Christina Force's favourite things

By Zoe Walker

Christina Force will be judging the world's best in the photographic equivalent of the Oscars in New York next month. She tells Viva about her favourite things.

Christina Force. Photo / Babiche Martens
Christina Force. Photo / Babiche Martens

Christina Force is one of the "photography luminaries" invited to select their top picks for the International Photography Awards 2011.

Including photo editors, art collectors, gallerists and more, the jury panel features representatives from Tate Britain, BBC, Saatchi + Saatchi, National Geographic, Esquire and Taschen; all of whom vote to decide the winners of three main awards to be announced at what has been dubbed photography's equivalent of the Oscars, "The Lucies", held at the Lincoln Centre in New York on October 24.

British born Force, who is now based in Auckland's Titirangi, has a strong photographic background, having set up the agency The Collective Force in 1996, a dedicated stills production company, and now consults to emerging photographers here and overseas. She shares some of her favourite designs, places and people.

10 FAVOURITE THINGS

1. Sara Orme

My favourite photographer at the moment. I've known Sara for many years but have only got to know her work recently. I'm blown away with the beauty and ethereal quality of her imagery. Her work is so fresh and really making waves among young fashionistas around the world. She is an incredibly established and experienced people photographer who has spent the last few years rediscovering her art. To me, she is our own Sarah Moon. She is a gorgeous person.

2. My Katharine Hamnett jacket

I pulled this jacket out from storage a couple of years ago and it works with everything I wear today. Katharine Hamnett was a hip designer in London in the 80s, best known for creating slogans in giant letters on baggy T Shirts. I bought this jacket from Camden Markets in about 1986. It's the sole survivor of the many items I bought there. We used to walk to the markets from our W1 flat along the canals - a whole network of gorgeous tracks that wound their way through London.

3. Vivienne Westwood shoes

My husband Pete and I went to New York in 2000 and stayed in a Tribecca loft with a friend of a friend. The notes in my Virgin Guide to NYC still say "two blocks from World Trade Centre". Pete went up to the viewing platform on one of the towers while I took folios around ad agencies. I bought the shoes and a classic dress at the Vivienne Westwood store in Manhattan. I just love her style - so eccentrically English. They're head-turners. My daughter wore them to her school ball.

4. Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros

I love reading great fiction, especially Booker Prize winners. Cooking is close to my heart and this is one of the most well-used cookbooks in my kitchen. It's been beautifully designed. Every page tells a story of Tessa's family and the food from their travels around the world, particularly Greece. It is a treasure to have on the bookshelf despite the food splattered pages.

5. World, Newmarket

When the old Hayes Foundry building in Osborne St was preserved and converted into shops including World, I was thrilled. The Collective Force, my photographers' agency had its first office on the corner of Osborne St. When the Foundry was fully working, we occasionally seized the opportunity to shoot there. The light flooding through the skylights was gorgeous. I'm a sucker for World's beautiful, eccentric design classics.

6. Christchurch Cathedral chair

When we moved to New Zealand in the mid-90s, Christchurch was our first home. I found a set of three chairs at a random garage sale and fell in love with them. Apparently Christchurch Cathedral updated their seating a few years earlier so all the original chairs were sold. They were made for the cathedral by Charles Farris Ltd, Bishopsgate, London. One of the chairs still has the small metal nameplate of the manufacturer fixed on the back. Two of our chairs are now a little worse for wear, although one has survived the mayhem of family life quite well.

7. Arthur Merric Boyd coffee cups

These used to belong to my husband's grandmother who lived in Victoria, Australia; they were a gift to her in the 50s from her husband. The cups were made by Arthur Merric Boyd, a famous Australian potter and artist whose family established a pottery in Victoria in the 40s and 50s. We only have five cups and saucers, but apparently this was one of the features of his sets.

8. Titirangi markets

How can I not mention this wonderful market just a walk from our house? The stalls fill the large community hall and overflow the library car park on the last Sunday of every month. I love walking up with the dog and going to my favourite stalls - the second-hand kitsch bric a brac stall; the designer who makes clothing from vintage tea towels, blankets and old scout badges; the bread people up on the stage and the Croatian sausage stall which beckons you with its garlicky cooking smells.

9. Karekare Beach

We first moved to Parnell in 1996 and every weekend we'd bundle the kids and the surfboard into the car to spend the morning at Karekare, until the sand burnt our feet. It was Karekare which took us through Titirangi so often that we ended up moving here. I have fond memories of rolling down the dunes with the kids and the dog, and sitting on the platform at sunset with a flask of tea and chocolate.

10. Ship filled with clay jugs, Egypt

I like collecting imagery of water as we have views of the Manukau from our house. I bought this print from the National Geographic store in Singapore.

I love the muted tones and the composition, and It was my favourite by far. It was shot by Thomas Abercrombie in 1977, a very accomplished and highly awarded American writer/ photographer who only recently passed away. The print is one of only three ever produced exclusively for the Odysseys and Photographs: Masters from the National Geographic Archives 2008-2009 exhibition. One of the other prints is hanging in the Natural History Museum in London.

- NZ Herald

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