Ann Kilpatrick - 'Necessary Distraction' group exhibition at Photospace Gallery, Wellington, 3 June to 2 July, 2022
Ann Kilpatrick - Introduction
My three collections are loosely connected in that each reflects distractions, in one form or another, from our ordinary lives.
The tee shirts printed by Martin for over three generations, celebrate and recognise key milestones or events. Fireworks, used carefully, provide a colourful, noisy distraction from day-to-day life. While Polyfest 2021 celebrates the skills, costumes, culture and performance of New Zealand people including Māori and Pacifica people.
Polyfest 2021 - photographs by Ann Kilpatrick
On 6 August 2021 colleges joined together to perform for the Northern Regional Polyfest 2021 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua. The Polyfest is a celebration of Polynesian culture through dance and song. Aotea, Porirua, Mana, Bishop Viard, Tawa, Newlands, and Onslow Colleges participated.
The arena was filled with happy participants, teachers, students, and people from the various Polynesian communities who helped with costumes, knowledge, preparation, and performance. Many different groups were represented. In the busy, full, restriction free, arena I thought how lucky we were that Covid had, apparently, been and gone in New Zealand. We were soon to find out that relief was false hope.
What struck me about Polyfest 2021 was the pride, joy, professionalism, and beautiful performances provided by the students and wider communities of the Polyfest 2021 event. There must have been significant effort to fashion and craft the colourful costumes worn by the students. The teachers led practices and students supported their peers. Then, young, and older support people joined some of the student groups as they performed on stage. They helped make music, joined the singers and dancers, and generally showed what an extended community working and celebrating together looks like.
Thank you to Kerry Burton without whom I would not have had this opportunity.
I am grateful to the college teachers who gave me permission to photograph Polyfest 2021.
I hope the joy, pride and passion of the students and their community shows through in the photographs I have shared.
Note: these photographs are presented as an 8-minute slide show on a TV screen in the main gallery room, accompanied by mounted prints of two of the photos.
LemonPlastic Fireworks - photos by Ann Kilpatrick
When Liam, my son was young he thought his name was “LemonPlastic” hence the name for his fireworks business.
These photos document some of the work that goes into selling fireworks for just four days, 2 -5 November, each year.
Liam is a licensed pyrotechnician and orders the fireworks early in the year, then eagerly awaits their arrival a short time prior to November sale time. The boxes are heavy, some up to 40kg, so it takes effort to move them off delivery pallets into storage until sale time. We must do this very quickly in case of rain or unexpected customer arrivals as Liam’s business is also based at home like Martin’s Handprint Factory.
These photos reflect the transient nature of firework sales, from temporary locations, outside, in whatever the weather. Firework planning and sales can be challenging. Will the government ban them. Will there be a place to sell from and people to help sell? Will covid shut everything down? And will stock arrive on time?
Note: this series of five mounted photographs is shown in the main gallery room, RH wall, window end.
Three Generations - photographs by Ann Kilpatrick
Martin, my husband, has been printing tee shirts for over three decades. Through the Handprint Factory he serves the local community and a wider online one. His customers, some of whom have been coming to him for three generations within their family, come for tees, which serve as a treasured snapshot, to celebrate or remember events. First and big birthdays, deaths, memorials, reunions, corporate and sports events, the Samoan Tidal Wave, engagements, or other significant events all feature on their shirts. Pacific Island customers almost never come alone, they bring community, their friends, and whanau so they can all agree on what will be printed. Often their children will play on our driveway.
The tee shirts we see on our customers and random strangers provide graphical metadata about the wearer and tell the observer something about the person wearing them.
With these images I want to not only show respect to Martin, his skill as a printer, a patient man, and a mentor for his staff. I also wanted to show our respect for the community around him, the customers who have been coming to Martin for tee shirts for so many years.
Thank you to the customers who allowed me to take their photos.
Note: these mounted photographs are on display in the main gallery room, LH wall, near the windows. There is a series of six photos showing Martin's screen printing factory and five portraits of Handprints customers photographed in the garden by the factory.
Photography Matters II