Capture by A photoblog


Obliteration Room

by Lilith Grace

We all like to make our mark. But who would dare put a mark on a gallery wall?

This Winter, Dunedin people were invited to make marks all over an installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama specialises in dots of colour, and in her installation Obliteration Room , we applied her dots wherever we chose.

The Obliteration Room looked like a domestic interior: an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room. The room was filled with familiar objects: benches, sink, toaster, electric jug, chairs and table, plates and bowls, bookshelves, couch, guitar, TV, fireplace, desk, desk-lamp, computer. Everything was white, to match the floor, walls and ceiling. When the exhibition opened, only shadows hinted there was anything there at all.

Set in the walls were window-frames containing windows, but there was no view out: only mirrors reflecting the interior. The room was at once homely, claustrophobic, and void. There were no personal touches, no signs of occupation.

It was a blank canvas.

Each visitor was given a sheet of coloured-dot stickers, in a range of sizes. The only restriction was that we couldn't take the dots out of the exhibition. Objects were soon touched all over with bright spots. Dotted names and patterns appeared on walls and floor. By consensus, the sink filled up with blue, and the fireplace with orange and yellow.

Holding my sheet of stickers and pondering where to put them, I found myself grinning like an idiot. Everyone else was grinning too. Putting stickers all over the gallery was delightfully transgressive fun.

I visited the Obliteration Room when it was somewhere between blank and coloured: bright dots swarmed in the whiteness, dissolving the space.
You can see how drab we look in our winter clothes, while the room pulses around us.

So, Happy Spring, everyone! Please

share what's making your life bright and exciting right now.


Garden of Arcane Delights

by Jackson Perry

A road trip last week took me to Hamilton, briefly. For reasons I can't quite explain, while I've been through or to the Tron dozens of times, I'd never visited the gardens before. Given my predilection for petal perving, this turns out to be quite the oversight on my part.

This time of year is not necessarily the best for flowery goodness, but the gardens are a great place to wander while contemplating the drive to Rotorua through torrential rain.

I have it on good authority that I wasn't the only PA regular in the gardens that day, although my peripatetic meanderings and poor communication skills means we missed each other by a matter of hours. See you next time RG.

Where is your favourite winter garden?

Capture away.


Tribute - Dr Chris Ward

by Philip Wilkie

PAS Regular Chris Ward sadly died last year of cancer. Earlier this year we received an email from his friend Philip, with a beautifully written eulogy to Chris. We thought it would be good to post a collection of Chris' photos along with this letter, and sought permission to do so from family and friends. Time and distance meant this has taken longer than anticipated, but we are pleased now to present this photo blog as a tribute to our friend. RIP Chris.

Chris Ward, by Philip Wilkie

My very old and much loved  friend Dr Chris Ward (PhD) passed away late December from melanoma. Some of the regulars here will remember him as ChrisW whose contributions, especially to Capture, were much admired.

Born 1952 in Auckland Chris was one of four brothers, all of whom went on to attain Doctorates in various fields. Drawn all his life to the natural world he attain his Masters in Geology at Auckland, and then went on to a most remarkable PhD at Otago. His field area was rough 700 sq km of Fiordland, north and south of Dusky Sound. The field trips were done pure tramping style up to six weeks in duration. No tracks, no huts and only food drops to support us. I had the extraordinary privilege of being his field assistant on several of these epic trips.  He was without any doubt the finest, most inspiring man I have ever had the privilege to know. Those months we spent in Dusky together are still the most vivid memories of my life. Most especially the impromptu geology lecture each evening in the tent, the poring over the maps and aerials, the keen observation, intellect, aesthetic sense and sheer masculine energy and intellectual confidence. Or the morning on the bank of the stream behind his house trying to convey to my limited mind the layers of detail his obsessively observant and analytical mind could see. And see where I could not.

Which made him such a remarkable photographer. I think his images were not intended for superficial consumption; they were meant to invite the viewer under the surface and emerge into a gentle, reflective contemplation on what only the inner eye might see.

Such a melange of contradictory qualities is rare in any person. And especially when they ran

so strongly within him. And yet I think he didn't waste too much of it on the frivolities of life; this was one serious minded man who has left his mark on many of us ... even if it was a discomforting, challenging one at times.

