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Q & A: Shirley Horrocks on Peter Peryer

Respected New Zealand documentary maker Shirley Horrocks is crowdfunding on Boosted for her latest feature on Laureate Peter Peryer.

Last week we caught up with respected New Zealand documentary maker Shirley Horrocks about her latest film. We are excited, as the film will highlight and explore the life and work of inaugural Laureate Peter Peryer. Shirley has made seminal work about Albert Wendt, John Reynolds, Dylan Horrocks, Marti Friedlander and Lisa Reihana.

You can help Shirley make this film, it's up on our crowdfunding website Boosted.

Lend your support here

We asked Shirley some questions about Peter and the film:

You’ve documented the lives and works of a number of respected New Zealand artists, what in particular about Peter, and his work, do you find most fascinating or inspiring?

Peter Peryer has such a unique eye, his photos offer a distinctive perspective on the world. His pictures have a strange fascination, they’re intriguing and mysterious, with a whimsical sense of humour. He is one of the most thoughtful and painstaking of photographers, and in a world that is now absolutely flooded with casual i-phone shots and selfies, we urgently need Peter’s example to remind us that photography can be something special, a true form of art.

What compelled you to decide to make this documentary about Peter?

Peter is a great photographer and an Arts Foundation Laureate, at the peak of his career. He also has great stories to tell – he’s a very thought-provoking and entertaining talker. So the idea of documenting him made a wonderful project. There are still far too few documentaries which look at the arts in depth being made in New Zealand. The problem is how to fund a film of that kind, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to try a Boosted campaign (this is my first).

Could you tell us about any projects you have on the go at present?

There’s a documentary I finished recently – Dancing with Atoms – about the world-famous New Zealand scientist Sir Paul Callaghan. He was also a fan for the arts, so there are some Arts Foundation laureates in that documentary too. In the current International Film Festival it is screening in half-a-dozen cities, so I’ve been on the go accompanying it.

How does Peter feel about a documentary about himself?

Peter’s answer is: ‘It’s a project I happily support and enjoy working on.’

Peter peryer self portrait 22 1