Gen­er­a­tions ex­posed

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Call­ing all great-grand­par­ents: your por­trait is wanted for an ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka cel­e­brat­ing Porirua fam­i­lies.

There is a catch, how­ever. You must share the limelight with your great-grand­child.

Eleven black-and-white photo por­traits will be ex­hib­ited in a show called Same Dif­fer­ence, all show­ing a great-grand­par­ent and a great-grand­child of the same sex.

Both fam­ily mem­bers must live in Porirua, and the child must be aged be­tween six and 12.

The pho­tos will be blown up to a large size, and are in­tended to show the strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween fam­ily mem­bers, Pataka mu­seum cu­ra­tor Bob Maysmor says.

How­ever, peo­ple think­ing of par­tic­i­pat­ing do not need to strongly re­sem­ble each other – the sim­i­lar­i­ties will nat­u­rally come out in the pho­tos, Mr Maysmor says.

‘‘Those nat­u­ral things will be there any­way.’’

A sim­i­lar ex­hi­bi­tion was run last year in Palmer­ston North, and was a huge suc­cess.

Pho­tog­ra­pher War­wick Smith of­fered the pho­tos to Pataka, but the gallery had a bet­ter idea – recre­ate the same ex­hi­bi­tion with Porirua fam­i­lies.

‘‘It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the di­ver­sity of Porirua’s com­mu­nity and of the strength of fam­ily,’’ Mr Maysmor says.

A di­verse range of fam­i­lies is be­ing sought for the ex­hi­bi­tion – Mr Maysmor is keen to hear from fam­i­lies who are Euro­pean, Maori, In­dian, Chinese, Cam­bo­dian, Toke­lau, Ton­gan, Samoan and Cook Is­lander, plus two other eth­nic­i­ties – per­haps Burmese, Colom­bian, or Mid­dle East­ern.

The pho­tos will be taken this year, and the ex­hi­bi­tion is planned for early 2013.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Mr Smith will come into fam­i­lies’ homes, but the ses­sions will be short and re­laxed, Mr Maysmor says.

‘‘Noth­ing for­mal, noth­ing for any­one to get up­set about, just a lovely shar­ing of fam­ily.’’

Fam­i­lies will be gifted their por­trait when the ex­hi­bi­tion closes.

Smith’s day job is tak­ing pho­tos for Palmer­ston North news­pa­per the Manawatu Stan­dard, but he started tak­ing fam­ily por­traits as a way of cap­tur­ing the pas­sage of time.

‘‘The thing about the faces came from an idea of how to pho­to­graph time.’’

How­ever, the pho­tos turned out to say more about fam­ily re­la­tion- ships than time, he says.

The ex­hi­bi­tion’s open­ing party, with all fam­i­lies in at­ten­dance, was the most im­por­tant part of the whole ex­er­cise, Mr Smith says.

‘‘It was amaz­ing, the own­er­ship of it – it was their ex­hi­bi­tion as much as mine.’’

In the end the faces stole the show, one fresh and young, one with a life­time of ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Peo­ple love look­ing at faces, just hav­ing that con­trast,’’ he says.

‘‘It was fan­tas­tic, it was just a re­ally sim­ple idea but peo­ple loved it.’’

Fam­i­lies keen to par­tic­i­pate can con­tact Bob Maysmor, 237 3831,

Gen­er­a­tion gap: Pataka gallery is seek­ing 11 Porirua great-grand­par­ents and their great­grand­chil­dren to pose for an ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plor­ing time, di­ver­sity and fam­ily re­la­tion­ships.

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