May 22, 2015

Friday Round Up - 22 May, 2015

This week on Friday Round Up Part One of the Auckland Festival of Photography coverage. Next week Alison Stieven-Taylor reports live from the Festival's opening. This week features four exhibitions from the Signature Series plus an interview with the 2015 Auckland Festival of Photography Commissioned Artist, PJ Paterson.

Truth and Fiction
Auckland Festival of Photography 

28 May to 20 June

The 12th edition of the Auckland Festival of Photography focuses on the theme – Truth and Fiction. In the Signature Series Exhibitions a number of local artists showcase their work along with selected international guests. Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer- Part One.

PJ Paterson: 2015 Commissioned Artist

Read the interview with PJ Paterson about his new series (above) at the end of this week's post.


Maria Kapajeva – Interiors

This series by Russian artist Maria Kapajeva comprises digitally manipulated collage artworks that use found photographs. In Kapajeva’s artworks we see Russian women in their domestic environment adopting the poses that Western mass media use to exemplify female sexuality. This commentary on the clash of cultures and the labelling of women builds on Kapajeva’s body of work that focuses on women’s issues in contemporary society and the cultural and social stereotypes that are perpetuated by the mass media. 

Until 17 June
Silo Park
Wynyard Quarter

Jae Hoon Lee – Omnipresent 

A self-proclaimed cultural wanderer, New Zealand based Jae Hoon Lee, who is originally from Seoul, showcases his work Omnipresent in this year’s Signature Series. 

Omnipresent is an artistic departure for Lee and is the result of a six-month residency in 2014 at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York. By layering original photographs taken across multiple occasions and locales, Lee weaves fragmentary images into dense, digital compositions. Elusively hyper-real, Lee’s landscapes build a technologically amplified version of the world around him.

Lee calls his practice of stitching multiple photographs together to create a single work, ‘time-based’. His intention here is to envelop multiple moments within these mural-scale images creating an artwork that moves the viewer beyond reality and into the realm of the surreal. 

Until 20 June
Trish Clark Gallery
1 Bowen Avenue

Lay of the Land – Group Show

(C) Conor Findlay

Featuring 11 New Zealand photographers this group show explores the urban expansion and transformation of Auckland. Curator Anita Totha is a Hungarian-American photographer originally from New York. Currenlty based in Auckland she is a co-founder of Tangent, a contemporary photography collective.

Totha says this exhibition draws on the 1975 seminal exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” which featured photographers such as Stephen Shore, Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams and documented the urban sprawl of America.

In Lay of the Land Auckland’s growing metropolis comes under the spotlight to explore what Totha says are “overlooked areas of change thought to be mundane and normal; the land our homes are built on, our daily commute on the thoroughfares in and out of the city, the reserves and natural areas on our doorstep”. What Baltz labelled “the places where the future hangs in question”. 

(C) Allan McDonald

(C) Allan McDonald

(C) Anton Maurer

(C) Anton Maurer

(C) Conor Findlay

(C) David Cowlard

(C) David Cowlard

(C) Derek Henderson

(C) Dieneke Jansen

(C) Dieneke Jansen

(C) Peter Evans

(C) Sean Atavenitia

(C) Sean Atavenitia

(C) Solomon Mortimer

(C) Solomon Mortimer

“The city’s landscape as we know it today is changing. The photography and moving image included in this exhibition takes a deeper look at the ever-changing state of our urban environment, the conversion of communities, the vanishing natural and topographic landscape and the imminent changes that lie ahead,” says Totha.

Sean Atavenitia | David Cowlard | Peter Evans | Conor Findlay | John Haydn | Derek Henderson | Dieneke Jansen | Anton Maurer | Allan McDonald | Solomon Mortimer | Talia Smith |

Until 13 June
Papakura Art Gallery
10 Averill Street

Anne Noble – No Vertical Song

Anne Noble’s exhibition No Vertical Song comprises 15 portraits of dead bees. But this exhibition is more than a microscopic view of the Apis in rigor; it is a commentary on our relationship with the natural world and explores the notion of a time when the bee may be extinct. Noble is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated photographers. This year Noble was given the Overseas Photographer Award in the 31st Higashikawa Awards in Japan.

Until 4 July
Two Rooms
16 Putiki Street
Newton, Auckland

PJ Paterson - 2015 Commissioned Artist 
talks to Alison Stieven-Taylor

From the new series commissioned by the Auckland Festival of Photography - 
the remaining images will be revealed at the Festival's opening on Thursday 28th May. 

New Zealand artist PJ Paterson’s images comprise multiple layers where sweeping landscapes are juxtaposed with the trappings of a consumerist society to create surreal environments. His melding of fact and fantasy taps in beautifully to this year’s Auckland Festival of Photography theme – Truth and Fiction - so it is no surprise that when the Festival was searching for the 2015 commissioned artist, Paterson’s work fell under the judges’ gaze.

“This is my first public commission, it’s awesome, “ says Paterson. “Working with the Festival’s theme of Truth and Fiction meant the brief was very broad and wasn’t beyond my normal scope…my work is highly manipulated, it’s not a real representation of what I see, but rather what I feel.”

To demonstrate, Paterson refers to the image where thousands of bicycles reach to a brooding horizon. “When I was in Amsterdam there were bicycles everywhere. It’s overwhelming how many bikes are on the streets, but taking a single image doesn’t convey that sense, that feeling. In this image I am recreating the impression that all these bikes had on me, that idea that there are thousands and they go on forever to fill the landscape”.

This train of thought is also evident in Paterson’s other images where junkyard cars and engines flood picturesque valleys creating a metaphor for the waste generated in our cities. He says that initially it wasn’t his intention to make comment on the consumerist nature of society, and its environmental impact, but that is what many people believe is his aim.

“I’m not really trying to convey a message or a belief of mine, but it is amazing just how much stuff we make and buy and throwaway. There’s a kind of beauty to it, like there is with images of derelict buildings. There’s something cool about it, they look amazing even though it’s someone’s hurt. There’s kind of a voyeurism to it rather than being right in it.”

Paterson tells that he came to photography through painting after a life changing experience led him to follow his artistic heart. This former electrician is now carving a name in the art world and making a living from his passion with his unique canvases and limited photographic series. Sold exclusively through Sanderson Contemporary Art gallery in Auckland, Paterson’s photographs are available in editions of only three increasing the cachet for collectors. 

Initially Paterson used photography as part of his painting practice, photographing subjects that he would then interpret on canvas. Now he works across both mediums dedicating himself to one stream at a time depending on inspiration. Recently he’s been selling as many photographs as paintings, which he says is a shift. “I think there’s been a bit of a stigma around photography as art because so many people think they can take a great photo, but attitudes are starting to change”.

To fulfill the Festival commission Paterson has created five new works that deal with urban-scapes and feature images he shot in Shanghai earlier this year. This new series builds on his existing work where Paterson inserts unlikely objects or buildings into existing streetscapes to create newly imagined cities. The commissioned work will be on show at Silo 6 in Wynyard Quarter until 17 June.

To see more of his work visit PJ Paterson

For more information visit Auckland Festival of Photography 

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