Et in Arcadia Ego: New Zealand's Rural Landscape in Visual Culture and Early Amateur Film


  • Rosina Hickman Victoria University of Wellington



Often overlooked within histories of cinema, amateur films or home movies, which record personal, local and everyday experience, both relate to and deviate from other contemporary forms of visual culture. In New Zealand, for example, idealised images of pastoral landscapes that ignore the social realities of rural life have a long history across a wide range of media. Home movies reveal a somewhat different view of rural history. Less concerned with scenery than with the scene of daily life, amateur films document specific concrete experiences in a particular time and place, yet upon closer examination appear to share, if not the iconography or aesthetics of professional media, at least some of the wider aspirations of cultural discourses in circulation.

Author Biography

Rosina Hickman, Victoria University of Wellington

PhD candidate, VUW