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