Brake photos in Strat­ford

South Taranaki Star - - STARS PAST - SUP­PLIED

BRIAN BRAKE:

Runs un­til 15 Oc­to­ber 15 at the Percy Thom­son Gallery.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­hi­bi­tion, Brian Brake: Lens on China and Ja­pan fea­tures 32 su­perb pho­to­graphic images by Brian Brake. Se­lected from Te Papa’s pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tion, these images are con­sid­ered by some to be Brake’s strong­est work. Brake’s ca­reer largely be­gan in the mid-1950s when he worked as a glo­be­trot­ting pho­to­jour­nal­ist for the renowned Paris photo agency Mag­num. Brian Brake: Lens on China and Ja­pan of­fers two slices from Brian Brake’s long ca­reer; pho­tographs of China he took in the late 1950s, and those of Ja­pan in 1963 and 1964. These gained rel­a­tively lit­tle at­ten­tion at the time, but to­day they firmly rank among his very best work.

Brake was one of a small num­ber of Western pho­tog­ra­phers who gained ac­cess to China in the 1950s, and his pho­tographs were ea­gerly snapped up by in­ter­na­tional mag­a­zines. They mainly fo­cused on China’s leader Mao Ze­dong and po­lit­i­cal pa­rades in Beijing, and while cer­tainly topical and of­ten spectacular, these made up of only a small por­tion of Brake’s China pho­tographs. He trav­elled ex­ten­sively through­out the coun­try, and he took many pho­tographs of ev­ery­day scenes. How­ever it seems there was lit­tle in­ter­est in pub­lish­ing images of daily life at a time when the US and China re­garded each other with mu­tual ap­pre­hen­sion and hos­til­ity. As well as the 32 prints, the ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes doc­u­men­tary footage and ex­am­ples of mag­a­zines in which Brake’s work ap­peared.

18TH IN­TER­NA­TIONAL COL­LAGE EX­CHANGE

Percy Thom­son Gallery un­til Oc­to­ber 15.

For the past 19 years col­lage artists from around the world have each sent 13 col­lages to Dale Copeland in Pu­niho. One from each artist is shown in Strat­ford and of­fered for sale there and on­line. An­other from each artist (called The Col­lec­tion) is shown on­line for­ever, and will be sent to be part of the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of the Musee ArtColle in France. The other 11 from each artist are ex­changed as fairly as pos­si­ble, be­tween other artists, and a pack­age of ex­changes sent back to each par­tic­i­pat­ing artist. Copeland keeps on do­ing it, partly as a ser­vice to artists whose cho­sen medium may not be main­stream, but mostly be­cause she gets the ex­cite­ment of un­wrap­ping all this art­work, and, of course, of get­ting first choice of the ex­changes.

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