Harry Culy wins Arts Foundation Laureate award

New Zealand artist honoured with Marti Friedlander Photographic Award.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

New Zealand photographer Harry Culy has won the biennial Marti Friedlander Photographic Award – one of eight new Laureates to be welcomed to The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi’s esteemed alumni.

The award is presented every two years to an exceptional photographer to help further their career, recognising the photographic work that has earned Culy acclaim in recent years.

Based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and represented by Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington, Culy frequently returns to photograph places and communities that he has a personal connection to. Working within the expanded documentary photography tradition, he is interested in suffusing photographic surfaces with elements of lyricism and fiction.

Culy has frequently exhibited across New Zealand and Australia over the last five years, receiving the Peter Turner Scholarship in Photography in 2018, and the RT Emerging Artists Award in 2016.

“Harry’s photographs are outstanding,” commented the 2021 Laureate Awards Selection Panel. “Alongside that, his press company Bad News Books cements him as a wonderful advocate for high quality photography and the arts.”

Established in 2000, the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards celebrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s most outstanding artists across a range of disciplines. The Award recognises the potential for an enduring career and significant impact on the country’s arts industry, with a $25,000 gift.

About receiving the award, Culy said: “I take it as a sign to keep going and trust my instinct, and it’s a huge honour.”

This article was originally published 11 August 2021.

Image: Harry Culy. 

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