Kevin Capon

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1959

Merata - Film Maker

  • 1984-1985
  • Photograph
  • Presented by the Friends of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, 1988
  • 300 x 235mm
  • 88/194

Kevin Capon and Carol Te Teira were in their mid-twenties when they set off from Ōtautahi / Christchurch in an old Thames van to photograph forty artists throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. “We were out on an adventure to meet people we thought were doing interesting things and to immerse ourselves into the land.” Filmmaker Merata Mita had finished her documentary Patu! and was working towards her feature film Mauri. Capon draws a connection between Māori and whenua (land): “The camera lens would move slowly over their skin like a slow-motion aerial landscape and I would only get a brief glimpse of them at the time of clicking the shutter.”

(Te Wheke, 2020)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • In the early 1980s Kevin Capon travelled New Zealand searching out interesting people to photograph. He met a wide range of personalities, from painter Colin McCahon, to architect Sir Miles Warren, Maori activist Dame Whina Cooper, Canterbury artist Doris Lusk and Maori film and documentary maker Merata Mita. Capon gave his subjects very little direction. Setting up a large format camera and lighting, he gave them the freedom to move up and confront the camera, creating a meeting between humanity and technology. The resulting photographs are honest and raw moments in time, every imperfection and pore of skin made visible. Kevin Capon studied at Wellington Polytechnic in the late 1970s and since then he has worked as a free lance commercial photographer, has taught at the Wellington Polytechnic and exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand. He has received numerous grants and awards, enabling him to travel to Europe and America. He currently lives and works in North Taranaki.