Photography Doctorate Pioneer to Exhibit at Mahara Gallery

Kāpiti Coast photographer Mizuho Nishioka, who last year became the first person in New Zealand to complete a PhD in photography, will exhibit her work at Mahara Gallery in Waikanae from Tuesday 14 March.

Her exhibition, MachineTime_NatureTime, which will be on display in Mahara’s new SPACE gallery, is drawn from her PhD project at Massey University and offers a fresh approach to photographic image-making. Originally from Japan but now living in Paekākāariki, Mizuho Nishioka plays with Kodak’s famously cheeky phrase “You push the button, we’ll do the rest!”

Her work allows the camera or machine’s processes, or limitations, to be seen as part of her photograph. As she says “the technology was pushed beyond the limits of its ability to form a complete photographic image and produced instead a more complex map of the relationship between these two worlds. MachineTime_NatureTime enmeshes the familiarity of the botanic and the unfamiliarity of marks made by technological disruption.”

Mahara Gallery Director Janet Bayly says Mizuho Nishioka has exhibited a number of times in the Wellington area in recent years. “We are delighted that she is bringing her work to the Gallery,” she said. “We feel quite a connection with Mizuho because she lives in Kāpiti and also because she was our 20,000th visitor in 2009 when she came to hear ceramic artist Mirek Smisek.

“Becoming the first person in New Zealand to be awarded a PhD in photography and also the first person representing fine arts to receive the Vice-Chancellors Doctoral Scholarship, is a considerable achievement.”

Mizuho Nishioka’s exhibition is open to the public from Tuesday 14 March and runs until 2 April, entry is free. In notes to an earlier exhibition of the work at Wellington’s Bartley & Co, Gallerist Alison Bartley, wrote: “fragments of botanical specimens float suspended in the picture plane inviting us to become immersed in a wind-blown field of petals, leaves, pollen and twigs. Yet all is not quite as it seems. “In allowing wind to move her specimens, the photographer has allowed, what she calls, ‘Nature Time’ to outpace ‘Machine Time’.” The exhibition will be formally opened on Sunday 19 March, starting at 2.30pm with Tane J. Moleta (Lecturer in interdisciplinary digital design technologies, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington) who will give a floortalk From paint to pixels. Contemporary technology in creative practice. This will be followed at 3pm by wine and light refreshments, all welcome, free entry.