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Fade By Kathrin Simon


Wed 29 Mar 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 30 Mar 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 31 Mar 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 1 Apr 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 2 Apr 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Whangarei Art Museum, Town Basin, Dent Street, Whangarei

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Kathrin Simon

Since Fade was first exhibited in Sep/Oct 2016 at the Wallace Arts Centre (Pah Homestead) in Auckland is was enjoyed by more than 28,000 visitors and is featured in the current edition of the 'Art New Zealand' magazine.

It was showcased at No. 1 Parnell gallery in Rawene in the Hokianga in Dec16-Jan17 and has now travelled to Whangarei to be exhibited at Whangarei Art Museum.

Dotted across the Northland countryside on roadsides, hilltops and marae sit dozens of tiny, wooden churches. Centuries of religious tradition and Maori culture were incorporated into these places of worship built following the arrival in the Hokianga of European Christian missionaries or later appropriated to accommodate followers of Ratana.

In many instances, the settlements they were built to serve have ebbed away, leaving these buildings as the only reminder of ages past and the Whenua - Maori and Pakeha, lay and religious - who gathered in them to celebrate life, death, triumph or sorrow.

The churches stand with what might be described as a quiet contentment but in differing states of repair. Where one houses nothing more than birds in the ceiling as the seasons gnaw at its exterior, others remain as functioning churches. They are buildings that offer quiet solitude to those who open their doors.

Fade invites viewers to step into these churches and to explore their sense of fade, both physical and temporal. In many ways, these qualities act to increase their sense of the spiritual. Photography is a medium that also relies on fade and shadow for its power and this exhibition would like to show the churches as images that have been developing slowly over the last 150 years, their losses incorporated into their sense of space and into their conversations with whatever lies beyond. The exhibition aims to show the churches as they are now, their histories known, their futures unknown.

Images by Kathrin Simon are accompanied with writing by historian Matt Elliott.

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