A walk down Johnsonville Road
Photographs from 1966-1969 by John B. Turner
Exhibition curated by Photography Aotearoa
John B. Turner (b. 1943) lived on Johnsonville Road, in an old house opposite Broderick Road, until around age 5. He developed his childhood interest in photography as a teen at the Upper Hutt Camera Club and was a founder member of the Lower Hutt Photographic Society. From 1967 to 1970 - the period when these photographs were taken - he worked as a photographer at the Dominion Museum (now Te Papa).
John is an editor, publisher, writer and educator in the field of photography, as well as a photographer in his own right, although he has unselfishly put most of his energy into promoting other photographers work. He was highly influential in the development of contemporary New Zealand photography from the late 1960s through to the 1980s, and, despite relocating to Beijing a decade ago, he remains closely involved in the NZ scene.
With his energy and passion, and the platforms of Elam (he was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1971) and PhotoForum (an organisation he co-founded in 1973 that is still actively promoting NZ photography), he has exerted enormous influence on the early development of contemporary photography in this country.
The photographs exhibited here were taken out of personal interest, as much an art project as an attempted methodical survey to reflect his connection with Johnsonville. His aim was to make a record for posterity and it has become a valuable record of the town's main street during a pivotal period from 1966 to early 1969, when construction of Johnsonville Mall was under way. John lived in the new suburb of Paparangi, which he also documented during this period.
The Johnsonville Series photographs are mostly unpublished, and - some 50 years later - this is the first time a large selection of them has been shown. The prints are digital pigment prints made from scans of John's original black & white negatives. Copyright of the photographs remains with John B. Turner.
We would like to thank the following for their support through grants that made this exhibition possible: Johnsonville Charitable Trust, the Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand's Creative Communities Scheme, The Trusts Community Foundation.
Contact: Photography Aotearoa Charitable Trust, email: email@example.com
James Gilberd (exhibition curator): firstname.lastname@example.org
Athol McCredie - 'The New Photography - New Zealand's first-generation contemporary photographers' - Te Papa Press, Wellington, 2019.
Peter Ireland - 'Back Story - John B. Turner's Johnsonville series' Art New Zealand magazine no.171, Spring 2019. Also correspondence with John B. Turner.