Past Exhibitions

Wayne Barrar

The Catchments

22 Aug - 16 Sept 2015

Exhibition Works

From the Banks of Waipahatu Toward Punehu Falls, The Catlins 2013
From the Banks of Waipahatu Toward Punehu Falls, The Catlins 2013 (printed 201)
Rangitaiki River Remnant Flow from Lake Aniwhenua 2013
Rangitaiki River Remnant Flow from Lake Aniwhenua 2013 (printed 201)
Elvy Stream Waterfall, Pelorus 2013
Elvy Stream Waterfall, Pelorus 2013 (printed 201)
Shifting Waters on the Ohau Canal 2013
Shifting Waters on the Ohau Canal 2013 (printed 201)
The Shine Falls from Boundary Stream, Hawkes Bay 2013
The Shine Falls from Boundary Stream, Hawkes Bay 2013 (printed 201)
Discharge from the Mangahao to Mangaore Stream, Shannon 2012
Discharge from the Mangahao to Mangaore Stream, Shannon 2012 (printed 201)
From the Banks of Waipahatu Toward Pouriwai Falls, The Catlins 2013
From the Banks of Waipahatu Toward Pouriwai Falls, The Catlins 2013 (printed 201)
High Water, Edge of Lake Wairarapa 2015
High Water, Edge of Lake Wairarapa 2015 (printed 201)
Lake and Dam at Birchville, Upper Hutt 2013
Lake and Dam at Birchville, Upper Hutt 2013 (printed 201)
Restoration at Para Wetland, Marlborough 2013
Restoration at Para Wetland, Marlborough 2013 (printed 201)
Waiatiu Falls, Whirinaki 2013
Waiatiu Falls, Whirinaki 2013 (printed 201)
Edge of the Wairau River (south bank), Marlborough 2011
Edge of the Wairau River (south bank), Marlborough 2011 (printed 201)
Falling Water at Waihopai River Dam Structure, Marlborough 2012
Falling Water at Waihopai River Dam Structure, Marlborough 2012 (printed 201)
Mangatini Falls at Ngakawau Gorge 2013
Mangatini Falls at Ngakawau Gorge 2013 (printed 201)
Falling Water at Birchville Dam, Upper Hutt 2013
Falling Water at Birchville Dam, Upper Hutt 2013 (printed 201)
Felled Pine Near Lake Otamangakau 2013
Felled Pine Near Lake Otamangakau 2013 (printed 201)
Felled Pine from Top Valley Road, Wairau Catchment 2013
Felled Pine from Top Valley Road, Wairau Catchment 2013 (printed 201)

Exhibition Text

Wayne Barrar is an observer, a researcher, and a narrator. His photographs have a depth and warmth. At the same time they speak volumes, and convey the photographer's deeply felt interest in - and concern at - the way humans have affected and interacted with the landscape.

These interests have led Barrar through an impressive array of portfolios, ranging from studies of the salt production at Lake Grassmere to An Expanding Subterra, his major exploration of underground industrial communities.

Barrar's research interests have led him to experiment with the processes used in the original photographic surveys of New Zealand, most importantly the albumen print process developed by Blanquart-Evrard in the 1850s. This process, a painstaking method involving coating paper in an egg and salt wash and then floating on silver nitrate, produces images with a rich brown cast and yellow and cream highlights. (1) The current exhibition focuses on this process, one which has been largely unused in New Zealand for over a century.

With The Catchments, Barrar returns to his long-term interest in historical New Zealand landscape representation which, combined with the methods and warm tones of the works, gives the images a strongly nostalgic feel. Rather than focus directly on human impact on the land, here the natural world and the artificial reflect each other, most poignantly in images of bushland waterfalls and similar cascades flowing over weirs and dams. The long time-exposures render these cataracts as silk curtains draped over a dark land which becomes alternately primordial and controlled. We may have "learned to perceive the picturesque and scenic as a particularly authentic representation of the land", (2) but here we are challenged to look again at the environment and human impact upon it, seeing both the natural and manipulated beauty of the scenes.

1. Misa Jeffereis, Albumen Print, Henry Collection, http://dig.henryart.org/photography-and-video/www/innovation/albumen-print/#0
2. Di Halstead, "Shifting Nature" review, Junctures Magazine, No 2, 2004, http://www.junctures.org/index.php/junctures/article/view/154/157

exhibition catalogue