2018 PHOTOBOOK NEW ZEALAND – Archive Review

PBNZ-Website 2018

In 2018 I came back to Wellington for the second PHOTOBOOK NZ. Following on from the success of the 2016 event, which essentially featured Antipodean voices, the international contribution was expanded to include photography and photobook  exponents from the USA, France, Germany and Japan.

In this second PBNZ  the aims of event were certainly being met. Those being to:

  • build a national and international audience for New Zealand photobooks

  • strengthen connections and the exchange of information within New Zealand’s photographic community nationally and internationally

  • help New Zealand photographers produce innovative and excellent books that will attract international attention

  • help New Zealand photographers make national and international connections.

Once again over the two and a half days photobooks were discussed, many were bought and stories were shared about the state of the discipline in the Antipodes and how it is now a part of the international scene. What follows is the PBNZ 2018 program illustrated by photos and videos that I made during the event.


PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REPORT ON THE PBNZ 2018 and not the 2020 event


Photobook/NZ Programme 2018


Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th March 2018 @ Massey University

Two-day Masterclass Workshops

Two-day international masterclass that will explore the processes of creating and
publishing photobooks. Designed for artists and photographers who have a photo based project in development. Twenty selected participants, ten in each group, will work one-on-one and collectively with international and New Zealand photographers and bookmakers.


6.45pm: Friday 9th March 2018

@ Te Marae, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

From the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa website

Opening of Photobook/NZ 2018

Photobook/NZ Festival 2018 will be officially opened in the beautiful Te Marae, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa with the announcement of the winners of the NZ Photobook of the Year Awards and an opportunity to preview the publications available at Photobook/NZ Book Fair.

The PBNZ Opening

Announcement of NZ Photobook of the Year Awards

In its third year, the competition is open to entries from New Zealand photobook makers and publishers. The Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in photobook creation, and showcase the work of New Zealand photo artists to local and international audiences. Libby Jeffery, MomentoPro’s Marketing Manager introduced the Finalists who came up on to the stage – Jeffery then announced the Winner and Commended awards:

Carbon Empire by Allan McDonald and Rim Books was announced as the winner of the New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards 2017

The commended finalists were: I Will Be My Dream self published by Constance McDonald; Mimetic by 2016 Award winner Mark Purdom, published by Ramp Press; and Nothing Ever Happens self published by Robyn Daly.

A detailed report on the awards can be found HERE

The New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards are sponsored by Momento Pro.


An additional New Zealand Festival event took place on Friday –



Saturday 10th March 2018

At Te Marae, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington


10:00am – 5:00pm

See this year’s (2018) stunning photobook line-up, meet the photographers and publishers who produced them, and purchase books for your collection.

Rolling book launches will be happening throughout the day. The New Zealand and Australian Photobook of the Year Awards 2017 finalists will also be exhibited and guests are invited to vote for the People’s Choice Awards.


Meeting photobook people, seeing books and attending book launches.




Midday – 1:00pm

Bryan Schutmaat presenting his artist talk

Bryan Schutmaat (USA) – Artist Talk

Award-winning Texas-based photographer Bryan Schutmaat talks in depth about his practice and publishing including Grays the Mountain Sends and other works.

Bryan Schutmaat ’s travel and accommodation are generously sponsored by the Embassy of the United States of America, Wellington.


2:30pm – 3:00pm

Carole Bénita presenting Photos – Souvenirs

Carole Bénitah (France) – Artist Talk: Photos – Souvenirs

Carole Bénitah will discuss the creation of her book Photos-Souvenirs, a project that she created between 2009 and 2014 re-working images from her personal family archives. After the talk, Carolle will sign copies of the special edition that contains a suite of embroidered images. Carole Bénitah’s travel and accommodation was supported by the New Zealand/France Friendship Fund.


4:30pm – 5:30pm

Athol McCredie presents Rediscovering New Zealand’s Photobooks

Athol McCredie (NZ) – Curator Photography at Te Papa – Public Talk:

Rediscovering New Zealand’s Photobooks

The photobook seems a recent phenomenon, but haven’t they been around much longer?  Athol McCredie, curator of photography at Te Papa, explores this question by looking at some New Zealand photography books from the 19th century to the present.


