Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The extraordinary Marti Friedlander remembered by the Arts Foundation
So much love and generosity. Such enthusiasm for life.
We will always remember her.
Arts Foundation Icon Award
recipient Marti Friedlander has died. Born in the United Kingdom in 1928,
Marti moved to New Zealand in 1958. She was an exceptional photographer.
Many of her works are considered quintessential images of New
The Arts Foundation sends its heartfelt condolences to Marti's husband,
Gerrard Friedlander, and all who knew her.
To know her was to love her because there was a good chance she
loved you. She had a deep love of people and expressed this through her
photography. The excitement that Marti felt for people was captured in her
camera as a timeless moment for us all to share. She specialised in
photographing artists with some of New Zealand's most important artist
portraits taken by her.
Patrons to the Icons, Sir Eion and Jan, Lady Edgar, were close to Marti and
Gerrard. Marti and Gerrard spent two days with Eion and Jan in Queenstown
photographing them for a wedding anniversary. Sir Eion said "she
was a talented photographer with an enthusiasm for life that never
Marti spent her childhood in a Jewish orphanage. She won a trade
scholarship at age 14 and studied photography. From 1946-57, she
worked as a photographic assistant in a portrait and fashion studio in
Kensington. She married Gerrard, a Kiwi, in 1957 and came to
live in New Zealand in 1958.
The first New Zealand photo Marti took was in 1960 at Auckland's Myers Park
during a protest meeting opposing the All Blacks going to South Africa,
featuring the banner 'I'm all white Jack'. The print was bought by the BBC
for their series on Rugby.
Marti found settling in New Zealand very difficult and missed the
excitement of living and working in central London. She was aware however,
that New Zealand was on the edge of change, and made it her commitment to
record this change.
She began working as a freelance photographer in 1964 and traveled
throughout New Zealand.
She is well known for her work in the books: Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century
(1972) with Michael King; Larks
in a Paradise (1974) with James McNeish; Contemporary New Zealand Painters
A-M (1980) with Jim and Mary Barr; Pioneers of New Zealand Wine
(2002) with Dick Scott and Marti
Friedlander: Photographs (2001) with Ron Brownson and Marti Friedlander with
Prof. Leonard Bell (2009).
In 1999, Marti was awarded the Companion of NZ Order of Merit (CNZM) for
services to photography. Her book Marti
Friedlander: Photographs (with Ron Brownson) was shortlisted at
the 2001 Montana Book Awards.
Her work has been exhibited at the Photographers' Gallery in London, the
Waikato Art Museum, and in a large and celebrated retrospective at the
Auckland Art Gallery in 2001, which was a comprehensive survey exhibition
of Marti's's work. The exhibition toured New Zealand galleries in 2002.
This show brought together an extensive range of photographs created
over a period of 40 years.
In 2004, Marti was specifically requested to shoot the publicity photos and
the album cover for the new CD by the Finn brothers. In the same year
she was the subject of a documentary film Marti: The Passionate Eye documentary
directed by Shirley Horrocks, that screened throughout New Zealand in the
2004 International Film Festival, and was shown Internationally.
Supported by the Arts Foundation, the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award
was launched in 2007. The Award is presented every two years to an
established photographer with a record of excellence and potential to
continue working at high levels. The Award includes a $25,000 donation for
the photographer to help further their career.
In 2010, Marti generously gifted her photographs from The Moko Suite, to Te
Papa - New Zealand's national museum. The collection consists of 47
portrait photographs of Maori kuia (female elders) with chin moko or
traditional tattoos. Marti contributed images to historian Michael King's
1972 book Moko - Maori
Tattooing in the 20th Century. They toured New Zealand to
capture these kuia at a time it was thought the art of moko might be lost
to future generations.
Marti Friedlander received an Arts Foundation Icon Award in 2011.