Five photographers bring us closer to their significant place in the exhibition Our Place: part of Janneth Gil’s Photographic Storytelling Workshop.
Why is place so important in our lives? “Place” is not the same as location, rather it is about ‘where’- a more complex, yet tangible and felt experience deeply associated with identity and belonging. The five photographers in Our Place bring us closer to their significant place, its experience and their thoughts and feelings about being.
Stuart Clook’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere– a liminal landscape encompasses hand-made pinhole camera photographs, documenting his response to the state of Lake Ellesmere, its blighted waters, figuratively a liminal space he describes as poised ‘between waking and sleeping’.
Anna Heasley’s A Walk at Waikuku Beach is about the recent transformation of her rural location, evolving from holiday village to subdivisions and “luxury homes”, replacing previous memories of bellbirds and a blanket of macrocarpa trees surrounding and protecting her village.
Returning to live in Christchurch after forty years, Bill Irwin’s Heart of Christchurch: Seventies in the Square is a teenager’s memory of the city’s centre from a now professional photographer, disorientated by his once-familiar city, his photographs confirming, everything is the same but different.
Warren Nairn’s photographs in My Places – My Spaces were taken walking and cycling through central Christchurch, acknowledging that the city’s built and broken environment, its abandoned lanes and demolition sites, have been added to and enriched by street artists making it their canvas.
Penny Thomson’s Water of change features photographs that observe changes in the way farming operates. Windmills that pumped water into a nearby farm now see irrigation schemes providing more water than a water race, enabling more intensive land use.
And Our Place is also about seeing and doing, practical outcomes coordinated, informed and appraised by photographer Janneth Gil and the Photographic Storytelling Workshop, Photosynthesis.
written by Dr. Warren Feeney