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Catherine Russ - In the Quiet

4 August – 3 September 2023


In the summer of 2018, I began photographing in the early hours of the morning around Palmerston North’s CBD. Often, I would be thinking of friends and family who were living overseas, and I particularly enjoyed posting on social media, images I’d taken that morning. Each time I walked and photographed, a little bit of ‘home’ was channelled to Las Vegas, Birmingham, New York, Berlin etc.

The response was positive and immediate! It became evident that my friends were enjoying this regular insight into life back home. The light, the space, the emptiness … all so normal here. It made me view things differently. I started to gather images that I knew would spike an interest if you were residing in any other place in the world.

In November 2020 I received a grant from the Earle Creativity and Development Trust to help produce this series. The images are largely buildings from a range of small towns and settlements in the regions around Palmerston North.

My preference is to keep things simple. I use minimal gear and like to draw as little attention as possible to my activity. I’m generally in the CBD or Main Street where the space is public, rather than photographing people’s homes. I may only ever walk past a place once and if all the components I’m looking for are there, I’ll spend time creating the shot.



Acknowledgements - 

Earle Creativity and Development Trust,     Oliver Zavala,     James Gilberd

Christian Hogue,     Andrew Francis,     Cathy Ellis,     Simon Francis

Note: some of the room images below contain reflections -  Exhibition is best seen in person.

Works in the Exhibition

List of Works


1          Grass Berm, Linton, 2021                       $1800                         840mm(w) x 1140mm(h)

2          Cut Tree, Kairanga, 2021                        $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

3          Old Palm Dairy, Marton, 2021                 $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

4          Fire Station, Hunterville, 2021                 $1800                         1140mm(w) x 840mm(h)

5          Tavern, Rongotea, 2021                          $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

6          Giggles, Taihape, 2020                            $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

7          Hedge, Sanson, 2020                              $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

8          Green Cottage, Sanson, 2020                 $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)

9          3 Odd Bits, Halcolmbe, 2021                   $1200                         820mm(w) x 620mm(h)

10        Fence Shed, Pahiatua, 2021                   $1200                         820mm(w) x 620mm(h)

11        Sale Yard Café, Feilding, 2021                $1200                         620mm(w) x 820mm(h)


All photographs were taken between 18 November 2020 – 7 November 2021

Printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin 310 gsm

Open edition. Prices are for framed works only. Unframed NFS



Growing up in Palmerston North, Russ was influenced by the 1975 photography exhibition, Active Eye, at the Manawatu Art Gallery which featured many of New Zealand’s contemporary photographers of the time.

Inspired by her night class tutor, Elam Art Graduate, Kathryn McCool, she started photographing in the late 1990’s completing several locally themed projects for exhibition.

Russ’s work featured in the New Zealand Journal of Photography (Feb 1999) and has been exhibited at New Zealand House in London as well as regional public and private galleries in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

After establishing Thermostat Gallery in Palmerston North in 2001, Russ is finding the time to create her own work again after a lengthy hiatus. Her recent photographic series ‘Park Up’ was exhibited at Te Manawa (PN) in 2020 and Aratoi (Masterton) in 2021.

IN THE QUIET was first exhibited at Photospace Gallery in Wellington earlier this year.


Artzone online self portrait series (Feb 2023)

Art New Zealand magazine article by Janet Bayly (Issue 96, 2000)

Art New Zealand magazine article by Mary Macpherson (Issue 186, Winter 2023)

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