- Gifted to the gallery by Laurence Aberhart, 1982
- 435 x 486mm
- View on google maps
This photograph belongs to a series that Laurence Aberhart began in the 1970s in which he focussed on sites of commemoration, such as war memorials, and structures associated with ritual. He looked at the significance of Masonic Lodges in small New Zealand communities where they served as a place of bonding for men. Women were excluded and membership involved elaborate rituals. Using an old-fashioned, large format Korona camera, the style here is that of an historical documentary photograph, a scene as a simple record, but the strange poses of the children and the eerie light create a sense of mystery. Aberhart’s evocative images reinforce the importance of the photograph as a recorder of history and culture. Aberhart began his photographic career in the late 1960s. His work is represented in all major New Zealand public collections, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
Aberhart Starts Here
Iconic and unseen early photographs of Christchurch by Laurence Aberhart
This article first appeared in The Press on 9 July 2008
It is adapted from an essay in the book Laurence Aberhart, published by Victoria University Press in partnership with City Gallery, Wellington.