Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Hendrik Kerstens + Erwin Olaf

MEDIA RELEASE 18 August 2015

For immediate release

6 September – 15 November 2015

The Whangarei Art Museum presents Hendrik Kerstens + Erwin Olaf. An exhibition featuring the works of two leading international contemporary photographers.

Since 1995 Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula, beginning as a series capturing the fleeting time of childhood. A moment of revelation occurred for Kerstens, which would later lead him to develop a series of portraits emulating the style of the Dutch masters: “One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian Renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this.”

At first glance the style of the photographs distinctly speak of the works of Johannes Vermeer, depicting portraits of Paula seemingly dressed in 17th Century Dutch costume. On closer contemplation Kerstens’ original moment of revelation is echoed when the viewer discovers the costume is made up of everyday modern objects, often announced in the title of the works, such as Bag – portraying Paula with a headdress styled from a plastic bag.

Erwin Olaf’s Keyhole series was centred around his first 3D installation The Keyhole (2011/2012). Exploring the themes of intimacy, shame and feelings of guilt, each of the photographs show a solitary figure – either turned away or with their gaze downcast in a private moment of their own internal world.

In 1987 Olaf began working with film, which has been an important influence on his art practice. His perfectly crafted scenes are strikingly composed, yet leave much to the imagination. His technique delivers a dramatic visual impact while often leaving the visitor curiously unsettled by the unspoken conclusions.

Exhibition supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland