Award-winners open Greytown gallery

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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Photographers Terry Hann and Esther Bunning at their new gallery and studio space, The Gallery @The Hub, on Greytown's Main St. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
Photographers Terry Hann and Esther Bunning at their new gallery and studio space, The Gallery @The Hub, on Greytown's Main St. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Two award-winning photographers have made themselves at home in Greytown with a new gallery and studio.

The Gallery @The Hub is the joint venture of Esther Bunning and Terry Hann, a couple who met many years ago through a shared passion for photography.

The space is at the rear of the former Four Square building on Main St at the new shopping complex, The Hub Greytown.

Hann is a commercial photographer and Bunning is a portrait artist.

Both have won international awards for their works and are Grand Masters of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography.

Bunning is a Nikon ambassador and gives talks on photography around New Zealand and Australia.

Her work ranges from "straight photographic portraits" to more abstract style art, where she experiments with colour, movement and texture, using multiple exposure and in-camera techniques to layer images.

"My technique is quite complex," Bunning said. "Most people can take a good photo on their phone, but they may come to me if they want something different or unique, and over and above what they can do themselves -- and something that ideally will become an heirloom."

Bunning's Angel Project and Fire and Water collections both feature dancers and actors from shows choreographed by Greytown dance teacher, Justine Eldred.

Bunning has self-published two books featuring the artisan photographs from the projects.

She said her work was intuitive.

"The direction [of my works] comes from the subjects themselves. It's a result of having discussions with the people involved -- who they are, where they come from and what they aspire to - and then being able to draw it out."

Bunning said, according to recent statistics she had seen, just one in 100,000 photographs snapped were actually printed these days.

"And I believe it. Digital photography will result in a lost generation."

She said the "mind blowing" technology was changing so fast, who knew if viewing the files in 20 years would still be an option.

"[Her work] is not your usual run of the mill portrait photography", Hann said. "People definitely seek her out because of her creativity and style."

Hann has been running his commercial photography business for the past 25 years; however, his passion lies in primary industries, particularly the wine industry and the sea.

He is responsible for the large posters of seafood commonly seen in fish and chip shops, having spent the last decade photographing New Zealand's commercial fish species.

Now Hann is experimenting with new ways to artistically showcase his extensive seafood resource.

Over the past 10 years, the couple had worked from their home studio in Featherston, opening by appointment only.

Bunning said the idea of their "new front door", which could open at anytime, was something she was still getting used to.

"We're getting good foot traffic, both from locals and visitors to the region."

The couple have designed their gallery so everything can be moved around, with everything on casters, meaning there is potential to host seminars, art installations, dance and musical performances there.

"We're really looking forward to the [Hub] complex being completed," Bunning said.

"It's going to be amazing and really good for Greytown."
The Gallery @The Hub is open every day, 10am-4pm week days and 11am-3pm weekends.

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