A photographic exhibition of people and their environments in small towns of the world
Otorohanga, the King Country town that touts itself the home of Kiwiana, comes into focus as defining New Zealand, at the World Towns exhibition by Australian photographer Allan Chawner at the newly opened Shed 11 in Wellington.
In the exhibition, Otorohanga rubs street corners with similar towns from across the globe: Gloucester in Australia, Dolores in the United States, French town Martel, Frigiliana in Spain and Shiida, a Japanese village. World Towns sets out to show the unique characteristics of each town and country, and to highlight the qualities that “redefine us as global citizens, of global villages", Langman says.
"While most New Zealanders now live in large cities, it is our towns and hamlets that still largely define us,'' centre director David Langman said of the works.
"Economically they are agricultural support structures, providing vital infrastructure for our economic engine. Emotionally they are the towns of our whakapapa. "They still define who we are as a nation. So it is our towns that help us understand what makes us unique, what makes us New Zealanders."
Chawner captured the similarities and the differences in large, startling photographs, creating a panoramic exhibition that both soars across and peeks into small town life. "It is, in essence, many photographs as a single work,'' says Chawner who is Associate Professor in Photomedia, School of Fine Art at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
He has exhibited internationally for over 30 years, and is one of the world’s finest panoramic photographers. His work has been shown to critical acclaim in NZ, Australia; Nova Scotia, Canada, and in France, Japan, and China.
open 10am – 4pm daily free to public