Young artists' animal instincts
If you have ever longed for a feathered or fluffy friend in your central city dwelling, then you might just identify with the themes in an upcoming photography exhibition.
From taxidermy to flamingoes, the brick walls of a Cuba St heritage building will come alive next week with animal-themed photographs by 15 final-year Massey University photography students.
Student Andrew Lind, 21, said the class organised the exhibition as part of the final year of their course - even putting up $200 each to pay for the exhibition rental space.
The class spent 12 weeks working on the collaborative exhibition, and chose the theme of animals in urban spaces by vote after realising their interaction with animals was limited.
“Our interaction with wild animals is now reduced to television or seeing birds in trees - we just don't have the same interaction with animals that mankind has had for a very long time,” Lind said.
The photography students had various interpretations on the theme, from furry fashion photography to pictures of drunken revelers doing animal impersonations.
Lind decided to do symbolic photographs of a taxidermy lamb, crow and deer on altars.
His three photographs are part of a wider comment on fear of death, but they still connect with the theme of city slickers' relationships with animals.
“A couple of people I spoke to about borrowing taxidermy have said, ‘I've got taxidermy because I wasn't allowed to get a real pet'.”
Another animal-loving student was not allowed pets where he lived, so had amassed a collection of animal posters.
He photographed the posters, documenting his desperation to have a connection with animals that do not live in New Zealand.
Some of the photographs will be for sale, including one of Lind's priced at $500.
Lind hopes people who visit the exhibition try to do something about their separation from the animal world.
“We lose a lot by separating ourselves out from the natural world.”
The exhibition is open from 12pm till 6pm from October 16 to 27 on the third floor of the Kennedy building, 33-39 Cuba Street. Entry is free.
Thinking of animals: Andrew Lind with the taxidermy lamb and crow that star in his photographic works. Photo: ANDREW LIND