Warren (Maxwell) and I had a most excellent meeting with Jeanine Foster from Antarctica New Zealand today. We talked through some of the logistics, looked at some of her killer photos and generally got excited! She generously added to the pile of Antarctica reading material in the corner of the studio too. Ta Jeanine.
Planning has definitely moved on this week – a content and communications strategy is forming nicely. There is even the start of a few journey maps (NB: #CoCA358 students) floating around.
AntarcticaNZ are currently doing some primary research around perceptions of Antarctica and science which is going to be invaluable.
Warren and I are buzzing! Cross discipline creative collaboration is proving exciting so far.
Now I have officially started my MDes (Masters of Design) and the pre-trip planning shifts into a different phase. For the past few months it has been total emersion into all things Antarctica, and looking at artist models, more recently research shifted to include the logistics of photography in sub-zero conditions so a gear list could be formed and any new equipment ordered. With those under control it is now into design strategy.
On the office wall a plan is evolving: some sort of hybrid diagram combining a content strategy and audience analysis with a media/distribution strategy sandwiched in between.
From this a number of possible directions will be identified and drawn up as journey maps.
Life has become a blur of Antarctica research – this is a small sample of the small mountain of reading I have been doing on Antarctic history, science and the artists (particularly photographers) that have been there before me. For a full (and ever growing) list of my research reading visit my bibliography page.
One of my favourite photographic discoveries so far is the bookFrozen History: The legacy of Scott and ShacklentonPhotographs of Josef & Katharina Hoflehner. Stunning black and white images of the historic huts taken with respect and a contemporary elegance.
Jonathan Harris is an artist and computer scientist from Vermont.
I find his work very interesting but he regularly falls into the trap of the interface overpowering the content – something I specifically want to avoid. An example is the whale hunt interactive which is extremely clever but I prefer the highlights page from the same interactive
His work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, and has been exhibited at Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), the CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), the Barbican Center (London), the Victora and Albert Museum (London), and The Pace Gallery (New York). He studied computer science at Princeton University and spent a year in Italy at Fabrica. The winner of three Webby Awards, Print Magazine named him a “New Visual Artist,” and the World Economic Forum named him a “Young Global Leader.” His TED talks have been viewed millions of times.
A really nice wee overview of artist Gabby O’Connor‘s “Studio Antarctica” project. Her work is currently on show at Pataka in Porirua. Gabby went to Antarctica as part of the Antarctica New Zealand Community engagement programme, the same programme that is sending me there in November.
In a time before Google Street View (back when there paper maps and everything!) I got bored one weekend and walked the length of Wellington’s Breaker Bay and documented every house. For locals it’s great to see how much the bay has changed!
I have long since lost the original photos but there is still a low res version online – click here to view and scroll sideways.
See what I can see: Discovering New Zealand Photography
Sargent Gallery, Whanganui. 18 June – 11 September
My Kermedec work Seachange (approaching Raoul) is part of a new exhibition alongside work from some of New Zealand’s leading photographers including Robin White, Bruce Foster and fellow Massey-ites, Anne Noble and Wayne Barrar.
This exhibition is a celebration of that remarkable, well-travelled invention, the camera, the New Zealand that it captured and the artists who wielded it. This exhibition is a companion to the 2015 book See what I can see: New Zealand Photography for the young and curious written by Gregory O’Brien and published by Auckland University Press. The exhibition, co-curated by O’Brien and Sarjeant Gallery curator Greg Donson brings together a selection of images from the book alongside examples from the Sarjeant Gallery’s rich photographic holdings.
The Kermadec: Lines in the Ocean exhibition continues it’s tour of New Zealand.
It is currently on at Ashburton Art Gallery.
327 West street. Ashburton ashburtonartgallery.org.nz
21 MAY – 25 JUNE 2016
Open Daily: 10am – 4pm
Wednesday: 10am – 7pm
ARTIST TALKS | BRUCE FOSTER, ELIZABETH THOMSON AND GREGORY O’BRIEN
JUNE 22, 11:00AM
Come along to the Gallery for a talk by artists Bruce Foster, Gregory O’Brien and Elizabeth Thomson they will share with you their experiences on Raoul Island and what they encountered on their week long voyage to one of the last great ocean wilderness areas on the planet. They will give you insight into how this experience is reflected in the art they made in response to this trip. The artists will be joined by Bronwen Golder, Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts Global Ocean Legacy.
This talk is free of charge and all are welcome to attend. Following the talk a light lunch will be provided and you will also have the opportunity to talk informally with the artists.
Research for the Antarctica project has been going on for months behind the scenes. There is a permanent stack of books at home. If you want to see what I’ve been reading check out my bibliography page
Exploring and celebrating 60 years of Scott Base, this project aims to connect new audiences with Antarctica by allowing them to experience the life and work at Scott Base through the eyes of the scientists, explorers and personnel that have been there. Details of the project outputs will evolve over the course of the project but are likely to involve multi-channel immersive video instillation, photography and other online videos.
The working title of the project is “Antarctica: 60 shades of white”. Watch for the hash tag #60shadesofwhite on my Twitter feed
This project will be the subject for my MDes project at Massey University’s School of Design for the next two years and many other outputs beyond that I’m sure. Details of exactly when and how long I ‘m going to The Ice so watch this space for more detail.
I have set up a project page on the site where I will document progress.
I had the great privilege of being commissioned by one legendary New Zealand band Trinity Roots to shoot some new promotional material for them. Inspired by the bands’ focus on whakapapa and relationship with the land, I came up with the concept of them standing in the swirling waters of Cook Strait (near Breaker Bay) to represent their oneness with people and place.
I thank them for their patience as I made them stay in the freezing waters for half an hour as we waited for the light to light to be perfect. Exposures were long and combined with remote flash units setup on an old tripod in the sea.
Below are a few ‘behind the scenes’ shots taken by my son and young assistant Morgan (who weeks earlier had modelled for test shots) and one of the ‘straighter’ press shots we took in the Breaker Bay Hall.
A small selection of photos from the most recent performance of Rangitahua by the theatre group Company of Giants at the recent exhibition “Kermadec – discoveries and connections” in Wellington’s Academy Gallery on Queens Wharf.
“Crossing Series #1” 2011 Limited edition Triptych of Lambda digital master photographic prints on Kodak Archival Paper. 700 x 465mm each. $2500 nzd framed for the set of three.
Update! Subsequent to this post I have sold one set. There is now only one left(currently on exhibition with the touring Kermadec show but I’m happy to sell it and release when the tour is complete)
There are only two sets of this limited edition triptych left. Shot from the deck of the HMNZS Otago after leaving Raoul. By then travel on the ship felt very much like home. The long exposure captured the endless passing of the water but by now this was (or at least seemed) like a smooth rocking, as if slipping over silk.
The Company of Giants theatre group are now playing their amazing show“Rangitahua, The stopping off place” at the Kermadec exhibition in Wellington. Weaving their way around the artworks and audience, they tell the wild story of the Kermadec Islands.
The show plays at 2pm and 7pm until Tuesday at the Academy Galleries, Queens Wharf, Wellington. Book at iticket.co.nz.