I spent 32 days in New Zealand on the South and North Islands taking 15, 240 photographs.
Following this, I spent a year looking at and editing my photographs while completing a variety of ways to visually tell photographic stories of my New Zealand research. This includes hiking tracks in magical, lush forests with gnarly moss-covered trees, tussock-covered slopes and volcanic outcrops with groves of eucalyptus trees, and spherical boulders, spectacular coastal views of long gold and black sand beaches, and intense aqua blue lakes. There are remote, unspoiled wilderness of snow-capped mountain peaks, glaciers, fiords, and rainforests. There are also treetop trail’s metal walkways that tower high above the emerging canopy of temperate lowland rainforest.
This series of photographs is a merging of my artistic and academic skills as a visual arts researcher. It is the artful process of developing a body of photographs depicting that experience. It is similar to grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) used for my academic research wherein I let New Zealand tell me what photographs needed to be taken and my photographic eye knew when to take the photograph from my years of experience as an artist and photographer. While my photography is slow and meticulous, I also shoot a lot each day until the camera feels like a prosthetic device on my face, an extension of my body. It is like my eyes blinking except that I have a photographic digital record. My feet are planted firmly in the earth while listening intently to my aesthetic self which has been developed over a long time while I sensitively know the photographic moment when shooting. The art is still in the photographic moment as I know when I have a really great photograph at the time. This is an exhausting process as I tend to shoot for long hours daily and I then end up with a lot of photographs to edit.
I create photographic stories by allowing the experience to speak to me. I put together photography exhibitions by collecting large amounts of data (photographs), and intensively editing while comparing and contrasting. As I continuously edited my photographs for months while making files in folders, I asked myself: What was my experience of New Zealand? How can I represent this experience so that it has the feeling of what each inspiring photograph had when I took the shot? It is a reliving and recreating of experience while working with specialty silver papers to photographically tell the stories. These 14-limited edition colour archival quality giclée photographic prints are the result of my amazing New Zealand experience. Thank you to Laurentian University and the Art Gallery of Sudbury for supporting this exhibition.
I worked with my husband Nick Dubecki who is an excellent giclée printer with over 40 years of experience in the printing industry.
Kathy Browning is an Artist and an Art Educator. She has a Ph.D. and B.Ed. from the University of Toronto, an M.F.A. from York University, and a B.F.A. Honours from the University of Manitoba. Kathy has taught Visual Arts and Technology at the elementary, secondary and university levels including in the Faculty of Education, Laurentian University. Kathy has shown work in all art media in Canada and the United States. Kathy has received provincial and national awards and recognitions for art, videos, art education, writing, publishing, and editing.