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Laurence Aberhart

Well established as one of New Zealand’s leading photographers, Laurence Aberhart (b. 1949) began photographing in the late 1960s, holding his first solo show at Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, in 1978. Amongst contemporary photographers Aberhart stands out for his longstanding commitment to traditional photographic processes, shooting in black & white with an ancient Korona 8 x 10” view camera, and developing both the glass plate negatives and prints himself. His long exposures and centred compositions result in distinctive images, rich in texture and detail.

Aberhart regularly returns to specific subjects, in particular community buildings such as churches, halls, wharenui, memorials and monuments; sites evocative of memory, community rituals and cultural history. Both interiors and exteriors are usually depicted devoid of people, yet with the human reference strongly felt. Another ongoing series, ‘Last Light’, captures minimal horizons at sunset or dusk. These themes converge in the series Prisoners Dream, featuring Mt Taranaki under moonlight and four images shot from within Fort Jervois, Ripapa Island in Lyttelton Harbour, referencing the history of the Parihaka prophets who were imprisoned there in the 1880s.

Since 1983 Aberhart has lived and worked from Russell in the Bay of Islands, travelling regularly both within New Zealand and overseas, to photograph in areas such as Northland, Taranaki, France, USA, Macau and Japan.

laurenceaberhart.com »

Broken Hill, New South Wales, 10 August 1997

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gold and selenium toned gelatin silver print

Door, Avendia do Coronel Mesquita, Macau, 6 December 2000

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Interior: Church of the Transformation, Tautoro, North Island, 20 April 1982

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Interior: 'Tehupiomatatua', Te Totara, Bay of Plenty, 7 June 1982

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Ipswich, Queensland, 28 August 1997

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gold and selenium toned gelatin silver print

Ipswich, Queensland, 29 August 1997

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gold and selenium toned gelatin silver print

Last light, Opunake, Taranaki, 22 March 1993

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Midway Beach, Gisborne, 13 June 1986

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Taranaki, from Oeo Road, under moonlight, 27-28 September 1999

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

Totara North Cemetery #1, Northland, 31 August 2004

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

View #1, Fort Jervois, Ripapa Island, Lyttleton Harbour, 14 March 2000

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

View #2, Fort Jervois, Ripapa Island, Lyttleton Harbour, 14 March 2000

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

View #3, Fort Jervois, Ripapa Island, Lyttleton Harbour, 14 March 2000

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print

View #4, Fort Jervois, Ripapa Island, Lyttleton Harbour, 15 March 2000

Artist: Laurence Aberhart
Medium: gelatin silver print