January 30th, 2015
Hong Kong Song – Madeline Slavick
Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
13 February 2015 – 10 May 2015
Opening reception: Feb 13, Friday, 5.30pm
with a bilingual English-Chinese performance
Artist Talk: March 21, Saturday, 11.00am – Main Gallery
In this exhibition, Madeleine Slavick presents the poetry, poverty and generosity of Hong Kong. The photographic images trace nearly 25 years of living in Hong Kong, and an accompanying book contains fifty stories and fifty images.
The body of work draws attention to Slavick’s multi-faceted practice as writer and photographer, artist and activist. It draws attention to the many natures of Hong Kong – the natural beauty and the pollution, the rural and the urban; a society with one of the largest income gaps in the ‘developed’ world where one out of seven people lives in poverty; a climate with great heat, rain, wind, flora, humidity, and decay; with mountainscape, skyscraperscape, seascape, and (re)claimed landscape; with everyday scenery such as bagged up carts and street signs, clusters of chairs left on the pavement for all to rest on, and high-rise bamboo scaffolding made by ‘si fu’ – which translates as ‘masters’.
Madeleine Slavick has published several books, including Fifty Stories Fifty Images (2012), Something Beautiful Might Happen (2010), China Voices (2010), My Favourite Thing (2005),delicate access (2004), and Round – Poems and Photographs of Asia (1997). Her photography has been exhibited in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Madeleine has lived in North America for 25 years, in Hong Kong for another 25, and now lives in the Wairarapa.
Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
Cnr Bruce and Dixon St
Open 7 days, 10.00am – 4.30pm.
Closed 25 December 2014 – 2 January 2015, Good Friday, Anzac Day 25 April (until 1:00pm).
Admission to the gallery by gold coin donation
January 30th, 2015
Interview: Conor Clarke
by Michael Dooney of Galerie Pavlova (Berlin), 25 July 2014
Conor Clarke (b. 1982 Auckland, New Zealand) is a photographic artist who has been living and working in Berlin since 2009. She shares a studio with fellow New Zealand fashion designer Sherie Muijs, and NZ / South African artist Nicky Broekhuysen who she met whilst completing her BFA (2005) at Elam School of Fine Arts. Since 2004 she has exhibited her work in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Turkey. Her most recent series In Pursuit of the Object, at a Proper Distance is part of the group show Typologien and continues her exploration of the picturesque and fascination with the German Industrial Landscape.
Michael Dooney: How did you come to start the project In Pursuit of the Object, at a Proper Distance? I imagine that a lot of work went into it, you travelled all over Germany.
Conor Clarke: it took me a while to come to this point. I began looking at the old industrial area in east berlin; rummelsburg. I lived there one summer and became interested in plotting views around the Rummelsburger Bucht, trying to create picturesque compositions from positions i considered most pleasing. it was kind of tricky, creating picturesque compositions with a camera is more difficult than a painting where one can easily add and erase objects, or shift them around. The composition is very important, following the rules, for example framing with trees in a shaded foreground, guiding ornamental figures, a leading subject resting asymmetrically in the distance and so on. The leading subject of my earlier works eventually became the subject of my current work.
MD: I’ve seen your previous picturesque series (Viewing Stations around Rummelsburger See) on your website. Would you say In Pursuit of the Object, at a Proper Distance is effectively the next chapter?
CC: Yes, this is like the next chapter which continued a few years later. For Viewing Stations around Rummelsburger Bucht, I made three final works which we (myself and a small group of NZ artists) showed in Istanbul, then later at the Grimm Museum in Berlin. Sometimes it was quite challenging and frustrating following the picturesque recipe, but in the end I was quite satisfied with the pictures. In each one the leading subject is the former Klingenberg Power Plant in the background and the towers. It was summer at the time they were shot so there is no steam in these pictures. I tried again later to photograph the towers in the winter, beginning at a distance, still trying to create picturesque compositions, but it became more and more frustrating. I experimented with this for around a year or so but in the end I just wasn’t satisfied. I then hired a telephoto lens and decided to focus on my leading subject closely. It was enough, a symbol of the industrial landscape, the environment was no longer necessary. Now isolated, I call it the post-industrial picturesque.