After nine years at Otago (one of the longest doctorates in NZ's academic history), he moved onto to serve most of his career with the Department of Conservation, in Wellington until 1990, and then onto a role as the Senior Conservancy Scientist and later Conservancy Advisory Scientist for East Coast/Hawkes Bay Conservancy. His interests and capacity expanded over the years, well beyond the bounds of geology.

Much of his life's work should be better known. Intensely cerebral, powerfully observant and the master of critical analysis, yet as the years went by his artistic, intuitive senses flourished to match.

Scientist, tramper, climber, photographer, poet and a wonderful husband to Gillian, father to Megan and Alex. And while I lay claim to only a small sliver of his rich and well lived life .. he remains a hero to me.

Those of you who knew him here at the PA community will have glimpsed, as best anyone can online, at the soul of a remarkable man. Chris would scold me for this sentimental note, but for myself I only rejoice in my memory of him, and hope to have shared a small part of it with you.

Philip Wilkie
Ballarat, Victoria

The Photos

These photos were selected by Chris' family, and the captions are the descriptions Chris sent along with the photos, as he reported on the progression of his illness, with hope and positivity.

You can see a lot more of Chris' photographs through the Capture threads. This link will take you to his list of posts.

It would be nice to have the thread itself become a photo tribute, so please feel free to post your own photo refections in the comments.

Capture away.


Sweet Jesus and Mary Chain

by Jackson Perry

Some Candy Talking: Powerstation 4 March, 2016.

When the concert was announced last year, I quickly bought tickets thinking, 'wow cool, those shoe gaze pioneers are coming back after 28 years. Ace. I went last time and...' then having a few conversations with friends who you thought were fans, only to discover they were underwhelmed, and didn't they have better things to do with their lives yet?

So on the night I went with fairly low expectations, and had I encountered a hot mess in the Powerstation gloom, I wouldn't have been overly surprised, or disappointed.

But then something weird happened. They were bloody good.

For once a legacy band, dredging up their seminal album to tour, exceeded my expectations.

Thanks The Jesus and Mary Chain. You just cost me thousands, as every time another 80s or 90s band comes down, I'll now wonder if they too can live up to the hype.

Full setlist can be seen here.

Bespin in support were also very good. Expecting big things from this band.


Auckland City Limits

by Jackson Perry

Nailed it.

I imagine there were a lot of nerves leading into the inaugural Auckland City Limits Festival, but let's get this out of the way early. Bloody excellent job everyone. The day was as chilled as any festival I've been to, and even the pre-loaded cash bands, made of a silky, satiny material, seemed to fit with the flow.

Deciding not to run from one act to another, I set a path through the day, that started with Che Fu and the Crates and ended with Kendrick Lamar 9 or so hours later, still feeling surprisingly chipper. My phone tells me I walked 10km during the day, and climbed 22 flights of stairs. That might explain the hip pain I guess.

My set list:

Che Fu and the Crates - great welcome from a home-grown, that kind of set the scene for my largely antipodian day.

Jarryd James - I like this guy, and he has the most photogenic bass player. That is all.

Ladyhawke - Warmed up, and bumped out the classics.

Broods - I've seen the Broods set a few times now, and while their travelling show has polished the act a lot, I'm ready for something new.

Action Bronson - This guy. I don't know, but the kids seem to like him. Eh Danielle?

TNAF - Like Broods, their show is well shiny, and roll on the next album.

The Phoenix Foundation - Such a great way to spend a few moments in the late afternoon, eating an ice-cream biscuit on the lawn.

Fat Freddy's Drop - Festival favourites all over the world. Nice to see them in a large venue at home.

The National - Based in Brooklyn, these guys are still flying the New York flag. I'm not tired of them yet, being a sucker for the deep voice, but I suspect some are getting there.

Kendrick Lamar - Man for the moment. The kids were euphoric. He seemed pretty humble for all that. Smiled at M when she literally bumped into him while we were walking around the site. Oops.

Thanks to the CRS Management team, and hoping this becomes a regular event. It is a worthy replacement to the BDO, and good to have another alternative to the indie kids festivals. :-)

Capture away.