ROBERTA THORNLEY + HEATHER STRAKA
Boys Don't Cry, 04 - 29 March 2014
Heather Straka's photographs, made at the very south of New Zealand's South Island during the William Hodges Residency in Invercargill, toy with the stereotypical notion of huntin'-shootin'-fishin' Southern Man.
Questioning ideas around masculinity, sexuality and realism Straka layers a Riefenstahl-esque sensibility onto meticulously staged tableaux of handsome 'hunters' with their 'kill'.
Roberta Thornley's photographs, like those of Straka, are meticulously constructed. With their chiaroscuro lighting effects and allusions to antique sculpture, her works are rich with narrative possibility and "a silent stillness".
This filmic quality is emphasised in Thornley's most recent series by the theatrically draped curtains, integral to each image. As the artist explains, "my moment sits on the fringe between theatre and reality; you can't read the backwards and forwards of it."
Roberta Thornley is the recipient of the 2015 Tylee Cottage Residency, Whanganui
Heather Straka appears courtesy of Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch.