Mary Macpherson - reviewed, June 2018

The Long View

Mary Macpherson

Wallace Arts Trust, Pah Homestead, Auckland

29 May - 22 July 2018

Reviewed by Peter Ireland for EyeContact

Upper Queen St, from 'The Long View' by Mary Macpherson

Upper Queen St, from 'The Long View' by Mary Macpherson

The late, great Sir Dove Meyer-Robinson, when visionary mayor of Auckland in the 1960s and ‘70s, once remarked that the rapidly-burgeoning town was really a collection of suburbs in search of a city (1), and it still remains largely the case that the natives identify themselves as coming from Remuera, Onehunga, Takapuna or Te Atau rather than ‘Auckland’. This identity problem is complicated by an increasing perception south of the Bombay Hills among planners, politicians and the general populace that ‘Auckland’ means ‘trouble’, an urban black hole sucking up national resources faster than the speed of light, with on-the-back-foot solutions hurled at the problems with more hope than assurance of success.

At its margins development is horizontal, at the centre, vertical; this latter supporting any claim for Auckland being New Zealand’s only truly international city. The Lonely Planet Guide may have described Wellington as “The coolest little Capital in the world” but it just can’t compete with its northern sister in sheer, visual impact. Not even the most loyal, enthusiastic Wellingtonian would ever describe their town as “the beginner’s guide to Sydney” (maybe, on a good day, Adelaide) but for Aucklanders this is a plausible description.

Read full essay on EyeContact.


Art New Zealand, Spring 2018 also features an article about The Long View by Mary-Jane Duffy.

In DPhoto, September 2018, Mary talks about the sequencing of The Long View.