Mitchell Bright & Hannah Watkinson
In Situ Photo Project – 22 November – 20 December 2016
Recent Ilam School of Fine Arts graduates Mitchell Bright and Hannah Watkinson are both involved in photographic practice looking at New Zealand’s South Island. Often interpreting the symbolism of suggestions in the landscape their work has the commonality of location. But these artists are engaging with different aspects of these areas, respectively to notions of non-place and place.
Bright’s work here is a selection from his latest book “Through The Trees” which looks at the traces of human interaction on the natural landscape. However people themselves are absent, the focus is instead on the places less frequented by them. The places that exist outside of the mainstream for most, but the human presence can be strongly felt.
Watkinson’s long-term project “The Near Future” documents an area that is effected by decisions and changes in economics and politics happening elsewhere in the country, and further afield than the site-specific place that is photographed. These factors include export prices within extraction industries and government policies that determine employment and the viability of small towns.
Both projects raise more questions than either artist will ever have the answers for.