Tracey kearns - 'Piecemeal' exhibition of Polaroid emulsion-lift photographs, 14 April-6 May 2023, Photospace Gallery, Wellington NZ
'Piecemeal' is the artist's exploration of their experience of trauma and trauma therapy. It is a visual and personal representation of how trauma has affected their sense of self, how it has fragmented and fractured all aspects of the self and bled into all facets of their life. But it also about how recovery from trauma is making sense of ourselves; it is taking the slow process of looking at individual parts of ourselves, our childhoods, our intergenerational trauma, and reforming ourselves back into something whole again, something functional, although never final. The pieces we pick up and rearrange may resemble our old selves, and they often fit together in familiar, sometimes disturbing and unexpected ways.
The artist has shot the series on Polaroid I-Type film, then lifted the emulsions, rearranging and layering them onto watercolour paper.
'Piecemeal' runs from 5pm on Friday 14 April (opening) to Saturday 6th May, 2023, at Photospace Gallery, 1st floor 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington.
Normal gallery hours are 10am-3pm Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm Saturday, closed Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free, artworks are for sale.
Tracey Kearns has shown at Photospace Gallery previously in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Steven La Plante - 'Tools' photographic exhibtion at Photospace Gallery, Wellington, 14 April to 6 May, 2023
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhan
"The tools are not just a functional part of gardening but a connection to the people who have used and treasured them. In my images I see the tools as individuals, as the people who are connected to them, as portraits. They are also connected to people and gardens I know."
'Tools' is Steven La Plante's second exhibition at Photospace Gallery, following 'Monuments' in 2015. The exhibition runs in gallery room 1 from 5pm (opening) on Friday 14th April to 2pm on Saturday 6th May, 2023. Gallery hours are 10am-3pm Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm Saturday, closed Sundays and public holidays.
Steven La Plante was born and raised in the United States to a military family. His father was a professional Army officer who retired as a Lt. Colonel of Artillery. La Plante served in the US Navy during the Vietnam era after which he studied photography in San Francisco. This was followed by a career of over 30 years as an advertising and editorial photographer, notably as a regular contributor to the Listener and NZ House and Garden.
La Plante’s photographs have been included in the Glebe Project, Sydney (1971), The Active Eye Manawatu Art Gallery (1975) and the new millennium publication A Day in the Life of New Zealand (2000). His solo exhibition Monuments was shown at Millennium Gallery (2011) and Photospace, Wellington (2015). This collection of silver gelatin photographs of New Zealand war memorials has since been acquired by the National Library of New Zealand.
La Plante lives and works in the Awatere Valley where he grows wine grapes, with his wife, cat, dog and chickens.
The following was written by Dr Christine Whybrew for Steven's exhibition of this work at the Millennium Public Art Gallery, Blenheim, Oct-Dec 2021
Steven La Plante
Tools: Our Connection to the Garden.
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhan
Whether in the garden, the kitchen, the workshop or the studio, we all understand the value of a good tool. Beyond their utilitarian purpose, tools become allies in our tasks and trades. As a freelance photographer and grape grower, Steven La Plante has observed how inanimate objects can be imbued with significance and character – tools, especially, carry wear and marks from the habits, traits, incidents and accidents of their owner. But they also seem to develop personality of their own.
Some years ago, La Plante became familiar with the photographs of Charles Jones, an English gardener who photographed vegetables, fruit and flowers in the early 20th century. Jones’ life and work has been told through the chance discovery of a trunk of these photographs at an antique market in the 1980s by a photograph collector, Sean Sexton. Jones’ photographs are celebrated not for their technical or artistic prowess, but for the connection they reveal between the photographer and his otherwise unremarkable produce. Rather than still life images, these are portraits.
La Plante was attracted to this portrait quality of Jones’ works and carried the images around in his head for a number of years. What occurred to him was the connection between produce, the tools used to cultivate them and the gardeners. Inspired by Jones’ aesthetic and approach, La Plante’s subjects are the tools that connect their owners to the land and the garden. His project has developed into a typological study, collecting portraits of tools which embody the character of each owner:
The tools are not just a functional part of gardening but a connection to the people who have used and treasured them. In my images I see the tools as individuals, as the people who are connected to them, as portraits. They are also connected to people and gardens I know.
In this series of digital colour photography La Plante has captured tools observed in gardens of friends and associates. Echoing the Victorian portrait composition, La Plante experimented with background and light, arriving at a consistent trope of photographing on location in open shade, against a painted canvas backdrop. This easy method allowed him to photograph his subjects as he found them, with very limited intervention or adjustment.
Unlike Jones’ portraits which capture the ripeness of produce freshly harvested, these tools show scars of use and are coloured by rust and repair. Philosophically, La Plante sees these portraits as a visual metaphor for growing old: “We all start as bright shiny tools and as we age we show the dings, dents and rust that our years of work have wrought on our bodies”. The tools and their owners age together, continuing to be of use until, eventually, one outlives the other.
- Dr Christine Whybrew
Catherine Russ - 'In the Quiet' - 3 March to 6 April 2023 at Photospace Gallery, Wellington Aotearoa NZ
[Uppdated 2pm, 2/3/23]
CATHERINE RUSS – IN THE QUIET
Photospace Gallery, 3 March–6 April, 2023
In the summer of 2018, I began photographing in the early hours of the morning around Palmerston North’s CBD. Often, I would be thinking of friends and family who were living overseas, and I particularly enjoyed posting on social media, images I’d taken that morning. Each time I walked and photographed, a little bit of ‘home’ was channelled to Las Vegas, Birmingham, New York, Berlin etc.
The response was positive and immediate! It became evident that my friends were enjoying this regular insight into life back home. The light, the space, the emptiness … all so normal here. It made me view things differently. I started to gather images that I knew would spike an interest if you were residing in any other place in the world.
In November 2020 I received a grant from the Earle Creativity and Development Trust to help produce this series. The images are largely buildings from a range of small towns and settlements in the regions around Palmerston North.
My preference is to keep things simple. I use minimal gear and like to draw as little attention as possible to my activity. I’m generally in the CBD or Main Street where the space is public, rather than photographing people’s homes. I may only ever walk past a place once and if all the components I’m looking for are there, I’ll spend time creating the shot.
- Catherine Russ, 2023
Special thanks to the individuals listed below who have all helped me complete this series.
Earle Creativity and Development Trust
All photographs were taken between 18 November 2020 – 7 November 2021
Printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin 310gsm
Catherine Russ - Bio
Growing up in Palmerston North, Russ was influenced by the 1975 photography exhibition The Active Eye at the Manawatu Art Gallery, which featured many of New Zealand’s contemporary photographers of the time.
Inspired by her night class tutor, Elam Art Graduate Kathryn McCool, she started photographing in the late 1990s, completing several locally-themed projects for exhibition.
Russ’s work featured in the New Zealand Journal of Photography (Feb 1999) and has been exhibited at New Zealand House in London as well as regional public and private galleries in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
After establishing Thermostat Gallery in Palmerston North in 2001, Russ is finding the time to create her own work again after a lengthy hiatus. Her recent photographic series Park Up was exhibited at Te Manawa (PN) in 2020 and Aratoi (Masterton) in 2021.
Catherine exhibited at Photospace Gallery in 1999 - Shall We Dance? -and in 2002 with her sister Jo Russ - Getting Personal - as well as in several group exhibitions.
Photography Matters II