MD: Are there any other artists that you’re aware of explored that?
CC: Well there was Doré? I don’t really know much about him to be honest, but he was making picturesque views of England following the industrial revolution, cramped housing conditions, etc. one memorable image by him is his portrait of ‘The New Zealander’ painting the London Bridge in ruins, an imagined future of London.
MD: So keeping with the tradition of painting.
CC: They were etchings I think. Gustave Doré. Maybe he was French?
MD: So you started in Rummelsburg?
CC: I started in Rummelsburg. The reason I was attracted to the industrial landscape in the first place was of course because of photos I’ve seen before. The work of Bernd and Hilla Becher is an example of my early experiences with German photography and perhaps explains my romantic association with the German post-industrial landscape, it’s interesting what sticks. Not that I expected the German landscape to be covered in industrial structures, but I was attracted to it and in the beginning sought out this kind of landscape.
MD: Is there something similar in New Zealand, do you have heavy industry there?
CC: We have industry, just not in the same way or on the same scale. We don’t have the mining industry like you do in Western Australia or west Germany, but we have the occasional steel mill way in the distance, or we have beautiful hydro dams. So it’s not completely foreign for me, but when you think of New Zealand you think of nature, mountains and beaches, of birds, lush green and Lord of the Rings, am I right? You know this from pictures. It’s not that Germany doesn’t also have these things, but the image is very different. We are always in pursuit of otherness.
Continue reading the full interview HERE
Galerie Pavlova was established in 2013 by Michael Dooney as a platform for Australian and New Zealand contemporary photography in Europe.
January 27th, 2015
PhotoForum’s website began in 1996 has been going in its current form for about seven years – it’s now time for a major upgrade.
We want to revitalise the PhotoForum website and make it a dynamic engaging site that photographers and the wider arts community visit regularly.
We’ve got some ideas for exciting new content and features, but we’d love your help to identify what would be most relevant to you as a photographer or an arts practitioner. We’re also looking for people to contribute interesting new content to the site.
Please help us by completing this brief online survey. [ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PhotoForum-NZ ].
Everyone who completes the survey will have the opportunity to go into a draw to win a year’s free membership of PhotoForum (for an existing member this would apply to next year’s membership).
We value your response and will keep you updated on progress with the site upgrade. Please forward the survey to anyone else you think would be interested.
The deadline for responses is Thursday 5 February 2015.
Geoffrey H. Short
Director, PhotoForum Inc.
January 24th, 2015
Implicated and Immune
28 January – 28 February 2015
Preview Wednesday 28 January 6-8pm
Michael Lett is pleased to present Implicated and Immune, an exhibition that focuses on artistic responses to HIV/AIDS, both historical and contemporary, as well as offering broader meditations on desire, loss and the body. Implicated and Immune marks three decades of HIV in New Zealand and seeks to re-engage a wider public with the ongoing epidemic.
The exhibition partially reprises the first Auckland exhibition to explicitly respond to the epidemic. Implicated and Immune: Artists’ Responses to AIDS took place in late 1992 at the Fisher Gallery (now Te Tuhi) in Pakuranga, Auckland. This landmark exhibition featured work by artists including Jack Body, Fiona Clark, L. Budd, Richard Killeen and Fiona Pardington.
The new exhibition revisits these artists as well as drawing in other New Zealand practitioners including Billy Apple, Simon Denny, Russ Flatt, Jacqueline Fraser, Giovanni Intra, Imogen Taylor and Douglas Wright.
Prevention materials from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, an organisation that for 30 years has been at the forefront of New Zealand’s community-based response to the epidemic, will also be included.
Two public conversations will be held in the gallery during the exhibition. On Saturday 31 January at 1pm, artists Ruth Watson and Trevor Fry will discuss the work of important gay artist Grant Lingard, whose final major work Swan Song will be included in the exhibition. On Saturday 14 February at 1pm, Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson and artist Fiona Clark will discuss Clark’s seminal work Living with AIDS.
