ANZAC, a photographic exhibition by acclaimed New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart, brings together photographs of World War I memorials in New Zealand and Australia. For over three decades Aberhart has been photographing these structures, travelling to cities and small towns in both countries to search out and identify material. Aberhart’s long-term project is timely and significant; it charts the topography of this material, reveals the ageing, decline and alteration of the structures, and the specific environments (man-made, rural, suburban) that have built up around these sites. Like all of Aberhart’s work, these photographs have been shot with an old-fashioned view camera using long exposures and available light.
Laurence Aberhart is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most important photographers. His work has been exhibited widely in solo exhibitions throughout New Zealand and internationally and is found in all major New Zealand public collection as well as many overseas. For close to forty years, he has produced a body of work unrivalled in its intensity, richness and layers of cultural and photographic history.
The exhibition provides a unique insight into the memorialisation of war. The ANZAC relationship is a significant story in the development of closer emotional, political and cultural ties between two commonwealth countries. It also marks, particularly the bonds that were formed in the WWI battles, a significant turning point in these nations’ histories as they became increasingly aware of their difference from their ‘homeland’ (Great Britain) compatriots.
ANZAC has been developed by the Dunedin Art Gallery and will be on display at the National Army Museum from 26th August – 31st January 2017.