Northland Church Photo Exhibit opens

Disused Anglican Church, Pawarenga, Whangape Harbour, Northland, May 10, 1982. Photo / Laurence Aberhart

One of the most critically acclaimed works in the history of New Zealand photography comes to Northland.

The Northland Churches Photo Exhibition opens at the Whangārei Art Museum on Friday.

The ‘Whare Tapu Taonga’ collection of works is by celebrated photographer Laurence Aberhar, who has been a photographer since the 1970s.

Church of Transformation, Tautoro, North Island, April 20, 1982. Photo / Laurence Aberhart
Church of Transformation, Tautoro, North Island, April 20, 1982. Photo / Laurence Aberhart

“His use of an antique corona view camera, last commercially produced in the 1930s, lends his work a sense of atmosphere and substance that perfectly expresses the sense of stillness and reverence for the past found in historic buildings” said Whangārei Art Museum curator Simon Bower Bank

Aberhart’s series of images of churches in Northland began in 1982 on a grant from the QEII Arts Council.

The historic churches “are small, quiet things, so unassuming that unless you force yourself to stop and look, you’d just walk by,” Aberhart said.

Aberhart now lives in Russell and has been photographing in and around Northland for more than four decades.

Family Church (Methodist) Whirinaki Hokianga Harbour, Northland, April 23, 1982. Photo/Laurence Aberhart
Family Church (Methodist) Whirinaki Hokianga Harbour, Northland, April 23, 1982. Photo/Laurence Aberhart

The series demonstrates Aberhart’s ability to capture not only the architecture of these buildings but also their social and spiritual significance.

The Laurence Aberhart exhibition Whare Tapu Taonga will be on view at the Whangārei Art Museum from July 30th to October 28th.

The museum is overseen by the Hātea Art Precinct Trust, which also manages the Hundertwasser Art Centre.

Interior, St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, Pawarenga, Whangape Harbour, May 10, 1982. Photo / Laurence Aberhart
Interior, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Pawarenga, Whangape Harbour, May 10, 1982. Photo / Laurence Aberhart

Comments are closed.