Images Of Women Motorcyclists In Contemporary New Zealand Culture
by Lance Shepherd
Shot in the Wellington and Southern Central region of the North Island of New Zealand over 12 weeks in 2010, Open Roads is a series of photographs challenging the modern stereotype associated with women riders in New Zealand's contemporary motorcycle culture.
Throughout the first 50 years of its existence, motorcycling was regarded as an equal pastime.
Many early advertisements, notably for Harley Davidson, present women as able and proud riders, pictured with wide smiles promoting family involvement and enjoyment.
Since then the modern biker image has been shaped considerably by media marketing and advertising campaigns through to popular films based on the outlaw bike culture.
Women have been increasingly portrayed as an accessory to the motorcycle, their role shifted to being one of pillion “perched upon small, high, ass-viewing seats on the rear bumper” (Conner, 2009)
By showing the underlying common passion that drives this group of women to ride and in some cases race motorcycles, I aim to challenge this modern stereotype.
- Lance Shepherd 2010