Auck­land Fes­ti­val of Pho­tog­ra­phy An­nual Com­mis­sion fi­nal­ists an­nounced for 2016

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The short­list is down to three artists to be the 2016 An­nual Com­mis­sion by Sa­cred Hill pho­tog­ra­pher, with the win­ner’s work to be dis­played at this year’s Auck­land Fes­ti­val of Pho­tog­ra­phy, on June 2–24. The three short­listed pho­tog­ra­phers are Russ Flatt, Solomon Mor­timer, and He­len Clegg.

Russ Flatt’s im­age (far left) is ti­tled ‘Dias’, and is from his se­ries

Na­tion­als.

On mak­ing the short­list, Flatt said, “I am hon­oured to be short­listed for the Auck­land Fes­ti­val of Pho­tog­ra­phy’s An­nual Com­mis­sion and see this as a great op­por­tu­nity to make a body of work cen­tred around the theme of ‘home’. The im­ages that I have sub­mit­ted for the com­mis­sion talk to the no­tion of iden­tity by look­ing for­ward to the past in or­der to rec­og­nize the present, show­ing nar­ra­tive-driven con­structs of a young boy de­picted within a sub­ur­ban land­scape. By look­ing through the boy’s eyes, the sense of be­ing an out­sider within one’s own life is ap­par­ent. The ten­sion and awk­ward­ness as­so­ci­ated with com­ing of age help il­lus­trate an in­ward ten­sion within the fam­ily unit, of some­thing that is about to hap­pen or of some­thing that has hap­pened.”

Flatt said that the im­ages have all been pho­tographed in Auck­land, and the lo­ca­tions se­lected are an in­te­gral part of this self-nar­ra­tive se­ries.

Solomon Mor­timer’s im­age (above cen­tre), Pa­cific Rose (Zahra), is from his se­ries When the sun sets your eyes change colour (I hope this is true).

Mor­timer says that, “Be­ing short­listed for the An­nual Com­mis­sion is a great val­i­da­tion, not only of one’s ef­forts and con­tri­bu­tion to the pho­to­graphic field but also as a sign of the con­fi­dence the fes­ti­val has in my abil­i­ties to pro­duce rel­e­vant con­tem­po­rary work around this year’s theme, ‘home’. “... The se­ries When the sun sets your eyes change colour (I hope

this is true) was unique to my prac­tice to date — it was pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Zahra Killeen- Chance for a spe­cific ex­hi­bi­tion. It ex­ists pri­mar­ily as a book,” Mor­timer ex­plained. He­len Clegg’s im­age (above far right) is from her lat­est se­ries, For

a long time, I went to bed early. Clegg said, “Be­ing short­listed for the An­nual Com­mis­sion is in­cred­i­ble recog­ni­tion and en­cour­age­ment to keep mak­ing my art­work — it’s re­ally nice to know that all the hard work and ef­fort is in fact be­ing no­ticed. I’ve ex­hib­ited in a cou­ple of pre­vi­ous years of the fes­ti­val, and have al­ways wanted to be a part of the Sig­na­ture Pro­gramme. It re­ally means a lot, and I’m in­cred­i­bly grate­ful to have been se­lected.”

She ex­plained, “For a long time, I went to bed early was based around re­con­nect­ing with the land­scape of my child­hood and the in­ter­sec­tion of mem­ory, dreams, and the body’s ephemeral ex­pe­ri­ence of place. It was ex­hib­ited as part of Artweek and se­lected works at Bath Street Gallery’s pho­to­graphic group show, With­out to Within, at the end of 2015.”

The pho­tog­ra­phers’ works will be ex­am­ined by a se­lec­tion panel, which this year con­sists of As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Linda Tyler — who is the di­rec­tor of the Gus Fisher Gallery — Auck­land Fes­ti­val of Pho­tog­ra­phy founder and di­rec­tor Ju­lia Durkin; and in­ter­na­tional cu­ra­tor, art con­sul­tant, and for­mer di­rec­tor of Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Pho­tog­ra­phy, Syd­ney (as well as cur­rent Asia Pa­cific Photo­fo­rum am­bas­sador) Alas­dair Foster.

Solomon Mor­timer

Russ Flatt

He­len Clegg

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