October 2019 marked the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s landing in Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne), Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 1769. Since then, the consequences surrounding his legacy and the impact on Māori have been largely ignored. To many, Cook is the instigator of the ongoing oppression sustained under British colonial rule. These photographs were taken in Gisborne where Māori represent over 50% of the population. It’s a pivotal time for these tangata whenua (people of the land) – for healing and understanding, with iwis (tribes) collaborating to restore their culture, reclaim whenau (land), increase mana (power/prestige/respect) and trace their Whakapapa (genealogy).
These photos were taken between 1992-1995 on the London Underground on Friday and Saturday nights after 11pm. A window into a world where the transport system functions for a crowd in stark contrast to the weekday commuters - late night travellers shifting into party mode after a hard week at work. Due to the confined tube compartment space I mostly asked permission before taking photographs. This led to all sorts of unexpected conversations and reactions some of which were captured on film. Part of this series was published in the Independent newspaper Saturday supplement magazine in 1995.
When my daughter Dahlia was 7 weeks old, a passport and passport photo was required for a family vacation. I wanted to avoid the run-of-the-mill photo taken at a high street photo shop or photo booth. So I decided to take her photo myself, working with the constraints specified by the passport agency - no smiling, lips closed, direct eye contact, plain background and no shadows. The moment I chose to photograph Dahlia was just after her afternoon nap - she was a little moody and gave me something a little special. Work in progress.
I documented Carl and his family over a year from 1995-96. Carl had been homeless on and off since the age of sixteen. Originally from Leicester, he and 9 siblings had spent 10 years of their childhood in and out of children's homes. He moved to London with hopes of finding work and eventually ended up homeless with a herioin addiction. He met Smurf and they had a son together, Jacob. This reportage was published in The Independent on Sunday magazine supplement December 1996.