The Long View. Mary Macpherson

The Long View. Mary Macpherson


The Long View - Auckland Photographs 2014 - 2017

Mary Macpherson

With an essay by Gregory O’Brien

Published by Mary Macpherson and PhotoForum Inc., May 2018.

Designated as PhotoForum #89

ISSN 011-0411

182 x 243mm, 44 pages, soft cover

Published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland, 29 May - 22 July 2018 as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography.

Writing about the work, art essayist Gregory O’Brien says: “Harking back to the 19th Century when artists like Alfred Sharpe and John Kinder were making images of the city-in-progress that would become colonial Auckland, Macpherson’s ‘long view’ of Tāmaki Makaurau is both a product of its times and an imaginative response to the subtropical metropolis.

“Her photo-sequence asks questions of its subject: To what extent does the evolving urban environment reflect the needs, desires and dreams of its population? Do the communities that live and work within the metropolis determine its shape and direction, or is the city the orchestrator and shaper of the lives of its citizens?“.

The opening photograph of The Long View; Takarunga – Mount Victoria Devonport provides a diorama view of the Auckland isthmus – an elevated view of the city that is being explored throughout the series. Capturing Silo Park, Victoria St West and Myer’s Park, Macpherson’s work features a plethora of billboards, construction sites and hoardings – symbols of change, as well as a nod to the civic past and present.

Macpherson says, ‘an important the motivation for the series was, I think, to explore the major place that Auckland occupies in the national dialogue. The fact that the city is the source of a lot of New Zealand’s wealth and power brings with it a particular feeling. The work is made with social awareness but it isn’t documentary – it’s more about trying to get inside a feeling.’

Exhibition reviewed by Peter Ireland for EyeContact.

Review on the Spinoff

Reviewed by Jodi Dalgleish for Landfall Review Online

Mary interviewed by RNZ

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