III. Writing, interviews and reviews /

26 Photographs of a House

The house (The House before any gardening was done), 2007. C Type print and Black and White fibre print, 36.4 x 50.8 cm each.

Christina Barton
‘Ann Shelton; 26 Photographs of a House’, Architecture NZ, May/June, pages 112-14

Photographer Ann Shelton has found a fitting subject in James Walter Chapman-Taylor’s ‘Castle’, the house he designed and built between 1929 and 1930 in rural North Taranaki for businessman-turned-politician Charles Wilkinson. This is not just because it complies with Shelton’s longstanding fascination for sites loaded with often-charged history, but because the architect’s project uncannily replicates many of the motives at work in photography’s heroic task of holding a mirror up to nature. Chapman-Taylor may not have approved of Shelton’s use of a technological apparatus that removes handicraft from the act of creation, but this does not diminish the synchronicity that exists between the building and the medium that records it. Both aspire to the condition of truth and Shelton sets herself the task of testing their success.

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