312 Karangahape Road
Cnr K Rd & East St
PO Box 68287 Newton
P 64 9 309 7848
Editor’s note: Visit Michael Lett Implicated and Immune Facebook event page for a comprehensive list of participating artists.
January 24th, 2015
Day for night stills for ‘The Members’ a film about a benign cult located west of a city in NZ
February 6–27* 2015
Reception with Greta Anderson 5.30 pm Friday 6th February
Click here to see earlier work by this photographer
McNAMARA GALLERY Photography Ltd
190 Wicksteed St. WHANGANUI 4500
Tuesday / Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 3 [often open to 6] or by appointment
* Please check website INFORMATION page for occasional closed days due to travel commitments
06 348 7320 / 027 249 8059 email@example.com
January 22nd, 2015
A Photographic record by Stephen Trinder
On June 19 2012 Stephen Trinder took a photo of an orange 1978 Datsun B210 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Without knowing it at the time, this was to be the first of more than 1,000 Christchurch cars he would find and photograph, a pursuit that turned into a near obsession and continues to this day.
Encouraged by local and overseas car spotters as well as more fine art orientated photographers his collection has gained many comments and earned him the majority of the 1.5 million views on his www.flickr.com account.
Responses to the images have ranged from bewilderment at the number of older cars still on the road here, to respect for the owners who restore, maintain and customise models that can only be seen in museums elsewhere. New Zealanders have mentioned makes and models they grew up with and specific cars they have seen themselves.
Viewers have also noted the changing face of the city itself, enquiring about the earthquakes and their effects, often seen in the backgrounds to various vehicles.
As the number of images grew an early ambition was the publication of a book documenting the cars. This has since been replaced by the realisation that the growing number of online views is potentially far higher than a physical book of the same images could generate.
The photographs do however lend themselves to being exhibited en masse. A makeshift wall display continues to elicit a universally enthusiastic reaction, providing a picture postcard catalogue of a city seemingly populated solely by cars. Visitor’s reactions here, ranging from visiting members of the police force to rebuild workers, echo the online comments as well as including decisions on favourites, oldest, ugliest and most expensive vehicle.
Several times Stephen Trinder has vowed to stop but everytime something exciting has literally turned the corner. Many more cars (and utes, trucks, buses, caravans, etc.) are out there and you can see them as they’re found simply by following the photographer at:
You can also see a portfolio of images by Stephen Trinder on the PhotoForum members gallery HERE
City Gallery Wellington announces upcoming exhibition: ‘History in the Taking – 40 Years of PhotoForum’
January 14th, 2015
John Miller Police Arson Enquiries, Wellington 1972.
History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum
14 March – 14 June 2015
City Gallery Wellington
101 Wakefield St
Hours: open daily 10am – 5pm
In 2014, Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery presented the exhibition History in the Taking to celebrate PhotoForum’s 40th anniversary. City Gallery is pleased to be showing the exhibition in Wellington. Featuring around 150 photographs, the show traces the development of art photography in New Zealand. All the images featured in PhotoForum publications, and many have become iconic. Stars like Robin Morrison, Peter Peryer, Anne Noble, Laurence Aberhart, Fiona Clark and Peter Black feature alongside equally remarkable but now-neglected figures. The show also includes publications, posters and other memorabilia.
These days, in New Zealand, photography is accepted as an art form, but it wasn’t always the case. In 1973, John Turner and others founded PhotoForum to lead the charge. Over the years, this grass-roots organisation has promoted photography through exhibitions and publications, particularly its magazine. Within the photography community, PhotoForum was also the catalyst for debates within photography, about the virtues of different approaches and individuals. A product of the 1970s, PhotoForum saw the medium as entangled with counterculture lifestyles and protest movements. The show offers not only a history of New Zealand photography but also a slice of New Zealand social history. It is accompanied by Nina Seja’s comprehensive history PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand.
