Taking the long way home, Angus McNaughton conducts a compelling search through the streets to find houses that force him to stop and take photos. Simple post-war dwellings are chosen for their pared-back forms. Unfenced homes for their exposure to the street outside. The viewer is drawn down the garden path, into the private darkness beyond. Multiple layers and bitter-sweet emotions are represented here in these works, a stillness and the passing of time, portals to other side. Unpeopled themes of absence, emptiness, dream-like promise, safety, warmth, isolation, disembodied vacancy are contained within these images. Exemplifying that the literal documentation actually contains much deeper metaphorical threads.
McNaughton’s suburbs of interest have a distinct “personality”. Generally 1930-1960 fringe suburbs such as Mt Roskill, Oranga, Corstorphine, Otara, Onehunga, New Lynn, Momona, Green Bay, Brockville, Mt Eden, Mt Albert, Ellerslie, Ranui, Avonside, Bexley, Panmure and Glen Innes. This is where state housing or kit homes were constructed in green field developments. Simpler unadorned forms were preferred in this mid-century period and are the focus of this show. Life is changing in these suburbs, albeit slowly. Families move in and out, renovations are made, the city spreads outwards beyond.
McNaughton spent a year living in the suburb of Glen Innes and witnessed first-hand the tensions and changes that redevelopment is bringing. His home town of Christchurch is another housing hot spot around the red zone areas.
Weaving new and convoluted travel routes from the CBD to the artist’s home in Onehunga, the artist explores suburbs of interest, covering new ground in the search for striking locations. Standing directly in front of the property in order to frame the lines with even geometry, capturing the pride of the occupants past and present.
Hailing from Christchurch, McNaughton studied photography at high school and then a six-month full-time PPP course. Working as a general photographer in portraiture, photo journalism, fashion photography and as a darkroom technician. Angus McNaughton is currently completing a master’s degree in fine arts photography at Wintec Hamilton.
Recent shows include:
Art Ache (1) (2014) Golden Dawn. Suburban night photography and astrophotography
SKY Art your TV (2016)
Art Ache (10) Golden Dawn. (2016) Collected works
Vintage Ornithological. Lot23 Gallery. (2017) Birding photography
Contribution to charity group show “Direct Animal Action art exhibition” at Allpress gallery
Cover art for Alargo “Central Plataeu” and “Primacy” albums. (night long exposure photography).
Cover art for Pitch Black “Filtered Senses” and “Invisible Circuits” Albums plus singles. (night long exposure photography).
McNaughton’s patience and competency with a variety of specialist photographic subjects such as ornithological and astrophotography is documented on his website, make sure you check it out!