A note about the author

Gregory O’Brien photographed by Helena Hughes, 1993 Born in Matamata in 1961, Gregory O’Brien has written two books about New Zealand art for young and curious people: Welcome to the South Seas (2004) and Back and Beyond (2008). Between 1997 and 2009, he worked as a curator at City Gallery Wellington – it was during this period he got to know many of the photographers in this book.

The author photograph above was taken by Helena Hughes in 1993. Standing alongside a drawing which Sydney artist Noel McKenna made of him in 1982, the author likes this portrait because it contains a drawn version as well as a photographic one – and a dynamic shadow-form facing off to the right hand side. In the image above, Noel’s drawing and Helena’s photo are having a conversation, maybe even an argument, about who their subject really is.