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Images: New Zealand Photographers Abroad

New Zealand Photographers Abroad

17 August - 6 October 2002

City Gallery Wellington


Maasai card players, Ngorongoro Conservancy, Tanzania (Nicola Dove)

The exhibition

New Zealand Photographers Abroad brings together images by eight leading and emerging New Zealand documentary photographers, taken in fourteen countries world-wide (plus Bougainville, an automonous region of PNG).

The exhibition, comprising around 60 photographs, provides both a rich and vibrant celebration of global life and culture and an exploration of the challenges facing people living in the developing world through New Zealanders’ eyes.

To mark its fortieth year, Wellington-based international development agency Volunteer Services Association (VSA) invited eight documentary photographers to embark on two-week photographic assignments in the countries VSA sends volunteers . These photographers were Bruce Connew, Glenn Jowitt, Terry O’Connor, Gil Hanly, Nicola Dove, Bryn Evans, David Gurr and Louise Hyatt. VSA recruits skilled New Zealanders to work in developing countries around the world. These volunteers help local communities to achieve their own solutions to problems by sharing their skills, energy and experience.

The images in New Zealand Photographers Abroad have been selected by VSA, City Gallery Wellington and photographer Bruce Foster from the thousands taken in journeys through South Africa, Tanzania, East Timor, Laos, Cambodia, Samoa, Bhutan, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. The resulting exhibition provides a rare glimpse of both the inspiring and disturbing realities that are part of the daily lives of the communities in these countries.


Shop, Thimphu, Bhutan (Bruce Connew)

Aim of exhibition

"For the 40th anniversary of VSA, we wanted to provide people with images of the international development work in which we are involved. By sharing skills, experience and understanding, VSA volunteers are helping those at the wrong end of the global economic order shape a better future for themselves. New Zealand also benefits, through the injection of new skills, experiences and perspectives with which volunteers return home."

The images were taken between October 2000 - March 2002. The exhibition will tour to other venues in New Zealand over the next year.

Terry Butt,

VSA CEO


Pension queue, Transkei, Eastern Cape, South Africa (Terry O'Connor)

The Photographers

Long considered one of New Zealand's finest photo-journalists, Wellington’s Bruce Connew essays vary from New Caledonia and South Africa to the West Coast of the South Island. Among his extensive exhibition, magazine and book assignments, has been the celebrated book On the way to an ambush, an account that puts the death of his wife in a road crash alongside his experience of a little reported war in east Burma. He photographed in Kosovo in 1999, and in coup-ridden Fiji last year.

(Images of PNG, Bougainville, Laos, Bhutan for the VSA project).

Nicola Dove has a Diploma of Photography from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design and has photographed in Cambodia and India. Her work regularly appears in North and South, Listener and Cuisine magazines and she has recently exhibited at Wellington's 52 Gallery. (Images of Solomon Islands, East Timor & Tanzania for VSA project).

Bryn Evans graduated from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design in 1996. He quickly established himself as one of the country's leading documentary photographers with a portfolio of photos on Bougainville, then in the midst of a bloody civil war. His work has featured in Time magazine and numerous other international titles. He currently works for an international agency and is based in India. He has a personal interest in the Pacific and VSA as his father was a VSA volunteer in the Solomon Islands. (Images of Samoa for VSA project).

David Gurr worked for a number of years as a professional musician, before taking up a job in 1982, at the P H Jauncy Photographic Studio in Wellington. By the following year David was exhibiting at Bill Main's Exposure Gallery and had works in the Wellington City Library collection. David is probably best known for his photo credits at Wellington's City Voice newspaper where he was staff photographer for seven years. (Images of Vanuatu for VSA project).

Auckland-based Gil Hanly is both one of New Zealand's best known photographers of gardens and a leading documentary photographer. She has worked as a freelance photographer for the Listener and Broadsheet. Her work recording the peace, women's and Maori protest movements over more than 20 years saw her receive the one-off Millennium Award at the 2000 Media Peace Awards. (Images of Cambodia and Vietnam - VSA project).

