Two exhibitions open at Photospace Gallery on Friday, 8th March, 5pm-7pm. Both exhibitions run until 8th April.

In the main gallery, Peter Black – The grass is awfully green

‘The grass is awfully green’ is part of Peter Black’s on-going series of photographs examining the social landscape of New Zealand. With his penetrating and wry vision Black looks at a nation trying to balance between its past and the ideal of a 100% Pure New Zealand. The full work covers images made between 2008 and 2012 throughout New Zealand.

The Photospace show features 22 evocative A2 colour images printed by the photographer on 308gsm Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper using Epson archival inks.

Two limited edition books of ‘The grass is awfully green’ accompany the show. This includes 15 copies of a 99-page large hardback featuring the full series of the work, accompanied by an A4 print. Twenty copies of a soft cover catalogue featuring the work in the show are also available.

Peter Black has been photographing the social landscape of New Zealand for over 30 years. His photographs have been extensively exhibited and published, most notably a major survey show at City Gallery, Wellington in 2003. His last book ‘I loved you the moment I saw you’ was published by Victoria University Press in 2011.

In Gallery Room 3, James Gilberd – Trophies, series II

Since photographing the previous Trophies series, and being a bit of a hoarder, I collected a bunch more trophy objects to photograph. As before, they came from charity shops and cost between fifty cents and a few dollars. This time around the images were shot on Agfapan 100 roll film using a Linhof 6x7cm field camera, and printed on Agfa Classic fibre-based paper.

The edition of prints is limited to five. If my supply of Agfa paper runs out (highly likely, as production ceased some years ago), prints will be made on Ilford Warmtone FB.

I enjoyed every moment of using the old camera, and processing and printing in the darkroom. The process created a nice separation from the commercial photography work I do, which is mainly on digital. This series of work hasn’t touched a computer, except to scan and send for publicity purposes.

New Zealand is a sporting nation, and we like to think we “punch above our weight” in international sporting arenas. This is debatable. A lot of our identity as kiwis is tied up in our pride in our sporting achievements.

We have many famous teams and individuals, but what about the less famous, the obscure, the unknown sporting achievers? For every Richie McCaw or Valerie Vili the is a Joe Blewitt whose greatest claim to sporting fame was Most Improved Player in his junior cricket team of 1972.

Each trophy meant something to someone at some time, but it has ended up on the shelves of the local op shop. Neglected, forgotten, discarded. Our individual identity is (arguably) built on mediocrity and obscurity as much as talent and fame.

By photographing the trophies in such a way that the personal attributions of each are highlighted, along with the history of the object evident in its decay, I hope to explore the concept of achievement and failure and the human issues involved in competition, the celebration of the elite reflected in the obscurity of the also-rans.

James Gilberd

Note: Images from Trophies series II will be posted here once the exhibition has been running a while.

Photospace Gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington
T: 04 382 9502  M: 027 444 3899
Open 10am to 4pm Mon-Fri, 11am to 4pm Sat

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