Auckland Festival of Photography, 31st May to 16th June

3 years ago by

Aotearoa’s largest photography festival is set to kick off its 16th year.  The 2019 Auckland Festival of Photography launches this week in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. This city-wide contemporary art and cultural event takes place within Auckland’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites. The programme includes a mix of emerging and established artists and comprises existing works and the creation of new work. The annual Festival is produced by the Auckland Festival of Photography Trust.

Full details about what’s on offer can be found at:

This article is proudly brought to you by mychillybin.

The Auckland Festival of Photography aims to reflect the diversity of the population and  make photography as accessible as possible to both its creators and its consumers. So, alongside some of New Zealand’s top photographers and the internationally renowned photographers who the festival brings to our shores, you’ll also find exhibitions with a more local focus in galleries and public spaces scattered throughout the city.

This year, the festival’s theme is Fissure. Guest curator Jessica Lim says of the theme, “The notion of a divide or a chasm, no matter how narrow, has a tendency for negative connotations. In exploring Fissure, I’ve looked at the gaps and spaces that concern us, both within and without, some real but mostly imaginary. I’ve done so with the understanding that light emanates from darkness, and the very same thing that can swallow you can also be the thing that you emerge from.”

The theme presents itself in variable ways, whether it’s a political fissure, as seen in Living with the Hugo Chávez Legacy by Venezuelan photojournalist Alejandro Cegarra; the fissure between experience and memory, as seen in The Storm in the Morning by Su Jiehao of China; its nuclear connotations, as in Fukushima Dolls by Rob Gilhooly; or the real geographical fissures present in Mark Purdom’s Whakaari / White Island.


Design Assembly’s highlights for this year’s festival are:

24 hours, one day, one city

Scheduled for Saturday 8th June 2019. Aucklanders are asked to capture an image which reflects their City. “Auckland Photo Day is conversational, it allows anyone, anywhere in Auckland to share their perspectives of our region. It creates democratic visual conversations about the place we live, work and play. We want to see the fascination in the everyday, what is supringsly different and what is comfortingly familiar. This event celebrates the many individual pockets of culture and identity present in New Zealand’s biggest city by building cultural currency. Whilst celebrated in a spirit of fun this event also fulfills the important role of documenting our life right here and now in the world we live in. A DAY IN THE LIFE of Auckland. Look at Auckland through some new eyes and show us your vision.”

Fissure – Living With Hugo Chavez Legacy

Part of the Digital Screens initiative for 2019, the Festival is excited to present Award winning photojournalist, Alejandro Cegarra to share his internationally acclaimed series, ‘Living with Hugo Chavez Legacy’, which features the aftermath in Venezuela ,four years after the country’s decline into chaos following the death of long time leader Chavez. This seering and provactive work will be shown as a projection ‘Living with Hugo Chavez Legacy’, funded by the Magnum Foundation.

“It happens every day, as sure as the sun rises over the biggest favela in Latin America in Caracas — death is one of the few guaranteed things you can find in Venezuela.”

The screening is being supported by Alejandro’s attendance at the Talking Culture presented by Leica series where he will take part in a panel discussion on ‘Fissure’ theme on Saturday 1st June at 2pm.

After working for a year at an advertising agency called Creative Army and only viewing photography as a hobby, Alejandro decided to pursue photography more fully. In early 2013, he started filling in for other photographers at the largest newspaper in Venezuela, Ultimas Noticias. Simultaneously he worked for two other newspapers, Ciudad Caracas and 2001. Since that same year until the present , Alejandro has been working as a stringer for Associated Press,New York Times, Washington Post, Paris Match, Stern, Pulitzer Center, Sunday Times Magazine, Veja, Univision, NPR, US News and World Report and has been published in other major media outlets as,TIME, L’ Express and LFI. Alejandro started getting recognition for his work with winning the Leica Oskar Barnack newcomer 2014 Award. He is currently based in Mexico City.

Fissure – Whakaari / White Island

31 May – 8 June Whakaari / White Island, Artists – Mark Purdom, Paul Nelson and Kent Macpherson collaborate on an audio-visual work titled Whakaari/White Island, which pays homage to the majesty of the active volcano. A study of the physicality and brutality of the place by examining the tiniest of parts.

Mark Purdom’s photographic work, while a commentary on people’s influence on the environment, also plays with our concept or arguably our preconceptions of the picturesque.

Mark studied for his Masters Photography at the University of Brighton, England. He is a lecturer at the School of Media Arts, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Digital Screens – Bobbie Gray (NZ) + Nat Van Halle (Ned/NZ)

10 June – 16 June Studio One Toi Tu

Bobbie Gray – Digital Garden

Bobbie Gray is an Auckland-based artist whose work explores the tension between the natural environment and mediated reality, along with an ongoing investigation surrounding the nature of perception. Digital Garden aims to create a new botanical universe, a place between dreams and reality. The work encompasses contradictions of the real and unreal, attraction and repulsion. By placing viewers in the heart of a reinvented nature, the work attempts to create a symbiosis between art, nature and us. Scavenged organic materials are utilised together with shifts in scale and lighting to create believable yet entirely artificial environments. Moving image is used as a tool to explore how context and framing shape the meaning and experience of an artwork. By filming these scenarios in real time, the intention is to give the work a moment of ambiguity, that deals with the idea of image culture, and the replacing of direct experience with simulacra.

The movement of each element in and out of the overall sequence suggests that what we see is only part of the work, the rest must be mentally reconstructed and in this way we project our vision beyond the “frame” of the artwork. In opposition to the unrelenting pace of digital existence, this new botanical universe unfolds in a slow mesmerising fashion, intended to create an environment of meditative contemplation. By using technology to modify the perception of reality, the work subverts the truth-telling qualities of real world recording, encouraging viewers to spend time with these traces of material and action.

Nat Van Halle – Nature

Nat’s work captures the beauty above and below our wild oceans. She uses her camera to explore the abstract beauty of the planet’s seas, highlighting its textures and illuminating still moments of an otherwise turbulent force of nature.

Digital Screens – David Vale (NZ)

31 May – 8 June, Studio 541“Since immigrating to Auckland over 20 years ago, my family have lived in close proximity to One Tree Hill. Always a short walk away, the kids have grown up with One Tree Hill as a backdrop. Family pick-nicks, walks, bicycle rides and family photos. When I was looking for a personal photography project One Tree Hill seemed the obvious choice. I have attempted to show the many different ways people enjoy One Tree Hill through the medium of black and white photography. Hope you enjoy the show.”

White Studios; Washed Up by XXX

Protect, Resist, Transform

White Studios in association with the AIPA and Greenpeace presents a group exhibition showcasing new artworks created by some of New Zealand’s leading photographers. All proceeds from print sales will be donated to Greenpeace. Opens 6:30pm on Friday 31 May and runs to the 2nd of June.



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