Throughout Marti Friedlander’s inspiring forty-year career, she has been instrumental in independently documenting the changing nature of contemporary post-war New Zealand through the protest and women’s movements, the changing roles of men, and Māori and Pacific Island societies.
She was the first photographer to celebrate the extent to which visual and literary creativity contributes to New Zealand culture. Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century (with Michael King) has been continuously in print since it was first published in 1972, and is arguably one of the most important photo essays produced in post-war New Zealand. Friedlander has documented her adopted country from within her personal experience of diaspora. As a Jewish artist this experience has also been informed by her insight and intuition about the way New Zealand has established a more complex and compelling identity within two generations.
Marti’s work has been exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery in London,
the Waikato Art Museum, and in a celebrated retrospective at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2001, which then toured the country. Shirley Horrocks’ film, Marti: The Passionate Eye, attracted attention both at the International Film Festivals in New Zealand in 2004 and on local television. In 1999 she was awarded the Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography.
FHE currently holds a range of signed posters of Friedlander’s work – see website for details.