adamgifford
Friday, October 30, 2009
  The power of observation
NZ Herald: Saturday Oct 10, 2009


Marti Friedlander calls the new book by art historian Leonard Bell on her life's work a love story.

"Leonard Bell decided he wanted to write about my photography and I feel it's a gift to me to have someone write about my work with such understanding. In a way it's a kind of love story. One feels very touched by that. It's beautifully written."

There's another love story, too, the one that got a free-spirited Londoner to New Zealand half a century ago.

Gerrard Friedlander is sitting at a nearby table in the Parnell cafe where I meet the photographer, perhaps in case she wants to abort the interview - he leaves only after she's gone. She quizzed me about why I want to write about her, and then agreed to answer questions.

"Why does one need to expose oneself?" asks the woman whose images strip away psychological layers from her subjects.

I suggest that she's an interesting photographer because of the way she has put herself in all sorts of extraordinary situations.

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