|Dave Dyett (aged 81) tramping above the Kapiti Coast in the Tararua Range, and working as a surveyor.|
Mary Connell crossing the Boyle River, Canterbury, and as a teacher at the Correspondence School, Wellington.
|Idiom just happens to be just around the corner from the Mt Victoria clubrooms used jointly by the 600-member Tararua Tramping Club, the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club and the Wellington Catholic Tramping Club. Our current exhibition is titled Boots&Suits tramper diptychs by Alan Knowles. Opened by the Helen Clark, the exhibition runs unti late October, and is supported by the Creative Communities Local Funding Scheme. It consists of 20 pairs of colour images, each showing a Wellington tramper in their day job and in the bush.
Alan Knowles says:
I have photographed about 50 trampers, aged from 14 to over 80 years, on trips all over New Zealand. The images capture, in maximum detail, the clothing fabrics, skin texture, sweat, dirt and the effects of prolonged periods away from hot showers and civilisation. The raw images of these unkempt individuals 'in the wild' are contrasted with a matching photograph of each of them in the more genteel and sophisticated environments of their work or home.
These men and women every week head for the bush to explore, route-find and occupy the hinterland for no other reason than the sheer pleasure of being there. They come from all areas of the social and employment hierarchy which are not easy to identify when camouflaged in tramping garb. But they are managers, labourers, teachers, housewives, public servants, tradesmen, schoolchildren, city councillors, shopkeepers .
Alan Knowles is a Wellington photographer whose black & white prints are produced by hand in his traditional wet darkroom. His subjects range from the aesthetics of sport (Sportigraphs) to biscuits, author portraits, dancers, trampers, landscapes and overtly political studies dealing with the economy and the environment. He discovers the fresh, the ironic, and the whimsical in everyday objects, people and places and the intersections/interactions between them. In his photographs he embeds at times a light-hearted yet incisively critical edge, and sometimes a profound sociopolitical commentary. His interpretations of the natural and built environment represent a singularly different perspective from the touristic possibilities of the photographic medium. Much of his work demonstrates a strong geometric style that has been referred to as abstract realist.
Alan Knowles' has exhibited in dealer and public galleries in New Zealand and overseas, his work is held in public and private collections, and he is represented by Idiom Studio Gallery in Wellington and the McNamara Gallery in Wanganui.