The images in The Homely II originate from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and were taken between 2001-2017. It is the sequel to Gavin Hipkins’ celebrated series The Homely (1997-2001), which created conversations and conflicts between pictures from New Zealand and Australia. This new series is presented in an identical format, as an 80-photo frieze, entirely shot with an amateur film camera. It explores our differences and similarities with the United Kingdom by shuffling and combining locations to form a fragmented narrative. In conjunction with this presentation of The Homely II, Hipkins will premiere a new video that further explores themes of nationalism and the British landscape.
In the United Kingdom and New Zealand, Hipkins visited historic and contemporary tourist spots and museums while also gathering pictures of humbler everyday motifs. His itinerary included iconic landscapes such as the Lake District and Scotland’s national parks, as well as important locations from the industrial revolution, including New Lanark and Iron Bridge. From New Zealand, we see the Moeraki boulders, geothermal activity in Rotorua, and scenes from settler museums. These allude to colonial connections, the legacies of industrial expansion, traditions of landscape representation, and the idea of domesticity and family.
A Titirangi resident, Hipkins has been described as a ‘tourist of photography’ for the way he navigates the medium’s history, modes, manners, and mechanics across a diverse range of formal styles. Core concerns unite Hipkins’ work, however, including myths of national identity, exploration and colonisation in the modern era, and how social and political ideologies visually shape the world we live in.
The Homely II is toured by City Gallery Wellington and was first exhibited there as part of their exhibition This Is New Zealand.
Image: Crystal Palace (Park), 2015, detail
23 February – May 2019
Opening function Saturday 2 March, 4pm