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ROSS T SMITH
LINGER, 2 - 27 FEBRUARY 2010

[{Linger}] brings together a selection of Smith's pinhole photographs from 2005 -2009 - images which play with notions of memory, time and silence. Smith says these photographs allow him in the making, and the viewer in the looking, to slow down and become engaged with phenomena in all of their subtle presentations to us.

"In my own way I am lingering in a world of making that is rapidly changing because of digital technology and the supposed need for speed and immediacy. Immediacy is the antithesis to lingering. During the exposures time passes before the camera. The image recorded is not a fraction of time but time lingering upon the surface of the negative," Smith says.

The photographs are hand-made using traditional darkroom techniques. The exposures are long - 20-60 minutes - depending on light and location. The 'camera' is a cardboard box - there is no hi-tech interference at all; no lens, no shutter, no moving parts, no mechanisms. The landscapes prints are all doubles- two negatives, two exposures, contact printed together. They are handled before exposure and so show smudges and fingerprints as a memory of the hand of the artist.

{On the beach the light comes from no one place}, 2009 is a unique suite of eight pinhole photographs of Mitimiti in Northland - Ralph Hotere's birthplace. The images were produced last year for an exhibition in the Hokianga which comprised Hotere's 1991 painting {Song of Solomon} and five Northland artists' response to the work. All other images are in an edition of five.

Ross T Smith is an artist, architect and teacher. He first came to prominence a decade ago with his poignant portraits of young Maori in the Hokianga, which are in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery. He has exhibited widely in New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK, Germany and Austria, with over 50 solo and group exhibitions, and he has work in public and private collections in NZ, Australia, the US, Spain and Finland. Smith has been working with pinhole cameras for several years but has only recently exhibited these images. His photographic practice parallels his study and teaching in architecture. He is currently completing a PhD in architecture at the University of Auckland and recently returned to New Zealand from Helsinki where he lived for several months undertaking research in the office of the eminent Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa.





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