• Caroline McQuarrie International Artist Researcher-In-Residence arrives from New Zealand

    November 3, 2015

    Caroline McQuarrie is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography, video and textiles. Her work explores the concept of home, whether in the domestic space or the land we identify with. Exploring how the photographic representation of a site with a particular history can reflect on the present, she is currently working on various projects exploring the history of the West Coast region of New Zealand, exploring how small stories in out of the way places can reflect on events in the wider world.

    Caroline is a Lecturer in Photography at Whiti o Rehua School of Art, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.

    She is Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group 'International Artist Researcher-in-Residence' in 2015.

    Exhibition dates: 18th November - 11th December 2015.

    Exhibition, 2nd Floor, Scott Building


    Homewardbounder shows the entrances to ‘adits’, or horizontal mineshafts, left in the landscape after exploration by gold miners during the 1860s gold rush in the West Coast region of New Zealand. These dark, damp spaces convey a history of aspiration and struggle, as the men that sought to make their fortune there faced harsh realities: an unforgiving landscape, difficult working conditions and a hand to mouth existence.

    The adits serve as reminders of New Zealand’s pioneering history and the extraordinary decisions that ultimately shaped the country. And yet this is only one version of the story, as there are histories often untold: women on the goldfields and waiting at home, and problematic European attitudes toward ownership and domination over the land at odds with the views of local Māori.

    Homewardbounder considers the legacy of mining on the West Coast – a complex legacy that continues to impact the region today, as the instability of the current mining industry now poses a threat to the communities it originally established.

    Exhibition, Foyer Space, Scott Building


    Waiuta explores an abandoned gold mining town in the West Coast region of New Zealand. Established in 1905 after the discovery of a lucrative gold seam, Waiuta was a remote community based entirely around New Zealand’s second biggest underground mine. In the 44 years the community existed the population never rose above 600, and the town virtually disappeared within a year after a cave-in closed the mine in 1951. The site of the town is now maintained by the Department of Conservation as an historic site.

    Waiuta explores how this small but fondly remembered town is visualised today, combining historic images, current photographs of the site, and images of a model village of the town as it was in 1951 which has itself been left to fall into ruin. Exploring how collective memory is articulated in different sectors, from New Zealand’s national archives through the Department of Conservation to a local model-building enthusiast, the different ways we remember build up a picture of a site that still cannot encompass the entirety of what the community originally was.