Three Mangawhai artists and photographers – Nina Gastreich, Grant Crowe and Christine Moginie – invite you to experience sublime colours, patterns, and beauty through their viewfinders.
Everyone takes photos these days with phones, iPads, and laptops. However how often do we sit down and actually look at, and immerse ourselves, in the experiences we are taking? Do we stop and appreciate the scenery, views, angles, timing, and feelings of these quick snaps before we delete or edit them?
As professional photographers, Grant and Nina know that timing, and being in the right place at the right time is not any easy skill to hone in our increasingly busy world. Grant and Christine remember the days when the actual film rolls had to be manually put in and taken out of the camera, sent off to be developed in labs, waiting for a week or more before picking up the actual photos and negatives.
Not all images were good – heads and feet chopped off, fingers obscuring the aperture, blurred images, and limited options for speed, editing, zooming in and out. Developing the negatives with chemicals was the only option.
Being younger, Nina Gastreich also experienced some of these changes as photography has consumed the world in such a short time. Germany born-and-bred, Nina was raised in a creative family, and over the years has tried her hand at many art-forms including pottery, print making, painting, origami and silk painting. However, capturing ‘motion and emotion’ through a lens became a passion and she has actively pursued photography, turning what was an initial hobby into a profession. For the exhibition however, she has taken a more artistic and abstract approach, inspired by nature walks and crafted in photoshop.
Photography has been a life-long passion since Grant Crowe’s childhood days when as a 10-year-old and armed with a Kodak Box Brownie 127 camera, he photographed construction work on the approach roads to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Since then, he has spent 50 years in the photographic industry, from retail, portraiture, wedding, and commercial photography.
“I think of every image as a painted canvas just as an artist would paint in an abstract or picture-perfect way,” he says. “I look for a special moment, beautiful hues, textures, patterns and an angle to capture a different perspective, no image manipulation but just as the eye sees it.”
Artist Christine Moginie says with the unprecedented events of 2020 pushing many ‘out of our collective comfort zones in many unexpected ways’, she decided to also take a leap of faith and exhibit her own photography, something she has not done since the early 1990s ‘when digital imaging was still new’.
“My Mum passed on her Box Brownie camera to me when I was nine, and I’d spend hours taking photos then making them into handmade cards and artworks before the advent of the printing technology we have today,” she says. “Nature’s astonishing beauty and resilience – despite all the chaos, greed, and destruction – never fails to inspire me as an artist. Colour, textures, light, shadows and tactile forms are my life blood and soul food.”
The exhibition opens on January 14, 6pm, at the Mangawhai Artists Gallery.
n Hues, Textures, and Reflections Exhibition: Nina Gastreich, Grant Crowe and Christine Moginie, January 14-27, Mangawhai Artists Gallery, 45 Moir St. Gallery open 10am–3pm daily.
Photographers and artists Grant Crowe, Nina Gastreich and Christine Moginie all see a different world through the lens of a camera. PHOTO/SUPPLIED