What became known as the Kaikoura earthquake struck at 2 minutes after midnight on 14 November 2016. I was leaving a plane in Canberra as the earthquake struck and my husband had just landed in Wellington, my son was home alone. I realised the impact as residents lit up Facebook, marking themselves safe, all around New Zealand, it was a big one.
When I returned home to Wellington, and to work in Thorndon a couple of weeks later, the area was like a war zone. There were buildings wrapped up for refurbishment, new builds in progress and a number of buildings cordoned off due to actual or potential earthquake damage. The nine-storey building at 61 Molesworth Street suffered significant damage and was in the process of demolition. Across the road, our building was closed due to the proximity of the demolition of 61 Molesworth Street. We did not return to our office for about a month.
It became apparent that the Kaikoura earthquake impacted many sites near Thorndon; some harbour front buildings, NZDF Headquarters, the BNZ building, Statistics House and Revera House. More recently, Wellington people were advised that St Paul’s Church is damaged and the City Library is now closed due to potential failure in an Earthquake.
I wonder why there is no obvious “relief package” or other high level acknowledgement of the impact of the Kaikoura earthquake upon Wellington infrastructure and its people. Many buildings across Wellington, and the Hutt City, were damaged, many people were displaced from their offices and homes. Many are less comfortable working in the high rise buildings in the CBD.
There was story to tell as the buildings in Thorndon, and across Wellington, came down. I began to photograph them, and the people working on the demolitions, as I travelled to and from work.
The photographs in this series show a number of the Wellington buildings impacted by the Kaikoura earthquake. Thanks to James Gilberd, John Williams and Gil Eva Craig for the guidance and support along the way.
Hi Viz people
Hi Viz people are everywhere across New Zealand, on our state highways, country roads and in suburban streets. They include the “Stop Go” men and women of New Zealand. Powerful people in charge of streams of travellers from one end of the country to the other. They work in all kinds of weather in conditions less luxurious than other workers enjoy in the towns and city streets of New Zealand.
In Wellington, others are in their bright gear putting up scaffolds and demolishing the buildings damaged by the Kaikoura earthquake.
What do we know about these people who tell us when we must slow, stop and go? Men, women, different ethnicities, engineers, labourers, young and old. Some smile and wave as travellers go by, despite the heat, dust, rain or cold. I wonder what their stories are? The Hi Viz people are gone from view once the job is done, their impact and contribution invisible to all.
These photographs were taken as we passed by some of our Hi Viz people working throughout New Zealand. They are drive by photos which seek to acknowledge the Hi Viz people, their contribution and impact.
Ann has recently stopped working in the public sector and now has more time to pursue her interests beyond the discipline of 9 – 5 full time employment. She has been developing her interest in photography and learning from established photographers in Wellington. She is interested in all types of photography with a leaning towards, documentary, street and landscape photography.
This is Ann’s first exhibition. It runs in conjunction with an exhibition by Gil Eva Craig from 4th to 19th October, 2019, at Photospace Gallery, 1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington NZ.
'Pin-ups' group exhibition
One photo each - a colour photo, unmounted, just pinned to the wall - by Dan Anbury, Hans Weston, James Gilberd, Thomas Slade, John Williams, and Helen Mitchell.
Runs 13th to 28th September in gallery room 4, alongside the DCM exhibition.
DCM group exhibition - 'Together we can end homelessness in Wellington' - Fri. 13th Sept to Sat. 28th Sept. 2019
‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’
- Mahatma Gandhi
The Downtown Community Ministry (DCM) has been working in the city of Wellington since 1969 to “focus on the needs of, and to help empower, those marginalised in the city” (quotation from DCM official constitution). In 2019 DCM will celebrate 50 years of working with the most marginalised people in Wellington. DCM has also adopted the by-line “Together we can end homelessness in Wellington” and to mark their 50 year milestone, the exhibition together we can end homelessness in Wellington will be a curated selection of 50 images by different photographers of what “together we can end homelessness in Wellington” looks like. The exhibition is designed to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and the responses of DCM and its numerous supporters and stakeholders. Too often mainstream media coverage around the issue of homelessness concentrates on those who are sleeping in the streets and begging in doorways. While this highlights some people’s experience of homelessness, it doesn’t identify or offer solutions or support to resolve the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, neither does it offer suggestions to concerned New Zealanders as to how they might respond to homelessness.
The exhibition will be positive and aspirational in nature and will include but is not limited to documenting the contributions including the annual DCM Book fair, community and professional groups who contribute food, expertise and volunteer their time to DCM as well as of people who have experienced homelessness and now have an opportunity to support others. 50 photographers with wide-ranging backgrounds and expertise will each contribute one photograph to mark each year of DCM’s community contribution. The photographers include academics, professional and artists. The exhibition selection will be curated by Senior Lecturer and Photographer Helen Mitchell from Massey University, Photographer and Educator John Williams, Photographer and Curator James Gilberd, and Michelle Scott from DCM.
The photographers who contributed to this exhibition are:
Helen Mitchell, James Gilberd, John Williams, Chris Coad, Mary Hutchinson, Craig Thomson, Catherine Cattanach, Gabrielle McKone, Dean Zillwood, Daniel Mooney, Jessica O’Brien, Emma Robinson, Mark Beehre, Antony Kitchener, Chris Bing, Pat Shepherd, Tam Webster.
'Together we can end homelessness in Wellington' runs from Friday 13th to Saturday 28th September, 2019, at Photospace Gallery.
Hours are 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, 11am-4pm Saturdays. Closed Sundays and public holidays.
For further information, please contact James Gilberd at Photospace Gallery, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington - (04) 382 9502 after 10am, 027 444 3899, email@example.com
Exhibition info on the DCM site.
Article in Dominion Post 'Capital Day' 16th Sept 2019
Photography Matters II