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Festival of Colour adds quake photography exhibition

Festival of Colour adds quake photography exhibition to programme

LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (March 19, 2013) – The Southern Lakes Festival of Colour has added a moving exhibition of images inspired by the Canterbury earthquakes to its 2013 programme that begins next month.

The collection, by Christchurch photographer Doc Ross, features portraits of artists, writers and other members of the local arts community who, like all residents of the city, were profoundly affected by the events of 22nd February 2011.

Called simply '37' the inspiration for the portraits came from the duration in seconds of the quake that shook Christchurch to its core and the effects of which still resonate both physically in terms of the city's appearance and emotionally amongst the people who were affected.

Each of the 37 photographs were exposed for 37 seconds and are accompanied by 37 words written by each individual subject to describe their own personal experiences.

Speaking about his latest work, Doc Ross said, "Each person was asked to sit totally still in a chair and support their head while a 37 second exposure multiple image portrait was made of them. Some people moved a lot, while others were frozen to the spot, which reflects the way people reacted differently to the violent shaking.

“The results are not necessarily how the sitter, or their friends even, see them, instead they are records of how we looked and felt in the aftermath of the earthquakes. It is my hope that these unmasked, intense and revealing portraits, along with those condensed experiences of the moment our city changed forever, will remind us how effecting an event like this is.”

The exhibition will take place in the Armstrong Room of the Lake Wanaka Centre for the duration of the festival, 16-21 April. Entry is by gold coin donation. It was previously on display at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pukenga Whakaata in Wellington.

The 2013 Festival of Colour features an international mix of theatre, art, dance, conversation and music set against the spectacular autumn scenery of the Southern Lakes region.

The festival is generously supported by Central Lakes Trust, The Community Trust of Otago, Creative New Zealand and Aurora Energy. For further information and ticket sales visit

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