These photographs were treasured by my father’s family for many generations. They were bound with 40 other glass plate negative prints in a musty, foxed leather album. They show Maori people from all walks of life in the 1880’s and have been attributed to New Zealand’s first known woman photographer, Elizabeth Pulman.
I have chosen Hedi’s elegant pocket accordion structure to bring these images back into the light and in to the world. Records show Pulman held a deep respect for the people and their culture and that she was one of the few outsiders welcomed into the North Island tribes.
As Elizabeth Pulman photographed the beautiful women shown here, I wonder what they saw as she set up the shots and dressed them in studio props.
The Pulman Studio was sold to the New Zealand Government Tourist Bureau in 1900, shortly before Elizabeth’s death at the age of 63.The studio’s legacy of many historic scenes and portraits (including our family’s treasured album) are now held mainly in museums and public library collections in New Zealand.
digital ink, paper
About the artist:
Lives in Shoalhaven City, NSW, Australia
Marama Warren is an artist, writer and educator who lives on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.
She trained as a magazine journalist, studied printmaking and papermaking then began combining her words, images and handmade papers in books. Her work is inspired by nature and her dreams.
The Alexander Turnbull Library in New Zealand holds over seventy of her unique and limited edition books for their Rare Books and Pacific collections.
Marama’s art has been published and exhibited internationally. She continues to make books and run workshops in Australia and New Zealand.