Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Protest

This photo was taken by Andrew Ross last time we had Mayoral elections in this town. I believe the message in the graffiti is suggesting that (then as now) Mayor Kerry Prendergast doesn't really give two hoots about Wellington. That is only my reading of it however.

It's a nice work by Mr. Ross. However, for reasons we're not too sure about the council people refused to let it be included in his hang for IntensCITY.

The work in Intens CITY was supposed to be pointed, political, contentious, and controversial. Sadly the powers that be weren't too happy for that to be the case so close to elections.

A complete body of work by Andy Morley-Hall was also refused, despite the best efforts of our council advocate.

Andy shot all these in London. The intention was to have them up in Garrett St, next door to the newly (horribly) revamped Glover Park. Why? Because Glover Park was/is renowned as a place where Wellington's homeless congregated. See here and here for more info, here for the council side (I especially like the euphemistic 4th paragraph), and here for a related censorship of public art.

Beautiful and sad photos by Andy. They would have looked so good in Garrett Street. Thanks bloody Mayoral elections. Thanks for censoring our Art.

(For the sake of fairness I should say that word about Andy's work was that if it wasn't for the elections we would have seen it up in Garrett St.)

And, in a related story, another curatorial project I'm involved in with the council (one I've also kept fairly quiet about) has also been hit by election issues. This time the revamp of a park has been delayed due, we have been told, to the fact that they (someone!) didn't want work happening during the election period in case it swayed voters. Crikey, sounds to me like someone out there is just a mite paranoid.

Friday, 28 September 2007

The 3200

For a while now I've been thinking about doing a project with the 4x5. A special project. A project based around the fact that I'm handholding the camera. I'm kinda thinking street photography stuff, almost certainly I'd take a more traditional documentary approach.

The one idea I had would have required me shooting in low light. Handheld! On 4x5!!

So with that in mind I thought I should do a wee film test thing. These shots are taken on TMax400 pushed to 3200 (so that I can shoot at 1/500th and thereby, hopefully, negate any camera shake). The exposure was off cos I was really close focussed and didn't take into account any bellows factor, but besides that it all worked. There's a nice graininess on the film - not that you can really tell here. And we all know the reason for shooting large format is to accentuate the grain, don't we.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Aotea

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Colour

Those regular readers of mine will have noted yesterday while referring to IntensCITY 2007 I stated that "a number of sites have already been hit by nasty people wanting to destroy all our hard work. Admittedly that was the hope ..."

This is one of those destructions.

And bloody beautiful it is too. But some folk couldn't stop with just putting up stickers.

They did a nice job of it too.

That's another sticker in the same location but not on the IntensCITY work. A bit of clever graffiti is always cool.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Secret

Cos I'm a secretive guy, I don't really give too much away about what I'm working on at any given time. Honestly, regardless of the openness I seem to display here I still hold a lot awfully close to my chest. Secretive, see.

Anyway, because of that most of you won't know about my involvement in this. Apparently IntensCITY 2007 is a week-long programme of events aimed at celebrating Wellington's urban spaces.

Here's the cover of the booklet. If you see one around town, pick one up.

While it doesn't actually state it anywhere, I 'curated' a part of the programme. The part shown below in fact.

And by 'curated' I mean I organised (most of) the photographers. (John came on at the 11th hour, and while it was my idea to include him, it wasn't me who approached him for reasons I now forget.) But it seems that curation and organisation are often one and the same (I've certainly been in some poorly curated, but well organised shows), and if I can add the IntensCITY 2007 Urban Critique to my (growing) list of curatorial experiences then that suits me fine. (Wow, that paragraph was parenthesis heaven (or overkill depending on your point of view).)

And if you can't get your hands on a copy of the book, but want to check out the art anyway, here's the map. You will notice, naturally, that I have included my own work in the show. It's good to see some of it out there - this stuff especially.

Of course, because I am blogging this now - even though it went up last week - a number of sites have already been hit by nasty people wanting to destroy all our hard work. Admittedly that was the hope, but I'd suggest if you're at all interested in seeing it, do it soon cos it may not last for much longer.

Monday, 24 September 2007

The Dated

Being the wild and crazy guy I am, I've been playing with shooting the 4x5 handheld. It's rather awkward actually. Not only can you not see what's in frame when the film's loaded (what with it being a view camera and all), trying to pull the darkslide out without upsetting the positioning of the camera is rather tricky.

Anyway, this is the first shot I did. I used my new back and some polaroid I scored off someone years ago. And the exposure was a bit of a guess.

All up I think it was a success - wrong colours and burnt out sky, little bit of a rock'n'roll angle. I'm a true pro.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Head

This is The Head Pt.III, following The Head Pt.I and The Head Pt.II quite logically enough. This instalment contains exciting news. Here's a longer story. And here's the commiserations of the losers. Ha ha.

