Anton Maurer - The weather was ideal
NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY CURATED BY
CHRISTINE MCFETRIDGE AND TALIA SMITH
The vast and often unforgiving landscape of New Zealand has been a subject of many filmmakers and artists. History tells us that upon voyaging to New Zealand the settlers came across a land with dense bush and forests, and to make their new home much of this forestry was cut down and demolished.
How we as humans have inhabited the land since we first set foot on this soil is the main interest for Auckland based photographer Anton Maurer and his project Endeavour. Maurer completed this project over eighteen months in between completing his undergraduate degree at Auckland’s Unitec Visual Arts program.
The project takes the viewer on a long and winding journey from the very top of the North Island - Cape Reinga to the depths of Te Urewera National Park and then to the very bottom - Oban, Stewart Island. What effect has colonisation and industry left on the landscape? How are we progressing as a nation? These questions are asked of not only Maurer himself as he makes this journey, but as the viewer we too are left wondering about where our relationship to the landscape stands now.
The photographs in his series are beautifully still, there are no physical people but their presence is noted through the houses built into sides of cliffs, bridges over water, roads, powerlines, construction and smoke billowing from factories in the distance. There are crisp and precise details which are balanced with often vast and open skies. The eye never tires of each image, always finding something new to stumble upon.
Maurer is thoughtful, he draws our attention in aesthetically but also then leaves us questioning and wondering. Is this the legacy we will leave on the land as we grow older?
And more importantly, is this okay?
- Talia Smith