Ans Wes­tra hon­oured with liv­ing mu­seum

The Photographer's Mail - - News -

A her­itage build­ing on Welling­ton’s Cuba Street is be­ing ded­i­cated ex­clu­sively to prom­i­nent New Zealand pho­tog­ra­pher Ans Wes­tra’s works, show­cas­ing her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer. The liv­ing mu­seum will be co­or­di­nated by Welling­ton’s {Suite} gallery and will open on April 20 — timed to co­in­cide with the artist’s 80th birth­day.

{Suite}’s owner and di­rec­tor, David Al­sop, says that, for nearly 60 years, Ans Wes­tra has used her vi­sion as a pho­tog­ra­pher to cap­ture vivid glimpses of New Zealand life.

“Ans is a bril­liant ob­server whose work has been piv­otal in doc­u­ment­ing Aotearoa life and land­scapes, par­tic­u­larly that of Tan­gata Whenua. Over time her photos have be­come a great source of com­mu­nity and na­tional pride,” says Al­sop.

Marama Fox, co-leader of the Maori Party, will speak at the gallery’s of­fi­cial open­ing, and she be­lieves Ans has con­trib­uted greatly to New Zealand’s cul­ture and her­itage.

“Ans’ strength is an abil­ity to por­tray our cul­ture as it is, not pro­ject­ing images as an ob­ject for tourism, but for the peo­ple in the images,” she says.

The space will al­low greater pub­lic ac­cess to Ans’ pho­tog­ra­phy, and a ro­tat­ing se­lec­tion of her work will be on dis­play, while an on­line archive of the artist’s images will be avail­able to browse, thanks to a re­cent agree­ment with the Alexander Turn­bull Li­brary that will re­sult in the dig­i­ti­za­tion of Ans’ col­lec­tion.

Al­sop says, “A pri­vate mu­seum ded­i­cated to one artist is un­prece­dented in New Zealand, but we feel the beauty and in­tegrity of Ans’ work needs to be ap­pre­ci­ated by as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.”

The gallery will be lo­cated above {Suite} gallery, 243 Cuba Street, Welling­ton, and more in­for­ma­tion can be found at

Ans Wes­tra, Har­ri­son Road, Ru­a­to­ria, site of ‘Wash­day at the Pa’, 2013

{Suite}, 241–243 Cuba Street, Welling­ton

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