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Katie Hoy’s 100 Men Rotorua Exhibition: Celebrating diversity and connection

Merewai Durutalo

Exhibition to celebrate the face and diversity of Rotorua men

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Rotorua photographer Katie Hoy’s second solo exhibition aims to capture the essence of her city’s male population through 100 diverse portraits.

100 Men Rotorua, opening in October, follows Hoy’s 100 Women Rotorua exhibition last year. Through that experience, she recognised a strong connection as a mother to two sons, which prompted the follow-up project.

“My view of Rotorua had not been representative of who lives here until I undertook the 100 Women Rotorua project. I realised I was only getting half the story, and as the mother of two sons, the opinions and stories of men are equally important.”

Photographer Katie Hoy hopes her exhibition will bring the Rotorua community closer by sharing common ground through their stories.

She says 100 Men Rotorua continues the themes and intentions of the previous exhibition, canvassing men from a wider community and hearing their stories. Eventually, she will line the portraits up side by side as a powerful visual statement.

“The portraits will intentionally represent our diverse population, highlight the make-up of our community, and celebrate men in all of their capacities.”

She uses statistical information in her research process, using data on age, ethnicity and country of birth to illustrate the variations within the population.

Connection is a strong theme, she says.

“We’re a small city, and I often bump into those who took part in the 100 Women and 100 Men Rotorua projects. As an immigrant, I feel much more at home here.”

She says arriving from the UK, she was intrigued by the appearance of a city and its surrounding community and wanted her art to showcase meaningful connections.

Esau Faleafa's portrait for the upcoming 100 Men Rotorua exhibition. Photo / Katie Hoy

“It has also been an invaluable experience for me. By meeting so many strangers, I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone, and I feel more connected to Rotorua.”

Hoy hopes her exhibition will bring the Rotorua community closer by sharing common ground through their stories.

“I’m really not sure what the impact will be for the community as a whole, but I am hoping to show that as people, we have more in common than that which divides us.”

Sharing stories, knowledge, laughter and wisdom across all ages and ethnicities connects and strengthens us,” she says.

The project is partly funded by the Creative Community Scheme Rotorua and will be held at the Rotorua Arts Village in October and November.

Hero Image: Jargo Watson could be one of the subjects of Katie Hoy's next solo exhibition 100 Men Rotorua. Photo / Katie Hoy

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