Category Archives: People

Antartica research shifts to “the new heroic age”

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After a really productive initial discussion with @AntarcticaNZ my research has moved into a new phase – I’m now focussing  on the depiction of ‘heroes’ and ‘explorers’ through portraiture in historic and contemporary contexts.

This reflects a fledgling strategic approach to repositioning the public perception of science by depicting the Antarctic Scientists as “Science Explorers” – modern approachable heroes striving to understand climate change to help deal with it.

This might be the beginning of “the new heroic age” of Antarctica?

Still early days … watch this space.

 

More on the Antarctica project >

Lighting test: Tarakena Bay

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Once again my ever patient son Morgan was coerced into being a model for a lighting test for a shot I have coming up in a few weeks. This time he stood knee deep in the chilly waters of Cook Strait while the sun set behind the Kaikouras. A slow shutter speed blurred the water and a Nikon Speedlight with a homemade snoot lit his face. The flash is sitting on an old modified tripod (heavily weighted down) and is triggered remotely via infrared.

New Kermadec works

Ocean eats man‘Ocean eats man’. Bruce Foster dives into the deep blue from the helipad of the HMNZS Otago. Tropic of Capricorn. 2011

The Kermadec: Hands to Bathe Exhibition features a good proportion of previously unseen works by all the artists including these ‘documentary’ shots of mine.

John is waiting Mr Key

‘Don’t keep John waiting Mr Key’. John Reynolds on the deck of the HMNZS Otago, Kermadecs, 2011

If by your art‘If by your art you have raised this dreadful storm, have pity on their sad distress’, HMNZS Otago, Kermadecs, 2011

Also new but not on show in Devonport are these diptychs:

a fish called fender

‘A fish called fender’ HMNZS Otago 2011

On a Line‘On a line’, HMNZS Otago 2011

 

See more Kermadec works on the exhibition website

Kermadec workshops

Dame Robin White Artist

Dame Robin White painting mural as part of school program. Devonport 2013

As part of the Kermadec: Hands to Bathe exhibition we (Robin White, Greg O’Brien, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Elizabeth Thomson and I) helped the Navy Museum to run workshops for local schools. We talked the kids through the show and worked with them as they created their own art and collectively created a mural for the museum. Great fun and a great opportunity for me to photograph the other artists at work (see photo of Robin above).

Spirit

Spirit

“Spirit” 2013 Breaker Bay, Wellington
Limited edition (1) – Giclée print on Rag 904 x 1355mm

From the recent Ripple exhibition at Cecil Veda Gallery in Wellington

“Spirit” is the first image from a new longterm project that is exploring the effect New Zealand’s geographic isolation has had on our national psyche in both a contemporary and historical context.

To me this image represents a relationship to the sea, quiet determination and independence the many Kiwis hold dear.

It simultaneously can represent our past, present and future. Is this an historical scene of a pioneer making landfall? Could this boy be our next Peter Blake? Or does he represent all parents hopes that kids can still have simple fun, bare back and without an electronic device in sight?

The title “Spirit” is a reference to the Split Enz song “Six months in a leaky boat” which also is about our geographic isolation.

“When I was a young boy, I wanted to sail around the world
That’s the life for me, living on the sea
Spirit of a sailor, circumnavigates the globe
The lust of a pioneer, will acknowledge no frontier”

Many thanks to my son Morgan for standing in the cold fog for so long

See more works from “Ripple”

Spirit hanging in Cecil Veda Gallery

Gamer

Teen.

.

A bit of a preview of a new long term project that takes a look into the lives of young men. In this case photos of my own 15 year old son Ruben – a keen gamer (among other talents of course). Like the Troupe project last year, which took a behind the scenes look at a all girl dance troupe, I plan to explore what makes a diverse group of young men tick – their interests and passions.

Married to Raoul II

Married to Raoul II

Married to Raoul II 2012, Photographic print 329mm x 483mm – For Sale

A new work from a photo shoot last year. Part of the Kermadec Project

In 1875 Tom Bell, his wife and six children moved to live on remote Roaul Island (then Sunday island). The family lived on the island in almost total isolation for 35years enduring incredible hardship at times.

After visiting Roaul and reading of the family (in a book called “The Crusoes of Sunday Island”) I was deeply moved and decided to create this shot to tell the story of the oldest child “Hettie Bell” who lived in isolation for the best years of her life.

She wears period clothes and holds a ‘bouquet’ of seaweed to represent her ‘marriage to Roaul’. This photo was shot with a homemade lens with glass from a 100year old camera on a Nikon D300s to further add to historic link. In this print I have used multiple shots to gradually build up the picture – much like the little historic glimpses I have gained into the life of the real Hettie Bell.

It was shot on Breaker Bay Beach in Wellington which bears a striking similarity to Roual Island’s Denham Bay. Using my daughter Lauren to model  seemed even more approprate because when I heard Hettie’s story it instantly made me think of her. I think she did a great job of capturing the quiet determination that Hettie must have had.

I am happy to say that since over the last year I have had descendants of the Bell family contact me – absolutely fantastic!

Click here to see the “Married to Raoul” – Originally posted in September 2011

Learn more about the Kermadec Project and see other works from it.

For Sale: Limited edition prints of this photo are available – $600NZD framed. $400 Unframed. Contact me for enquires.

Married to Roaul

In 1875 Tom Bell, his wife and six children moved to live on remote Roaul Island (then Sunday island). The family lived on the island in almost total isolation for 35years enduring incredible hardship at times.

After visiting Roaul and reading of the family (in a book called “The Crusoes of Sunday Island”) I was deeply moved and decided to create this shot to tell the story of the oldest child “Hettie Bell” who lived in isolation for the best years of her life.

She wears period clothes and holds a ‘bouquet’ of seaweed to represent her ‘marriage to Roaul’. This photo was shot with a homemade lens with glass from a 100year old camera on a Nikon D300s to further add to historic link.

It was shot on Breaker Bay Beach in Wellington which bears a striking similarity to Roual Island’s Denham Bay. Using my daughter Lauren to model  seemed even more approprate because when I heard Hettie’s story it instantly made me think of her. I think she did a great job of capturing the quiet determination that Hettie must have had.

Happy New Year

I start the new year with a test shot for a commission. Taken in an old WW2 gun emplacement on the hills above Breaker Bay it features my 2 youngest children Lauren and Morgan. Although it is just a test shot and needs some work I do like where it is going. The approach takes me back to when I was an art student and studied David Hockney. A good way to start the new year.

Another guy

Guy Fawkes in breaker bay 09

Guy Fawkes in Breaker Bay 09

Yet another successful Guy Fawkes in Breaker Bay – this year with fire dancers! I still need to do an edit of the shots I took this year and I am still working on a long term project featuring photos from the last 4 years … hang in there … it will be worth it!

In the mean time you can see some of the shots I took in previous years here