Majestic Square, Wanganui

Ans Westra, Artist

This is one of the photographs in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 1993.
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Object Detail

About the Work
“I really like this photograph featuring the Sarjeant Gallery building in the background and the stairs leading down to what is now the Memorial Hall and Majestic Square. It’s a reminder to me that some things never change while other things do. This is just a photograph of a mundane day, nothing particular happening yet I can spend a good amount of time staring at it flipping between ‘oh the Sarjeant Gallery and steps look exactly the same’ to ‘the cars look old fashioned now and Majestic Square is different’. The photograph isn’t all that old. It was produced in 1993 - 28 years ago. I wonder if I stood on Victoria Ave today and took my own photograph (to compare in another 28 years) if much would be different? I also wonder if the man in the car knew he was being photographed or was he taking a nap? There are a number of Ans Westra photographs in the collection that I like – they capture everyday life in a candid unposed way and evoke memories of familiarity and/or nostalgia.”
– Hannah Houshangi, 'My Choice' February 2022

After arriving in the country from her native Holland, Westra made her first trip up the Whanganui River in 1960 and began an engagement with the people of the region that continues to this day.
Image 290 x 290mm (sight)
silver gelatin print on paper
Black and white photograph showing a parked car on a central Whanganui street.
The view is taken from standing in front of the car bonnet and looking down Maria Place towards Pukenamu Queen's Park. Visible in the background are the Veterans Steps, the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui, the forecourt in front of the War Memorial Centre, and the Whanganui Regional Museum is just visible to the left. The parked car is occupied by a single person seated in the drivers seat wearing sunglasses. Other cars are parked along the sides of Maria Place and the awning signage for a Chinese Restaurant is visible at the right. The photographer is standing in Majestic Square.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of the artist, 1996.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date



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