Unique views of Clutha River in ex­hi­bi­tion

How it was be­fore the dam

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By JESSICA MAD­DOCK

A pho­to­graphic ex­hi­bi­tion of the Clutha River be­fore the Clyde dam was built has been do­nated to the Alexan­dra art gallery. The 23 pho­tos, which make up five large mu­rals, were taken by well­known pho­tog­ra­pher Lloyd God­man in the 1980s. God­man grew up in Dunedin and spent his sum­mer hol­i­days in Cromwell, where he grew ‘‘con­nected’’ to the river in its orig­i­nal state. Believ­ing the Govern­ment’s dam pro­posal was likely to go ahead, God­man made sev­eral trips to Cen­tral Otago to pho­to­graph the parts of the river which would be flooded. Called The Last River’s Song, the ex­hi­bi­tion is ac­com­pa­nied by a piece of mu­sic of the same name, com­posed spe­cially by Trevor Cole­man and Paul Hutchins. God­man, who now lives near Melbourne, said the pho­tos were stored at his mother’s Dunedin home af­ter be­ing ex­hib­ited through­out Otago in the 1980s. She died in Jan­uary and it did not make sense to take the pho­tos to Aus­tralia be­cause Cen­tral Otago was their spir­i­tual home, he said. Cen­tral Sto­ries Mu­seum and Art Gallery col­lec­tions man­ager Rachael Wel­fare said the ex­hi­bi­tion would be hung when space al­lowed and might also be ex­hib­ited in other parts of Otago. "They are re­ally stun­ning pho­tos and, with the mu­sic, I can imag­ine the ex­hi­bi­tion is quite awein­spir­ing,’’ Ms Wel­fare said. ‘‘We ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple do­nat­ing things to us – that’s how the mu­seum started and how it will carry on."

Given to gallery: Pho­tog­ra­pher Lloyd God­man with one of his mu­rals de­pict­ing the Clutha River be­fore it was dammed in the 1980s. God­man has do­nated his Last River’s Song ex­hi­bi­tion to the Alexan­dra art gallery.

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