Thomas Slade - 'Growing up in Silence' 2nD December 2023 to 27 January 2024, Photospace Gallery, Wellington, Aotearoa new Zealand
'Growing up in Silence' opens on Friday 1 December at 5pm and runs until 27 January, 2024. The gallery will be closed over the Christmas-New Year period but viewing by appointment will be available on some days. The gallery website will have the dates on it in due course.
'Growing up in Silence' is Thomas Slade's second solo exhibition at Photospace Gallery, after 'What Brings You Here?' in 2017. He curated the exhibition 'Four x Five x Six' in 2018.
Artist statement & bio below.
I can recall my first encounter with Māori resentment towards colonisation in 1991. I was watching a One News story about the protests at Pākaitore over local Iwi’s claim to that area of land. I can still remember the first thought that occurred to me as a 12 year old Pākehā – “ohh get over it, that was ages ago”. I’m deeply saddened and embarrassed that my culture had fostered such an ignorant and unempathetic position. As a young Pākehā who thought New Zealand was a paradise decorated with cricket pitches and rugby fields, it was my first experience that all was not well in paradise and deep-seated tensions, resulting from colonial injustices remained unresolved.
My experience is not isolated but is symbolic of how many Pākehā navigate their position in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The European control of the historical narrative has worked hard to leave out the destructive practices of colonisation in favour of the more comfortable settler narrative. This has left many of us ignorant and poorly equipped to understand what it means to be Pākehā and to navigate the relations between, and our shared history with Māori.
As I have begun a journey to better understanding my identity as a Pākehā and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand I have confronted the European systems that were established through colonisation. Anne Salmond (p. 2) recognises how these European ‘forms of order’ are so often invisible as they have become the ‘common sense’ and everyday systems we use to structure our lives. Using photography’s strength of representation, I am holding these systems up for critique to highlight how they are culturally designed to serve Pākehā. As observed by Moana Jackson “There is a Westminster constitutional system shaped to serve Pākehā interests in England and then imposed here”. For Māori, this is “a foreign construct”.
I am hoping that by representing this cultural imbalance in the control of power it can prompt other Pākehā to consider their understanding of history and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
- Thomas Slade, 2023
Thomas Slade - bio
I am an artist who works with the medium of photography. I am currently living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, where I am completing a creative PhD at Massey University. My focus as an artist is on creating research-driven bodies of work and my current PhD practice examines my own Pākehā identity and the impact of colonisation in Aotearoa, New Zealand. My photography explores Pākehā culture and examines characteristics such as our rural heritage and relationship to land. I have exhibited my photography throughout New Zealand since 2013. I am an Associate Fellow of Higher Education and Learning (UKPSF Framework) and have over eight years of experience teaching photography at a tertiary level. I find this role to be a great support to my artistic practice and enjoy the opportunity to give back to current students the positive experience I have had in education. My future aims as an artist are to continue working in photography, research and education. Outside of my work I find great balance to the studio by competing in sports and getting lost in the mountains.
New Mythologies, 17-24 October 2023, Ethan Kennedy, Hayley Kilgour, Lucy Pahina, Samuel Scully, Photospace Gallery Wellington Aotearoa NZ
'New Mythologies' continues Photospace Gallery's run of group exhibitions by select graduate students from Massey University's photography degree programme. The exhibition is only showing from Tuesday 17th to Tuesday 24th October, and will be closed on Sunday and Monday (Labour Day).
Ethan Kennedy's video installation is in Gallery Room 3. Samuel Scully, Lucy Pahina and Hayley Kilgour,'s photographs are shown in Gallery Room 1.
“Life loves contradiction – hope must exist within sadness, just as loss always gives way to something new. The photographs raise similarly contradictory questions: on what it means to be young, what it means to be alone. And equally, what it’s like to never be alone – the world always with you, home always with you, your youth always with you.”
- Eva Wyles on Going West.
Going West aims to fantasize the typical developmental narratives of young men within rural settings of Aotearoa / New Zealand. Paying close attention to the quiet routines and rhythms of life in small communities it asks the viewer to imagine a divergent future free of expectations and without bounds.
'The city and its inhabitants are an ever-moving entity within the walls of time. Each person’s perception of public spaces and the time they exist in is subjective. HUSTLE/BUSTLE seeks to capture and critique this amorphous wall of constant movement that has come to be the main way these public spaces are used. Using video effects such as segmentation and visual echo allows the work to visually reinterpret the temporal frame of the footage.'
Culmination of Forms
Culmination of Forms explores and critiques the gaze around, and the perception of the feminine body, whilst also exploring how manipulation of it can shift said gaze and perception. By using photography and digital manipulation to critique the way we see the body, a door is opened for a more in depth discussion on how seeing it in particular ways can alter how we respond and process it.
'As consumers we use multiple senses to determine the quality of a product. Feast aims to shift away from the individuality of commercial photographic genres. The Project serves as a love letter to both food and fashion alike. Inviting viewers to indulge, enjoy and truly Feast.'
This exhibition by Andrew Ross was shown at The Pyramid Club, Taranaki St, Wellington in August this year, but a gap in the Photospace Gallery exhibition schedule came up so we thought it would be worthwhile to show 'Where Music is Made' so that more people can see the photos. The photos in this exhibition date from the 1990s to 2023.
There was an article by Thomasin Sleigh - 'Background Spaces Revealed' - in The Dominion Post, Sat. 26/8/23 but it isn't online anywhere so I've scanned the text and added it here. (scroll down). The photos supplied for the article are the same as the ones above and below. (The installation photo accompanying the article is not included.)
'Where Music is Made' opens at 5pm on Thursday 26th October and runs until 2pm on Saturday 25th November, 2023.
Andrew Ross has exhibited at Photospace Gallery at least annually since 1998. His photographs are in numerous public and private collections in New Zealand and abroad. He works exclusively in black & white, developing his own large format sheet film (mostly 8" x 10") and contact-printing the negatives for the best possible tonality and detail.
Photography Matters II