Esther Bunning (NZ) - 2020/2021 ANZAC Bridge Fellow

Esther Bunning (NZ) - 2020/2021 ANZAC Bridge Fellow

Esther Bunning, our 2020/2021 ANZAC Bridge Fellow, is a photographic artist who uses a camera as a paintbrush. Regarded as one of New Zealand’s finest creative portrait photographers, she is a Nikon Ambassador for New Zealand, an Asukabook Ambassador for Australasia, and an Honorary Fellow and Grand Master of the NZIPP (NZ Institute of Professional Photography). She has been working as a photographer for over 25 years. She lives in Greytown, Wairarapa.

Esther combines the magic of blur, movement, abstraction and light to tell visual stories, her work has a magical and emotive quality. Her signature style is recognisable by her use of creative in-camera techniques to produce beautiful images that transcend photography. 

In 2020, Friends of ANZAC Bridge are focusing on the Mounted Rifles and the horses that went to war. Esther’s vision for the NZ Pacific Studio 2020 ANZAC Bridge Fellowship combined her love of horses, her background in textile design, and the enjoyment she gets working with the words and stories of children as collaborations with her imagery.

Esther designed large fabric banners with an organic feel, reflecting the movement and energy of the horses, incorporating her photography, and text by students of Mauriceville School where Esther led writing workshops in February 2020. 

The 2020 ANZAC Bridge Fellowship project was initally meant to culminate on 25 April, ANZAC Day, with Esther photographing the 12 horses riding in formation from Eketāhuna to Kaiparoro, in memory of the Eketāhuna Mounted Rifles, and Esther's flags flying at the bridge. With Covid-19, the ANZAC Day ceremony was cancelled and the project was completed for ANZAC Day 2021 and you can visit the 2021 page for updated information here. NZ Pacific Studio acknowledges the support of Denyse Clifton and her horse Sahara that acted as models for the project, Les Chevaliers, Eketāhuna Mounted Rifles, and Eketahuna Mellemskov Museum.

Esther believes that the stories of the horses that went to war are timeless and the historical context makes them always relevant to New Zealand history. "I believe we can always learn from these beautiful animals," says Esther.

Here's a video for ANZAC Day 2020 by Terry Hann. 

Here's an activity to make poppies in red, and purple, for animals that went to war. 

Many thanks to Trust House Masterton for their continued support of this initiative which NZ Pacific Studio shares with Friends of ANZAC Bridge.

Visit Esther's website

Photo credit: Terry Hahn Photographer.

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