Show a scenic road trip of NZ

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - Letters To The Editor -

Photography meets paint­ing as a new ex­hi­bi­tion nears its des­ti­na­tion at Taupo¯ Mu­seum.

On the Road Again drops by for a pit stop as pho­tog­ra­pher Hel­mut Hir­ler teams up with painters Sally Maguire and Gary Wal­drom un­til Jan­uary 14, 2019.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is de­scribed as a scenic road-trip, with vi­sions of what we might see on the road as we travel across New Zealand

■ is part of an un­bro­ken tra­di­tion of bold pi­o­neers, who for cen­turies at­tempted to de­scribe the earth’s strange­ness and beauty. For much of his life the Ger­man-born pho­tog­ra­pher has trav­elled the globe cap­tur­ing el­e­ments of light un­de­tectable by the hu­man eye through in­frared photography.

Where tra­di­tional photography deals with the vis­i­ble light spec­trum, Hir­ler’s land­scapes are cap­tured us­ing film sen­si­tive to the in­frared spec­trum. The re­sult­ing dreamy black and white images, in­fus­ing fa­mil­iar land­scapes with sub­lime light­ing traits, have earned him in­ter­na­tional re­pute.

Hir­ler took up an ap­pren­tice­ship as a pho­tog­ra­pher in the 1970s, and fol­lowed this with a pe­riod of fash­ion and ad­ver­tis­ing photography. At the end of the 70s a mas­ter’s de­gree was com­pleted at the fa­mous Bavar­ian Col­lege of Photography (Bayrische Staat­slehranstalt in Mu­nich), and this opened the doors to a 30-year teach­ing stint as head tu­tor in the pho­to­graphic depart­ment of a Ger­man Polytech un­til 2009. Dur­ing this time he spent ev­ery hol­i­day pe­riod trav­el­ling the globe to build up an im­mense im­age li­brary of

Hel­mut Hir­ler

re­mark­able land­scape stud­ies. Since 2009, Hir­ler has lived and worked in New Zealand.

He has a list of at least 50 ex­hi­bi­tions to date, 27 pub­lished books and cal­en­dars as well as more than 50 in­ter­na­tional and overseas awards.

■ al­ways painted for fun, but about 20 years ago she de­cided to ded­i­cate her­self to it full­time.

“At first I thought, ‘Oh what do I think I’m do­ing?’ But when I sold my first paint­ing for $50 I was be­side my­self with ex­cite­ment. For me, paint­ing is like med­i­tat­ing. I can’t sit still for a minute, but hav­ing a paint­brush in my hand calms my mind. At the mo­ment my favourite sub­ject is clouds or scare­crows; but ac­tu­ally my big­gest pas­sion is por­traits and

Sally Maguire

while they don’t sell so well, if I could just paint por­traits of chil­dren that’s what I’d do.”

Sally says her mother Diana Maguire was a big in­flu­ence. The fam­ily, orig­i­nally from Yorkshire in Eng­land, trav­elled be­cause of her en­gi­neer fa­ther’s work and they lived in Por­tu­gal and Yu­goslavia, as it was known then, be­fore set­tling in New Zealand when Sally was 10. “Wher­ever we went, we were al­ways sur­rounded by paint­ings. Mum loved and col­lected art and did it as a hobby.”

■ is one of New Zealand’s sig­nif­i­cant painters. His provoca­tive dream­scapes en­tice the viewer into an imag­ined world where one has an ac­tive in­volve­ment in un­rav­el­ling the re­la­tion­ships, nar­ra­tives and

Gary Wal­drom

sym­bols within the work.

Wal­drom has a dis­tinc­tive yet var­ied paint­ing style. Char­ac­ters and fig­ures play an im­por­tant role in his works and their un­re­veal­ing yet in­quis­i­tive ex­pres­sions are fa­mil­iar and at times un­set­tling.

It is dif­fi­cult to liken Wal­drom’s works to that of any other painter. His in­tu­itive scenes are highly in­di­vid­ual yet at the same time they are strangely fa­mil­iar. The power of his work is ev­i­dent in its phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact; in ex­pe­ri­enc­ing his al­ter­nate re­al­i­ties one takes part in the drama un­rav­el­ling be­fore them, an ex­plo­ration that is un­for­get­table.

■ Taupo¯ Mu­seum is open from 10am to 4pm daily. En­try is free for lo­cals with proof of ad­dress.

Photo / Sup­plied

Art­work by Sally Maguire. Photography meets paint­ing at the Taupo¯ Mu­seum.

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