Thanks to Chris Davies for showing ‘The Tears of Things’ at his La Cienega Boulevard gallery in Los Angeles. Chris also runs the LA Photo Independent Fair and I met him when he featured my STILL work at the fair in 2015. We had a great opening with a good mix of Los Angelenos and Kiwi expats who were enthralled by a local Maori group - Nga Anahera Maori - with a Karanga, Waiata and a Haka. They were awesome - especially as they were mostly US citizens now and call themselves Amaoricans. My appreciation also to LensCulture, the big online photographic magazine for profiling the images. At last count the image of Moana had received 10,000 likes (not that I’m counting of course).
I opened an exhibition called 'Living Life in Layers' on October 9 in Auckland after agreeing to photograph a series of incurable breast cancer sufferers to raise funds for SWEET LOUISE - an agency dedicated to helping these women - and men! The challenge with these images is to get people to look closer at what it is to be living life with incurable breast cancer - so that we all may better understand what can be done to help.
Ten subjects are exhibited - 9 women and 1 man. Since I completed the series three of them, Mata, Cherie and Max have passed away, but I hope the images and their use will serve not only to grow our support for agencies like SWEET LOUISE but also act as a reminder of the dignity and spirit of these ordinary people that have acquired an extraordinary view of life.
A GOOD REVIEW IN THE NZ HERALD FROM TJ MCNAMARA FOR STILL LIFE;
"Photographs shown by Nigel Swinn are of the kind that seize a moment and situations in time and place that have unique qualities. These opportunities result in works that are not snapshots but considered images that give the moment a sense of timelessness.
Swinn opens a crate sent to him and there, surrounded by clouds of white cotton wool, is a perfect specimen of a tui. It makes an impressive image. He finds a rabbit floating in his pond. The water is clear so the animal is floating serenely in space, its colour rhyming with the rocky floor of the pond.
The images insist on reality but embody an element of the surreal. How many millions of tourists have taken shots of the gardens at Versailles? Swinn's winter photographs of the trimmed hedges bare of leaves and the promenades empty of people are brilliantly sharp and offer a stillness that is almost palpable."
This year's Auckland Art Fair was held at Auckland's Cloud and Kathlene Fogarty and her FHE Galleries used my large image of Tiki Taane's 'Hands' as a centerpiece.
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TO NO ONE DENY JUSTICE
In early August, my exhibition called NO FREE MAN opened at The Gus Fisher Gallery on Auckland's Shortland Street. Two of the exhibition's subjects, Teina Pora and Louise Nicholas, made it along to the opening and were honoured by the gathered intelligentsia, and rightly so. But a number of other subjects couldn't make it. They are still serving sentences for a range of serious crimes - some in the high security unit in Christchurch.
I was approached by Erin Griffey and Linda Tyler from the Auckland University to collaborate on this project as a New Zealand perspective on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and our modern rule of law.
I visited Christchurch mens' and womens' prisons, met and photographed a number of offenders. I spent a day with rape victim and advocate Louise Nicholas, and a weekend with Teina Pora fresh from his release after 21 years in prison, wrongly accused. A triptych of Teina showing the three distinct emotions of his story - confusion, loss and reprieve - became the centerpiece of the exhibition. For my part I don't think I'll ever forget the way he started his account of his imprisonment..."It was the first 11 years that were the hardest".
It's hard to truly relate their stories. I was interviewed on 3 News and by Eva Radich on the Concert Programme and I doubt I did my subjects any favours. Thankfully, their faces tell a better story than I ever can.
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