Francis McWhannell: In search of intimacy – a photograph by Paul Johns
Monica Brewster Evening
- Tue 17 Sep 2019
- Todd Energy Learning Centre
- Students with ID free
- Friends $10 | General $15
- Refreshments provided | All welcome
- Booking essential
In this talk, Francis McWhannell looks at the stories behind a single work: a panoramic photograph of the township of Akaroa taken by Ōtautahi-based artist Paul Johns on 30 September 2011.
Based on an example produced one hundred years earlier to the day by Jessie Lillian Buckland, Johns’ photograph provides remarkable insight into his practice. Like other works by the artist, it centres on a location of personal significance and plugs in to a time before his birth, accessible only through the historical record.
The photograph also relates to Johns’ career-long exploration of questions of gender. In recreating an image by Buckland, he acknowledges her position as a pioneer, both because she worked as a professional photographer at a time when it was unusual for a woman to do so, and because she showed an interest in playing with gender in her images. As a queer man with family ties to Akaroa, McWhannell intends his talk to pay homage to Johns, celebrating not only his early and open investigation of queerness in Aotearoa, but also the sensitivity with which he approaches his complex subjects.
The Monica Brewster Evenings in association with Govett Quilliam – The Lawyers bring an impressive array of national and international artists and cultural thinkers to New Plymouth. For a different kind of night out, join us for talks, presentations and performances in a casual and intimate atmosphere.