reach around the country - some are curated by the Centre, others come to New Zealand from overseas. Catalogues and posters accompany these shows and are available at discount to members.
Creating photo teaching aids for schools is one more way we communicate. Our mission is to show what has been done and why it is important rather than the details of how to take pictures. That we leave to teachers. We also organise lectures and workshops by distinguished figures, photographers, historians and curators, some from overseas, who place their skills, enthusiasm, knowledge and experience at the service of photography in New Zealand. Members gain priority booking and preferential prices to these events. Finally, the Centre has in the past administered a Register of Photographers in order to accurately respond to many requests it receives for information, advice and guidance. At your request, as a member, your details can be added to this data base.
The New Zealand Centre for Photography has a proud record of a dozen or so years supporting independent photography. Similar organisations to the Centre exist throughout the world - some a little older, some younger. None are self-supporting and all rely on funding.
Funding for the Centre's activities come from individual and corporate sponsorship and self-generated income. Which is where you come in. If you are a friend of photography and you are searching for something more from photography, prove a point and become a member. You will join hundreds with a like mind, gain many membership benefits and contribute to preserving and extending photography in New Zealand.
There are many things to see at NZCP
- Prints from our unique collection are used in exhibitions.
- If you are a member you may hire videos & taped slide presentations.
- See the front desk for back issues of the Journal and other publications on sale.
- a strictly limited number of vintage photographs may be purchased.
Board Trustees of The New Zealand Centre for Photography
- Peter Ratner, Solicitor
- Harvey Benge, photographer and author
- Andrew Hopkinson, Manager, Capital Markets, Telecom New Zealand Limited
- Professor Anne Noble, Photographer and Professor of Photography and Director of Research for the College of Creative Art at Massey University
- Jonathan Russell, General Manager, Saatchi & Saatchi
- Grant Stevenson, The Whiteboard
- Director NZCP and Managing Editor New Zealand Journal of Photography David Langman. BA Hons (Art Hist) MA Arts Admin (UNSW) (October 2000 - end May 2008)
- Front of House and Technical Officer: Brian Davis (volunteer)
(a distinguished panel is being assembled to be peer referees for the refereed Journal NZJP)
- Prof Leoni Schmidt, School of Art, Otago Polytechnic
- Prof Tim Marshall, Dean, Parsons School of Design, New York
- Ms Tina Barton, Director, Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington
- Ms Jane Sayle, School of Fine Arts, College of Creative Arts, Massey University
- Dr Catriona Moore, Power Institute, Fine Arts, University of Sydney
- Peter Ireland, curator and writer
- Joan McCracken, Alexander Turnbull Library
- Athol McCredie, Curator Photography, Te Papa
- Haruhiko Sameshima, photographer
Brian Brake (1927 - 88)
Photographer and co-founder of the New Zealand Centre for Photography. NZCP gained immeasurably from having Brake's support but suffered considerably at his premature which left the Centre not yet established but with the potential that he and his colleagues recognised.
In 1954 he was invited to become a member of the celebrated photo-agency Magnum. He remains the only New Zealander to have been a Magnum member.
||Born in Wellington, schooled in Christchurch.
||Obtains position with Wellington portrait photographer Spencer Digby.
||Becomes an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.
||Joins New Zealand National Film Unit as a cameraman.
||Directs and photographs prize winning film Snows of Aorangi.
||Departs New Zealand for London.
||Meets Ernst Haas, John Morris and Henri Cartier-Bresson, who invites him to become a member of Magnum.
||Freelances in England, Europe and Africa, before making Asia his area of interest in 1956/7.
||One of the three photographers from Magnum permitted to enter China to take photographs.
||Spends time in New York at Life Magazine studying their methods of production.
||Only western photographer allowed in China to cover their tenth anniversary celebrations.
||Takes nine months to complete 'Monsoon' essay.
||'Monsoon' published. Establishes base in Hong Kong.
||Worked mainly for Life Magazine.
||Resigns from Magnum and joins Rapho in New York.
||Forms a documentary film unit in Hong Kong called Zodiac.
||Returns to New Zealand but continues to freelance internationally.
||Gives time and energy into establishing the New Zealand Centre for Photography.
||Dies of a heart attack in Auckland.
Brian Laurence Enting - 1943-95
Photographer and co-founder of the New Zealand Centre for Photography
With a collective vision for New Zealand’s photographic future, Brian Enting, together with Matheson Beaumont and Brian Brake set up the New Zealand Centre for Photography in 1985. The move followed the success of the unique Focus on New Zealand tour organised by the trio, bringing together some of the world’s leading photographers – amateur and professional. At the time it was considered “revolutionary”.
