Over the course of her forty-year photographic career, Fiona Clark has produced an impressive body of work, which has made her a much admired member of the New Zealand photographic community. Clark’s work has also appeared in some unexpected quarters: in the early 1980s, images from her Kai Moana series were used in support of the Te Atiawa Waitangi claim. Much of Clark’s work can be categorised as social documentation, and it is this mode in which Clark has produced some of her most recognisable images.
From her depictions of the LGBTQI community in the 1970s in works such as the Dance Party series, to her works documenting body-builders and professional wrestlers, Clark’s work displays a keen eye for marginalised sub-cultures and communities. Clark is able to produce these documentary works because they are founded on personal relationshops and interactions with the people being depicted: many of Clark’s early works documented her own friends and acquaintances, and the K Road night life scene which they were involved with. Clark was also an early pioneer of colour photography in New Zealand. Her decision to use colour over black and white affords a vibrancy and grit to her images, as well as affording more accurate representations of the colourful people and places she documents.