Harvey Benge exhibition at Northart Gallery, Auckland

Ways of Looking – Harvey Benge
1 – 12 Feb 2014
Artist’s reception: Sunday 9 Feb, 5-7pm

Coming up at Northart Gallery, Auckland, is a mini-survey exhibition by photographer Harvey Benge. On show in galleries 3 & 4,  will be an extensive selection of works (approx 60 – 70 images), from across his lengthy photographic career.


EyeContact Review by Zara Sigglekow: ‘Recent Auckland Photography’

EyeContact is a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Zara Sigglekow has just compiled this review of Recent Auckland Photography exhibition (20 May – 12 June 2013), which is now posted on their website.  Below is an extract from her article.

Photography at North Art

Derek Henderson, Kevin Simmons, Leanne Hema and Troy Burton, Reid’s Farm, 2007.

‘Recent Auckland Photography at North Art gallery was part of the Auckland Festival of Photography. Set over two gallery spaces this large exhibition is accompanied with an extensive publication, which includes an introduction by the curators Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, foreword by senior Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson, and brief essays on each photographer. Within the expanse of approaches represented in the festival the curators choose to focus on a particular style of photography. While somewhat narrow, this is necessary in order to create a survey of coherence and depth and prevent a mish-mash of styles and approaches.

The photographs chosen are what could be labelled ‘straight’ photography. There is no push to abstraction, overt manipulation or over conceptualisation. Yet – as stressed in the accompanying book’s introduction – they are not ‘snapshots’ or ‘documents’ taken with an impartial and objective eye. The photographers ‘make’ the pictures selecting with scene with intentionality, framing the image and sometimes staging its contents. All twelve photographers take photographs that are ‘scapes’ of the world around them: cityscapes; suburbanscapes; landscapes, and the details that lie within them. Some engage with identity and history while others scrutinise the present. The restriction of ‘Auckland’ is taken loosely: either photographs taken of Auckland or by Auckland photographers in international or Auckland regional locations.’  Read the full review HERE

Zara Sigglekow – 7 August 2013
EyeContact http://eyecontactsite.com

Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

Review by Mary Macpherson: “Pictures They Want to Make”

Front cover image, Edith Amituanai, Khin Nu and Rawa From Up the Street (from the series La Fine Del Mondo) 2010

Reality unchained

The thump of a courier package at the French doors heralded my keenly awaited copy of Pictures They Want to Make – Recent Auckland Photography. It’s a handsome landscape hardback published by PhotoForum Inc, Auckland,  that features of the work of 12 photographers, either from or with a connection to the Auckland (New Zealand) region.

In recent years there’s been a small flood of New Zealand photographic monographs, either wrapped around a project, or providing an overview of an artist’s work. It’s been awhile since the last compilation – think Into the Light, A History of New Zealand Photography by David Eggleton (Craig Potton Publishing 2006), orContemporary New Zealand Photographers (Mountain View Publishing 2005).

Books featuring collections of photographers – grouped under a heading implying a round up of the latest new voices, or an overview of world photographic history – often suffer from snippet syndrome. There might be generous selection of artists, but if each person only has one or two pictures to support a statement, a publication covering 20 – 50 photographers can become a series of easily forgotten glimpses, because there’s simply not enough work from each artist to provide depth or resonance.

Happily, Pictures They Want to Make, edited by Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, avoids this trap. Each artist is given a one page introduction, a sketch of what’s interesting in their practice, similar to the wall panel that would introduce work in a gallery, followed by around 10 full page pictures. The work is carefully selected, either covering different periods in one artist’s career, or providing a coherent view of recent projects. It’s possible, therefore, to get a real sense of what each individual photographer is about, and the strengths and orientation of their work.

The book also has a central direction governing the inclusion of the individual photographers, so there’s an overall coherence – rather like a well curated exhibition. The underlying drive is to address the perception that a photograph which begins with an image taken from reality is merely a document of what’s in the image.  The editors are keen to remind us that strategies and deliberate intention underpin the work, and it takes sophisticated viewing to understand what’s going on – in much the same way as any contemporary artwork.

This is not a new battle for photography. The introductory essay by Leo Rubinfien in the wonderful monster Garry Winogrand monograph I’m currently reading, notes how in the 1960s Tod Papageorge challenged curator John Szarkowski’s use of the word document – “To use it, even innocently, he argued, was to say that photographs were dumb transcriptions of the real – to say they were not art.” In New Zealand it seems this point needs to be made again and again.

The work itself ranges from projects which subvert viewer expectations, series, like the one from Edith Amituanai, that draws on snapshot and portrait traditions to mine cultural territory, and work from Chris Corson-Scott who uses the view camera to create large landscapes of the quotidian, but where the viewer uncovers resonant information and so keeps returning to a complex image (a similar strategy to American large format colour work – but with a distinct Auckland tang). The 12 series might not challenge the boundaries of what’s acceptable, but works are sophisticated, culturally engaged and contemporary.  Whatever your preferences there’s enough variety among the 12 photographers to keep a reader returning to the images.

The book was supported Nikon New Zealand, Progear, Vista Entertainment Solutions and the Wallace Arts Trust (with Creative New Zealand or a public gallery missing from the funding line up). But as a publication driven by people who understand the art in photography, and how to put together a photography book, it’s emerged as fresh and relevant.

