A Photographic Exhibition by Victoria Saunders & Darnah Chenery

21 October to 14 November 2020

Mitchell Studios is excited to present Sentient, a photographic exhibition by fourth-year Massey University honours students Victoria Saunders and Darnah Chenery. The exhibition will encompass themes of time, place, and the photographers’ reflective responses to nature.

My photographs commonly draw on the urban environment and the culture that materialises from these spaces. Focusing my attention to documenting people working in their state of flow. For this project, I looked forward to engaging with the local foraging communities, to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary attitudes towards food … Social media groups are a hub for connecting local people interested in foraging. These communities immediately ground the recreational activity as an expression of cultural identity – the sharing and teachings of mōhiotanga foster stronger relations with the land. My process is centred around connecting with people involved within the local Wellington foraging community. I am employing photography to share their experiences and in turn, revealing an expression of contemporary attitudes towards food.

My practice includes a lot of experimentation in terms of photographic methods, ranging from camera-less techniques such as cyanotypes and pinhole imagery, to working with film and digital. While I enjoy the aspects of casual street photography, I tend to take a conceptual approach to image making, focusing on ideas about our relationship with both time and space. This year for my honours project, I have been working on a photographic series titled Time Will Tell. This series aims to showcase how photography can be used to explore the perception of passing time, through acts of observation. The images themselves consist of floral still life, representing not only growth, decay and the physical changes that will occur over time, but thoughts of time-based rituals and our day to day actions.