Nature Boy 7 April
Born in Swanson to a Swedish mother and a Danish father, award-winning photographer Olaf Petersen (1915-1994) was one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest nature photographers, yet few are familiar with his captivating work.
Olaf’s minimal photographs draw you into an unchaotic natural world, revealing a profound and comforting beauty. They invite you to embrace the simplicity of this beauty, but in doing so pose questions about its fragility.
Nature Boy focuses on 60 extraordinary images Olaf took between the 1930s and 1980s. These images show his love and regard for the birds, sea, trees and wind-rippled sand on Auckland’s west coast beaches, and the flora and fauna on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf that Olaf visited while tramping with the Auckland University Field Club. You will be able to explore Tāmaki Makaurau as Olaf saw it and understand his fascinating life, his ‘mid-century modern’ photographic practice and the natural world he documented.
Olaf shows the beauty that is all around you. This exhibition will invite you to stop and recognise it.
Sainsbury Horrocks Gallery, Level 2, Free with Museum entry.
Pictured image: Olaf Petersen. 1956. Me & Pop. Auckland Museum. © Olaf Petersen Estate.