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Darcy Lange videorecordings.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-FA 2013/14

Scope and Contents

The collection predominantly consists of video works from the latter part of Darcy Lange's career and is arranged into two series: 'Videorecordings' and 'Historical material'.

Series 1 - Videorecordings, includes examples from two suites of work: theArtists at Work series; and an earlier series produced during the 1970s entitled People at Work.

The Artists at Work suite, has been arranged alphabetically by artist, and features gallery director Tobias Berger as well as 27 artists, many of whom attended Elam School of Fine Arts including Philip Dadson, Richard Killeen and Robin White.

DVD access copies have been created from the original donated VHS works.

Series 2 – Historical material, consists of letters of support and documents relating to the Artist at Work videorecordings, as well as photographs of sculptural works, and still images from the video work Documentation of Bradford Working Life (1974).


  • 1971 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

Darcy Lange (1946-2005) is an internationally respected video artist and documentarian born in Urenui, Taranaki, New Zealand. He enrolled at Elam School of Fine Arts after moving to Auckland in 1964 and received his Diploma in Fine Arts, Honours in 1967. In 1968, Lange travelled to London and went on to receive a Masters in Fine Arts from the Royal College of Art, London (1971).

Throughout his studies Lange focused on creating large-scale sculptural work, with his final work at the RCA being a three-dimensional reconstruction of Irish workers digging up roads. During the early 1970s he shifted to using film as his primary form of artistic expression. Continuing through this shift in medium, he remained focused on creating works with a social realism and the documentary approach evident in his earlier sculptural works.

An interest in labour or the worker was a focus throughout his career. His most significant documentary video works included Documentation of Bradford Working Life, England (1974);Study of three Birmingham schools (1976) andStudies of teaching in four Oxfordshire schools (1977). All these films focus on different aspects of work, either in a physical or intellectual sense.

In his video work, Lange utilised long unedited takes to capture real time and was one of the first video artists to do so. Shooting photography, film and video simultaneously, enabled Lange to experiment with the structural possibilities of the moving and still image.

Following the People at Work series, Lange captured portraits of significant New Zealand artists in the series Artists at Work.

In 2006, a significant touring exhibition of Lange’s work was curated by Mercedes Vincente at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery entitled Darcy Lange: Study of an Artist at Work.


1.12 metres (2 folders, 28 videocassettes, 26 videodiscs)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Fine Arts Library by Darcy Lange, 2005.

Inventory of the Darcy Lange videorecordings
Selina Foote
May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Fine Arts Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand