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Solomon Mortimer - The weather was ideal

NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY CURATED BY
CHRISTINE MCFETRIDGE AND TALIA SMITH

Kosher butcher, 2013

Kosher butcher, 2013

'But it's getting better now.
He found it in him to forgive.
He walked the city,
And he found a place to live,
In a half-way house,
Half-way down Dominion Road.'
- The Mutton Birds

Cities are defined by their iconic stretches of road. They're features of a city we remember long after we've left it behind. These are the sort of places communities and cultures congregate; and local industry thrives. We write songs and stories about them. Auckland's Dominion Road is one of these places. It's a busy road used daily by thousands of commuters, but its locals make the place what it is. Solomon Mortimer's project Dominion Road documents these characters, and their setting, as proposed alterations to the road infrastructure come into effect and change a landscape unaltered for eighty years.

'With the alterations of Dominion Road beginning this year, I was given the opportunity to collect the stories and memories of those whose nostalgic remnants of a lifetime were about to be demolished. Working with an oral historian, and Auckland City Libraries, I recorded for this project an account of the road as it was, and has been for the last eighty years (no one I could find with ties to the road was older than that).'

Solomon plays the 'role of the archivist with a camera.' He introduces us to figures; new, but we've met them before. The gentleman reading his paper, local bakers and restauranteurs. The work is not time sensitive in an aesthetic sense and just as we relate to the images now, so too will others in fifty years time. 

These men and women use their hands to engage in a very physical way of life. They're salt of the Earth kind of individuals; quiet men and women who, like a road, make a place memorable to those passing through.

The project is now housed in the Sir George Grey Special Collection at the Auckland Central City Library.

- Christine McFetridge

56, 2013

56, 2013

Ta the Poet, 2013

Ta the Poet, 2013

Pride and Joy of an Auto-Mechanic, 2013

Pride and Joy of an Auto-Mechanic, 2013

Bulb replacement, 2013

Bulb replacement, 2013

Outdated investments, 2013

Outdated investments, 2013

Collection Day, 2013

Collection Day, 2013

Bolter at 10:27am, 2013

Bolter at 10:27am, 2013

Bakery dynasty, 2013

Bakery dynasty, 2013

Larry Woods the King of Wax, 2013

Larry Woods the King of Wax, 2013

Margaret, 2013

Margaret, 2013

Andrew Kenneth Mead, 2013

Andrew Kenneth Mead, 2013

Steelworks #1, 2013

Steelworks #1, 2013

The Foreman, 2013

The Foreman, 2013

Belview Reserve, 2013

Belview Reserve, 2013

This post is part of The weather was ideal project, a series of posts about New Zealand photography curated by Christine McFetridge and Talia Smith.

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