We are delighted to announce that we have added an additional visual arts element to the already packed 2013 festival programme. The exhibition by Christchurch photographer Doc Ross was inspired by the February 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. It features portraits of artists, writers and other members of the local arts community who, like all residents of the city, were profoundly affected by the events of 22nd February 2011.
Called simply ’37’ the inspiration for the portraits came from the duration in seconds of the quake that shook Christchurch to its core and the effects of which still resonate both physically in terms of the city’s appearance and emotionally amongst the people who were affected.
Each of the 37 photographs were exposed for 37 seconds and are accompanied by 37 words written by each individual subject to describe their own personal experiences.
Speaking about his latest work, Doc Ross said, “Each person was asked to sit totally still in a chair and support their head while a 37 second exposure multiple image portrait was made of them. Some people moved a lot, while others were frozen to the spot, which reflects the way people reacted differently to the violent shaking.
“The results are not necessarily how the sitter, or their friends even, see them, instead they are records of how we looked and felt in the aftermath of the earthquakes. It is my hope that these unmasked, intense and revealing portraits, along with those condensed experiences of the moment our city changed forever, will remind us how effecting an event like this is.”
The exhibition will take place in the Armstrong Room of the Lake Wanaka Centre for the duration of the festival, 16-21 April. Entry is by gold coin donation. It was previously on display at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pukenga Whakaata in Wellington.