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Mitchell Bright: Cultivated Opens at CoCA


CoCA is excited to present Cultivated, an exhibition of Mitchell Bright’s graduate photography in our Ground Floor Gallery. Part of Bright’s 2018 MFA, the works in Cultivated are a reaction to rapid change - a photographic investigation of the outer edges of Christchurch and the Selwyn district.

Examining the way the area changed post-quake, in the wake of the Land Use Recovery Plan and the development of the Christchurch Southern Motorway, Bright felt a strong sense of loss, and an urgency in the need to capture and document the area before it was changed forever.

"Cultivated came as a reaction to the intense change I was witnessing in my hometown,” says Bright. “It is a photographic exploration of the re-identification of a place and the repurposing of land."

Cultivated examines the landscape in its in-between state, as large areas of land were rezoned - fields became construction sites for the motorway, and isolated residences were suddenly next door to large new subdivisions. It examines the complex realities of the redetermination of land use - the necessities of development, restoration, and rejuvenation conflicts with the nostalgia of a stomping ground changing and becoming less recognisable.

Mitchell Bright is a Selwyn based photographer engaging with his local environment through long term documentary projects. His work focuses on the human relationship to the landscape and how it is valued and utilised. Bright is supported by Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project.

“As Christchurch’s centre for contemporary art, we’re all about presenting and supporting our city’s artists at every career stage,” says Jennifer Katherine Shields, CoCA’s Exhibitions Manager & Programming. “We are proud to be showing Mitchell Bright’s MFA work, and profiling one of the many promising graduates coming out of our local art schools.”

Cultivated is open in CoCA’s Ground Floor Gallery from 26 Jan - 17 March.

The opening event is 5.30pm on Friday 25th January - all welcome.

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