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The face of Christchurch

11 December 2007

aboutface, a photographic portrait project about identity and the search for a place among the faces of strangers, opens at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu this weekend (15 December).

Christchurch photographer Stephen Trinder has spent 2007 photographing the faces of people in his hometown of Christchurch who responded to advertisements, along with family and friends.

The resulting images – aboutface – is the first of an ongoing series which presents the viewer with the opportunity to study the face of Christchurch at leisure, and imagine where their own faces fit in what has been described as ‘the passing parade’, says Trinder.

"You’re not supposed to stare," he says. "But everyone wants to look – there’s nothing more interesting than other people’s faces. And one of the reasons we want to stare is to compare, to understand where our own face belongs. Whether it’s a question of age, race, or the many variations on beauty, there’s an interest, an intrigue, a need to find our place."

Born in the United Kingdom, Trinder has spent half his life in England and half in New Zealand. His past exhibitions include one man shows at the Showcase, Space and CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art and his work was included in up:date//The Active Eye Contemporary New Zealand Photography. In 2006, his Community Gardening exhibition toured local venues for seven months, with all 30 images published as an accompanying catalogue.

A catalogue of all 50 images of aboutface will be available from the Gallery Shop.

aboutface is at the Christchurch Art Gallery from this Saturday, 15 December to 6 January 2008. Admission free.

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