Photographers Stephen Tilley and Petra Leary have teamed up to present Point Of View.Â As part of the 2020 Auckland Festival of Photography, the pair have curated an exhibition of dramatic imagery that explores their considerations as award-winning visual artists through digital portraiture and documentary aerial photography.
The exhibition includes a dozen haunting images by Stephen Tilley, who is best known for his fashion and portrait photography. Focusing on parts of the body from head to toe, Tilley distils the human form to an aesthetic essence. âInfluenced by the chaos and darkness the world found itself in during lockdown, I revisited a polaroid technique thatâs been a thread throughout my 20-year career in my personal work,â says Tilley.
âTo evolve this approach, I explored how digital imagery could be harnessed to achieve similar results as polaroids and I stumbled upon a lighting technique that created an exaggerated dreamlike effect. This technique resonated with me, especially when life felt surreal and mysterious. It introduced a new point of view and allowed me to explore paradigms of life: movement and stillness; lightness and darkness. I found freedom in the
movement of making each image, I found light in the darkness.â
In tandem, Leary explores contemporary craft and technique in a six-image exhibition of awestriking aerial photography. Giving a new perspective to everyday situations and subject matter, Leary goes beyond the obvious by creating imagery with a drone camera. Her strong use of colour and elegant geometric composition are complemented by a perceptive use of light to reshape ordinary settings into the extraordinary.
âIn my photography, itâs my goal to take familiar settings â be it an urban street, waterway or landscape â and give people a point of view they wouldnât usually have,â says Leary. âGetting distance from a subject can bring new insights â elements feel familiar but unexpected narratives emerge from the ground up. I consider everything in composition, from colour harmony to exaggerating shadows and playing with depth of field.â
The Point of View exhibition can be viewed at STUDIO 58, Level 1, 15 Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn between 11am to 3pm and will run until 12 June.