Derek Henderson

Aotearoa New Zealand / Australia, b.1963

Settlement Road, Otira, West Coast, 6.30pm, 27th February 2004

Photographer Derek Henderson’s 2004 road trip along the West Coast of the South Island included a visit to Otira. In many ways the resulting photographic essay, titled The Terrible Boredom of Paradise, follows in the footsteps of colonial travellers and contemporary tourists. But rather than focusing his attention on the grandeur and majesty of the Otira Gorge, Henderson focuses on the mundane – a humble railway cottage at the Otira township. However, the densely forested mountain slopes still dominate the background, while rust patches on the Datsun in the foreground hint at the dominance nature wields over manufactured objects. (Van der Velden: Otira, February 2100)