Mari Mahr: Two Walking (with poems by Gregory O'Brien and Jenny Bornholdt)

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Media Release: February, 2011. 

Exquisite new exhibition announced in the Hirschfeld Gallery.

A fascinating collaboration between London-based photographer Mari Mahr and two of Wellington’s most accomplished poets, Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt, is showcased at City Gallery Wellington.

Mari Mahr: Two Walking (with poems by Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt) includes two series of eight photographs, Two Walk in Edinburgh and Two Walk in Paris, which document Mari Mahr’s wanderings through these two cities with her late husband, Graham Percy.

Mahr’s black and white photographs document small moments and objects which hold larger significance—an old volume of notes, a watch, a paint brush, a cluster of empty chairs—each of these suggests personal stories and collected memories.

After creating these photographs Mahr invited her friends, well-known Wellington poets Jenny Bornholdt and Gregory O’Brien, to write a series of poems in response to her work. These poems sensitively address the concerns of Mahr’s photographs—time, place, memory, and the intricacies of human relationships. The texts hang alongside the photographs. In addition, they have been beautifully hand-printed by Brendan O’Brien in a limited edition book, available for sale during the exhibition.

Born in Santiago de Chile in 1941, Mahr studied and worked as a press photographer in Hungary, before moving to London in 1973. She now divides her time between there and Berlin. She has exhibited widely and produced a number of books. A Few Days in Geneva was published in 1988, and the retrospective volume Between Ourselves was published in 1998. Her artwork is in many collections, including the V&A, London; the National Media Museum, Bradford; Kettle's Yard Gallery, Cambridge; the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the National Museum of Photography, Hungary; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Mari Mahr: Two Walking (with poems by Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt) opens on Friday 4 February and runs until Sunday 10 April. The exhibition has been developed in partnership with Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland and runs in conjunction with The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (4 February–25 April), an exhibition of work by Graham Percy, curated by Gregory O’Brien.

Mari Mahr: Two Walking (with poems by Gregory O'Brien and Jenny Bornholdt)

Hirschfeld Gallery, City Gallery Wellington

4 February–10 April 2011