BOHEMIAN LIFE OF A PHOTOGRAPHER – Ans Westra: When you lay in a sleeping bag somewhere, off the beaten track.

Capturing a world, through a camera.

Born into an April day, 1936, in Leiden (Netherlands), in 1953 she moved to Rotterdam, graduating in 1957 with a Diploma in Arts and Craft teaching. In the same year, ANS WESTRA left the Netherlands for New Zealand, where had become a self-taught photographer, with an interest in Māori. During the 1960s, after finding herself without a ride, she backpacking through New Zealand. In 2004, the publication Handboek: Ans Westra Photographs was launched at the National Library.

Over 50 years of significant political and cultural change, it is onher documentation of Maori culture. She lives in Wellington, continues to work and is now photographing the landscape. As a teenager, her stepfather exposed her to photography. A visit to an international exhibition, together with a book, inspired her’ first photographic documentation. When she travelled to New Zealand to visit her father, ANS WESTRA stayed in Auckland, working at potteries factory.

In 1958 she moved to Wellington, where worked in various local photographic studios. By the Department of Māori Affairs, she had her first photograph published in on the cover of a magazine published. In 1962, ANS WESTRA began working as a full-time, freelance documentary photographer. For both Māori and Pakeha, her simplicity and tenacity has made her photographs such an integral insight into the history of New Zealand. On 2016, a museum was established dedicated to her work, located in Wellington, where visitors may view over 200 books featuring her’ images.

If you want to know photographic stories already published, you can type The intellectual properties of the images that appear on this blog correspond to their authors. The only purpose of this site is to spread the knowledge of these creative people, allowing others to appreciate the works.


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