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


Digital Dimension Sure To Delight At New Portrait Exhibition

An innovative digital dimension to one of the most significant photographic collections in Aotearoa New Zealand will feature in a new exhibition at the National Library in Wellington.

Between skin & shirt: The photographic portraits of William Harding comprises a selection of 60 portraits from the collection, held by the Alexander Turnbull Library. This first major exhibition of Harding’s work will run from 26 May until 29 October.

Mr Finamore and his dog. Photographer: William Harding (ATL ref. 1/4-004254-G)

William Harding had a photographic studio in Whanganui from the 1850s to the 1880s. His photographs depict the township and most notably its people. The Harding collection is a rich source of information relating to Māori and Pākehā individuals and their relationships at a formative time in our country’s history.

“The exhibition shows a selection of 60 prints taken from original glass-plate negatives, of which there are over 6,500,” says exhibition curator Dr Fiona Oliver.

“It also includes a digital display of all the portraits which will give the exhibition a dynamic, sculptural dimension. Visitors will be able to take a selfie and their face will be matched with one in the collection, which will then appear on a 3-metre-high hanging screen.

“This interactive feature aims to tangibly connect audiences with Harding’s photographic subjects.”

Using few elaborate props or backdrops, and unwilling to retouch his photographs to flatter his sitters, Harding’s portraits are remarkable for their sensitivity and honesty. The women, men, children, families and other groups who were his subjects appear with startling immediacy.

“Harding was able to reveal the person behind the formality of appearances,” says Dr Oliver.

“These people seem so immediate that we find ourselves looking, it seems, at someone we might know. Maybe that person is ourselves.”

Between skin & shirt: The photographic portraits of William Harding

26 May – 29 October 2022

Ground floor, National Library building, Molesworth St, Wellington

Free entry

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>