History in the Taking has been toured by PhotoForum. Thanks also to the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland.
January 13th, 2015
Photographs by Julian Ward
Review by Peter Ireland – 24 December 2014
EyeContact – www.eyecontactsite.com
Richard Hamilton’s justly famous 1956 work Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? still has the power to surprise and delight, despite countless reproductions and its elevation to the status of “pop icon”, to say nothing of the artist’s own 1992 “remake” and 2004 “upgrade” – perhaps his way of preventing the image from being taken too seriously by the art history industry. Replace the word “homes” of the title with the word “art” and it’s a good question to keep asking, especially today when art production is so diverse and voluminous. But it’s a question asked and answered by artists rather than art historians.
The very recent publication of Julian Ward’s fourth book suggests there may be some merit in rejigging Hamilton’s title a little further: take out that “homes” and “art” and shove in “photography” and suddenly Ward’s images take on a new potency. They might be “about” life on the Capital’s streets, but they’re just as much about photography: just what is it that makes the medium so different, so appealing?
Read the full review HERE
Related article: http://photoforum-nz.org/blog/?p=4867
January 12th, 2015
John B. Turner’s Photography Blog, dated 16 December 2014:
The New Zealand contribution to the 2014 Pingyao International Photography Festival included three exhibitions, six floor talks, a three-hour seminar, several television interviews, posing with Chinese strangers, and making new friends from all over the world. The vocabulary of PIP volunteer translators, who were mostly students of the dynamic Amy Liu of Taiyuan Technical University, was seriously tested with our odd Kiwi accents and vernacular speech. Julia Durkin, Director of the Auckland Festival of Photography, somehow found time from intense networking to join the portfolio review team, while I, as a guest curator, was free to network after helping “my” photographers, Craig Potton (Nelson), Ian Macdonald, (Auckland), and the environmental sculpture couple, Martin Hill and Philippa Jones (Wanaka), whom I had not met before, to settle in. They were joined by Jenny Tomlin, from Auckland, who had a solo exhibition. To cap the NZ presence, Martin Hill won an ‘Excellent Photographer Award’ and 4,000 people were given a free copy of the 32-page A6 bilingual catalogue of To Save a Forest… Photographs by leading New Zealand conservationists: Martin Hill, Ian Macdonald and Craig Potton.
As usual, there were pluses and minuses to the PIP Festival, with the positives dominating, and apart from the extraordinary array of photographs on display, it was the genuine warmth of their welcome, and the generous help from the volunteers that made a huge impression. Ian Macdonald summed up the exhibitions when after his initial foray he returned to exclaim that he had seen more outstanding photographs in two hours at PIP than he had seen during his recent exploration of London’s photography scene over a four week period. Ian and Elise Macdonald are legendary hosts, and Ian did as much as any official tourist bureau could to entice their new Chinese friends to get to enjoy a New Zealand visit and visit them at home in Matakana.’
Compared to her first PIP exhibition, featuring four Aucklanders, Chris Corson-Scott, Geoffrey Heath, Anita Jacobsen, and Vicky Thomas, last year, Elaine Smith’s 2014 selection was undermined by including the work of Qiane Matata-Sipu, who despite showing some promise, has simply not yet reached the level of technical competence or confidence shown by the other exhibitors: Tano Gago, Solomon Mortimer, and Tim Veling. To make matters worse, the exemplary work of Gago and Veling was displayed on the heavily shaded walls, while Matata-Sipu’s (and Mortimer’s) weaker prints received the limelight. Allocated what should have been a good space in the revamped Diesel Factory B7, the Auckland Festival was stuck between a rock and a hard place because of inadequate lighting for the best (and largest) works in their show. What’s the point of showing fine images under pathetically uneven lighting conditions? So I have to ask of the people responsible, Why wasn’t the same care taken downstairs, as that taken for the proper and more versatile lighting on the floor above where PIP’s permanent collection was newly installed? It shouldn’t be a big deal to provide reasonably even lighting on both sides of all display panels? It was galling to see, just around the corner, empty display spaces with beautiful natural light begging to be filled, and another filled with a display of backpacks for sale. (Julia Durkin informs me that restrictions on the use of nails or screws forced them to change Elaine’s planned layout for all of the work. “The lighting correction was requested,” Julia said, but like curator Alasdair Foster with his exhibition, she had no luck in getting the lighting fixed.)
