Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington
Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Of Influence and Impact: political cartooning in Aotearoa

Panel discussion

6.00pm 14 May 2024

In Matthew Galloway’s The Power that Flows Through Us, cartoons from the 1970s/80s by Robert Brockie, Sid Scales, Gordon Minhinnik and Daryl Crimp are reproduced in a printed newspaper and enlarged as life-sized sculptures. This historical era of cartooning is the starting point for a discussion featuring Sharon Murdoch the first woman political cartoonist in the Aotearoa mainstream media, and Sam Orchard Assistant Curator for the Cartoon and Comics Archive at the Alexander Turnbull Library, in conversation with cartoonist and researcher Dylan Horrocks. In this wide-ranging conversation, the panel will explore such themes as: the importance of cartoons to the political imaginary; cartoons’ influence on public opinion; the politics of the 70s/80s generation of cartoonists; what political cartooning looks like now; and what it might be in the future.

Sharon Murdoch is the first woman to regularly produce political cartoons for the Aotearoa mainstream media. With a strong theme of social justice running throughout, Murdoch’s political work is published weekly in the Sunday Star Times, and twice weekly in the Christchurch Press, The Post and the Waikato Times, and on Stuff’s news website. In 2016 the book Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch (2016) was published. That same year Murdoch was the first woman to receive the New Zealand Cartoonist of the Year award, and has been awarded that title twice since.

Sam Orchard is the Assistant Curator for the Cartoon and Comics Archive at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He is a comic artist and illustrator, who has been involved in community and youth development campaigns and practices for over a decade.

Dylan Horrocks is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer, whose comics and cartoons have appeared in newspapers, magazines and books around the world. His graphic novels include Hicksville, Sam Zabel & the Magic Pen, and Incomplete Works, and he's drawn comic strips and political cartoons for Craccum, The NZ Political Review and The NZ Listener, illustrated several books, and written scripts for DC Comics. Horrocks is a senior lecturer in Communication Design at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington , where he teaches comics and visual narrative.

Matthew Galloway Muldoon (after Sid Scales), 2024, acrylic on MDF, painted steel, vinyl, courtesy the artist. Installation view Matthew Galloway The Power that Flows Through Us in Infrastructure: power, politics and imagination, Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery. Photo: Ted Whitaker