Geoffrey Heath - The weather was ideal
NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY CURATED BY
CHRISTINE MCFETRIDGE AND TALIA SMITH
There is a film like quality to Geoffrey Heath’s Scheduled Entertainment 2010 but in this case it is as if we have come into the theatre half way through and are left to figure out the pieces and connect the dots. His images explore the everyday and suburbia, poking fun and revealing a slightly sinister underbelly.
An older man, dressed in ill fitting office wear poses in front of a wall wearing an elaborately decorated ‘Happy New Year!’ hat and holding a balloon creature in his hands. In another photograph an eerily empty subdivision stands with perfectly manicured driveways and in another a piece of exercise equipment has been posed neatly on a beige bedspread.
The settings for each photograph are recognisable – the office party, the house across the street, the bike accident. These are all parts of an experience we can share and relate to but there is also a sense that perhaps everything is not right and maybe we have chosen to forget the other parts of those scenes. Such as the legs of a woman sticking out from underneath a Christmas tree or the man dressed in motorcycle leathers standing aggressively as if about to start walking towards you.
There is something both comforting and unsettling about the home and suburbia which is detailed cleverly in his photographs. Perhaps it is that fond memories of the home can be clouded by feelings of suffocation, of being a teenager and feeling trapped, wanting to escape your family unit and become your own person.
Whatever the reasons may be, Heath's images leave you wondering long after you leave them. And maybe after some time you will be able to link them together and make your own beginning, middle and end.
- Talia Smith