Photography is used to document our lives, to verify our memories, and is a literal lens through which to understand our position in society. This makes it an ideal medium to empower young people to connect to their community spaces and amplify their voices within them. InSight, led by artists/teachers Mindy Catt and Christa Napier-Robertson, was created to facilitate this process.

Over a series of workshops and walks around West Auckland, the InSight photographers experimented with photographic processes, techniques, and subject matter to develop their own visual language. The eight 15-18 year olds, all residents of the area, used photography to explore not only physical spaces but the values and interests they saw reflected within them. Openness and curiosity led the group to carefully consider what may otherwise have been overlooked – making the invisible, apparent, the ugly, beautiful, and the everyday – extraordinary.

Their image-making, while varied, is connected through shared values such as kaitiakitanga, resilience, equality and fun. It reflects the open-ended, complex journey they make, as individuals and as family and community members, from childhood into the adult world. Photography amplifies their perspectives as they develop in their artmaking practice, from documenting what they see towards articulating their desired future.

This project was made possible thanks to Creative Communities, with additional support from an Ara Taiohi Youth Week grant, and the Waitākere Ranges Local Board.

Photography by Olivia Blackman 

13 May - 16 July 2023

Photos by Sapphire Crump