Even allowing for my bias as PhotoForum member, I highly recommend this book which at a is available from selected bookshops in Auckland (e.g. Auckland Art Gallery, Unity Books, TimeOut, Dear Reader, The BookLover) or is part of the member benefits package of joining PhotoForum.

(RRP NZ $59.95)

Review compiled 22/06/2013
Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

Wellesley St Window Project 2012: Becky Nunes

Image: Bottle, Becky Nunes

Personal Effects – Becky Nunes
3 – 27 October 2012
Preview: Tuesday 2 October, 5 – 7pm

Wellesley St Window Project – Gow Langsford Gallery
Just below corner of Wellesley and Kitchener Streets, Auckland

Earlier this year, Gow Langsford Gallery initiated the Wellesley St Window Project, and selected a group of six artists, to each  exhibit their work in this nicely positioned window space aside their Kitchener St Gallery.

Opening tonight are photographic works by Becky Nunes,  a well-established practicing photographer and Head of Department for Photography at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland. Her artist statement for this current show, is as follows:

‘This series of photographs explores ideas of personal taonga. By this I mean objects of emotional and historical significance taken from my own collection. This can include objects that represent a tangible connection with the deceased, or objects that exercise a quasi-magical hold on our imaginations via their cultural references and significance.

I am interested in the ways that an object becomes invested with additional meaning via ritual, repetitive handling and viewing, faith and salesmanship. These works play on the tensions between the inherent value of an object or site, and its perceived worth. They open up questions surrounding the role faith plays in our consumption of art.

Photography plays a part in this attempt to see past the visible; these works acknowledge the inherent inability of photography to see beyond surface, and our endless and illogical search for that which is forever hidden in a photograph.’

Further information on this exhibition and the Wellesley St Window Project can be viewed HERE


Auckland – Photography Workshop by PETER BLACK & James Gilberd

PETER BLACK & James Gilberd Photography Workshop – AUCKLAND

Getting inspiration: developing a body of work

Hosted by PhotoForum NZ, this special photography workshop with Documentary Photographer Peter Black & Photospace Gallery Director James Gilberd, runs over the weekend of 3rd-4th Nov. 2012 in Parnell, Auckland.

The aim of this workshop is to learn how to produce a body of work that is capable of being exhibited or made into a book, working in black & white or in colour. The proposed schedule for this workshop can be viewed HERE

Topics include:

  • Exhibiting – approaching & working with a gallery, developing a project, artist statements, marketing & publicity, editioning prints, pricing works
  • The Print –  printing for exhibition, quality, presentation, signing works, hanging an exhibition
  • The Photographic Book – photo book production, processes of design, editing, sequencing etc

This workshop will appeal to photographers who photograph the real world including people, buildings and landscape (rather than studio work). Time will be spent discussing your individual work, both past and present. The main aim is to gain inspiration.

The workshop is limited to twelve people, so one-to-one attention can be given. A big part of the benefit of such a workshop is being involved with a small group of like-minded photographers; the energy and focus that it brings, and the added social benefits.

The cost of this two day workshop is $460 (a deposit of $100  is required to reserve your place). BOOK EARLY as places are strictly limited.

All bookings and enquiries to  Jan Young of PhotoForum, email: photoforumnz@gmail.com or phone (09) 8118959

Presenter info:

Peter Black’s photographs have been recognised in significant public exhibitions and publications for over thirty years. He was the first New Zealand photographer to have a solo show at the National Art Gallery – Fifty Photographs, 1980. His work is in most major public collections in New Zealand and many significant private collections. For many decades Peter developed his own black and white film and made his own silver gelatin prints. Since 2005, he has been working exclusively in colour and printing his own archival pigment prints. His new book I loved you the moment I saw you (Victoria Unity Press, 2011) is a series of 82 colour photos shot (mostly) in Wellington in 2009.

James Gilberd opened Photospace Gallery, Wellington, in 1998 and has been a professional photographer since the early 1990s. He has a degree in photography from Victoria University, 1997 and has been actively photographing, teaching photography, curating exhibitions and running the gallery over several decades. In 2008, he edited and co-published the book Fiat Lux – 51 photographs by Andrew Ross (Photospace & VUP).

Related links:

Peter Black: www.peterblackphotos.com

Photospace Gallery: www.photospace.co.nz

PhotoForum NZ: www.photoforum-nz.org

AIPA Gear Fest, Auckland – TOMORROW Sat. 26 Nov

Saturday, November 26th

Doors open at 10:30am and close at 3:30pm
White Studios, 30 Burleigh Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland

The AIPA GearFest is an annual event where photographers can check out all the latest and greatest photographic equipment and accessories from New Zealand’s leading suppliers.

Come along and test the best new gear from…

Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Leaf, Olympus, Sandisk, Bowens, Elinchrom, Broncolor, Profoto, Phase One, PhotoFlex, Manfrotto, Pocket Wizard, Gitzo, Tamron, Lowepro, Enlight (Orbis & Frio), LensBaby, Think Tank, Gary Fong, and more


Join PhotoForum & Rim Books at the ‘End of Year Fair’, Auckland CBD

PhotoForum and Rim Books are sharing a book stall at the upcoming End of Year Fair. We hope you and your friends can make it along to this fun event.  ST PAUL St Gallery (AUT) organisers have brought together a great mix of ‘many things creative’ so there’s sure to be something of interest for everyone…including performances, excellent coffee and of course our great selection of books!  We look forward to meeting you there.

For further info and to share this event visit the: End of Year Fair facebook pageEventfinder listing