I was also tormented by the fact that no extra lighting would be provided to brighten the shaded side of the panels for our ‘To Save a Forest…’ show. The effect was to compromise viewing of most of Craig Potton’s work until late afternoon when the small floodlights unevenly illuminated his glowing prints and shaded Ian’s and Martin’s.
That PIP suffers from serious underfunding is pretty obvious. The Shanxi government’s decision to make PIP more of a fair, with a new avenue of overhead lanterns lined with numerous small stalls offering tourist trinkets, demonstrates an inability to understand the uniqueness and the real needs of such a festival, with so much potential for increasing the number of informed foreign and Chinese visitors with a particular interest in photography. Equally, the razzle dazzle of the Awards event, designed exactly like a commercial television presentation, is another lost opportunity to seriously celebrate photographers and photography. Not least because when something went seriously wrong with the electronics this year, the small intended slide show of work on exhibition was not seen.
Coming back to the issue of display lighting, it was, ironically, very noticeable in B7, how beautifully lit the delightful and impressive cellphone exhibition, ‘My Bed & One Day in China’ was. Subtitled ‘The First China’s Top Ten Mobile Phone Photographers’ a kpkpw show curated by Fu Yongjun. When I asked why their lighting was superior the answer was that exhibitors could reposition the lights for their work. However that might be, the lighting system elsewhere, high in the ceiling, did not look that sufficient or flexible.
In last year’s PIP blog I had expressed my hope that the Auckland Festival and any other contributions would present significant work from south of the Bombay hills, to better represent photography in New Zealand, so it was good to see Veling, Hill and Potton included in this year’s offerings. A three-hour seminar by Hill, Potton, and Macdonald was attended by over 70 people, mainly in the younger age group, with several expressing their hope of visiting and studying in New Zealand.
It is interesting, but by no means comforting, to see that some of the finest work featured at PIP is often displayed in the labyrinth of makeshift and often leaking spaces that PIP is renowned for. Thus Jenny Tomlin found her pinhole work displayed opposite that of Ed Kashi, the VII agency photographer, in equally dismal lighting in Diesel Factory A5, where my ‘Tint’ exhibition was held in 2013. For Jenny, who is an expert analogue printer, the main consolation and trade off was likely the huge number of people who “saw” her work and took an interest in her mysterious low tech images. “Glimpsed,” however, would be a more accurate description of the interaction from the great majority of onlookers who have not learned the rewards of paying adequate attention to pictures and their meaning. Some smart ones used the light from their cell phones to take a closer look in the shadows. Kashi, billed as a star attraction, and a PIP award winner, didn’t visit Pingyao to see where his three essays were displayed, but his work can best be seen in publications and on the web. Jenny’s best prints, with their nuances of tone, detail and colour need to be seen in decent lighting.
Continue reading the full article HERE
December 19th, 2014
Te Tuhi Billboards – Caryline Boreham
15 November 2014 – 15 February 2015
In an earlier body of work titled State Space, Boreham investigated interior spaces located within New Zealand institutions such as military bases, police stations and nuclear science facilities. Although these functional institutional spaces are depicted devoid of people, traces of their presence are revealed through the arrangement of barrier ropes, chairs, and acts of graffiti.
For the Te Tuhi billboards, Boreham expands upon State Space by introducing digital colour blocks into these utilitarian sites to conceal graffiti and marks that suggest human interaction. This act of concealing or censoring mirrors the authoritarian functionality inherent within these spaces.
Te Tuhi Gallery
13 Reeves Rd, Pakuranga, Auckland
Opening hours: Week Days 9.00am – 5.00pm, Weekends 10.00am – 4.00pm