NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY CURATED BY
CHRISTINE MCFETRIDGE AND TALIA SMITH
Abby Storey’s body of work Of the Land 'forms a portrait of a man and an exploration of the life he leads.' Storey examines the complex and sometimes contradictory relationships between humanity and the natural world.
Our protagonist, Terry, like his ancestors before him, is a farmer, hunter, dog trainer and man with inextricable ties to the land. According to Storey, Terry’s world is a world of ‘animal husbandry but also animal slaughter, with home-kill meat being a staple of the family diet.’
This notion of self-reliance forms the essence of Storey’s work. Her portraits are punctuated with quiet, descriptive images that form a narrative around Terry’s way of life. Additionally, the work has an environmental conscience.
A part of Terry’s life is spent hunting animals that are non-native to the New Zealand bush and are damaging the ecosytem, namely deer, goats, wild pigs and wild cattle. The highly destructive introduction of non-native animals to ecosystems around the world has resulted in the extinction or endangering of countless species. In Terry's words, ‘it’s killing an animal, but it’s saving a native bird'.
- Christine McFetridge