Beauty and displacement

Photographer Stephen Piper spent two weeks in Southland this year photographing images for his first solo exhibition – South – currently on at Northart Gallery at the Northcote Shopping Centre in Auckland. English and a location scout by trade, Piper brings a filmic quality to the images and while the gorgeous landscape is there, Piper's primary focus is how objects and buildings are in situ. And the relationship these things have with their surroundings.

Some of the buildings look like dilapidated Hollywood sets, there's also a concrete bear beside a brick house. I am drawn to the image of ageing industrialism below; and how it could be from anywhere. It reminds me of films I've seen about unhappy teens in small town America. The buildings have a weird beauty to them. Another shows a caravan sandwiched between rocks. The image is post-apocalyptic and once again there is displacement and beauty.

The two photos, which show only landscape, are dreamy concoctions. I want to follow the path into the forest, into the Nothingness.

South, photographs by Stephen Piper.
Northart, Norman King Square, Ernie Mays St, Northcote Shopping Centre.
Till 24 August.
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