Wayne Barrar - An Expanding Subterra

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Media Release: April, 2011. 

A new exhibition of photography by Wayne Barrar.

A photographic exhibition over seven years in the making, Wayne Barrar: An Expanding Subterra is set to open at City Gallery Wellington on May 7, following its successful season at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery last year.

Wellington-based photographer Wayne Barrar is interested in how people use and manipulate underground space. Over the course of this exhibition’s development, Barrar travelled to America, New Zealand, Australia and France, seeking out the subterranean places in which people live, work and play.

An Expanding Subterra depicts the hidden underground worksites of mines, power stations, universities, storage facilities, and offices, as well as the surreal domestic world of the subterranean homes in Coober Pedy, an opal mining town in South Australia.

This elegant exhibition features over fifty large-format photographs many of which have been produced for the first time for this show. Given the current nuclear scare in Japan, An Expanding Subterra’s season at City Gallery serves as a timely reminder of the way our lived spaces are often controlled, corporate and interconnected.

Wayne Barrar (b. 1957) has a background in science, having completed a BSc at the University of Canterbury. Following this, Barrar graduated from the University of Auckland with a PGDipFA and a MDes from Massey University. He is currently Associate Professor and Associate Head of the School of Fine Arts at Massey University in Wellington. His photography has been widely exhibited in New Zealand since 1984, and has been included in significant exhibitions in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Norway.

Wayne Barrar: An Expanding Subterra (7 May–17 July) has been developed and toured by Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and is accompanied by a generous publication with essays by David L Pike and the exhibition’s curator, Aaron Kreisler.