The Sarjeant Gallery is pleased to host Mary Macpherson’s exhibition Old New World, a photographic study of the changing face of small town New Zealand.
With a keen eye for detail and irony, Wellington poet and photographer, Mary Macpherson spent seven years travelling around the country documenting the changing face of small town New Zealand. This has culminated in an intriguing exhibition of 46 colour photographs along with a significant new book of New Zealand photography, entitled Old New World.
The striking colour photographs feature buildings, houses, statues and murals to tell the story of a shift from the remains of the traditional New Zealand of the 1950s and 60s to places of boom and prosperity that look very different to our remembered past.
“Within that major story arc, I wanted to show the major social and economic trends I saw over the seven years – towns painting up the main street to attract custom and celebrate their identity, places that remained resolutely themselves and those that were heading into decline,” – Mary Macpherson.
The exhibition is accompanied by the book which features an interview between noted art writer Gregory O’Brien and Mary Macpherson and 62 full page images. The photographs cover towns in many regions including Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui, Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty.