Invented in France by Adolph-Alexandra Martin and patented in 1856, tintypes (also known as ferrotypes) became an inexpensive alternative to daguerreotypes. The Tintype ‘popularised’ photography as a medium, achieving ‘folk-art’ status because of its affordability and consequent societal adoption. Most significantly, tintypes were valued for the revelatory level of detail and clarity the process enabled; for its silvery sheen, as well as its dramatic tonal and atmospheric range.
Bridget Reweti in her Tintype exhibition of new works is having a direct conversation with time and place. Comprised of plants native to the area surrounding Wai Otakau in Otago Harbour and in using the tintype process, Reweti is evoking a conversation about time-past and time-present. These plants once abundant in the Ōtepoti (Dunedin) area directly connect the viewer to presence (and therefore absence) and to the mid-19th century and today.
In addition to the poignant framed works, Reweti has innovatively applied silver gelatin emulsion onto the surfaces of sea-wall fragments. This talismanic suite of ‘false fossils’ directly converses with the inexorable passing of time and the fragility of all things.
Bridget Reweti is a Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi artist and curator. Her lens-based practice champions Māori histories embedded in landscapes through names, narratives and lived experiences.
Bridget was the 2020/21 Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago. She is a member of Mataaho Collective which won the 2021 Walters Prize and whose members became Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureates in 2022. She is co-editor with Matariki Williams of Volumes One, Two and Three of ATE: Journal of Māori Art the first peer-reviewed journal of Māori Art.
Bridget is co-curator with Melanie Oliver of 2019-22 national series of exhibitions Māori Moving Image and co-editor of the book by the same name. She holds a Master of Māori Visual Arts with First Class Honours from Massey University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.