Artist Talk by Murray Cammick, the artist behind Queens Street
Come and join us to hear photographer Murray Cammick talk about what it was like for him to photograph on Queen Street in the 1970s!
This series of images of trans women, then referred to as 'drag queens', and their friends in Queen St, circa 1975 were photographed by Murray Cammick while he was doing his V8 series “Flash Cars”.
The photographer met Keri and Violet Pratt and friends, on their nightly walk from a Customs St cafe to Mojo’s nightclub, opposite the Town Hall.
After each curb side encounter, Cammick would print up postcard-size prints and mail them to Keri and Violet’s home address in Glen Innes. They liked the results and on their next photo-stop, they would once again pose like fashion models with Cammick as their David Bailey.
“Some nights the city was buy and the girls were as high as kites,” recalls Cammick. “To avoid making a scene we’d disappear down a more private arcade or lane to take photos. One impressed onlooker, a US Marine asking me: ‘Where do you get these girls?’ I don’t think I replied. Keri, Violet and I left him standing there, as we headed in different directions.”
The photos in the Auckland Festival Of Photography Show include Keri and Violet’s other family members – their sister frequently and sometimes their brother – plus Glen Innes friends and mates who might be looking for a good time, that night.
Cammick’s portraits of Violet and Keri documented the good times. The photographer is unapologetic: “I am pleased that I captured their dream of being fabulous models. Their beauty was a street reality.”
The photographer’s two recent shows – “Flash Cars” (2016) and “AK•75-85: Music Photos” (2017) – were exhibited at Auckland’s Black Asterisk Gallery and Sydney’s Darren Knight Gallery.
Cammick’s photographs are part of the Te Papa Collection and his work appeared in their 2009 publication, “Art at Te Papa.”