Caravanning Stars in Toi Poneke Exhibition

3 January 2013

Refuge in Anglesea (Toi Poneke, 11 January - 2 February) is the photographic debut of visual artist Tam Webster. The exhibition examines Australasian leisure activities and particularly focuses on caravanning.

Webster got the idea for the exhibition during a road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne where he stopped over in Anglesea. 

Even though it was December, poor weather meant beach activities were swapped with the distractions of the campground.

"The majority of caravan sites there are privately owned and attended for only a few days each year," says Webster.

"This provoked an interest in the true function of the caravans; are they mere symbols of our values? Are they simply representations of our social status? Or do they represent lifestyle choices or some other motivating force that makes everyday life more bearable?"

In order to expand on the original photography, Tam has developed the project further by interviewing and recording camping and caravanning stories from a range of Australian expats living in New Zealand. These recordings accompany large format prints from the original photographic survey of Anglesea.

"Toi Pōneke Gallery is an ideal venue for this debut exhibition with its commitment to presenting the work of emerging artists. The relationship between curator, technical staff and artist has helped the development of the work, particularly in regard to the process of interviewing Australian expats."

Leisure is a recurring theme in Webster's work. His previous collaborative exhibition L'enjeu du jeu examined the way children play in an historical colonial context, specifically Noumea in the early 20th century. This work was exhibited at the Musee de la Ville de Noumea in 2010 and at Capital E in Wellington in 2011.

Refuge in Anglesea is on at Toi Pōneke Gallery, Abel Smith Street, from 11 January to 2 February.

Arts - Toi Poneke Gallery - Exhibitions