Anyone who takes photos will understand the importance of archiving. Boxes upon boxes fill my bookcase, each filled to the brim with old negatives and developed film. I rarely go through them, but when I do, I’m always presented with an image of a moment or time that I’d since forgotten about. It could be an image of the side of a hill, or the sea at dawn, or even one that was taken by mistake (the shutter was so clogged with sand it didn’t open properly, or I accidentally pressed the button while the camera hung at my walking legs). They all correlate to a time, a person, or more importantly, to my emotional state.
I asked talented and local photographer Meg Porteous to align her series of images, taken whilst driving around the country, with something that was going on for her at the time. Looking through her image series, it seems that Meg was acutely aware of her surroundings, open enough to absorb, celebrate and photograph the details. Each of her images from this series are fuelled by the sound of Kim Hill’s voice, late night drives from Taranaki and Matamata visiting family, and words from poet Sam Hunt – an iconic collection, perhaps a result of what it truly means to be a kiwi.
I took most of the photos in the process of driving somewhere. I grew up with my parents constantly listening to National radio and always hated it as a kid, but now I love it and always have it on when I am driving. A bit of a guilty pleasure, I have also been listening to talk back late at night driving back from a weekend visit to my Grandmother’s farm in Matamata or from my parents home in Taranaki. I love the association between National radio and the feeling of being in New Zealand. Mary Wilson in the morning wakes you up with aggression, Kathryn Ryan continues from there with intensity. Afternoons are slow and relaxed. Nights with Brian Crump are ponderous and slow but soothing. For me it’s something I grew up listening to, and the sound of it is really comforting and familiar.
Also, my brother recently gave me a book of Sam Hunt poems that I have been reading before I go to sleep. This is one of my favourite Sam Hunt poems from the book Knucklebones.
‘That feeling of being in the country’
When you stop at some small country town
and some local –
after you’ve complimented them on their own town –
says We like it it’s a good community
you think of that group of people
for whom this place is town,
everyone creating their own sort of light
throwing it out their kind of way
and you think of that community
and the communion of saints.
I never felt less
like wearing dark glasses
than Reporoa this morning.
Thank you Meg!
See more of Meg’s works [here]