A PLACE IN TIME

New Zealand D-Photo - - PRACTICE MAREEA VEGAS -

Ex­plor­ing the no­tion of land­scapes, and the im­pact of na­ture and of peo­ple on its al­ter­ation, Ma­reea Ve­gas talks to pho­tog­ra­pher Kate van der Drift about her eerie im­ages and her plans dur­ing her over­seas ex­cur­sions

Con­stant change and a con­nec­tion to land­scapes are themes that post­grad Elam School of Fine Arts stu­dent Kate van der Drift can­vasses in her eerily pow­er­ful im­ages. It’s her fas­ci­na­tion with mi­gra­tion that in­spired her short-term re­lo­ca­tion to the Peru­vian Ama­zon and which is also the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind an up­com­ing move to Los An­ge­les. Guided by a gen­uine in­ter­est in how her place­spe­cific con­cepts will trans­late in a new land, van der Drift be­lieves that, while her prac­tice may trans­form, her foun­da­tions in land­scape work will al­ways ex­ist in some way. We caught up dur­ing the start of her Peru­vian ad­ven­ture to dis­cuss her re­cent works and fu­ture plans for when she re­turns to civ­i­liza­tion. the con­ver­sa­tions these trans­for­ma­tions pro­voke. Mov­ing wa­ter con­nects all places, in­ter­re­lat­ing with land in sur­pris­ing and am­bigu­ous ways. The bor­der­lands are fun­da­men­tally in-be­tween places that have ef­fects far out­side their bound­aries. One per­son’s wet­land or waste­land is an­other’s taonga. The in­her­ited Pakeha way of view­ing land­scape is to look from a dis­tance, to treat it as a sep­a­rate en­tity ac­cord­ing to its pro­duc­tion or aes­thetic value. An in­dige­nous worldview sees peo­ple hav­ing an in­te­grated re­la­tion­ship with na­ture that in­cludes seas, lands, rivers, moun­tains, flora, and fauna. So, I’m in­ter­ested in pic­tur­ing land­scapes and open­ing up dia­logue around their his­to­ries, from pre­colo­nial to cur­rent state, as well as how they may be sus­tained and [may] ‘look’ in the fu­ture.

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