NZCP operations are suspended until further notice.
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.
(a distinguished panel is being assembled to be peer referees for the refereed Journal NZJP)
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.