Neil Pardington

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1962

Te Whare o Rangiora (Chair)

  • Purchased 2018
  • LED/C-print
  • 1065 x 1463mm
  • 2018/002
  • 2002

Neil Pardington photographed this abandoned chair in the former psychiatric hospital in Porirua, while looking for a location for a film he was planning to make. The image speaks of time slowed and compressed, measured in long hours of boredom and confinement. The person who sat in the chair and drew those patterns is long gone from the room, but their presence somehow remains. The kowhaiwhai patterns “told a story immediately and directly.” To Pardington they suggest “a cry for help from within the asylum with no spiritual hope of any kind.” But looked at another way, perhaps the designs left on the chair’s arms also represent a person taking the time they have available to remake an unsympathetic environment in a more congenial way.

(Now, Then, Next: Time and the Contemporary, 15 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)