Peter Turner Memorial Lecture: Fiona Clark

Peter Turner Memorial Lecture: Fiona Clark

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

55 Cable Street

Wellington, 6011

New Zealand

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Whiti o Rehua School of Art in partnership with Te Papa Tongarewa is pleased to present this year’s Peter Turner Memorial Lecture.

About this event


Fiona Clark is a practising queer artist – primarily a photographer – living in an ex-milk processing factory building in rural Tikorangi, North Taranaki since 1975. It is home to her work, archives and ‘doings’. The factory sits on a piece of land of 8 acres, with native bush, a garden and a waterway. She has worked to create her own economy to survive and produce her work – which is longitudinal in its nature. In this year’s lecture Fiona will give an overview of her process and working methods and share insights into her community based practice.

Free entry, however bookings are advised. Doors open at 7:45pm, Lecture at 8pm.

This year’s Peter Turner Memorial Lecture is presented in conjunction with the PhotoBook NZ festival 19-20 August, and directly follows the festival opening event. Please see for details and links to book their events over the weekend.


Fiona Clark received a Diploma in Fine Arts (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 1975, focusing on performance and sculpture, though photography became her favoured medium. She has developed her practice from this time, undertaking in-depth, long term photographic projects documenting specific social groups including transgender, gay and lesbian communities, bodybuilders, AIDS /HIV body positive, and local Iwi. Her work was included in, but subsequently removed from the first survey of contemporary photography, The Active Eye, organised and toured by the Manawatu Art Gallery in 1975-6, a problematic act of censorship in response to public outcry at her photographs’ subject matter. Since then, her works have been included in exhibitions at many public galleries. Clark lives and works in Tikorangi, where she has created ‘a base’ in the old dairy factory she owns and develops her extensive archives.

More recently the documentary film Unafraid – 2021, examines her work and practice. She is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland.


The Peter Turner Memorial Lecture was established in 2008, in the memory of the late Peter Turner historian, curator and former editor of Creative Camera magazine who came from the UK to live in NZ in 1981. His contributions to the medium of photography during his time in New Zealand spanned curatorial work, writing, reviewing and teaching. He is remembered for his passion for the medium, support of photographers and their work and his special love of practices he termed lyric, transcendent or poetic documentary photography. Founded on reflections on this legacy the annual Peter Turner Lecture is conceived as a means to broaden discussions about the social and cultural value of the medium of photography today – as an expanded field inclusive of a broad range of lens based media and approaches.

In association with the Peter Turner Lecture a fund has been established by the Massey University Foundation to support the Peter Turner Scholarship that was launched in association with the lecture and each year provides a postgraduate student scholarship for a student engaging with social and cultural issues through the medium of photography in its broadest sense.

The Peter Turner Fund has been established by the Massey University Foundation to grow the support this scholarship can offer young photographers aspiring for a career the lens based arts.

Peter Turner Memorial Lecture: Fiona Clark image

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