More Photographs of Buildings and Food. Group Show.
Snow White Gallery. May
Snow White Gallery is a small and intimate space which is hidden away in Pt Chevalier at Unitec’s campus. Although relatively overlooked the gallery hosts a wide range of interesting and engaging exhibitions and as a graduate of Unitec I have been privy to almost all of these.
The current offering is a group show called More photographs of Buildings and Food which as the title suggests is about exactly that. The exhibition features work from established artists who are also on the teaching staff at Unitec – there is a range of themes and concepts explored throughout which feels a little random at times but there are some definite standouts.
Edith Amituanai’s large scale photograph of two young girls, dressed formally in matching black dresses attracts the eye immediately. There is a familiarity to Amituanai’s images, she is inspired by her surroundings and the people that inhabit it and although we may not know exactly what is going on or come from pacific heritage they are still relatable. We were all young once and can at one point remember awkwardly posing for our parents in the lounge room as they snapped away, trying to capture a moment in a time of our lives that are forever changing.
In the smaller room of the two spaces Marie Shannon’s video piece The Aachen Faxes sits relatively out of the way on a monitor but the haunting cello sounds that accompany the piece fill the whole room. As you enter you are instantly drawn to what is creating that sound and from a show that is predominantly still imagery, her work stands out as the only moving and text based work. I have seen this work online before but never in real life and it is as equally as moving in the flesh as I had hoped. It is in its simplicity that the real beauty lies, white text on a black background slowly fades in and out along to the music. The messages are clearly personal with mentions of longing and love and it is with each that we come to realise they are from a lover.
You do not need to know as the viewer that these are in fact from Shannon’s partner Julian Dashper, the message is clear. They are from a time gone by, a memento of a person’s life and the connections still left by their departure.
Neil Finlay and Karen Crisp bring a sense of New Zealand in their photographs; Crisp’s absolutely breath-taking large format photograph of a misty lake harks back to the awe inspiring paintings of colonial New Zealand and Finlay reminds us of our own country’s history with his photographs of past historical sites and the remnants still left there.
Although at times problematic More photographs of Buildings and Food displays a wonderful range of photography with each artist being able to tell their story in a quiet and contemplative setting.
Photo Credit: Talia Smith