Gil Hanly

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Gillian Mary Hanly ONZM (née Taverner; born 1934) is a New Zealand artist. She is best known for documenting protests and social movements in New Zealand's recent history.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hanly was born in 1934 in Levin, New Zealand. She has two younger brothers.[1] She grew up on a sheep farm between the sea and the town of Bulls, where the family worked hard to contribute.[1]

She was home schooled until the age of 12, when she was sent to Nga Tawa school in Marton.[1]

She attended the Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch in the early 1950s, where she trained to be a painter.[2] She met her husband Pat Hanly while at Ilam.[1]


After she graduated from university she moved to London for five years, where she worked as a props buyer for a production company.[1] After she moved back to New Zealand she worked at University Bookshop for a decade.[1] She started working for the feminist publication Broadsheet in 1972.[3]

Artistic career[edit]

She has taken photographs of the 1981 Springbok tour, the sinking of the Greenpeace ship The Rainbow Warrior, the protest at Bastion Point, and the 1984 land hikoi.[1][2] She has also documented the Queen Street riots and outrage at the murder of Teresa Cormack.[1] Her photographs of the women's movement in the 1970s and 1980s featured prominently in the exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum, Are We There Yet?[4] She says she is attracted to things "that were important".[4]

Hanly was associated with the long-running feminist magazine Broadsheet.[1][2] However, she does not think she is a feminist.[1]

She also has an interest in photographing gardens.[1][5]

She doesn't describe herself as a photographic artist, rather she sees herself as a "documenter".[5] Hanly has been documented social protests since the 1970s including the reclamation of Bastion Point and the 1981 Springbok Tour.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Hanly was married to the painter Pat Hanly until he died in 2004.[1][2] She has two children with Pat, and her husband had another daughter in a different relationship.[5]


In the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours, Hanly was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to photography.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bailey, Judy (December 2018). "A life in focus: Gil Hanly". Australian Women's Weekly: 36–41.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gil Hanly". BowerbankNinow. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Gil Hanly". Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Retrieved 21 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b Knight, Kim (14 September 2018). "Gil Hanly: The protest photographer who made women seen". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Hewitson, Michele (6 September 2013). "Michele Hewitson Interview: Gil Hanly". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Gil Hanly". Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Retrieved 21 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 1999 (including Niue)". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 1999. Retrieved 5 July 2020.