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Evocations of a Fading World

27 June 2008

Laurence Aberhart is one of New Zealand foremost photographers, and this major exhibition brings together 210 of his works spanning the last four decades.  Among them are signature images of landscapes, facades, monuments and interiors from New Zealand, Australia and further afield.

Using a 100-year old view camera, Aberhart produces images which are steeped in the history not only of his subjects but also of his chosen medium. 

The exhibition features church interiors, marae, monuments, Masonic lodges and a number of photographs of Canterbury (where he lived for most of the 1970s). Thanks to his use of long exposures sometimes lasting more than an hour, Aberhart’s interiors and landscapes often glow with an otherworldly light.

This is the most comprehensive exhibition of Aberhart’s work so far from this major international figure.  It brings together 14 thematic clusters of work, which together form a sustained meditation on knowledge, history, faith and culture.  The photographs offer a journey through the heart and soul of New Zealand.

This exhibition is being toured by Wellington’s City Gallery.

Christchurch Art Gallery Director Jenny Harper says she welcomes the similarities and the contrasts that are brought by the Aberhart exhibition being staged alongside the “somewhat giddying” exhibition of works by New Zealand-born Daniel Crooks.  “The two artists – one well-established as a senior artist, the other with a strong following in Australia but still emerging here – use the related media of photography and video.  They both create a sense of depth and stillness or the slowing of time in their works.”


The Laurence Aberhart exhibition will be at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu from 18 July to 12 August 2008.


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