Friday 14 April - Sunday 7 May
The Breeze Block - Nicky Bousfield
"Moving house is a challenge at the best of times. But I was driving my last car load on the day the second lockdown was announced. A lot of time would be spent indoors contemplating the mid century alterations made to the 1905 villa I had moved into. The trio of square indoor shots shown here emerged from this time. An electric fan over a soundboard ceiling in dim lamp light became a monumental galaxy. The Moderne white front door, when shot at dusk, turned cobalt blue, without any filtering. Just one light source is enough to create a narrative from an everyday surface.
I was regularly walking and cycling around my suburb, formerly named St John. There had been a train stop by that name on London Street. Concrete surfaces abound in the area. Brutalist forms like the last downpipe on the Countdown building. Breeze blocks of many patterns. I came to nickname the area The Breeze Block. The patterns revealed in our interior, echoed outside the section and beyond.
I entered the Ceiling Fan photo in the Taranaki National Art Awards, and it took first prize in its section. This is the first showing of the work in Whanganui, just around the corner from where it was taken. Most of these scenes were taken on a digital camera or Samsung cellphone. The square format reflects the Instagram window, though none of these have been shown on there. The phone/insta trend is unstoppable, but it has shaped the way a generation views photography.
All images were taken between Victoria Avenue, Dublin Streeet and Niblett Street. Many structures are being demolished and subsumed by development, gentrification or neglect. Some of them have significant nostalgia for me, visiting friends and family in the 80s/90s. My Aunt attended the Blind Centre on Peat Street. She had been a keen photographer until she lost her sight. My mother played tennis at the courts next door. I rode home from school along the rail lines.
Having moved on from the neighbourhood, this body of work has become a personal residency, which was a joy to assemble."