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City Gallery Wellington Kicks off Summer Season with Indoor Fireworks and Photographic Clichés.

City Gallery Wellington presents Steve Carr: Chasing the Light and News from the Sun, 16 November—15 March 2020 | Free entry

In November, City Gallery Wellington opens the first half of its summer season with Steve Carr: Chasing the Light and News from the Sun.

Steve Carr: Chasing the Light
Christchurch artist Steve Carr’s six-screen video installation offers a chilled-out take on a familiar spectacle.

In Amberley, North Canterbury, Carr sent six drone-mounted cameras into a fireworks display, circling at a range of altitudes. The drones take us inside the action—the fire and smoke—from multiple viewpoints simultaneously.

Using the best drone pilots in the country (and among the best in the world), the shoot was a difficult one. Carr explains, ‘We were asking them to do the impossible. It was one take.’

The videos—one from each drone—are projected on scaled-down replicas of outdoor cinema screens, without sound, undercutting the drama. ‘No bang for your buck’, says Chief Curator Robert Leonard.

Carr says, ‘You can’t see any beginning or endpoint. You need to walk around to see the films. It makes the experience forever evolving and limitless.’

Steve Carr will be in conversation with City Gallery Chief Curator Robert Leonard on Saturday 30 November, 3pm.

Chasing the Light was commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

News from the Sun
News from the Sun
showcases three photographers who explore the possibilities of the window, the horizon, and the still life—some of photography’s biggest clichés.

Wellington’s Harry Culy and Shaun Waugh, and Sydney’s Justine Varga, abstract, serialise, and transform these subjects through formal processes and manipulations that push them beyond the cliché.

Combining camera-less and lens-based photography, Justine Varga’s series Areola tests the boundary between image and object, asking where photography begins and ends. Varga’s works refer to Henry Fox Talbot’s 1835 views of a latticed window, which is key to her investigation and repeated use of the window motif.

Wellington artist Shaun Waugh’s photographs of single-use plastic bottles rethink the traditional still life through a mix of new technologies and old cubist ways of seeing. Senior Curator Aaron Lister says ‘The bottles’ undulating, transparent, injection-moulded surfaces reflect and refract light. An environmental hazard, symbolic of our disposable society, here plastic bottles make for seductive abstractions.’

Presented side by side, Waugh’s twenty-two photographs of containers explore photography as container.

Wellington artist Harry Culy’s The Gap is an ongoing series of seascapes that present views of the horizon from Sydney’s South End Beach—a notorious suicide spot. Taken at various times and under different weather conditions, Culy’s moody seascapes speak to stillness and movement, beauty and horror, life and death—and photography’s capacity to cross these divides.

City Gallery invites the public to join opening-day artists talks on Saturday 16 November at 2pm to hear Varga talking with Kirsty Baker, Waugh with Geoffrey Batchen, and Culy with Senior Curator Aaron Lister.