Ans Westra

Catching Crickets, Greymouth

Catching Crickets, Greymouth by Ans Westra

Artwork Detail

In 1964 the Department of Education's School Publications Branch shredded 38,000 copies of Washday at the Pä, their recently-printed booklet by Ans Westra; the Mäori Women's Welfare League had requested that it not be made available to school pupils, claiming that its release could exacerbate existing negative attitudes about how rural Mäori lived. Westra later stated that the controversy 'clarified what I wanted to do with my photography. I wanted to record reality, to document a style of life that was changing'. Soon after arriving from Leiden in 1957, Westra had felt driven to document the changes in contemporary Mäori and Päkehä society. Acknowledged for having a 'romantic' eye, Westra possesses an ability to go beyond realism in depicting how people live their lives in a day-to-day manner and has achieved an outstanding body of work that captivates with its charm while showing what is actually happening in New Zealand's post-colonial culture. Her celebration of racial diversity in the young people in her photographs is indicative of the future of a multicultural New Zealand. (from The Guide, 2001)

Catching Crickets, Greymouth
Ans Westra
Production date
black and white photograph
365 x 289 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with assistance from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, 1976
Accession no
Other ID
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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