About

Nichola Clark is a New Zealand photographer living in New York.

 

With a background in documentary and landscape photography, Nichola is interested in the ability of images to tell a story individually and collectively. Her previous work has explored the ideas of identity, relationship to land and environment and defining home and belonging. Nicholas constructed narratives comment on the similarities and contrasting elements of her two homes, bringing these two worlds together by lacing the images seamlessly so that they resonate with one another and create new meaning. The polar opposites of these two environments connect by similarity in the power and ever-changing personality of both landscapes. A reflective perspective of how each ‘home’ is viewed from the opposite vantage point, a ‘utopia’ from the other side of the fence depending on what continent you’re standing on.

 

Her recent work further explores the significance of land and belonging, communicates the spiritual connection both personally and through the eyes of others. The work is based around a site up the Whanganui river known as Jerusalem or Hiruhārama, a historical location that has rich spiritual significance. It was one of the largest settlements of the river in the 1840’s with several hundred Ngati Hau inhabitants. In 1892 Susan Albert also known as Mother Mary Joseph established the Sisters of Compassion that became a highly respected charitable and nursing organization. Albert also established the Jerusalem Founding Home in 1886 that housed and cared for abandoned children from all around New Zealand. In the early 1970’s New Zealand poet James K Baxter migrated to Hiruharama after ‘being instructed in a dream’ to do so, he too cared for abandoned youths that did not fit into the restraints of society. He adopted the name ‘Hemi’ developed Ngati-Hiruharama, a commune focused around living from the land and rehabilitating victims of drug and alcohol abuse. Baxter had struggled with these demons personally throughout his life. He took his leanings from the Māori community and developed a philosophy of key elements including aroha (love), korero (discussion), tangi (grief), mahi (work) and kotahitanga (unity). 

 

Nichola is from Whanganui and spent her summers camping up the river immersed in the New Zealand bush for over a month at a time. She has been documenting the river intermittently for over twenty years and has always been drawn to Jerusalem / Hiruhārama. This series juxtaposes these two divine chapels, one constructed by man, the other by nature.

 

40.67 Artifact Gallery 

New York, United State June 2014

40.67 Remuera Gallery

Auckland, New Zealand Feb 2015

Whanganui Open Studios, Old Fire Station

Whanganui, New Zealand March 2015

Whanganui Open Studios, Old Fire Station

Whanganui, New Zealand March 2015

© 2014  by Nichola Clark/ Proudly created with Wix.com

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