Show a scenic road trip of NZ
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
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
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
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.
Artwork by Sally Maguire. Photography meets painting at the Taupo¯ Museum.