6:30pm – 7:30pm

Jem Southam presenting the Massey University 2018 Peter Turner Memorial Lecture

Massey University 2018 Peter Turner Memorial Lecture: Jem Southam (UK)

The Massey University Peter Turner Memorial Lecture 2018 will be delivered by Jem Southam, one of the UK’s leading photographers, renowned for his slowly accrued photographic narratives of landscapes transformed by time and human presence

Landscape Stories: Encounters, voices and Pictures – Jem Southam will address the complexity of the landscape genre in the light of his own career as a photographer, whose work results from the patient observation of singular sites over long periods of time. The slow accrual images, presented in structured narratives, reveals the complexity of our personal, political, literary, psychological and cultural associations with the places we inhabit.


Sunday 11th March 2018

College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Te Ara Hihiko,


Photobook/NZ Talks and Panel Discussions

This will be a day of talks, panel discussions and lively debates with our international and local keynote speakers.



Introduction and Welcome


10am – 11am

Katrin Koenning presenting her artist’s talk

1st Session: Katrin Koenning – Artist Talk

Presenting a selection of her long-form photographic works, Melbourne-based Katrin Koenning shares insights into her creative processes and methodologies. Much of her practice is concerned with the physical and emotional connection to place, and to that which surrounds us. Koenning will speak about notions of seeing as an act of placing oneself and of drawing closer.

Katrin’s travel and accommodation was generously supported in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.


11.20am – 12.30pm

Is anybody out there? panel
Is anybody out there? panel

2nd Session: Is anybody out there? How we connect readers and photobooks:
a discussion of markets/readership

Chair: Becky Nunes

Panel Members

  • Haru Sameshima – RIM books, New Zealand photography and art publishers
  • Dan Rule  & Justine Ellis and Baby Sadie – Perimeter Books, Australian publisher and bookstore operator
  • Harry Culy – Bad News Books, New Zealand indie photobook


1:30pm – 2:30pm

3rd Session: Yumi Goto – Reminders Photography Stronghold
photobook as an object / the photobook that cares

Yumi Goto will show and Talk about the work of the Tokyo based Reminders Project Stronghold. The talk will conclude with a visit to the live photobook making exhibition created in association with the RPS for Massey’s University’s Engine Room Gallery.


An exhibition in the form of a live performance revealing the book making process, from concept to material experience of the photobook as an object – created in the School of Art Engine Room Gallery by Michiko Hayashi, Ryo Kusumoto and Tammy Law in association with Yumi Goto and the Reminders Photography Stronghold, Tokyo.

RPS participant Ryo Kusumoto presenting in the Engine Room Gallery.
RPS participant Ryo Kusumoto presenting in the Engine Room Gallery.

2.50pm – 3.50pm
4th Session: Debate time!
What will the future of publishing look like?

Join us for a lively and spirited debate on the topic:

Instagram is the future of photographic publishing

Chair: Mary Macpherson

Affirmative team:  Peter Black (leader), Edith Amituanai, Chris Leskovsek
Negative team: Howard Grieve (leader), Christine McFetridge – Read, Libby Jeffrey

The ‘Instagram is the future of photographic publishing’ panel
Howard Grieve in his summation reply 'Instagram is the future of photographic publishing' panel
Howard Grieve in his negative summation ‘Instagram is the future of photographic publishing’ panel

3.50pm – 4:00pm





VALE: Ian Poole
Very early on Monday morning my friend Simon Woolf, who I had been staying with, came in to let me know that a shared long-term friend in photography – Ian Poole had passed away over night. That morning I spent some time opposite an empty chair in a coffee shop in Cuba Street reflecting on Ian, his life as a professional and art photographer, curator and commentator and the contribution he made to cross-Tasman and Japan/Australian photography.
The empty chair...
The empty chair…




Unless otherwise indicated all photographs and videos are © Doug Spowart.




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