Celebrating the humans of Ōtautahi
A project that created 1,500 images, taken by University of Canterbury student photographers over five years, has resulted in a new exhibition that captures and celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Raymond and Colleen Holland in Bishopdale; photo by Janneth Gil who was then a University of Canterbury Fine Arts student working with the Christchurch Documentary Project.
The exhibition curator and Director of the Place in Time: Christchurch Documentary Project, University of Canterbury Senior Lecturer in Photography Tim Veling, says the selection was chosen to showcase often overlooked moments of everyday life and the vibrancy of our communities.
“We are a bi-cultural city with an increasingly multi-cultural makeup. The collaboration between our students, Christchurch City Libraries and Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project presented a challenge to document real people in real places across Ōtautahi,” Veling says.
“This has resulted in an online documentary archive, accessible via canterburystories.nz and Place in Time’s own website (placeintime.org). Work made by students, especially seen in conjunction with pre-existing resources and other upcoming projects and initiatives, is an attempt to capture and share the wonderful sense of community and collective identity of the city we call home.”
In one extraordinary image, a girl dressed in pink walks out of a tomb reconstructed in Halswell Quarry Park as part of Easter celebrations. The carved, angular rockface of the old quarry mimics stylised stones that have been painted on the flat, wooden surfaces of the biblical structure – ‘He Is Risen’ written above its entrance.