Scoop Review of Books

Did Connew See You?


r6229-51-10-copy-11.jpgI SAW YOU… is an altogether different book from Stopover (reviewed above). While Stopover is intimate I Saw You… depending on your point of view either borders on the intrusive or crashes straight through the dividing line.

Made up of a series of photos taken through a telephoto lens from Connew’s Wellington home of unsuspecting people in the car park at Balaena Bay Bay, I Saw You… is another exquisitely designed book by Connew’s partner Catherine Griffiths.

Connew has a reputation as Mr Anti-Crop: a tireless defender of the right of his photos to exist exactly as he framed them through his Nikon viewfinder.

So it’s a surprise to see him produce a body of work that is so heavily cropped and photo-shopped.


The series of square, colour images are both beautiful and creepy. Blurred to the point of appearing to be impressionist paintings the works have a painterly charm. But there’s something uncomfortable about looking at, to take one example, a photo of a boy – or perhaps it’s a girl – adjusting his/her speedos and knowing that he/she was being watched through a telephoto lens.

But then as Bruce has said it’s a comment on the surveillance society and how we’re always being watched.

Connew and Griffiths have placed a slideshow version of the photos on YouTube. The videos listed in the Related Videos Box include: Retard Videotaping himself and Bikini Queen careless sneaked away, sad auto show.

Jeremy Rose is the editor of the Scoop Review of Book. He travelled to Papua New Guinea and Bougainville with Bruce Connew to collect material for New Zealand Abroad: The story of VSA in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Related reviews, interviews and Youtube film

Sunday Star Times interview
Youtube film of I Saw You
Lumiere Reader
Michael Field


Jeremy Rose is the editor of the Scoop Review of Books and Wellington journalist.

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