Photographic Responses to 2020

Young Artists’ group exhibition
This exhibition has finished

2020 was an extraordinary year during which the onset of a global pandemic shook the world and our own everyday lives to the core. Our comfortable routines were invaded by previously unheard of impositions: lockdowns, personal protective equipment, ‘bubbles’ and contact tracing, while New Zealand closing its international borders to all but citizens and residents escaping from the situation overseas?

Overseas we saw rising trends of extremism and nationalism. The world is still reverberating with the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. The most powerful nation on earth witnessed increasing degrees of breakdown in its civic society. The attempted insurrection at the United States Capitol at the beginning of 2021 threatened the structures of democracy in the very nation that has long claimed the status of the leader of the free and democratic world.

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we remained sheltered from some of the extremes of the pandemic and the global situation in general. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that, ‘New Zealanders did something remarkable in our fight to beat COVID-19. We united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus.’ The occasional scares and local lockdowns we’ve been through are nothing compared to the massive upheaval confronting the rest of the world.

Nonetheless, all our lives were impacted – whether by the weeks of lockdown, the disruption to work and study and travel plans, the inability to exchange visits with friends and family overseas, or in more intangible ways by the uncertainty and anxiety we all experienced. At the same time, life continued. Relationships began and ended, friendships solidified or pulled apart, creative projects were modified or completed or abandoned and new ones begun.

We also have an online exhibition of more submissions this group exhibition, in addition to the printed photographs in the gallery.

Featured artists, Photospace Gallery exhibition

Maisie Blackwood, A Beautiful Existence
Jasmine Chalmers, Delicate Sensibilities.

Flynn Gough, Graceland

Hendrix Hennessy-Ropiha, Kohitere Training Centre
Hazel Lockwood, ​What’s all the fuss about masks?
Mary-Jane Martin, Take a Moment - A Memory of 2020 (photo book)

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Photographer Biography
Tom Slade

Thomas Slade, b.1982, grew up in Nelson. While living in British Columbia, Canada, (2005-2010) he became interested in photography and returned to New Zealand to study formally. He will receive his Master's degree from Massey University in May 2017.

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