The Auckland Festival of Photography opened its 11th edition on May 29th. The festival programme attracts more than 55,000 visitors who attend various events and exhibitions presented all over the Auckland region. Graduates, current students and faculty from Whitecliffe participated in a number of shows and happenings this year. Here’s the shortlist:
A Sense of Place at Papakura Art Gallery
Whitecliffe MFA graduate Anita Jacobsen’s photographs were included in a group show Sense of Place curated by Talia Smith and Ioana Gordon-Smith at Papakura Art Gallery 10 May-21 June. Organized in association with Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, the exhibition presented works by 15 artists including Laurence Aberhart, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Salome Tanuvasa and Whitecliffe BFA alumni Michelle Beattie, who ‘consider the role and impact of contemporary roads and how they shape the relationships of people to places, or create the form and identity of specific localities.’ Various public workshops and programmes were held during the length of the exhibition.
Co-orbital at NKB Gallery
Whitecliffe Head of Photography Becky Nunes opened her solo show at Mt. Eden’s NKB Gallery on June 3rd. The exhibition, entitled Co-orbital, was part of the festival’s Signature programme and included an artist talk on June 7th. Becky’s photographic series explores the area of Grafton Gully through associations of death, nature and found objects. The latest issue of Art New Zealand magazine included a feature photography portfolio on this series. Kriselle Baker writes about the work “for Nunes this area represents a prism of shifting values, in which there has been a re-prioritising of our relationship with the land”. (Kriselle Baker, Art New Zealand 150 winter 2014)
Sampler 2014 at Pearce Gallery
Whitecliffe year 3 photography students displayed their annual showcase entitled Sampler 2014 at Pearce Gallery from June 3-8. Exhibitors included Allira Brydon, Jessie Ana Elysia Phillips, Kourtney Patumaka, Leigh Baber, Mish O’Neill, Niketa Mercedes Brown, Wolf Brooks, Rainer Weston, Ria Fitzpatrick, Tegan Weber and Testarossa Siregar. Working together with Whitecliffe lecturer and curator Steve Carr gave students the experience of displaying their latest photographic works in a gallery setting for a public audience. Commenting on the exhibition, Steve says, “I enjoy the degree to which students are implicated in the decision making; the parameters of the show means that they are asked to consider how their own work operates within the context of the exhibition as a whole.”
We Are Changing at St. Paul Street Gallery
Whitecliffe Photography student Lea Schlatter organized an exhibition We Are Changing, a collaborative effort including three other Auckland based emerging photographers, Ryan Meta, Kate Syme and Delena Nathuran. The exhibition was on view at AUT’s St Paul Street Gallery from 17 June-21 June and addressed issues that young artists face within the contemporary art world. D-Photo Magazine featured an interview with Lea where she talks about organizing the show.
The Floral Show Local Exotic at Fresh Gallery Otara
Tanya Eccleston, Visiting Scholar for the Whiteciffe MFA programme, and artist Monique Redmond collaborated as The Suburban Floral Association and joined artist Janet Lilo for an exhibition named The Floral Show: Local Exotic curated by Ariane Craig-Smith. The exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara opened June 5 and is currently on view until 16 July. Photography, video and installation are all part of the exhibition that explores the role of flowers in creating a sense of place, identity and home. A series of public programmes were planned during the length of the exhibition including floral arranging workshops, artist talks and free family portrait sessions. Check out more recent events here.
The Bridge Gathers at Lot 23
Helen Clegg (Whitecliffe BFA 2013) exhibited her second solo show The Bridge Gathers at art space Lot 23. The exhibition featured 11 photographic works and an interactive element - a set complete with a backdrop, camera with a cable release and a clear plastic box, which Helen used in her series. Show attendees could come and photograph themselves in the box, just as Helen did in her series. Helen says “the idea is to play with the process behind making each piece and engage with the work on a different level.” Here is an interview from D-Photo Magazine with Helen where she talks about the show and creative process.
Great South Road at Artstation
Tangent Photography Collective asked 10 Auckland based photographers to explore the length of Great South Road and respond in ways that reflect their own varied practices. The exhibition opened at Ponsonby’s Artstation and included works from Whitecliffe photography lecturer David Cowlard and photographer Meighan Ellis, who teaches a Whitecliffe Short Course class. Whitecliffe Graphic Design graduate Leah Surynt designed the project’s newspaper publication, published as a visual extension of the exhibition.
Tangent was co-founded by Whitecliffe Head of Photography Becky Nunes, Marketing Coordinator/photographer Anita Totha and photographer Parisa Taghizadeh in 2012 as a means to progress the debate around visual culture in NZ and to provide a platform for lens-based practitioners.
For more info about the events and exhibitions, please visit the Auckland Festival of Photography website.