For twelve months, from the top floor of home, veiled behind an apron of black velvet, through double-glazing and a long lens, I photographed the comings and goings of a car park, an ample piece of reclaimed Wellington land that juts out into a bay, a family beach to one side. Surveillance is routine nowadays. It’s everywhere.
While sorting out personal papers recently, I came across this note of support from an impeccable sub-editor and loyal friend during my April 1982–July 1985 stint at the New Zealand Listener magazine.
I humbly confess to Jacquie’s charges. I can’t recall now just which project we were working on 30 years ago that encouraged this note, it could have been any of a number. I had made a decision, from day one at the magazine (April Fool’s Day, 1982), to stand my ground as a photographer, to signal an entitlement to my own voice, to establish that voice within the magazine by meaningful sway over the edit and selection of my images, and the manner in which they would be used.
The trouble was, confrontation was my method of choice, and while that worked for a stretch, the dragooned and coerced in time found a way around me.
Jacquie, however, despite proof of the note otherwise, was a comrade-in-arms, a loyal friend, and when the moment was important, we worked carefully together to advance particular social and political agendas.