Dunedin artist Michael O'Kane returns to Photospace Gallery with this exhibition of recent work, 'Just Playing'. Again working with the idea of digitally compositing photos of old model toys into photos of New Zealand landscape (all his own photographs), he has expanded the range of toys from his 2012 exhibition, 'On Assignment', to include model trains and military aircraft. The compositing is done skillfully - photographing the toys in the same light quality as the landscape and adding appropriate shadows, etc - but he deliberately shies off being seamlessly realistic so that once you've studied the first photo for a short time you will know what you're looking at. The photos are novel and fun on the surface, but, in some cases, such as in the poster image above, 'Stealth', gently open into a more sinister discussion of possible futures and alternative pasts.
'Just Playing' contains three bodies of new work:
Michael O'Kane has a fine arts degree from Otago Polytechnic, and has taught on their fine arts degree programme. He has had solo exhibitions in a number of galleries; for example The Eastern Southland Gallery in 2012 and 2017, The Forrester Gallery, The Suter Gallery, the Inge Doesburg Gallery, the MacAtamney Gallery, Photospace in Wellington in 2012, and the Robert Piggott Gallery in Dunedin. A number of Mike’s works are held in public and private collections.
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Photography Matters II