Posted by on February 23, 2014  Add comments
Feb 232014
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Pauline, this is my second thought about landscape.  We came to New Zealand in 1996.  I had visited once, walked down Lambton Quay, taken a drive to the Hutt and a drive from Picton to Christchurch via the west coast.  4 days. Fiona and the children came here sight unseen!  Once we were here we realised it was a foreign land, we had no connection:  No family and no understanding of the land.  I could not visualise the tip of the NI or the bottom of the SI or anything in between.  I did not understand the land, the weather, the place and how it worked and therefore how I should interact with it.  How could we call this place home?  In January 2013 we went to Northland for a family holiday.  Fiona and I went for a walk and we came across this place, a very normal place of flax, cabbage trees, ocean, land and sky, New Zealand.  As I was making this image I felt a connection I had never felt in New Zealand, soft, gentle, uplifting, familiar, excitement.  Home? Perhaps. Something special? Yes:  The moment I first Connected with New Zealand!

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  10 Responses to “Connected”

  1. I think that the feeling came from within – I like that you found this soft, gentle, uplifting etc.

    However when I look at this image I can also image someone interpreting this as a harsh, angry, confrontational barrier.

    You were ready to view the place as welcoming so for you it was…………….

  2. I had a similar view to Ian, I find & feel that the trees are acting like a barrier or a fence. I came to NZ in 1984 & have lived here since then, except for a couple stints to Antarctica. For me NZ is about clean open spaces with big skies & even bigger landscapes, especially in the SI.
    We all have a different connection to NZ especially those of use who have come here to live, we leave behind a different land, culture, friends, weather &????. So do we sometime cling to a past & only connect to our new home when we find…………

  3. Ian and Scott. You give me food for thought! This is a classic example of interpretation comes from the eye of the beholder. I definitely see where you are coming from and agree that is a valid interpretation. I have this printed on a 1mx1m piece of wood in pride of place at home. The wood softens it a lot. Good feedback. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for making these last couple of postings and for the responding comments. It’s all stuff that is still working around inside me. I’m thinking of responding with some of the images I have made from those thoughts. A work still in progress.

  5. I also came to live in NZ in 1984! The hardest thing is leaving behind a “shared history” and being able to bump into people who recognise you in the street. But with time that now happens for me. Likewise for me the NZ landscape is about the wide open spaces – but of course I had that in Australia also!!! There is space out there further behind your trees, Bruce, but those trees seem to line up like a fence stopping one from getting out further into the environment. Maybe your connection now comes from a familiarity with and enjoyment of NZ’s native flora. AND you have made your life here and it is working for you. I think this is a great image with wonderful tones

  6. Hi Bruce
    this post from you means a lot to me. I didn’t realize that you only moved here a year before me. I remember going up Ngaiwi way with you – would have been 1998? 99?, stopping somewhere that direction – can’t remember exactly where – and we were laying on our stomachs in the grass taking pictures of something. I remember you saying that you had a hard time with photography here because you didn’t feel a connection relative to where you grew up. I remember being puzzled by that, having had a different experience when moving here. I remember crawling into bed on the first night in my first house here and overwhelmingly feeling that I am home. So even though I wasn’t with you when you made this photograph, I feel like I could have been. 🙂
    That probably sounds weird. 🙂
    Ha, the day above was probably the last time you ate a crayfish! 🙂

    • Ann, I will never forget that trip. I loved your company but never felt connected to New Zealand. In fact I found that place bleak and inhospitable. I wanted to run. It is on my agenda to go back there because I am sure it will be different now. This image has also been a turning point in my photography. This last year I have been full of ideas, and all delivered through connection – a growing understanding of place and how I feel about it. So exciting.

  7. I see it differently than Ian and Scott. I pretty much always see trees as things living “in” the landscape. In this case a bunch of slightly scruffy individuals gathered at the waters edge under a changing sky. Young and energetic. Love it. Love the tonal range.

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