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Sat 19 Apr 2008, 5:00pm–7:00pm

Where: Gallery 203 - Arts Council Nelson, 203 Trafalgar St, Nelson, Nelson / Tasman

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Lane Collins

An exhibition featuring the work of award-winning local photographer Lane Collins opens at a central Nelson gallery this week.

New Moon, at Gallery 203 on Trafalgar Street, will feature a selection of images from two of Lane's recent bodies of work. One series, created during her transition from San Francisco to Nelson, deals with the challenges of finding a home in a new country. 'It was major change, and the things I photographed were directly influenced by what I was working through in my life. In a way I turned the camera on myself.' The second selection is a set of recent portraits in which the subjects hide their faces with their hands. 'It's about identity, how we recognise people and judge them based on the way they present themselves,' says Lane.

Since moving to Nelson in 2006, Lane has emerged as a talented and versatile photographer. In addition to her personal work, Lane shoots for a growing roster of advertising and editorial clients. She worked as a staff photographer on lifestyle magazine WildTomato until stepping out with her own freelance photography business last year.

Lane's engaging images won her the Supreme Artist prize at the 2007 Arts Council Nelson Regional Art Awards, as well as the Gold and Silver awards in the photography section.

'I never expected to win anything,' she says modestly. 'I only entered to get my work out there and introduce my photography to the Nelson area. So to win three prizes was fantastic and really encouraged me to put on this show at 203.'

Nelson is a long way from Lane's home town of Hickory in North Carolina – a place she says she never really felt she belonged to. However, discovering photography as a teenager gave her a passion and a chance to move on.

'I was pretty depressed and unhappy a lot of the time. After taking my first photography class at around 16 or 17, it was like love at first sight. As soon as I started developing film in the darkroom that was it for me,' she explains.

Lane went on to study photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 she felt ready to explore another part of the world. She and her partner came to New Zealand on holiday and visited Nelson on the advice of friends. Just one week in the area convinced them to move, and they settled here less than a year later.

Lane says her art isn't so much influenced by any one thing, or person, but by whatever is going on in her life at the time. 'It's a progression of where I am in life, what's happening around me and what I'm feeling. A camera can be used in the same way as paints and a canvas, to express something that matters to you personally. Just as in paintings and other art forms, there can always be more to a photograph than simply the aesthetic.'

New Moon's opening night is this Saturday, 19 April from 5 pm to 7 pm. The exhibition runs from 21 April until 9 May at Gallery 203, 203 Trafalgar Street, open 11 am until 3 pm Monday to Friday.

For further information, or to find out about Lane's upcoming exhibitions, go to