New Zealand 1967
White wedding, Invercargill 1997
Type C photograph
69.5 X 85.5 cm
PF The moment I saw this particular work… It’s from a series that she
PF The moment I saw this particular work… It’s from a series that she did. Maybe about fifteen or twenty images, where she photographed housing estates in New Zealand, and then collaged figures onto those particular houses, and I had been totally oblivious to the fact that these images, when they were first shown, had caused an uproar in New Zealand; really quite virulent attack.
And she was attacked for denigrating welfare housing by suggesting that people of extraordinary sortof physical dimensions lived in these buildings. I had exactly the opposite response. When I saw this photograph it was my parents’ wedding. The whole tilt of the man’s head… It was just like the one photograph I have of my parents’ wedding.
You could never see my mother’s face in the shot because the hat she had came right over her head, sort of at 45º, and I always remember my father saying ‘Your mother was a beautiful woman when I married her’, and I thought ‘well, you can’t see that from the photograph because all you see is this hat’.
But I just thought there was a real mark of fondness and quaintness in this couple, and here they were as bride and groom at the beginning of their life, but depicted as being at the end of it, and still together and clutching, so I found most of the images in the show quite touching, rather than scarifying, or vilifying, or whatever it might be.
And it’s been a very, very fond work of mine, and I have four or five images of hers from this series, but this is one that I particularly like, and I have a great fondness for Invercargill; it comes in at many levels, this particular piece.