Bodies of Work /

June 2004, Onaero Beach, Taranaki, looking north east before dawn

June 2004, Onaero Beach, Taranaki, looking north-east before dawn, 2004 / 2012. Diptych, digital C-type photograph or giclée print, 1245 × 1010 mm each, and 1038 x 840 mm.


“…in fact I am far more interested when the human moment and its history on terra firma come into play. Ann Shelton’s exquisite June 2004, Onaero Beach, Taranaki, Looking North-East before Dawn, is an exhibition highlight, an interesting contrast to Ruff’s in its also being fixed in position — but framed by cultural and personal context. The lightening sky at sunrise is framed by the dark hulks of the landscape at the bottom and a spooky penumbra smudge hanging above. In the middle, the camera’s long exposure also captures one short sharp line of Venus’s movement, like a falling star cut into the surface. It’s a beautiful piece of visual music as much as anything. Batchen notes Shelton set out to photograph the Matariki cluster but that got “swamped” by the brightness of Venus, providing a side commentary on how the west’s cultural view of the sky has so often been placed on top of an indigenous one.”

–Mark Amery, Pondering the Night Sky.

Read more: EyeContact: Contradictory Adam Show (Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial).