Susan Turner


Susan Turner

I am pleased to present Susan Turner, whose beautiful photographs add a special Papua New Guinean feel to the Airways Residencies. Susan has been photographing for most of her life, and exhibiting her work since the 1970s. She first came to Papua New Guinea in 1982, and lived for three years in the traditional villages and bush camps of the remote Middle Fly area of the Western Province. She returned in 1990, photographing for the mining and petroleum industries, while also pursuing her own photographic interests. Her goal has been to document the daily and ritual life of as many cultural groups as possible, always striving to capture the unique beauty of the people and their customs. To achieve this, she has travelled throughout the mainland and islands by whatever means available, from trekking and dugout canoe, to cargo boat and helicopter. She has lived with friends and adopted relatives for months at a time, becoming deeply involved in their way of life.

In 2009 Susan moved to the United States, settling in Portland, Oregon. She continues to exhibit and publish from her extensive archive, and is planning her next trip to Papua New Guinea. Susan’s photographs have been exhibited in private and public galleries, and museums in the United States, Papua New Guinea and Australia. She produced the images for The People of Lake Kutubu and Kikori: Changing Meanings of Daily Life, a major Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery publication. Her second book, A Distant Place, A Different Voice: Twenty Years in Papua New Guinea, accompanied an exhibition in California in 2003.

Kevin Wells
General Manager
Airways Residencies

You may purchase black and white, and colour, limited-edition prints, and books directly from Susan Turner. Photographs from her extensive archive are also available for use as stock and for special projects. Here is a small sample of Susan’s work. For more information, please contact

  • Abugi Paddling Home
  • After a Day Making Sago
  • A Canoe Full of Bananas
  • Afternoon at the Bush Camp
  • Going Turtle Hunting at Sunrise
  • Bath Time
  • The Joy of Mud
  • Young Brides
  • An Enga Woman Dressing for a Singsing
  • Mini Mud Masks for Sale
  • An Asaro Mudman in Smoke
  • Chimbu Women Having a Great Time
  • Huli Wigmen
  • Making Large Clay Pots
  • Rachel Helping Giu Make Clay Pots
  • Bananas Cooking in Coconut Cream Zumin, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Dig in! Watama, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Goroka Show, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Gembogl, Chimbu Province, Goroka Show Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Enga Cultural Show, Enga Province, Papua New Guine
  • Pango Carving Wooden Bowls
  • View from above Katanga Village
  • Tsoi Boto Island, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea