My Place-1

Glenn Busch – Bruce Connew – Uiga Bashford – Maria Buhrkuhl – Hanne Johnsen – Dean Kozanic – Tim Veling

In Situ Photo Project – 19 February – 25 March 2016


Place is important to us all. We each have somewhere comforting we go when we need time to lick our wounds. A special place to inhabit and contemplate, to share a laugh within. This place might be under a tree. It could be a bookshop, a bay, a bathtub, or a bar. It might be a sitting room, a home, or a suburb. Or a city, where it feels as though everything is going to be alright.

Five years on from the earthquake that changed our city forever, we reflect on the places that people loved so much in Christchurch. A lot of these places will be a memory now, and some of the people may have moved on. This is why I encourage you to consider your place. The same questions that brought this work to fruition still apply-where is it that comes to mind when you’re asked to think about a place that’s significant to you? What makes one place more important to you than the other? What’s your connection with this place and what is it that continues to make it important in your life today?

While the landscape of the region has changed dramatically since these photographs were taken, our empathy with the people in them suggests that a sense of place has less to do with the physical location and more to do with depth of experience. Like the King family, I feel this when I potter with my father in his workshop.
As with many others, it comes from discovering a shop or a cafe in the city where I feel welcome.
And alongside the people in these images, my place has a lot to do with feeling valued and part of a community.

That’s the thing about place. It could be somewhere that you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to go back to. The physicality of the place may have changed, yet slowly we realise that the feeling remains. You have to know it to understand yourself; if you love it as well, you’re lucky. So now, more than ever, Christchurch. It’s my place.

Hannah Watkinson – Director, In Situ Photo Project