• Harry Culy

Mirror City grew from a feeling of unfamiliarity. Harry Culy began the photo series about Pōneke Wellington, his hometown, in 2016. He had recently returned from several years of living overseas, and realised that his connection to the city had shifted. While much of its landmarks and footpaths were the same, parts felt unstuck, uncanny, even alien. Mirror City unfolds with this sentiment in mind — rethinking our changing relationship to home and its futures.

Hear Harry Culy talk about his work in the new exhibition video for 'Mirror City' by clicking here.

Culy shoots with a 4x5” field camera onto black-and-white negative film. Once he identifies a view, or arranges a sitting, he must come back, set up, test, adjust and expose. The series spans interiors and exteriors, details and portraits, encountered by Culy on countless traipses across the city. Each image is a pause amid an intensive, wandering process — to date, over 500 photographs make up Mirror City.

Culy’s approach to the photographic form is more lyrical than journalistic, and while being a portrait of a city, this is no survey. His view is personal, subject to his own attractions and impulses, allowing gaps for our own reading. While some locations might be recognisable, they could easily belong to another city altogether, even another world. Any geographical clues are excluded or out-of-focus. Culy isolates his subjects formally and conceptually, gently warping where they are and thus what they are.

Harry Culy lives and works in Wellington and completed his Master of Fine Arts at Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University Wellington, in early 2020. Culy’s photography practice explores quotidian scenes through documentary modes, experimenting with its ability to suggest narratives beyond the picture plane.

Culy has exhibited widely across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and was the recipient of the 2018 Peter Turner Scholarship in Photography. Recent exhibitions include: News from the Sun, City Gallery, Wellington, 2019-2020; Nobody believe you (bad luck), Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington 2019; Altered Visions, China Heights, Sydney, Australia, 2019; Blue Room with Lucy O’Doherty, Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington 2018; The Gap, Parlour Projects, Hawkes Bay, 2019, Rose Hill, as part of Projects 2018, Auckland Art Fair; and I can see for miles, Contemporary Centre for Photography Melbourne, Australia, 2018.

Harry runs a small press photobook company called Bad News Books.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday–Friday, 11am–5pm
  • Saturday, 11am–4pm
  • or by appointment


  • Level 1 Mibar Building
  • 85 Victoria Street
  • Wellington