Fiona Clark

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1954

Andrew, Chrissy and Nicholas Witoko Manuel, Wellington, 2001

  • 2001
  • Durst Lambda print from digital master
  • Gift of the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, 2022, in celebration of their 50th Anniversary 1971-2021
  • 312 x 456mm
  • 2021/191

Fiona Clark is one of Aotearoa’s most important social documentary photographers, known for giving agency to her subjects incorporating their words and for working with people she has strong relationships with, particularly the LGBTQI community. Fiona says:“My intent is to give people a voice. The photos say, ‘I am who I am. I’m here. I’m part of your world and I’m going to stay.’ What’s so powerful is the participant’s gaze and directness, but there’s also a huge sadness. You can see the struggle it takes to keep that personal momentum going. I hope these photos make you feel the human connection we all feel when we look at another person. It’s the thread that binds us.”Chrissy Witoko (Ngāti Kahungunu, 1944–2002) was ‘Queen of Wellington’ and owner of the Evergreen Coffee Lounge on Vivian Street, a popular late-night entertainment establishment and safe, accepting environment for the queer community from the 1980s to mid-1990s. Witoko is pictured here with her family, Fiona’s image conveys the warmth and care they have for each other.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History