Recently Louise Hyatt (Wellington) has been working in the film industry as a stills photographer. She has a Bachelor of Design degree from Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in photography and has worked assisting a number of New Zealand photographers including Bruce Foster. (Images of Tokelau for VSA project).

Glenn Jowitt (Auckland) graduated from Canterbury University's School of Fine Arts in 1978 with the launch of his exhibition 'Race Meeting in New Zealand', later published as the book Race Day. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer and compiled an impressive body of work with an emphasis on the Pacific. His latest book is Pacific Island Style - a book celebrating the architecture of the South Pacific. See website: http://www.jowittphotography.co.nz/

(Images of Tonga for VSA project).

Terry O'Connor (Auckland) has been taking photos since 1975. He is probably best known for his work documenting the lives of Tuhoe in the Urewera Ranges published as Te Manawo Tuhoe: the heart of Tuhoe, and the 1983 photo-essay All Good Children: Life in a New Zealand Children's Health Camp. (Images of South Africa & Zimbabwe for VSA project).

Publication

A major publication, New Zealand Abroad: the story of VSA in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, documenting this project will be published by Bridget Williams Books in October / November 2002. It features the photographs, and essays by Margot Schwass, Trevor Richards and Jeremy Rose who accompanied the photographers on their travels.

VSA - the organisation

What is Volunteer Service Abroad?
- VSA recruits skilled New Zealanders to work overseas.
- The average age of volunteers is 40.
- VSA is an international development agency, founded in 1962, based in Wellington, New Zealand.
- VSA is a not-for-profit, non-government, non-religious organisation.

How does VSA work?
- VSA volunteers help local communities achieve their own solutions by sharing skills, energy and experience.
- VSA funds people, not projects.
- VSA volunteers work in areas such as:

health and disabilities
community development
education and training
agriculture and rural development
organisational development
resource planning and management
economic development
conservation and forestry
small business development
librarianship
computer programming
architecture
law
engineering

- VSA volunteers are requested by partner organisations for specific assignments. Assignments usually last for two years but are sometimes shorter.
- Partner organisations are non-governmental, community based, and local or national government.
- VSA is funded by private and corporate donations, and by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of its overseas aid programme.

How does VSA benefit New Zealand?
- New Zealand benefits when VSA volunteers return with stronger skills and a new awareness of development and other issues.
- Volunteers return from work in international development with new skills and valuable experience acquired under challenging circumstances.
- They also help increase awareness of issues of international development and interdependence, and human rights.
- VSA volunteers help build a positive image of New Zealand.

Advantages for the overseas community
- VSA sends skilled New Zealanders, not money, to promote self reliance of the community.
- VSA works in areas of greatest need.
- VSA recruits the best person with the right mix of professional and personal attributes for the assignment.
- VSA trains selected people to work with overseas communities.
- VSA supports both the volunteer and partner organisation to ensure that the assignment progresses well.

Media opportunities
Anne Irving
Publicist
City Gallery Wellington
T: 04 801 3959
F: 04 801 3952
E: anne.irving@wcc.govt.nz

Jeremy Rose
Communications Coordinator
Volunteer Services Abroad
T: 04 495 8524
F: 04 472 5052
M: 025 247 2491
E: jrose@vsa.org.nz

Over the last 40 years VSA has sent more than 2000 volunteers to countries throughout the Pacific, Asia and Africa. As a result of this project VSA has a large selection of images and stories about volunteer assignments in 14 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. The photos and stories feature volunteers from throughout New Zealand completing assignments in everything from conservation to computing. VSA would welcome the opportunity to place photographic essays and articles in magazines, newspapers and trade publications.

Jeremy Rose
DDI: 04 495 8524
Mobile: 025 247 2491
Email: jrose@vsa.org.nz


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