reflections on photography in Wellington

I've been continuing to search the web looking for more Wellington-based art photographers,  other than  those I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog and on a post here. I was interested in those art  photographers who had an online presence,  and  in my search I came across Mark Marriott, Hans Weston, Tracey Kearns. These are photographers with a body of work and who exhibit regularly. 

By all accounts Wellington has a number of  good active art photographers, non-profit galleries,  some small artist-run spaces and a photographic dealer gallery.  The  art photographic scene appears  to be lively, the work interesting, with much of it is  project based.  There are more reflections on the Wellington photographic scene  here.

An example  of a project based  body of work  is the  recent book by the poet /photographer Mary Macpherson.  Old New World, consists  of  her photographs made over seven years  about the changes in New Zealand society as seen in the small regional/rural towns throughout the country.   The narrative is one of a shift from a traditional New Zealand, to places of prosperity and development that look very different to the 1960s and 70s. Peter Ireland interpreted the work "as a melancholy lament for the steady disappearance of the New Zealand of her childhood and youth, especially since the economic “reforms” of the 1980s." 

Maybe not.  There  is a section that deals with places that have been changed or transformed through development. Ireland says that:

The road trip is a bit of a guy thing, and, formally, her imagery then tended to echo the style pioneered here by Robin Morrison and furthered by other male photographers such as John McDermott and Derek Henderson [ie., The Terrible Boredom of Paradise]

However, the  photographic  works that Macpherson says that she thought about before making her Old New World photographs  were Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places (for his photographing of everyday streets and buildings with tremendous formal sophistication)  Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects (his restrained, yet socially charged images) and Walker Evan’s photographs of buildings.

photographing in Wellington

Suzanne and I spent a week in the lower part of the North Island of New Zealand. This included Wellington,  Tongariro National Park,  parts of the the Waikato district and New Plymouth. It was a holiday built around us walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  

 I was able to do some photography in and around Wellington as well as the standard tourist snaps of  the Tongariro National Park.  The picture below was made from our  room at  the Travel Lodge,  which was where we were staying whilst in Wellington:

Due to the short time we had in New Zealand,  I  mainly photographed through  the windows of the hotel  and when I was walking the streets in the early morning and in the early evening. Walking the city  was limited by being on holiday but I was able to build on my previous visit. 

Wellington is a very visual city and I enjoy walking  it and exploring it's nooks and crannies.These  allow me to see beyond the obvious and to find things that are hidden away amongst the ever changing shade and light.