Whangarei Art Museum director Scott Pothan says that an exhibition featuring the work of several photographers is hinged on Northern Advocate photographer John Stone's 30 years of capturing Northland's news on camera.

Among the suite of six exhibitions which opened on Monday, collectively called Photomontage, 'Enquiring Eye', documents and highlights Northland's colour, tragedies, triumphs and traditions caught by Mr Stone during his 30-year local career.

Outside their newspaper context, and removed from the softening effect of newsprint to hard-copy mounted works, the photos take on a more defined relevance of time and place.

Also linking the newspaper with the Photomontage exhibition is The Drummond and Te Wake Collections, featuring selected images from the nationally and regionally significant collection of historic Northland photos.


The Northern Advocate recently handed over the Drummond Te Wake collection to the art museum for long-term loan and curatorship.

The Collections show includes an installation of cameras and the history of photography.

The other sections in Photomontage also reflect contemporary and historic New Zealand.

Reflecting Mana - portraits of Tainui by Alan Bekhuis, offers a chance to see modern portraits using the earliest photographic method, the daguerreotype, produced on iodine/bromine-sensitised silver.

One of less than 100 daguerreotype practitioners worldwide, Mr Bekhuis is also recognised as a specialist in framing daguerreotype portraits in authentic leather lined mounts in lit, wooden boxes. He gave a talk about daguerreotype history and technique at the opening of Photomontage.

Another view of New Zealand which defies time but is entirely regional is presented in the winter landscape of Central Otago, a series of photos from a recently published book of the same name by well-known New Zealand artist Grahame Sydney.

Family life and the household environment is at the heart of a delightful, quirky exhibition, The Optimist's House by Whangarei photographer and arts writer Cathy Tuato'o Ross.

The Fundamental Series by the late Di Ffrench, on loan to WAM by the Artis Gallery in Auckland, features what Mr Pothan described as superb examples of the cibachrome method.


Photomontage will be on show at the museum until August 5.