Maori gods’ pho­tos in 3-D

View like no other


A pho­to­graphic ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka presents Maori gods as you have never seen them be­fore, thanks largely to a tech­nique that will have view­ers rock­ing left and right on their feet.

Norm Heke is an es­tab­lished pho­tog­ra­pher, who has fea­tured ex­ten­sively in nu­mer­ous pub­li­ca­tions and exhibitions.

For the past 20 years he has been an imag­ing spe­cial­ist at Te Papa.

In four of the five works dis­played at Pataka in OMG: Maori Gods in the 21st Cen­tury, Heke uses lentic­u­lar flip ef­fect tech­nol­ogy, where one im­age is lay­ered over an­other.

Viewed at dif­fer­ent an­gles, the scenes ap­pear to ‘‘ flip’’ back and forth, sim­i­lar to the cur­rent All Black Weetbix cards.

Heke used work col­leagues and friends as mod­els in a stu­dio, min­ing the thou­sands of im­ages at his dis­posal to cre­ate the back­grounds.

The large-scale pho­tographs show off his own pas­sion for Maori gods and how they may look in a modern con­text.

‘‘I saw a bill­board us­ing this tech­nol­ogy ear­lier this year and had the idea for this ex­hi­bi­tion. It was a gam­ble but I’m re­ally pleased with how it’s turned out – you’re al­ways re­flect­ing on your past and mov­ing for­ward and I wanted to take that a step fur­ther with this lentic­u­lar method.’’

The im­ages of Hineti­tama, Tane, Tu­matauenga and Maui, along with a 3-D shot of Pa­p­at­u­anuku, are af­fect­ing – Heke says the wo­man who is pho­tographed as Hineti­tama (god­dess of the un­der­world) cried when she saw the pho­to­graph. Her moko was done by Mark Kopua, who is based in Ti­tahi Bay.

Heke hopes to take the ex­hi­bi­tion else­where in New Zealand and over­seas, and his next chal­lenge is to pro­duce more 3-D photography.

‘‘This is an ex­cit­ing start­ing point for me.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til Novem­ber 27.

Mov­ing im­ages: Two of the im­ages that have been com­bined – de­pict­ing Maui and his broth­ers in a his­tor­i­cal and modern con­text – for Norm Heke’s Pataka show OMG: Maori gods in the 21st Cen­tury.

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