I'd like to claim some small part in the victory. But I can't. All I did was take some photos and put them on this damned blog.

These two images, however, are from my second ever (non-cafe) solo show way back in 2003. They were both taken around Te Raekaihau Point, hence their inclusion here.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The Scarred

A few years ago, May 2003 to be exact, I underwent minor surgery. Here's the result. Nice.

I had a mole above my right eye, and while it wasn't a melanoma, and wasn't the right sort of mole to indicate skin cancer, it had grown significantly over the previous few years, and I had two doctors (a GP and a dermatologist) tell me that while it was never going to be harmful, it was best to get rid of it cos if I didn't I'd spend the rest of my life having to answer other doctors' questions about it.

That's great reasoning from our medical fraternity - get rid of it now so we don't piss you off later.

Needless to say I bought their reasoning and had the surgery, hence the photos. There's still a little of the scar remaining, but it has always been kinda hidden by the arm of my glasses - handy things them.

In other completely unrelated news, my latest review is now online at Lumiere.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The Icons

Thursday, 20 September 2007

The Peach

The other day I bought a new toy from TradeMe. It was one of these. I already have one, but it's older and very unreliable. Along with my new 545i, I also received most of a box of colour polaroid. Considering the film alone costs almost $200, the fact that I got the lot for less than $100 was a bargain. Thanks TradeMe. And the kind seller.

Naturally I had to try it out as soon as I got it home. That's a shot at the top. The one above is almost the same but I tilted up a fraction.

This is my first real attempt at polaroid transfer. Seeing as I didn't have much of an idea of what I was doing it's not too bad. It's bad. But not too bad.

I do have a regular reader who is more experienced in the process, but she doesn't seem to have any on her website.

And while we're still on this polaroid trip, here's a cool polaroid site - especially if you are a polaroid shooter.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Rothko

So, you know, I assume that most of you guys what read this have been following the various random storylines I have going on. And that you are actually interested in the crap I write. Today we head back to polaroid territory linking back to this posting.

The camera I took roadtripping with me at the beginning of the month was my trusty Polaroid Square Shooter 2 bought from Cash Converters in Hamilton back in 2004 on the way to Auckland to see Sonic Youth in concert. It's a lovely camera, but I bought the last stock of film from WPS ages ago and it's proving difficult to source more what with it not being made anymore.

Still it takes lovely shots. So lovely that when we passed through Woodville and stopped at my favourite secondhand shop there, I bought another Polaroid Square Shooter 2.

But back to before then, here are the first two shots I took when I got the thing up and running again, i.e. put some film in it.

It's quite easy to claim that anything vaguely abstract with strong lines and colours is like Rothko - that's why I've done exactly that - but I like my take on it, utilising characteristics of the polaroid to create something a little more unique. The second shot, however, is just rubbish. I'm not even sure anything was exposed on the film.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Famous

I don't know why it is but the latter half of this year has seen a regression in my photography. Gone is the crispness of 120 and 4x5, and in is the crapness of polaroid and 110.

On my most recent trip to Wanganui I picked up another 110 camera - from the same place I picked up my first one. I had to pay for this one though. A whole $5. The list price was $8. Bargain. It's a Hanimex Tele 110TF. It's a telephoto 110 camera!! Why!!! What's the point?!! And it has a built in flash. That's useful.

So including the Kodak Pocket Instamatic 300 I threw away and later retrieved (yes I couldn't live with the knowledge I had a camera in the rubbish bins amongst decomposing vegetable scraps and milk cartons), I now have three of these pieces of rubbish. Cool.

Look for a show of my over-enlarged shots of nothingness coming to a gallery near you soon.

Here's a picture of somebody famous just to tide you over until that show.

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Lost

Maps are very useful. Not only can they help you get from A to B, they can also help you find yourself if you're lost. But maybe the most exciting things maps can do is point out places you've not been to cos you didn't know they existed, but which sound well worth the detour.

This is one of those spots. It was well worth the detour. The evening I arrived I made this image. The next morning I made these images - shot on transparency which was very exciting (for me anyway cos I don't do it nearly often enough).

Sunday, 16 September 2007

The Found

A couple of weeks ago, coming home from the opening, we passed through Woodville and stopped at my favourite secondhand shop there. Inside I found one of those 110 cameras - not the one in this link, but a Kodak version.

Inside was a roll of film - exposed, but not processed. The camera cost me $1. I took it home, took the film out and threw the camera away. The next day I got the film processed and this is what was on it.

I've know idea where or when these photos were taken but my guess is somewhere in the Wairarapa in the early 1980s. If you recognised anybody in there let me know.