A PLACE IN TIME
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.