After two ‘unprecedented’ years of lockdowns, cancelled plans and global uncertainty, a collective of Auckland-based photographers with diverse photographic practices have found similarities in their artistic vision for this exhibition. They have responded to the outward chaos by shifting their focus closer to home; looking more intently at the local, seeing beauty in the everyday. For some it entailed revisiting archives, seeing images anew, and reviving memories of place and identity. The result is a collection of contemplative images with changed perspective, reflective of the shared and individual experiences, old and new.
Though each experience of lockdown was different, all of us turned to photography to express ourselves, to take a deep breath in a time of restriction and find beauty in distressing times. As the world seemed to pause, we too took a step back to contemplate what was important to each of us and how we could share these moments. We reached out to the familiar - the vistas that comforted us, the interrupted journeys, the scenes which echoed our thoughts and feelings. We grounded ourselves in this new disruption, contemplating the changed experiences and reflecting on times past. In our own unique ways, we all sought out open spaces and the small freedoms this allowed us.
This exhibition showcases our individual and yet shared stories: Opening ourselves to the changing moods of coastal landscapes, revisiting memories and refining meaning, observing architecture strangely unpopulated, exploring new perspectives in familiar places, experiencing tranquillity where once there was none.
We hope that in viewing these artworks, you will get a sense of the visual narrative captured in these moments’ past.
Artist talk – Saturday 11th June, 1pm
Mark Burgess, Tony Gorham, Ted Grenfell, Sandrina Huish, Charlotte E. Johnson, Fruzsina Korosy, Stephen Long, David Prentice.
Phocus is a collective of Auckland-based photographers exhibiting Jun 2-14 as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography 2022 at Railway Street Gallery, Newmarket.