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Photographs by Gavin Hipkins and Peter Peryer at Wairarapa gallery

Press Release – Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, in partnership with City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, is delighted to present ‘Gone Home’, an exhibition curated by Robert Leonard and Gavin Hipkins, showcasing photographs by Hipkins and Peter Peryer in a game of visual snap.

Auckland photographer Gavin Hipkins and City Gallery Wellington Chief Curator Robert Leonard will give a free public talk at Aratoi on Saturday 7th March at 11am. The opening is Friday 6th March from 5.30pm. All welcome.

“A centrepiece of the exhibition at Aratoi is the 80-photograph frieze The Homely II by Gavin Hipkins,” said Aratoi Director Susanna Shadbolt. “Aratoi is honoured to exhibit this body of work, taken over 16 years, from 2001 to 2017. The images are of New Zealand (Hipkins’ home) and the United Kingdom (the homeland).”

Hipkins describes The Homely II as a ‘Victorian melodrama’ with things out of place. A key image is The Homely: Clandon (Hinemihi): a 19th century Māori meeting house transposed into the English countryside.

At Aratoi, The Homely II will be accompanied by a selection of some 50 photographs by Peter Peryer, including such classics as Self Portrait (1977), My Parents (1979), Frozen Flame (1982), Bluff (1985), Dead Steer (1987), Trout, Lake Taupo (1987), and Home (1991).

The exhibition takes its title from a Peryer photo of a gravestone inscribed ‘Gone Home’.

Photographers Hipkins and Peryer belong to different generations. Peryer emerged in the 1970s, worked in analogue, with single images of single subjects, and primarily in black-and-white, while Hipkins spanned the transition into the digital and tends to create installations that feature repetition of imagery.

Chief Curator Robert Leonard of City Gallery Wellington, which is touring ‘Gone Home’ in New Zealand and Australia, says the similarities between the two artists are significant. “They are tourists of photography, taking photos on their travels, while simultaneously touring the history, conventions, and concerns of photography itself, as if it were akin to a landscape.” They both choose subjects frequently photographed, “echoing photos and photographers that went before them. Their work has a haunted, déjà vu quality.”

Before Wairarapa, the show was on display in Auckland (Te Uru) and Christchurch (COCA); after Aratoi, it will travel to Sydney (Centre of Contemporary Art).

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