Monthly Archives: October 2012

Frankfurt book fair – Transit of Venus – Glenn Colquhoun’s poems to Ernst Dieffenbach

Did you know that New Zealand was guest of honor at this year’s biggest book fair in the world?! Each year the fair invites a guest of honour and New Zealand has broken all previous records as Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. More than 90,000 people visited the New Zealand pavilion over the last weekend. That is so impressive!

I am very happy to have been working with one of the wonderful writers who represented New Zealand at this book fair – Glenn Colquhoun. He was part of the ‘Transit of Venus’ collaboration and created stunning work that he presented (or better performed) in several cities in Germany as part of the festival. Glenn’s poems are written to Ernst Dieffenbach who was a German naturalist employed by the New Zealand Company to survey New Zealand’s flora, fauna and landscapes.  He sailed to NZ in 1839 and remained in the country for the best part of three years. Shortly after returning to England he published a two volume report on his travels which recorded his observations and adventures. They also contained the second grammar of the Maori language ever written. These volumes were the basis of six poems that Glenn wrote in his memory and honor.

But Glenn not only wrote beautiful poetry he also gave each poem a rangi (tune) and a physical form.

Glenn Colquhoun: In choosing this style of the poems I wanted to make the point that New Zealand has two poetic traditions, one based on a written European literature and another on oral Maori forms. To a great degree these traditions have remained separate over the last two hundred years; poems and songs are composed, performed and used differently in both cultures. I wanted to cross this divide and combine elements of both traditions. Specifically I wanted to show that our literature in English can be refreshed and invigorated by it’s engagement with an extant oral tradition. Much is often made about how Maori have been impacted on by Europe but I wanted to show that Europe has also been impacted on by Maori. I wanted these poems to look as if an oral tradition had breathed into them on the paper and made them fat.

12a DSC 33122 200x300 Frankfurt book fair   Transit of Venus   Glenn Colquhouns poems to Ernst Dieffenbach


And this beautiful work I photographed. That was an utterly exciting and challenging task as I wanted to give them their very own space and let them float and glow inspired by Brian Brake’s photography of ‘ Maori Taonga’. In this gallery you see some results and the six vibrant poems – or the ‘six little fat men’ as Glenn calls them

For more info on the Transit of Venus project and Glenn Colquhoun, Hinemoana Baker and Chris Price’s work for the Frankfurt Book fair go to:




Glenn Colquhoun – ‘Jumping ship’

Glenn jumping ship Glenn Colquhoun   Jumping ship

I’m thrilled – my author portrait of Glenn Colquhoun made it on the cover of his book ‘Jumping ship’ which has just been republished.

For more on Glenn’s beautiful writing and book:

Dance photography….capturing movement opposed to freezing it

I shot a show called Mapunapuna during the tempo 2008 festival….well, I came across these while tidying up all my footage ( hard work!!) and thought I share my thoughts on them. Usually I love freezing dance moves (as in my gallery Dance) and that’s what I did over the last couple of years but I look back on these earlier days before I had settled for my ‘style’ and come to like these as well…you see and feel the motion and movement and it becomes more of a floating image rather than one sharp moment…hmmmm

DSC 0022a Dance photography....capturing movement opposed to freezing itDSC 0068 Dance photography....capturing movement opposed to freezing it

Dance photography

Just discovered this photo…I was the official photographer for the Auckland Festival of Dance from 2008-2011 and am tidying up all my files…which is a pain as I am suddenly drawn to different images than I was at the time…this is a photo from 2008 and I almost deleted it as it was in not in my ‘selection’ folder. Oups…I really really like it!!

DSC 0204 Dance photography

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | Ireland

GFI  11July12 088 The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | IrelandGFI  12July12 050 The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | Ireland

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | Ireland

I recently worked on my photos of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig where we stayed with Green Fire Islands…it is such a beautiful place and I feel like posting a few more photos

GFI  12July12 035 The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | Ireland

I will take you on a little tour inside…you’ll love it. More to follow…

GFI  11July12 059 The Tyrone Guthrie Centre | Annaghmakerrig | Ireland