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Sat 23 Oct 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm
Tue 26 Oct 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm
Wed 27 Oct 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm
Thu 28 Oct 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm
Fri 29 Oct 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm

Where: McNamara Gallery Photography, 190 Wicksteed Street, Whanganui, Manawatu / Whanganui

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: 190wic

In giving consideration to a single genre, Portraiture, identified as a category within the wider body of the artist’s work, one can trace his evolving practice in an illuminating manner.

On Portraiture, the artist says:
The urge to take portraits is, for me, one that only comes intermittently, alas .One rush came in the mid to late 1970s. Then there was an extremely large gap. Another rush came about 5 years ago.
In this case I took a photo of my grandson Stan who lived in Darwin at that time.
Right now I am feeling that I would like to make some more portraits. I'm in the mood. [1]

I think there is amongst photographers a kind of resistance to the idea of photographs being premeditated. My photographs are not spontaneous. They're not 'snaps'. They're not 'moments'.

On several occasions they [subjects of my portraits] have been people I have seen around the city.
In general I would make the approach - and then spend a lot of time planning the picture.
I usually spend a long time thinking about the clothes I want worn, the backgrounds, where I want the subject to stand.

All my photography is a kind of self exploration. But that doesn't mean to say that all my pictures are necessarily 'self portraits'. On one hand they are, certainly: but the pictures I take of people still do contain some truth about them. A truth, perhaps, with which I empathise. [2]

Peryer has referred to the process as ‘putting a frame around my experience’. [3]

I don't particularly want people to smile and relax, for instance. This is one of the reasons that I often face my subjects to the sun. It tenses them. I'm certainly at odds with the smile concept of portraiture. [4]
Peryer seems to strip back the protocols of the portrait photo- smile for the camera, be yourself- in search of starker and more telling fictions. [5]

Rather than seeking to probe the essentiality of human character these images exuded a timelessness and appeared more concerned with the elusiveness and theatre of identity. [6]

Neil Rowe likened Peryer’s portraits to ‘actresses in a photographic passion play’.[7]

Yet what startles….is not how much Peryer’s photographs reveal but how much they hold back …’what the critic Max Kozloff has called ‘ the enigma of personality’. [8]

The title Other acts to separate this group of works from Self [- portraits], Erika [ portraits of spouse] and Kin [ - portraits of family]

[Kin & Self [proposed] are group exhibitions ]

[1] Peter Peryer, Blog 11.1.10
[2] Art New Zealand #8 The photograph as portrait of self p 25, 65, 67

[3] Peter Peryer: Photographs, Sarjeant Gallery, 1985 p 26
[4][Photo-Forum Supplement, Summer 1977/78 p13
[5] Erika: a portrait by Peter Peryer, 2001 Justin Paton p 6
[6] Second Nature, 1995 Gregory Bourke p 9
[7] Evening Post 24.12.77
[8[ Erika: a portrait by Peter Peryer, 2001 Justin Paton p 8

Paul McNamara
190 Wicksteed Street