Capturing the city’s cyclists
Photographer Victoria Vincent celebrates cycling in the city with new exhibition.
Victoria Vincent is a Wellington based commercial and portrait photographer. Her new photographic exhibition ‘‘i do it’’ is on at Thistle Hall and features Wellington women cycling around the city.
What was your motivation behind this work?
My motivation was to capture the joy that I feel when I ride my bike to work. I knew there were going to be lots of advantages, but the freedom, joy and empowerment I get were a real surprise.
What do you think are some of the barriers to getting more women cycling in the city?
There are a number of perceived barriers; kids, weather, hills. There are ways to overcome all of these barriers. For me it was working out a solution where I could drop my son off at his creche with the car, then ride my bike into the city for work. It took me a while to work it out, but there is no going back for me now.
Are you a cyclist yourself, what do you like/ dislike about it ?
I’m not sure if I would describe myself as a cyclist, as that to me is someone that rides their bike for fitness. For me it’s about convenience and pleasure. These days instead of arriving at work annoyed at having to pay $12 to park for a few hours in a carpark or topping up my Snapper card then catching the bus. I arrive feeling like I own this city. I arrive at work with a clear head (having just got three kids out the door), feeling smug that I have overtaken the bus, passed the cars using the bike/bus lane and then used the quiet side streets to get to work in half the time any other method would have taken me. All while getting fresh air and a bit of exercise.
What was the most surprising or memorable experience you had while doing this project?
That there were over 100 people at the opening night. It really shows that this is a hot topic, women that ride their bikes really want to celebrate it and want to encourage other women to ride too.
The more the better for all of us. One of the things that really surprised and delighted me is that out of all the women that I stopped, only two didn’t want to be photographed. The rest all were delighted to hear about the project and said ‘Yes I’d love a photo with my bike. I love my bike!’ Bikes are a huge source of empowerment, for women, and we want to make sure other women know how amazing it can be.
Where is your favourite place in New Zealand?
Lake Pukaki. I love that it is still untouched from tourism, and you can camp there for free. When we go there with our children, they become the best versions of themselves. It’s amazing to watch them spend hours learning to skim stones or build a swing or learn to whistle with grass. Things we unfortunately don’t always make time for at home.
Can you describe a perfect Saturday?
The perfect Saturday is actually quite rare…but this is how it goes. Get up latish, bake some sourdough, visit the local veg markets, then spend the afternoon chilling with my family followed by a shared dinner and vino with friends.
What’s the last book you read?
Arthur& George Barnes.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I have recently fallen in love with Woodkid.
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