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German photographer snaps some of our quirky habit

 
NEWS RELEASE
19 August 2008
 
German photographer snaps some of our quirky habitats
 
If you are accustomed to using interior household furniture for outdoor seating, check out Toi Pōneke Gallery from next week as you just might see your own garden on display.
 
Angela Blachnitzky, who moved here two years ago from Munich, finds the New Zealand custom of using comfortable couches outdoors as opposed to the standard garden equivalent to be a quirky phenomenon worthy of documentation, one that the well-travelled photographer/designer says she has not seen anywhere else so far.
 
Angela takes note of gardens such as these throughout the city and further afield, often returning with her camera. She recalls one garden in Hataitai that she had her eye on for some time, but by the time she got there with her camera – the furniture had disappeared.
 
“I knocked on their door, explained my project and asked where their furniture had gone,” says Angela. “Before I knew it, we were taking the chairs back to the garden from their garage so that I could take the photo.”
 
All other images that feature in the exhibition are un-staged. Angela is a big fan of this unique custom - she says all outside furniture should be like that.
 
“My interest in this subject has already rubbed-off on my two young children, who often point out interesting places that ‘Mum should photograph’ as they pass various houses in the car,” she adds.
 
Angela received a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Media at the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 1996 before developing the web design department of a major British telecom company in Munich. She now lectures in digital media design at Victoria University Wellington.
 
Indeed, the strangest example of outside furniture occurred at Victoria’s Design School on Vivian Street, when Angela espied a couch placed outside the building on her way into work one morning.
 
“I guess this is the kind of thing that happens anywhere that people would rather sit on a couch than on a street bench,” she jokes.
 
Outside Culture opens at 5.30pm on Thursday 28 August and runs until 19 September at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61-63 Abel Smith Street.
 
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