Enting was a driving force behind the Centre. When Brian Brake died suddenly in 1988, Enting took over as director. He worked tirelessly for two years, putting a huge amount of energy, time and finance into ensuring the Centre remained viable and that its aims and objectives were both fulfilled and built upon. In 1990 he moved on to open Keylight Image Library and a consultancy combining commercial photography, advertising and publishing. Keylight brought together the work of 40 top New Zealand photographers and six international image libraries, as well as his own extensive collection.
Throughout his life the subject Enting loved most was the natural environment; particularly the wild environment. It is, he said, “a constant source of inspiration, of physical and spiritual renewal”.
His works are characterised by an acute observation to details that most people never notice – the pattern of lichen, or subtle changes in light and colour within the forest. Delighting in the miniature world as much as in nature’s grandeur, his images range from extreme close-ups to the patterned texture of an aerial landscape, from abstract to representational.
Given his first camera by an uncle in the late 1940s, Enting soon became immersed in photography. While he enjoyed and admired all forms of photography, it was his passion for the natural world that prevailed, leading to a broad interest in the natural sciences, participation in the Tararua Tramping Club, the New Zealand Ornithological Society, and the Wellington Botanical Society.
His work evolved without fad or fashion, stemming instead from his desire to express the natural beauty he saw.
Enting wrote and illustrated his first book, Neath the Mantle of Rangi (1976). That same year he applied for an associateship with the New Zealand Professional Photographers’ Association and was instead awarded a full fellowship. He was the first person to be granted a fellowship specialising in natural history.
The 19 years that followed saw many more books published including; The Ancient Islands (1982) – NZ Book Awards winner ’83; Seasons in the Forest (1990); and Maori Herbal Healing (1994) – runner up Montana Book Awards. Enting spent 10 years hunting the herbs that made up the 200 plates for Maori Herbal Healing, some so rare that only a few plants remained.
There were also many children’s books including Many Happy Returns – finalist of the Children’s Book Awards ’96, as well as contributions to numerous New Zealand and international publications including Time Life magazine. He produced seven calendars for Works Consultancy Services, which reflected some of his favourite natural history themes. He won gold medals at the prestigious Pride in Print awards for his 1995 and 1996 calendars.
Enting was a man of vast energy and enthusiasm, of infinite patience and care. He had a driving passion that made him explore and document areas and aspects of New Zealand that many will never see. In an interview in 1995 he spoke of his sense of urgency to photograph as much as possible, for the record. He was killed in a road accident that same year while on the way to photograph Mount Ruapehu in eruption. At the time of his death he was working on three books, one about New Zealand lichens, another on volcanoes, and a third, Kingdom of the Gods, with author Witi Ihimaera on New Zealand’s landscape and spirituality.
Matheson Beaumont (1926- )
Matheson Beaumont together with the late Magnum photographer Brian Brake founded the New Zealand Centre for Photography in April 1985. For almost forty years they had dreamed and talked of an organisation which would provide a fulcrum for photographers of all disciplines to meet together, to show their work and showcase the medium to both New Zealanders and the wider world. In 1984 they invited the late natural history photographer Brian Enting to join with them to pursue their dream.
A retired optometrist, Beaumont is former Chairman of the NZCP, a past President of The Photographic Society of NZ, The Dunedin Photographic Society, and The Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society.
The institutions who have exhibited his photographs include, The NZ Academy of Fine Arts, The Otago Museum, The Aigantighe Art Gallery (Timaru), The Forrester Gallery (Oamaru), The Marshall Seifert Gallery (Dunedin) and The Left Bank Gallery (Greymouth). The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and The Australian Photographic Society have both accorded him one man exhibitions. His pictures are held in public collections in NZ, the USA, Brazil, Singapore and China, including The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain’s collection in the National Museum of Film Television and Photography; and in private collections in the UK, Canada, Australia, the United States, Germany, Japan and NZ.
An Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, he is a Hon Fellow of The Photographic Society of New Zealand, a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and was elected a Fellow of the Photographic Society of America in 1974. In 1975 he was presented with a Visual Arts Award by the City of Dunedin and in 1994, was awarded the prestigious Fenton Medal by the Royal Photographic Society, for services to Australasian Photography.
His photographs have been published in Photograms of the Year, The Year’s Photography, Camera in New Zealand, A day in the Life of NZ, (1983 and 2000) The NZ Millennium and Focus on New Zealand (1986), as well as in many magazines. A retrospective of his work, Chasing the Southern Light was published by Longacre Press in 2006.