Laurence Aberhart is possibly New Zealand’s most pre-eminent photographer. Active since the mid-seventies he is renowned for his frontally composed images of cemeteries, street fronts, churches, Masonic Lodges and marae in New Zealand. His photographs are created with an eight by ten inch film plate camera, using long exposures. He rarely photographs people, apart from members of his immediate family.
Aberhart’s images of disappearing vernacular architecture and monuments have a romantic quality and the subtle distortions of the long exposures amplify a melancholic sense of loss. Later less brooding images have more humour from found signage and coincidental juxtapositions, and celebrate a clearer penetrability of space. Building interiors seem to acquire personalities, becoming psychological metaphors for the human condition.
Aberhart is sought after for exhibitions and collections all over the world due to a distinctive intensity achieved through his haunting iconography, frontal compositions and in-depth interest in many cultures.