“Throw a stone into a pond and soon after the last ripple reaches the bank the disturbance passes in to stillness. The faces in Nigel Swinn’s ‘Still’ series have achieved a varying degree of repose. The memory of disturbance sits just a layer down from the surface of the facial surfaces. Stillness is magnified by the stunning size of these images. The usual distance between object and viewer is shut down. One enters the face as one might a landscape. The face loses its particularity. Everything turns to tone and texture, and limpidity. It is the face at rest, alone with itself.”
Tipene’s World : Closed Eyes
Tipen'e’s World : Open Eyes
Moana’s World : Looking Up
Tiki : Love Hurts
Tipene : Open Eyes
Tiki : Hands Up
Eddy : Closed Eyes
Rainbow’s Open Eyes
New Zealand can be a stunningly beautiful land of course. But for every gentle pasture and white sandy beach there are twice as many unforgiving rocky peaks and bleak iron-sand coastlines. We love the stark determination of black when we wear it on the world’s stage and punch above our weight. We’re inspired by it still when we see an ominous horizon or a granite rock face, knowing there’s a vein of silver to be found there - as long as you look hard and work harder.
‘Black’ is a series from my travels in and around New Zealand - enjoying the darker dimensions of Aotearoa and its capacity to strengthen and enrich those of us who live here.
Minaret Peak, Southern Alps
THE TEARS OF THINGS
The Tears of Things is a photographic exhibition exploring the way we see and judge people beyond the face they present us. In Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid, he describes Aeneas viewing a painting of the Trojan Wars and being touched by “the tears of things” - the reminder that feeling the pain of others should unite us rather than divide us and inspire us all to create a more human world for the common good of future generations. The first part of this series uses three prominent Maori figures; the wrongly convicted Teina Pora; the hip hop artist Tiki Taane; and Moana Ormsby, a cultural consultant at New Zealand’s National Library. Each a story of the challenges in how we see others, and how hard they’ve fought to see themselves.
“Her face was like a map to a secret place”
“I wanted to run my fingers over the grooves”
“We look forward to the challenges as Maori, and as women”
Victim of injustice, or just a rat-bag from South Auckland?
“The first 11 years of prison were the hardest”
Free now, but still living with a sentence that can’t be overturned.
“Am I Maori enough… or too Maori?”
Scratching at the surface with music and tattoos
“If I survived growing up in the Pakeha world, I can survive anywhere”
Tiki and the Tears of Things
The tears of things, though they break a person’s heart, do not deprive a person of the will to live or a sense of moral courage.
The sadness of things does not breed morbid pessimism or cold indifference, but deepens a person’s moral awareness and sensitizes the heart.