Unique views of Clutha River in exhibition
How it was before the dam
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.